For the longest time I struggled with inversions. The only decent inversion I could really get into was Viparita Karani, or simply put, the legs up the wall pose but all the others were so hard for me to discover. Eventually when I realized how afraid I was of free falling,  I made friends with the snail and the plow. Later on I made my way to half decent shoulder stands, but they never really were quite there. The only inversion I ever managed was when I tried AntiGravity Yoga, and that really was an awesome experience. But what I really longed to do in my heart of hearts were headstands and handstands on the ground.

I tried almost every day to find my way to being upside down but I could never find my way there. I’d find myself feeling envious of my friends who had a great inversion practice and I longed to be able to do that as well, but it was just so darned elusive. Every time I tried, I failed but I kept telling myself one day I will do it. My teachers would always say to just let go of the fear and trust that my core would be there to hold me up and that they would be around to spot and support me. I’d always say it wasn’t the fear holding me back, because I really wasn’t afraid of falling but that my body just couldn’t do it. They’d keep encouraging me to try and would really stand beside me and try to coax me to lifting my hips up higher and tippy toe my way off the ground. But for some reason, even if they were very encouraging and supportive, I would never let them spot me during an inversion. i never minded when they adjusted me in whatever other pose I was in, but I was always afraid of having them spot me in an inversion. I would be afraid they’d let me fall, or not be able to catch me. And yeah, I guess it was also a bit of me being ashamed of my size and worrying that if they helped me, I’d end up hurting them.Whatever it was, the mere thought of having them help me into an inversion made me very anxious. More »

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I began my practice with the discovery of Yin Yoga, and it has truly been the most WONDERFUL experience ever. For a beginning practitioner back then, it was the perfect way to discover and create spaces in my body and to understand what the practice of yoga can really do for one’s body, mind and spirit. Truly, I been so blessed to have found myself deeply in love with Yin  :)

This March, I hope you guys can also explore this beautiful practice with a series of Yin Yoga Workshops with my teacher and friend, Dona Tumacder-Esteban at Beyond Yoga.

Over the past year, I have come to realize the value of continuing my Yin practice, even though I have explored many other practices, from Hatha to Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hot Yoga, Bikram and even Antigravity Yoga. For me, I feel that keeping my Yin practice close to my heart allows me to go full circle in my practice. In a way, it really allows me to find a good balance between strength and flexibility, as well as movement and stillness. Essentially, as Dona always reminds me, it helps me find equanimity. The yin and the yang. Further, it is with my continued Yin practice that I am able to better understand my body more and go deeper into any practice I go into. Do check out the workshops or try out the regular Yin sessions Dona (and Monica) have at Beyond Yoga.

For class schedules and details on the studio, check out www.igobeyondyoga.com. Look them up on Facebook too :)

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Summer’s just around the corner and much as I would SOOOO love to go to the beach for a quick break, I can already foresee that my summer this year will be put on hold :( At least until the end of May because I REALLY have to write my thesis (which has been um…ten years in the making!!!). But, for all of you who are looking for something fun and exciting to do, check this out :)

photo from the Flow SurfYogaSamba Facebook page

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Ever wonder why it’s called upward facing dog and downward facing dog? Well, let Bubba and Joe show you why…

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These are old pictures, but they’re too cute not to share on this blog :)

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Every once in a while I come across a book that leaves me captivated, breathless and in awe. The book, Yoga in the Wild, by Lucia Misa is one of those books.

Lucia Misa

Yoga in the Wild is a collection of Ciay’s life stories that take the reader through her discovery and journey of what she has called the Talikwas, or the unfolding from inside out and it is this soft belly yoga that she imparts to her students.Her candidness, honesty and openness about her life experiences really capture how yoga is really a practice that goes beyond the mat, but to life in general. She talks about the body’s infinite wisdom and how the breath can allow for the fullness of that experience.

Anyway, I came across this book around April last year when I had attended my first yoga workshop with Ciay, but back then, although I was in love with yoga already, I was not so drawn to the book and even though my teacher, Dona, talked about the book many times over the past several months, and that there was an open copy of the book in Flow where I practice almost everyday, I never bothered to pick it up.

However, a few weeks ago after visiting a friend in her new home on my way to one of my random road trips in order to really just sit in the quiet and converse with my soul, I picked up the book and started reading it. From cover to cover. IN TWO HOURS. No kidding. I was so glad that Pat literally forced me to take her copy of the book even if I offered many a protest at first. More »

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