Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Yoga+ at the Fort

Kick Ass Flow Class
First of all, let me say that I love the concept of a one-hour noon class that people can take over their lunch breaks. It was very convenient. The vinyasa flow class I attended was spot on. It had a great warm up sequence and the peaks were challenging and well-timed. Two of the highlights for me were: Birds of Paradise and Utkatasana to Parsva Bakasana. The teacher gave helpful cues and adjustments throughout. The energy never wavered and by the end of class everyone in the room enjoyed a well-deserved savasana. 

One Practice Room, Many Shower Stalls
Yoga+'s spacious practice room is equipped with Manduka mats that are cleaned after each class. The floor is made of a rubberized material that is merciful on our joints as we jump, fall and ka-bloog from balancing poses and inversions. Yoga+ also gets a thumbs-up for having a gracious and well-spoken receptionist. There are multiple changing rooms scattered throughout the common area, and there are lots of shower and toilet stalls to choose from. Clean and spacious lockers are also provided.

Yoga+ is A+! Looking forward to its regular Ashtanga classes

Photo from


Saw Varekei last Thursday and it was uh-mazing! Where do I begin? The costumes were eye-popping. Yet, they were still superb technical clothing. The aesthetics did nothing to compromise the performer's range of movement. You could barely see the rippling. And I kept looking for the seams. Where were they?! Did the performers pour themselves inside their costumes? The leotard has truly gone a long way. 

Eiko Ishioka is the genius behind Varekei's costumes

My favorite act was the net contortion routine by the Icarus character. Egad! Who was this guy? A former Olympic gymnast? His moves were pure strength and grace. I'm pretty sure he knows where his bandhas are!

Icarus does aerial contortions in a net

The last act by the Betrothed was magic as well. She did a series of handstands and backbends on canes. I call her moves Eka Pada Tic Tac on Steroids. It was truly jaw-dropping. 

Is it a handstand? A split? A leg behind the head move?

I can only imagine the amount of training and dedication the performers of Cirque du Soleil have given to their craft. And here I am complaining about my skinned elbows. Shame on me! Kudos to the Varekei crew! You are an inspiration and a wonder. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Workshop + Workshop + Workshop...

All this thinking about expenses came about because of the teachers coming to Manila to offer classes and workshops. How exciting! Prices range from Php 700 - 1500 per class. Add them all up and the sum total is not a pretty picture. 

But why pass up on a great opportunity to grow your practice? I think these workshops are good investments. They are also fun events to meet fellow yogis. Makes me realize that the yoga community in Manila is alive and growing :)

So in no particular order, here are the teachers coming to Manila

Govinda Kai through Bliss Yoga. Ashtangi. Govinda will be offering Mysore practice and a yoga retreat at Tali Beach Resort. The retreat should be fun! Yoga, beach, and farming for 5 days. Check out Govinda's biography at 

Jessica Blanchard through Yoga Manila. Ashtangi and ayurveda expert. I attended her Mysore and ayurveda classes last year. Will repeat this year! She is a kind and warm teacher. She has great cooking tips and offers one-on-one sessions.

Jessica used to work for Andersen Consulting before turning yogini

Mark Robberds through Bliss Yoga. Ashtangi. Highly recommended by my other teachers. He has a surfer yogi look going for him :P Mark is authorized to teach the Intermediate series of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. He is an Advanced student of Guruji and R.Sharath. Looking forward to his Mysore class and "Fire Away and Play" workshop.

Gwapo diba? But not as gwapo as my husband :P

John Scott through Stillpoint Manila. Ashtangi. His workshop is the Alchemy of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. One breath, one body, one mind, one consciousness, infinite potential. How can you not get excited with that tagline? I have heard many, many good things about John Scott and I am looking forward to meeting him this September.

Jules Febre through Yoga+. Jivamukti. Jules is a nephew of Sharon Gannon and David Life, has been practising Jivamukti Yoga since the age of 6 and is an advanced certified Jivamukti Teacher. He will be offering workshops on Inversions (I'm in!) and Chakra Tuning (I'm in again!)

Pim Swatewacharkul through Yoga +. Hot Yogi. Pim is offering a Balancing and Backbending workshop. She shares her experience as teacher trainer with Absolute Yoga Thailand, and her knowledge of Yin Yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa and Anusara Yoga.

Get your checkbooks ready!!!

Yoga Ain't Cheap

Who says yoga is cheap?

I used to think yoga was less demanding (investment-wise) than other activities. You didn't need fancy equipment like those used in Pilates and TRX. No need for bike trails, boxing gloves or swimming pools.  All you needed was a mat. 


Looking at my expense sheet, I have come to reconsider this notion. Yoga expenses in the beginning consisted of tops, bottoms, mats and towels. It was a slippery slope from there. Soon came the books, DVDs, lounge clothes, pillows, jackets, etc. 

Aparigraha aside, I do not regret the things I have bought. (Okay, maybe some of them. But most of them, I consider valuable and worthwhile :D) I know that a pair of shorts and a plain t-shirt will serve me just as well in my practice. I don't really need the technical gear. Or do I?

Beyond Yoga. Valuable and worthwhile :)

In my opinion, our yoga gear is a reflection of our commitment to our practice. It's true, we can practice in ratty houseclothes. But as I am the kind of person who takes care in my appearance (sometimes!) then I would also like to give the same level of attention and detail to a practice that I immerse myself in. 

So maybe I won't mind spending for a good mat and towel that I will use everyday. But I probably won't spring for "energy flow" sandals. (See here). Some people will! Kanya-kanya lang talaga...

Juil Sandals. They won't block your feet's natural energy flow

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sick Leave

Was sick over the weekend. Still recovering now. Skipped practice for 7 days. Went on antibiotics. Random thoughts that sprung up in my brain:

1. Is doing yoga in your head almost the same as actually doing yoga?
2. I should really use socks when teaching on cold floors
3. I'm always wishing I could rest more, but now that I am why am I really antsy to get back on the mat?

Will post more as soon as my schedule gets back to normal

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