When I was rather new to the practice of yoga, I decided to do a 30-day yoga challenge. 30 days, 30 yoga practices. Lucky for me I decided to do that last April, which was my summer break from school, thus I was able to accomplish the challenge with relative ease.

On the 30th day, I was blessed to have had the opportunity to attend a workshop on Talikwas Yoga, by Lucia Misa.In the workshop she guided us into exploring a soft belly breath and to releasing to our back bodies. It is in emptying from the inside out, falling into the back body, she said, that our hearts find it’s way to flight. Rooting and rising, opposing forces.

Errr…whut?

Yeah, that’s how I felt after attending her first workshop back in April. Since then, I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with a teacher who has been under Ciay’s tutelage and I am beginning to see what that means.And yeah, I have fallen in love with the back bend :) Love, in fact, does not begin to describe it!

There is soooo much more, however, that I want to learn and explore with Talikwas.

This weekend, Ciay Misa comes back to Manila (she is based in New Hampshire and El Nido) to share her practice of the Talikwas and  the Art of Back Bending once again. It will be held at Ekagrata Sala in Ayala Alabang on January 28-29.

I am looking forward to participating in the workshop, even though I had to settle for just one day because I have work on Saturday! Another reason why I am especially excited about the practice is because I have found myself captivated by the amazingness of Talikwas, which I discovered from Ciay’s book, Yoga in the Wild. I don’t read much, as my friends very well know, but this book, I literally couldn’t put down. It was just an awesome tale of how the body works and how the inside and the out (I can’t even call it body and mind because that just doesn’t feel right) are really more connected than we know. The book deserves it’s own blog post and I’ve been trying to really get that together since I read the book but it’s just so great, I can’t get the right words to say it. Do watch out for it though :)

In the meantime, for inquiries regarding the back bending workshop, please contact 09178474168. Check out Ciay Misa’s website on Talikwas at http://www.talikwas.com.

 

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Among my favorite Christmas presents last December were gift passes and class cards to yoga :) They were the perfect gifts for someone like me! One of those was for a week of unlimited practices at the Urban Ashram Manila. I truly enjoyed being able to studio hop and get to try different styles of classes, as well as different teachers, during my break from work.

Anyway, at Urban Ashram I was able to try two different classes, a Hatha class by Johan Ordonez and a Restorative Vinyasa with Marc Macadaeg. Besides the two mentioned classes, Urban Ashram offers a wide array of classes that may be of interest to different types of practitioners. These include Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and the FNR series.
The FNR series is one of the unique practices they offer (at least in my opinion). FNR stands for Flexibility Not Required. I asked JP Abinuman-Cox, one of the teachers at Urban Ashram, what the class was all about and she said it was a great foundations class for those new to the practice, but that it was not limited to beginners. Even regular practitioners can benefit from the class as it really works on and targets proper alignment. Further, this class can help one gain confidence in their abilities and build strength, as well as become more flexible. I suppose, in a way, this can help address one of the most common reservations people have regarding exploring a yoga practice, which is “but I’m not flexible!” 
The studio is one of the most stylish and relaxing studios I have seen.
Urban Ashram Manila

Welcome to Urban Ashram Manila

The interiors were designed by world-class Filipino designer, Kenneth Cobonpue. I soooo love the clouds that line the hallway :) Pretty, right?
Kenneth Cobonpue for Urban Ashram Manila
The ashram has also has an ENORMOUS bathroom, complete with three shower stalls and four  toilet cubicles.
There are 4 studios for practice, each able to accommodate about 20 practitioners at a time. Studios 1-3 can also be combined for a space that can be used for extra large classes and workshops for about 60 people at one given time. Each space comes equipped with Manduka mats, blocks and straps. Blankets, bolsters and similar props are also on-hand for use.

However, it is not only pretty. When JP took me around the studio, she told me that they really worked hard at making the studio as green and eco-friendly as possible. For one, they used reengineered wood for their flooring. Also, their ceilings are very high in order to maximize the use of natural lighting and ventilation, thus enabling better management of energy and resources. Even the soap and shampoo that is available for use in their showers, as well as their cleaning materials like mat sprays, are made from earth-friendly ingredients, are non-toxic and biodegradable.

Urban Ashram Manila, Studio Details:

Location: Suite 302, 3rd Level, 3 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City

Website: http://www.urbanashrammanila.com

Classes: Ashtanga, Sivananda Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, FNR; FNR classes run for 75 minutes while the rest are 90 minutes long.

Schedule: around 5-7 classes per day, starting as early as 6:30 am. Last class is at 7:30 pm, from Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday schedules available. Check out their website for more specific time schedules and teachers for each session.

Rates: Drop in rate is Php 500; Class cards, Semi-annual and Annual rates also available/Credit card and pay lite payments accepted. Regular promotions, such as the share your yoga and practice for free promos, are available. Call (02) 377 YOGA / (02) 661 YOGA / 0917 881 YOGA for more details

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It’s official…I have crossed over to the yoga dark side.

Har.

I’m kidding :)

Although I may be the quite the fashionista in my off-the-mat life (yes, I did a whole year of Project Prettify me, after all, complete with the daily doses of make-up, pretty dresses and four inch stilettos), but since I started doing yoga, I’ve pretty much lived off of flip flops, leggings, and tank tops. To be fair…they’re mostly from my little sunshine store (a.k.a. Forever 21) so I’d like to think they’re still quite fashionable.

However…I’ve always envied (di naman bawal mainggit pagnagyo-yoga diba?? haha) the pretty outfits that many of my teachers and classmates have…those pretty little things with that little horseshoe like logo.

Yep, the Lulu’s.

You see, even if I love yoga to bits and I would gladly spend on classes, workshops and the like, I’ve been SOOOO stingy when it comes to my attire. Those 145-285 peso shirts from F21 were doing the trick for me, anyway…why spend thousands on ONE top, right?

But then, the other day my friend sent me a text that said “call me” and when I did she was like, “Oh my God, Ria, you have to get this Lulu top that’s on sale in Aura. It’s amazingly CHEAP!” (oh the magic words for this chipipay fashionista”)

Five hundred pesoses. Didn’t take much convincing here. Haha.I spend more on margaritas, after all.

Got it today, and OMG…can I wear it everyday??? :) HA! Yes…I’m Lulufied. I shall stop Lemonizing myself with them margas now. Ktnxbai :) But ohmygollygumdrop…I wish them Lululemon’s weren’t sooo danged expensive.

yeah, yeah, I know this is an uber random rambly post. sleepy much but couldn’t not write! HEHE

 

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Last December, I had the chance to check out one of the latest yoga and fitness routines, AntiGravity Yoga. As I wrote after I tried it, it was love at first flight :) Not only was it such a fun and liberating experience, it was quite a workout as well! It may not look like it, but it does work your core a whole lot. More than that, you really feel it as you go through the poses.

What is AntiGravity Yoga, or AGY, to begin with? Well, think yoga, but not on a mat, rather on a silk hammock suspended three feet from the ground.

Christopher Harrison demonstrating the Womb Pose. Classes start out in this pose in order to allow one to find their center and be at the present moment

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I often call Flow my little place of sunshine and my home away from home :) It is where I practice most frequently and I have been so blessed to have had about nine months or so of practicing there on an almost daily basis. It truly has become my happy place…so much so that I haven’t cared much that I haven’t been to the beach in the longest time because I am happy enough being there :)

I was lucky enough to have discovered Flow as one of the first few places to practice. To some degree, I guess I can say it was the first “formal” studio I practiced in. I liked how it wasn’t too big and intimidating. It was just so perfect for me! Plus I get this sense of warmth and coziness being there. However, I think more than just the facilities, it’s the people (or the Flowks, as one of my fellow Flow practitioners calls us :)) that really make the place special for me. I guess that’s the same feeling people who find their homes in other studios would have. More »

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