Jitka and her daughter Joanna (age 4)
Jitka qualified to teach Big Dog Little Dog – yoga with your child last September. This week I interviewed her to get a glimpse into her world of yoga.
Born in the Czech Republic, then resident in Shanghai and now deep into rural living in the little village of Wheathamstead, Hertfordshire; Jitka shares how yoga always feels like home.
A: How did you find yoga?
J: As a youth I had always been interested in India and after travelling there with a friend I returned to Prague and sought out a yoga course. I came across a system called “Yoga in daily life” run under the direction of Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda. I practiced this system for many years until my husband and I moved to Shanghai and discovered teacher Rain Aronson. This was the first time that I realized that my experience in a pose could be so much more! When we moved to the UK I found classes with wonderful teachers Laura Hinde and Louise Stanion at the Yoga Hall in St. Albans where Clare Wener started teaching and that led me to you!
A: In what ways has yoga impacted other areas of your life?
J: First, the postures and movements make you feel good and stronger both physically and mentally.
Second, my approach to others feels more open in daily life. Growing up in a communist country effects you as a person…the way they school you does not give you open space to develop your confidence. Luckily I was 13 when it changed. However, this can feel like a condition, that you carry with you in daily life…but yoga helps to shift this and I find that the practice of pranayama, like kapal bhati, helps boost my confidence too.
A: Why did you decide to do the Big Dog Little Dog teacher training?
J: I always wanted to be a teacher. I ended up working in an office in the field of economics. When we moved to the UK and I started taking Big Dog Little Dog classes with my daughter I loved it. Now that both my children are in school full time I have had time to re-evaluate my life I thought, “yes, this would be a lovely practice to do: yoga with your child”.
A: Has your relationship with your daughter changed as a result of the Big Dog Little Dog work?
J: Yes, Joanna (age 4) now takes an interest in “mummy’s yoga”. When I practice, she is curious and watches and practices alongside me. Also, the trust between us is stronger whilst we do the postures from Big Dog Little Dog.
As we closed the interview, Jitka and I had a laugh about how we would be such peaceful mummies who never shout if only we could stay on our mats ALL the time…Now, that would be a neat trick!
Jitka currently teaches Big Dog Little Dog classes in her home and plans to launch larger classes soon. She also covers April’s BDLD classes in Harpenden. www.bdld.co.uk will host information on these classes as soon as they are available. Watch this space!