Hi everyone! My name is Elena Gaita.
I am a certified yoga teacher, who believes that empathy, kindness and compassion can save the world. I consider myself extremely lucky to have stumbled upon yoga on my path.
My first encounter with yoga was very uneventful. I was already 26 years old and the complete antithesis of an athletic person. I didn’t know anything about yoga and went to a hot yoga class (without even knowing that it was going to be a hot class, which almost gave me a heart attack!) with my then roommate just because it was a free class. As most people, before going to class I thought that yoga was just a sport. After class I thought that it was a sport for skinny, bendy and new age people. As I did not belong to any of those categories, I thought that it just wasn’t for me. End of story.
For some reason, one year later I decided to give it one more try and that’s when something in me clicked, and I slowly started appreciating this practice. Throughout my life, I tried many sports – most of them just once or twice – without ever feeling that I was good enough at any of them. When I was a small child I had repeated health issues and was always the smallest and weakest kid in my class. The combination of the two elements made it hard for me to excel at any sport. The natural conclusion was that at some point I just stopped trying.
But when I started to regularly practice yoga, I soon realised that this was something else. I was not flexible, I was not strong, I was not athletic, and yet I could do yoga. It was so much more than just a sport. Yoga teaches us that there is no competition involved when we practice. It teaches us that when we leave our ego behind and accept that we are enough the way we are, we can do yoga even if we can’t jump into a handstand with one hand. It teaches us that the most important thing is not how far we go, but how we go. These and many more were all elements that resonated with me and that I wish I would have known when I was a kid attempting any kind of physical activity.
Fast-forward six more years and I decided to take some time off my full-time job at a non-governmental organization in Brussels to travel to the other side of the world and pursue my yoga teacher training at the Hawaii Yoga Institute, a life-changing journey. This turned out to be the most transformative, healing and introspective experience of my life. Among many things, I finally learned how to be kind to myself in order to be kind to others.
Life is not always easy, but in the midst of its many challenges I always try to remind myself that I have yoga and its teachings that will lift me up. Whenever I step on my mat, I am home. And this feeling is what I hope to be able to share and give to you at The House of Yoga.
“Without realizing who you are, happiness cannot come to you.”
Harbhajan Singh Yogi