September 18, 2014

2 Years of Yoga

Filed under: Yoga, Yoga Sugbo — rvchua @ 10:32 am

In September 17, 2012, I had my first yoga class with Jaya Indra (it took several classes before I finally got his name). My next class was a couple of days later. Yesterday (September 17, 2014), I had a deep stretch class with Jason. So I have been practicing for 2 years now.

At the beginning I could not touch my toes in a forward bend. Then one day I could grab my wrists around my feet in a seated forward bend. Now most of the time I just sit there and hold my toes, deep bends seldom happen, only when my back is sufficiently warmed up. Now I can’t stand on my left foot in a Warrior 3 or Half Moon Pose for more than a second. Early this year I finally went into a headstand but up to now I still need assistance or against the wall. I no longer take the full pose of twists and the wheel scares the hell out of me.

I tried Ashtanga early this year and immediately fell in love of it. Then suddenly in the middle of an Ashtanga class, my back stiffened and later on developed to a debilitating pain that was alleviated only when I lay down. I had hurt my back and would later on hurt my hips. I had several sessions with the chiropractor and slowly went back to my practice.

I finally tried flying yoga a few weeks back. I was apprehensive in the beginning that I might suffer from vertigo but I loved the inversions that don’t require any arm and core strength to reach the pose and stay there. Also it released the tension in my spine and was wonderful for my creaky back and hips. Only the P500 per session fee is keeping me away from making it a regular practice.

I started seriously to learn the Sanskrit names of the popular poses but have now forgotten most of them when I had to lessen my practice. I learned the Ashtanga opening mantra in one evening but still haven’t memorized the closing mantra. I became familiar with the 8 limbs of yoga, the history, the philosophy and the different types that have evolved through the years.

When I saw info about a yoga retreat late last year, I wanted to join until I saw kirtan in the activities. I had no idea what it was and thought the retreat was for non-beginners. Later on I sang my first kirtan song (Babanam Kevalam). I discovered the Gayatri Mantra which I later learned to be the same opening theme of Battlestar Galactica (loved the show!). Through youtube I found Krishna Das, his Om Namah Shivaya was put on infinite repeat on my playlist for several weeks.

The asanas are a form of moving meditation for me. However I want to try guided meditation and mindfulness meditation. During savasana my mind still wanders, I think about yoga, food, etc. At least my mind has become more still, it no longers jumps from one thing to another in an exhausting manner.

Through the years, I tried going to other studios as long as it was physically possible. I learned to enjoy the different classes and various techniques and approaches of different teachers. I learned something eventhough I hated a sequence or the pose was impossible for me. There have been a few times that I would feel overwhelming anger in a class, I could be angry at the teacher, at the pose and most especially with myself.

When the teachers see you as a regular practicioner, they laud your dedication and take interest with you. When other yogis see you regularly, you become acquaintances and later on friends. I am usually a shy person and hardly make friends outside my comfort zone so I am thankful that I found my divine family, people of different backgrounds, ages and temperaments, all of us united in our love for yoga.

When I evaluate myself now, it feels like I took two steps forward but at the same time took one step backward. Since my back/hip problems, I dread going to class, all I want to do is go home and lay flat on the bed. But I force myself to go and even if I end up lying down while everyone went ahead, I never regret not going. If the sequence is right or my body was moving the right way, my back and hips heartily give a sigh of relief.

So what is next? Primary goal is to use up my sessions at Gold’s Gym so I can move my practice to either of the two yoga studios in Mactan. Also I want to start a home practice which is very difficult because the moment I arrive home all I feel is overwhelming lethargy. My objective is no longer to be able to do a handstand, pincha mayurasana, flying crow, koundinyasana, etc. All I want now is to keep on moving and have healthy back and hips. Also, I would like attend more workshops esepcially on restorative/yin yoga, meditation and philosophy.

September 15, 2014

Doctor Who Donuts

Filed under: Food, Television — rvchua @ 12:27 pm

doctor-who-donutsForget about J.Co. Can I have a box of these? Make sure there are Weeping Angels!


The Coffee Factor

Filed under: Food, Health — rvchua @ 11:35 am

I don’t know what happened but I have been indulging too much coffee. Last Tuesday morning before heading to Balamban, I had a P25 coffee at McDonald’s then later another coffee at Bo’s which fortunately was only P10 since it was part of a breakfast set. On Thursday I had a P100 iced café latte at Bo’s before getting a much needed back massage. Then on Friday I had a P90 brewed coffee at La Vie Parisienne even it was already 10pm! The next day I had a P39 iced coffee at McDonald’s before going to fly yoga. This does not include the P10 coffee I have every morning at the office, sometimes I have two if I feel too sleepy in the afternoon.

So now I need to curb my coffee drinking especially of expensive coffee. I only have the following rules:

-       I can have coffee (P10) at the office especially when I still feel groggy/sleepy. This is also applicable for free coffee.

-       If I want to have coffee outside work, it will be less than P50. So no to Bo’s, Starbucks, etc.

-       No coffee after 5PM.

I already had my P10 coffee this morning so I am good for the day. Let us see if I can stick to this plan.

September 11, 2014

3rd Yoga Dance at Studio 108

Filed under: Dragonfly Yoga Studio, Yoga, Yoga Sugbo — rvchua @ 3:38 am

Studio 108 is located at 2F Paseo Arcenas, Banawa.


September 10, 2014

The Morning Routine

Filed under: Environment, Thank You — rvchua @ 2:10 pm

I used to have a morning ‘routine’ that ended in May. I found myself alone with nothing to do and not much to look forward to. I tried to go back to what I used to do before the ‘routine’ but I ended up being lazy and wanting to just sleep in.

I don’t know which conversation it was that led me and Clarice to join Nathan in his early morning photo shoots. I don’t really contribute to the shoot. I am mainly there for the cold, fresh air. However we do enjoy the twinkling lights of the city, the last lights of the disappearing moon and stars, the gradual lightening up of the sky and eventually greet the sun as it descends across Cebu. There are also times where we found ourselves enveloped with fog of very limited visibility.

Most of the time when we head down to the city, we go to Paseo Arcenas for charity yoga and hanging out with the rest of the divine family. Yesterday was Tuesday and a holiday, so the only agenda we had was breakfast at Bo’s Coffee. Lively and revealing talk peppered our omelettes, buko water and blueberry cheesecake. Despite the 2AM wakeup so that we could meet up at 3AM at J Centre, I would willingly put up with it just so I can enjoy nature, hang out with people that I care about and wallow in hot, brewed coffee!

Photo without permission from Nathan Archival (aka Handsome Guy)!


September 5, 2014

Once A Year…

Filed under: Environment, Health, Minimalism / Simplicity — rvchua @ 10:16 am

Everyone walks, rides a bike or takes public transportation. No motorcycles! 

No one uses plastic bags, plastic fork/spoon, plastic/stryopor cups, straws and paper napkins. 

No public drinking or smoking.

Everyone plants a shrub or tree in a pot, in their backyard, in a vacant lot or in the mountains. 

No one cuts down a tree or kills an animal for fun, sport or food. 

Everyone follows traffic rules including commuters and pedestrians. 

No karaoke, no tooting of car/motorcycle horns. 

Everyone skips a meal or goes into a mini-fast. 

No one throws away edible food into the garbage. 

No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media.

September 2, 2014

Fly Yoga at Flying Yoga J (Banilad, Cebu City)

Filed under: Yoga — rvchua @ 8:21 am

After seeing pictures and hearing about it for several weeks, I finally was able to try fly yoga at Flying Yoga J in Banilad. At P1.5K for 3 sessions, it is more expensive than the usual yoga. You can’t just join a karma yoga class or watch videos in youtube. You need to be in the studio to try it. The cloth used as hammock is made of special material so it can withstand heavy weights and constant friction. So far Flying Yoga J is the only studio in Cebu that offers flying/aerial yoga.

Although we arrived 20 minutes earlier than the 3:40pm class, they already started since some students were already there since 3pm, slots per class are limited. You need to be there early so that they can adjust the hammock according to your height and safety instructions can be given. The place is quite small so there is a chance you can hit the person beside you if you can’t control the sway of the hammock or if you are not mindful with your movements.

When we came in, Joung (the teacher) was already showing everyone how to get out of the hammock by flipping backwards. That was pretty scary but I was able to let go of my fear and did it quickly. As the class progressed, I realized that the hammock was too high for me and the cloth would dig in uncomfortably on some parts of my body. I wished I was right behind Joung because I was quite far from her and I got confused whether to look at her in the mirror or at the side. I got bewildered with the tree pose because I can’t get one of my hands outside the hammock. Same also when we did the standing leg twist, the cloth kept distracting me so I kept losing my balance even if the hammock was supposed to support me. But I did enjoy the inversion with butterfly legs and the hands relaxed on the floor. I stayed upside down longer than the others yet I did not feel nauseous. Even though the aircon was on, I was sweaty and needed my towel. During the savasana, I was mostly aware of the sway of the hammock even if I was not moving. Despite my struggles I enjoyed the class and found it doable though I think it would be best that you have already done yoga before you do fly/aerial yoga.

Next class is this Saturday. Will I do better this time? I don’t know. Will there be other poses to explore? For sure, I will be there an hour early to make sure the hammock is correct! I hope they would reduce their prices since although they are offering P500 (discount) for certain class schedules, it is still too expensive for long term.

September 1, 2014

Yoga in August 2014

Filed under: Dragonfly Yoga Studio, Yoga, Yoga Sugbo — rvchua @ 10:34 am

yoga aug2014

August 31, 2014

Books I Have Read (March, April, August 2014)

Filed under: Books — rvchua @ 1:39 pm

For some months I stopped reading but I did reread The Hobbit during that period. Back pain, yoga and other activities took precedence but I am slowly going back by choosing some light reads. I hope to get back to reading at least one book a month.

Books I Have Read (March 2014)
1) 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

 Books I Have Read (April 2014)
1) Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Books I Have Read (August 2014)
1) One True Love by Barbara Freethy
2) The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
3) The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa

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August 29, 2014

Yoga Thoughts For August 2014

Filed under: Yoga, Yoga Sugbo — rvchua @ 1:53 am

Now that 2 yoga studios (Yoga Shala Mactan and Yoga Tree Mactan Studio) are opening up in Mactan in the next couple of months, I am more determined to use up my remaining visits at Gold’s Gym. By my computation I have 80 visits left so this means I need to visit the gym 4x a week. Also, I am tired of hauling my yoga mat, towels and change of clothes everywhere I go. 

Alex subbed for Joy last Monday (it was a holiday) and I miss his type of classes wherein there are no crazy poses yet I sweat like crazy. Also I don’t have to think too much and wonder where it all leads up. You are there just to work your body. I just need to go back to the routine of waking up at 5AM so I can attend the 7AM yoga sessions. I always prepare my things the night before but the moment the alarm turns on, I just want to put in snooze and go back to bed. I need to change that!

Besides attending yoga classes at the gym, I usually join donation based classes wherein the proceeds go to a specific charity. For the past few Sundays, I have been attending karma yoga at Paseo Arcenas, Banawa. The money raised will be pooled and used to benefit people in need. I prefer that the money I use to pay for yoga is goes to charity instead of going to the studio owner(s).

I am also getting interested to try other yoga teachers. I have been enjoying Carlo’s classes when he subbed for Jaya on Thursdays. He has a different approach, challenging yet doable. I need a mix of different types to make my practice more rounded.

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