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Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

A Peek At Beyond Yoga

Yesterday I had the pleasure (and honor, I must add :)) of checking out Beyond Yoga, one of the newest yoga studios to open it’s doors in the metro. My dear Yin Yoga teacher, Dona Tumacder-Esteban (who also happens to teach there), took me along for the ride and I got to attend two classes in this pretty, pretty space.

I wasn't kidding when I said it was pretty, right? Even the bathroom was SOOOO pretty :)

Classes start as early as 7am and there are about3-5 different schedules and an array of yoga styles to choose from. I got to attend the Hatha class with Johan and the Yin class with Dona. Other classes include power yoga, vinyasa, hot yoga, ashtanga and yoga basics. Drop in rates are Php 450 per session. Weekly, monthly, and yearly unlimited packages are also available.

In between yoga classes, the studio also offers dance classes, such as Belly Pop, Belly Dance and Zumba. Lockers and showers are available for your convenience, and should you be hungry after the practice, they also have a little cafe in the premises.

As for my experience, well, the yoga I loved, the dancing…well, I don’t dance, right? Haha. I skipped that even though Dona was cajoling me like all hell to try it out. It looked fun though. I will write more about my experience of the hatha class (I’ve already written much about yin after all!) in my diet and fitness blog, so do watch out for that :) I’m just a little too achey to do it now, hehe. Kinda rediscovered my core yesterday and well, suffice it to say I kinda forgot how that felt!!!

I must admit that Beyond Yoga is (pardon the pun) beyond far for me, especially since I live in Parañaque, but it surely was well worth braving the distance to check it out. I am soooo looking forward to the opening of their Antigravity Yoga classes and even if it is very far, I would definitely, definitely love to try that one out. Let’s just hope I don’t get too hooked…I can’t afford the gas and toll expenses harhar. Then again, as my friend said yesterday, kung nakakagimick naman tayo sa Morato, why not come for yoga diba? HEHEHE!!! So, yes, maybe now I have a new reason for going to Tomas Morato! :)

Beyond Yoga is located at the 3F Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Madrinian St., QC

Check out their website at www.igobeyondyoga.com or contact them via mobile at 0917-5BEYOND (0917-5239663). You can also follow them on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/IGoBeyondYoga) or like them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/IGoBeyondYoga)

Oh…and on a random note….yesterdays practice at Beyond Yoga made me soooo want to get a Manduka mat….I so wanted to roll one of them up after the practice and tuck it in to my bag hehe. Joke :) They do, however, sell mats and other yoga merchandise. I made it a point to not even ask how much that maroon mat was because knowing me, I would have given in to impulse :)

Exactly Enough

I fell asleep in my savasana today and found myself in a pretty, pretty open field. It was lush green and beautiful. Somewhere off from the field was a waterfall, I couldn’t see it much, but I could hear it playing it’s music. Then I saw me in the middle of that field, sitting in a lotus pose under the radiant glow of the sun.

And then a quiet voice whispered to me

Through your practice you have learned to root like a tree
You have found how to bend like bamboo
You have allowed yourself to flow like the water
You have felt yourself float like a cloud and release to the earth
You have spread your wings like a bird and soared to the sky
You have even discovered that it is indeed possible to be still in the middle of the storm.

It’s about time, however, you learn to be like  a lotus.
Like a lotus you can radiantly bloom even in the muddiest of waters
so stop wishing that things were clearer, or that you be somewhere else
because you are exactly where you are supposed to be
and what you have is exactly enough.

:)

Just before class I had posted a status in my Facebook wall that said “today I wish… :)” I hadn’t written down what it was I was wishing for, because it felt too grand and so I thought I’d keep it to myself. But the Universe knew better, I suppose, and reminded me that I need not wish for more because I have what I need right here, right now.

In the words shared by my teacher, svaha…so be it.

Oh the wonderfully beautiful things that happen in yoga class, I tell ya :)

 

On My Mat…

when i’m on my mat, the whole world fades away
all the fears and doubts, and my insecurities and hurts disappear
all that’s left is just me, my breath and the Divine,
shining a light in me, reminding me of endless possibilities
and strength beyond my imagination

in it i learned grace and gratitude
and what it means to really be at peace
with it i learned to give and to take
because of it i learned to trust and love even more
while releasing myself of fear and attachment

when i’m on my mat, i find my way to being me
and the freedom to just be
with not a care except to breathe and be in the present moment
when i pick myself of my mat, i take with me a bit of that
piece by piece each and every time

one day i hope, nay, i pray,
the world around will be my mat
a place in which i own my space
where my heart will know just that
and my soul will feel exactly that.

That’s Just the Way it Is

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson

It’s funny how in just in a span of like, what, four days, I heard “that’s just the way it is” said to me so many times and by different people. I guess it’s the Universe’s way of telling me to listen and just let it be, right?

Today as I sat in the hammock in the garden, soaking up the sun and pretending I was in the beach instead of where I am right now, it became more clear to me that the sooner I let myself be okay with things being just the way it is, the less hurt, pained, stressed or upset I’d be.

Okay, that may seem like such a random thought but earlier in the day my yoga teacher told me my down dogs had gotten so much better and she told me that what made the difference, she thinks, is the fact that I stopped pressuring myself to force my heels to touch the ground (errr…that’s what it’s supposed to look like e!) and just allowed myself to go with the feel of it, allowing the lines of energy to direct me and focusing on how it felt rather than looked. She went on to remind me to shift the weight on my feet in order to accommodate the way my body is built (ergo adjusting my feet inward a bit to square my knees and lifting my toes a wee bit to create arches in my superdidooper flat feet), and when I did, I had to just let out happy sigh and say, it doesn’t hurt :) Well, not that the other way I was doing it “hurt” but with the adjustments to accommodate MY NEEDS, it was definitely more comfortable. That’s the way it is, Ria, she told me. Read the rest of this entry »

The Missing Core

It dawned on me today that I have been doing yoga for two months now on a regular basis. Regular meaning twice or thrice a week. It has been a truly enriching and spiritual journey for me, especially since I have discovered both the yin and the yang sides of my practice. On the physical level, I have noticed subtle changes too, especially in the way I move.

One thing that still is missing, however, is my core. Harhar. To be fair, I have always been familiar with my core, especially when I started hooping. Also, despite my size, my midsection is pretty flat considering everything else hehe. That was actually true even when I was searching for the best diet pills that work and the exercises that would guarantee immediate weight loss. Even so, I realized as I have been doing yoga that I still have so much to work on when it comes to my core.

Any tips on how to make engaging (well, keeping it engaged, more succinctly) my core easier??? sigh.

Anyway, lemme head off to yoga in a bit and see if I can get it right today haha.

Wishing on A Night Sky

Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A few months back, when my soul was weary and troubled, I went back to something I knew would quiet the voices in my head and give my heart the rest it sorely needed: my art.

Back then I clung on tightly to the bright sunshine that always brought me comfort, hence the beginnings of my Project Sunshine. Then, I felt the urgent need to create my own sunshine and hold tightly to lifelines thrown my way, sometimes a wee bit too much.

In the past few months, however, I have grown stronger and better, made so by necessary pains and conversations with my soul where I got to know myself better and explore other sides of me that I never once allowed to exist. Coupled with my yoga practice, where I have allowed myself to create spaces in my mind, body and soul, I have begun to learn what balance really means, how to have faith and to trust, and how love really works. I have likewise welcomed the darkness back to my life, knowing full well that in that in the dark, cold silence of night time I can thrive, too, albeit differently than I do under the warm golden sunshine, but that both are essential for the fullness of my soul.

Yes, I have learned to stop chasing rainbows and to let things go and let them be as I am learning to sit and wait in patience, just believing in myself, in people around me and in fate, love and in the certainty that though they may not be in sight, they do indeed exist.

And now I have returned to the heart of my art, no longer in troubled waters, but in still ones, now honoring the polar opposites that exist in my life, the yin and the yang so I’ve been told…and so side by side my Project Sunshine now comes the beginnings of my Night Sky :) And so tonight I whisper a little wish up into the night sky, and think of it with light an love, then dropping it knowing that in time, when it is right, I will be able to connect the dots and see how all the twists and turns, stops and starts and everything else make complete and perfect sense.

Yoga Shalas in Alabang

A few days ago, I got several inquiries on my blogs about where I go for my yoga classes here in the south. I actually started my own practice with that same question, but of course, I had asked someone else about it hehe. Well, I’m glad to say that there are several shalas to choose from in this area. One of the places I go to is Ekagrata Sala in Alabang (check out www.ekagratasala.wordpress.com for contact details). That’s mostly where I do my Ashtanga practice.

Earlier this month, Flow Yoga Center at the Casa Susana (right beside Alabang Town Center) opened it’s doors.  It is located in the side closer to Town Center, near D’Marks on the upper level. I attended a Yin workshop there about a week ago. It’s a very nice space, I must say :) I love the color scheme of the place :) :) :) I’m not so sure if they have a website or what not, but if and when I have the chance to, I’ll post their flyer here for your reference :)

The Saddle, The Snail and The Freefall

There are two poses I have met in my yoga practice thus far that challenge me to bits: the saddle and the snail.

Granted there are many more poses out there that I have yet to discover, at this point in time, these are the two that push me to my limits. I realize, however, that my difficulty with it goes beyond the physical limitations my body presents, but it really is a mental and emotional impasse I find myself facing every time I attempt these two poses.

When I first attempted the saddle, I got into it.  Not perfectly, mind you, nor gently for that matter, but nonetheless I fell in to it. While bent over backwards, though, all I could think of whas how much I hated it so very, very much. I could barely wait till it was over. It didn’t hurt at all, but yeah, it was quite uncomfortable. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe in fact, because I did keep on forgetting. Repeatedly.

The Snail Pose. Image from http://www.yinyoga.com/

Several sessions later, I met the snail and found another pose to despise. This one I thought I disliked because of the difficulty it presented, what with having to lift your feet all the way up over your head. The first time I saw the snail, I could not even muster up enough courage to try and myself to see my feet come forward towards my head…I was just like asa pa. Haha.

The next time we crossed paths, I tried. Slowly I started seeing my feet come into sight, I began to lift up and got my feet to touch the pillows/props that my teacher had placed for me by my head acknowledging that that would be as far as I can go. Then fear set in and I started wobbling which prompted me to hold my breath, panic, and topple over. Yup, sprawled-on-the-ground-come-crashing-down-why-doncha.

At the end of the practice I let it go and told myself that in time, I would find my way to those poses too.

During my next practice, however, we did a different series which meant meeting up with a whole new set of poses. This time, I found several poses I immediately fell in love with (which I wrote about here :-)) As I was sitting in a box pose (which I absolutely, ABSOLUTELY love), I found myself falling deeper and deeper into myself just enjoying the pose when suddenly my eyes flew open and it hit me why I hated the saddle and the snail: it was the fall to the unknown, the freefall that would get me. The not knowing how far away from floor I am and discomfort of having to just trust that everything would be okay, giving up total control to something more than me.

Like the box, the butterfly, the dragonfly and other poses that bend forward I have grown to love. There’s something about the inward motion, the falling into self, that I find very comforting. I dunno if that’s the right word for it, but it just feels so right. In folding forward, even if it is still a fall, it isn’t so scary because I can see the end or what lies ahead. I can see where I’m going and in a way, I can brace myself for impact.

Backwards, however, takes complete and utter faith. I remember when I tried to inch my way into that snail it was hard for me even if my teacher was right there sitting by me, leaning on me to provide support and saying she had me and to just let go and find that relaxation. Even as she was there telling me to just breathe and that I would not fall, but to just trust that she was there to catch me, I just could not let myself go. And so as I struggled with the pose, tried desperately to hang on to control, I lost it all and found myself toppling over. It’s needing that blind trust in a freefall, whether with myself or with others, and just letting go into the unknown, unseen and unfamiliar that gets to me.

When I was sharing this realization about my yoga poses with a friend, she pointed out that yoga, or movement for that matter, mirrors many facets of our lives. It mimics our hurts, our scars, our joys. Movement, as she put it, is our psyche’s way of being manifested in a physical, tangible manner.

It dawned on me that yes, that’s exactly what the saddle and the snail do for me. It mirrors the difficulties I have in my psyche.  In those poses I just have to trust, which is often very difficult for me. On the other hand, the sweet surrender to the dragonfly, to those safe poses I have loved, is pure joy. And that’s really how I approach life in general. I surrender to the familiar, giving everything I’ve got, just loving the comfort of that knowing. On the other, I tense up, panic and flail when I have to just let go and let gravity (destiny, the universe, whatever it may be) take me where it’s supposed to take me, just trusting that no matter what, it is meant to be.

And so now that I have come to terms with that, I approach my enemy poses with a humbled heart and a desire to befriend. It may not happen immediately, I know, but slowly I’d like to believe we’ll be friends. Maybe frenemies.

Tonight,  the saddle and I, we’re no longer at an impasse. Blind trust and faith, we’re not yet good friends, but we’re getting there. There’s less fear now, even if I still fall and stumble along the way. One step at a time, Ri. One step at a time:)

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