Sita’s level of knowledge, her ability to mindfully articulate concepts, her wisdom, humour, and the sheer energy that she radiates from her whole being make her an extraordinary teacher. When I started with Sita, I had never taken a yoga class before. We were in a studio with tall angular ceilings. She told us to close our eyes and I remember hearing this noise bouncing off the walls that sounded like a mixture of ocean waves and wind. I thought she had turned on a sound machine to help create a mood. I then realised that it was actually coming from the people around me. It was my first introduction to the ujjayi breath.
In the beginning I felt wobbly both inside and out. This was no wonder as I had had many physical therapists visits where I was told that the top half of my body was not connected to the bottom. That the middle of my back was frozen and not being used at all, which made it easy for my pelvis to shift into painful positions and my collarbone to dislocate. Sounds like a neat party trick until it hits a nerve. I had very little core strength, but even more important to mention, I had no idea of how to get in touch with that part of my body.
I also, as I think many people do when they start, was trying to keep up with the people around me, as though I were taking part in some kind of yoga competition with trophies, ribbons, and a cruise to win. It took me about 6 months through Sita’s gentle guidance to begin turning within. To really be able to find my own sacred space or to cognitively
realise what that even meant. Since that point, nearly 4 years ago, I have learned many things.
I have had the profound experience of feeling an infinite amount of space within when I am on my mat with my eyes closed. I have been able to learn how to breathe into certain muscles and create more space in my joints. I have learned to connect the top half of my body with the bottom and no longer have any of the old problems that kept cropping up. I feel more balanced and grounded in my whole being, and over time I have been able to make mind body connections and create new pathways in my brain to do it.
Does my yoga practice spill over into my life outside of class? Yes it does. I am reminded throughout my day to grow my spine, to take a step back and breathe, to listen carefully and respect my body and work within its limits whatever they are on any given day. And to be kind to myself which helps to be kind to others. Thank you Sita!