Backbend Exploration: Wheel Pose with Sita Chia, Sep 15

Orchard Central
Sunday, September 15, 2019
10.30am - 2pm

Backbending can be emotionally and physically challenging. They are the opposite action of our everyday life activities, but they are the poses that we should not ignore or avoid to maintain a healthy body and healthy spine. Backbends are healing because they reverse habitual motions like sitting at computer, bending to pick up something, driving, or texting.  They open up space in our body, energize, and restore balance to our bodies and our lives.

Learn how to practice and understand backbends. This workshop is focused on wheel pose both for beginner who has a hard time getting into it, and those who are already able to get into it but always feel limitation around shoulders and wrists, sensation of lower back pain or wish to get into the backbend by utilizing full strength and flexibility of the spine. This workshop will allow you to explore deeply into anatomy of backbend and use that knowledge to perform backbend in a healthy and safe way.

Suitable for all levels. 

(10.30am - 12pm)

The first half of the workshop, led by Iyengar, Hatha and Ashtanga based teacher Sita, will allow you to establish a solid foundation with details in both body movement-function and yoga anatomy in slow and intense work. Sita will teach you how to modify poses to suit the needs of your own body, which will build your body intelligence and awareness.

What to expect:

  • Welcome and introduction to workshop
  • What is backbend
    - Where we stretch
    - Where we bend
    - Where we lift
  • What are the body part that we use to perform backbend
    - Shoulder
    - Spine
    - Hip (legs)
  • Anatomy of backbend
    - Tension/compression
    - Shoulder
    - Spine
    - Demonstration of obstacle (shoulder/spine)
    - Shoulders analysis exercise (shoulder/spine)
  • How to avoid limitation/compression
    - Rotation of shoulders
    - Distance of arms
    - Distance of legs
    - Elbows/knees
  • Foundation
    - Hands
    - Feet

(12pm - 2pm)

The second half of the workshop will teach you how to integrate what you learned in the first half into the sequence of moving postures in a way that’s safe, strong and builds confidence in your backbend practice.

What to expect:

  • Practicum
    - Warm up
    - Quadriceps stretch
    - Shoulders
  • 60 min flow: backbend sequence
  • Poses practice
    - Wheel (assisted/non-assisted)


Regular: $140
Early bird (by 15 Aug): $120


An anthropologist and photojournalist by training, Sita started the practice of yoga in 2000. She travelled around India doing photography works whilst studying yoga and ayurveda in several well-known yoga schools. She is a certified Ayurvedic alternative medicine practitioner, as well as a Sivananda-certified teacher. Sita has spent many years teaching and leading yoga retreats of Hatha yoga in Kutir (an ashram in northern India), Singapore, Bali and Thailand. A certified senior intermediate level 2 Iyengar teacher, Sita practiced both Hatha and Iyengar for a long time before finding her love in the Ashtanga yoga method.

Sita is grateful to yoga for turning her life around from her earlier years of illness and addiction. The practice purified and cleansed both her mind and body, and she feels blessed to have this opportunity to teach.

She has completed both the Ashtanga Primary and Intermediate series, and continues in-depth study of the practice at KPJAYI (K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) with Sri R. Sharath Jois in Mysore, India. She is currently practicing the Ashtanga Advance series given by him. Her personal practice is in Ashtanga Mysore, in the lineage of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, but she is also well versed in other practices, including Yin, Restorative, Pranayama and Kriya, Yoga Therapy, Prenatal, the Hot Yoga system, Reiki master level and crystal healing. She is E-RYT 500 certified.

In her free time, Sita loves cats, street photography, painting, detox and internal cleansing, as well as raw and vegan food. Whilst she believes the practice of asana is an extremely useful mind-body tool, the true benefits of yoga are gained when all facets of yoga are applied to daily life.