September 24, 2014

Mooshi Veggie Garden Panini

Filed under: Food, Health — rvchua @ 3:00 pm

I can’t wait to try this!!!


September 23, 2014

BULAN-Bulan at Ananda Marga Yoga Cebu

Filed under: Yoga, Yoga Sugbo — rvchua @ 2:08 pm

Anada Marga Yoga CebuAnanda Marga Yoga Center is the first yoga/meditation place in Cebu. It was already there before yoga was offered in gyms or yoga studios have popped up everywhere. I have known about Ananda Marga for several years already but never went there because it was too far away. It used to be near Capitol Site but has moved to F. Ramos St.

Last Saturday evening (September 20), I went to Ananda Marga for the BULAN-Bulan to support Nathan’s photography exhibit. That night there were dances, painting displays, kirtan and a vegetarian dinner. I loved the ‘meatballs’ from Healthy U and the camote balls with sesame seeds.

I don’t know who took this picture but this was during the guided meditation by Dada Dharmavedananda.

Ananda Marga also offers taichi during early morning weekdays. I would love to try that one of these days, it is on my list.


September 21, 2014

Yoga Outside My Comfort Zone

Filed under: Yoga — rvchua @ 3:10 am

After 2 years of yoga, I never thought in a million years that I would be doing yoga on the stage of Ayala Activity Center. I thought I was just going to do tree pose or something but I was there for the entire sequence. It was nerve wracking to be under the bright lights and to see people looking at you from the upper levels but I did what I would do in any regular class.

The one hour beginner’s yoga was led by Pascale, Angela, Teodie, Regina, Jackie Lou and Jaya from Yoga Tree Studio Mactan and Flying Yoga J.

Photo comes from Yoga Tree Studio Mactan’s Facebook Page.

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.

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