November 7, 2014
October 1, 2014
September 23, 2014
Ananda 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 18, 2014
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 11, 2014
September 1, 2014
August 29, 2014
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.
August 13, 2014
I joined a therapeutic yoga class with Arlien at Dragonfly Yoga Studio this morning. We went through sun salutations really, really slow which I liked. It gives you time to get into a pose before moving to the next one. Also you feel your body more and gives you a chance to go deeper especially on bends. I wish I didn’t have to leave immediately after the class and head to work. I don’t think I enjoyed any benefits from the class because I have been mostly sitting for hours.
I am always in a lookout for yin yoga classes, Arlien has a Vinyasa Inspired Yin Yoga at Surya Nanda while Pascale and Jason have Deep Stretch classes at YogaHub. I wish more studios offer these type of classes, sometimes our bodies crave for something slower, a chance to recover, an opportunity to be mindful.
Arlien will be offering therapeutic yoga at Studio 108 (opening soon) in Banawa. I think her classes would cater more for those who have chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc. I only have back issues (sometimes) so I am wondering if she will be doing a non-specific yin yoga class.
August 11, 2014
Last Saturday, I attended the 3rd YOGAthering at Yoga Shala Mactan. Most the yogis who attended were from Mactan (Kandaya, JAM Fitness, etc) but there were those who came all the way from the Banawa area! Teachers represented several studios including Flying Yoga J and Yoga Tree Mactan (soon to open). Wonderful to see the vibrant yoga community in this part of the channel.
My schedule did not end there but I stayed overnight at Dragonfly Yoga Studio for movie and wine, karma yoga at Banawa the next day, hanging out at Dragonfly, headed to Tops for viewing of the Super Moon and finally dinner at La Tegola.
Photo courtesy of Nathan Archival (Handsome Guy).
August 4, 2014
When my schedule allows me, I try to go out of my way to visit new yoga studios. Studio 108 at Paseo Arcenas, Banawa will be opening soon. It will not just be a yoga studio but also a detox bar and a spa. I don’t know when it will actually open since there is a ton of work to be done but for the moment to spread the word, karma yoga is offered at Paseo Arcenas every Sunday from 7-8AM. This is a donation based class, all proceeds will go to charity.
Since Banawa is 4 rides away from home, I woke up at 4AM with plenty of time for breakfast, pharmacy stop and a toilet emergency. I arrived at Paseo Arcenas by 6:20AM. I was the first one there. The area is a nice place where people frequent to jog, walk or move around. There were 15 people who joined the karma yoga and a good amount of money was raised.
As usual the divine family met up for lunch at Jeanne’s place. In the afternoon we headed up to Busay but stopped by Dolce first, I had moist chocolate cake dunked in black coffee. Then we had buko, jackfruit, peanuts and bananas in one of the fruit/vegetable stands in Busay when it started to rain and got colder. More eating ensued with pizza at La Tegola Busay and ice cream back at Dragonfly Studio. It was almost 10PM when I arrived home with a very full stomach.