Meet Gitam, Senior Yoga Teacher and author of Gitam’s Garden – Healthy Sattvic Recipes from the Byron Yoga Kitchen

How did your yoga journey start?

I began practising yoga in the 1980s when my children were small, with a group of mothers at playgroup. My practice was spasmodic for many years but I always came back to yoga. During 15 years of a high-stress job, my evening yoga classes were the way I remained fairly sane.

Why did you become a yoga teacher?

I was working in the Byron Yoga Centre office and found myself talking to prospective trainees. It became essential that I take the training myself so that I had the experience to speak from. I loved it from the beginning.

What yoga pose puts a smile on your face?

Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) is my favourite way to slow down and rest. I can put so many variations into the basic pose that it becomes a practice on its own.

What have you learned about life from yoga?

Over the last few years my personal practice has evolved into a much more introspective style. I have less desire to perfect an advanced posture and more to find my self, my centre, within each posture.

How would you describe your yoga classes?

Morning classes are active, although I do like to hold some poses longer to keep students focussing on breath. My favourite class is my Friday afternoon class, a deep rest restorative, in which we may only practise five or six different poses and then a long yoga nidra or guided meditation. We have a very transient student population in Byron and so many people will come to my class doubtful of the slow pace but leave blissful, saying ‘that’s just what I needed’.  As a teacher I can’t ask for more than that.