Gita, a native of Colombia, S.A. has been studying, practicing and teaching alternative therapies over the last 30 years. Gita is currently the director of the Integral Center for Yoga and Self-Healing Therapies in St. Augustine, Florida. She is a licensed Massage therapist, yoga and meditation teacher as well as a spiritual healer who employs her expertise and experience in breathing techniques, cranial sacral and reiki therapies. Gita also teaches international vegetarian cooking classes. Gita is a member of the yoga alliance.
Testimonial from Patients:
"For the past six years I have participated in a yoga class under the guidance of Gita. Not only has my breathing and lung capacity improved but my flexability and range of motion has improved beyond my expectations."
Gita's "patient teaching, individual attention, and effective pacing have helped me on the lifelong road to achieving the yoga goal-unity of mind body and spirit."
Memoir—Joan North - A Massage
I feel anxious about my massage this afternoon. I hope I don’t tear up or worse. Two weeks earlier, I teared up and worse at an intense breath workshop. Cried like a baby. Had to be held by the practitioner.
A friend said Gita is fantastic; gives you a real workout. That’s what I want, a real workout, loosen restrictive muscles. Not that I want to lose control. No, no, no.
I follow her into a windowless, ten-foot- square, pale blue-gray room and breathe in its peace. “Take off whatever you’re comfortable taking off, then lie on your stomach on the table and cover yourself with the sheet,” she says, then dims the light and leaves me alone. The massage table is soft, warm, welcoming.
When she returns, she clicks on soothing flute music, inviting my alternative lifestyle memories from a lifetime ago. She begins by placing her hands on my sheet-covered back, softly, then firmly as if introducing my body to her hands. “Hello,” her hands say. “You can trust me.”
“Do with me what you will,” my body responds, tentatively.
I’ve known Gita as a yoga teacher for nine years, and I already trust her. And yet . . . I’ve never been naked under a sheet with her or have had her hands touch my defenselessly naked body. She lowers the sheet to below my waist. I hear her hands, moistened by massage oil, rubbing against each other. The oil is slightly cool and . . . oily. I feel my dry skin suck it up, can almost hear it slurping in through my pores.
I wonder what she thinks of my loose, 72-year- old skin, though her skin isn’t much younger. Her hands knead and pull and push my skin, my muscles, my body. At times, I can’tbreathe. Her fingers find the knobs of my spine and work their way up and down. My body feels happy with the attention, the contact with another being who seems to care about it.
I wonder what she thinks of my 17-year- old tattoo of a Japanese calligraphy of ‘light.’ I had wanted light to always shine on my shoulder because of John Denver’s song lyrics, “sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.” I wanted to be happy. I remember the thin tattoo artist with long hair and John Lennon glasses outside a marine base on Oahu. He made a copy of the print I’dgiven him and transferred the outline onto my skin. When my Zen teacher told me the calligraphy was backward, I said, “Well, then the light is coming from within.” He had smiled, kindly.
Gita uncovers one leg at a time. I’m glad I shaved them this morning. So many muscles she finds and pays attention to. Even the quiet, seemingly insignificant ones. I wonder what she thinks of my enso tattoo from my Zen center years, a circle representing the essence of who I am. Except I hadn’t painted the circle with black ink using a sable Japanese calligraphy brush, so it’s someone else’s permanent essence on the inside of my left ankle. During meditation, I used to gaze at it to help divert the almost constant thoughts dancing in my mind.
“Who am I?” I used to wonder all those years ago. “Who am I?” I wonder now.
Gita pays attention to the top and bottom of my feet, rubbing and wiggling and pulling each toe, gently, but not too gently. I remember Jesus washing his disciples’ feet as a sign of humility and service. I remember in my twelve years of ashram life, bending and touching my guru’s feet and bringing my fingers to my forehead and heart as a gesture of love and respect.
Her fingers and knuckles knead my arm muscles, separate my scapula bones that look like miniature wings, and explore the muscles underneath. One shoulder is more resistant than the other. After I roll onto my back, she takes my hand, so personal. Hands are used to give to other people. Gita makes mine receive her touch, her attention. She makes a fist and rolls her knuckles up and down my palm. Like my toes, she rubs and wiggles and pulls each finger gently, but not too gently.
Tears form in my eyes when she touches my neck and shoulders, where all my tension lives, my body’s most defenseless area. While holding my head still with one hand, she pulls my arm away from it, opening the seat of tension, shoulders too often raised in protection, a natural reaction to physical or emotional risks. I feel less protected, but braver.
When she massages my face, I feel like a jowly hound dog, then like a child manipulating her skin into monster faces.She massages my head. When she holds it in her hands for a minute or so, tears slide from the corners of my eyes and wet her fingers. I feel accepted, loved, worthy. I wonder if my mother ever held me this way. Goose bumps tingle up and down my legs. The second time she holds my head, I feel as if God is holding it, holding me. He looks down at me with unconditional love and acceptance. I want to stay and be held in this altered state of consciousness forever.
Maybe I am.