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Your Private Yoga Class in Ortigas

Chi, The Spa at Edsa Shangri-la is now offering a personalized yoga class for everyone. So whether your goal is to have a relaxing session of stretching or a dynamic and muscle toning experience or simply to breathe away the stress of the day, there’s a yoga class for your specific needs right at the heart of the most luxurious hotel in Ortigas (Philippines).

 

This elegant spa offers of one of the most beautiful yoga studios in Metro Manila — serene, quiet and it even has a small library for its clients to have a deeper understanding of the yoga lifestyle.

 

 

This private session may also be availed by two individuals — perfect for couples or friends who would like to enhance their relationship through a fun and interactive partner yoga class. In this kind of session, clients perform their yoga poses together with their partners building trust and connection in this process.

 

 

Classes are conducted by a Yoga Alliance USA registered instructor. Each session costs Php1500 (good for two individuals; additional Php500 for a third participant). You may call Edsa Shangri-la at (632) 6338888 to request for a schedule anyday of the week.
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My First Year Teaching Yoga

It has been a year since I attended my Yoga Teacher Training. And looking back, my life has dramatically changed.
First, I now teach seven days a week. I grow with my students and they inspire me to have a deeper yoga practice.
Teaching 15 classes a week, have made me let go of several television and film projects. But It is a decision I would never regret.Because teaching yoga does not require me to go on late nights with killer script deadlines, kiss ass with entertainment executives and deal with tantrums from “wannabe stars”.
Teaching yoga simply requires to be myself – adventurous, appreciative and nurturing. It does not require me to wear nice fitting signature pants,expensive watches and other fashion statements shouting “look at me, I’m a creative person”. Everyday, I simply wear my most comfortable shorts andsneakers geared to face the harsh urban Manila.
And because I can simply leave my fashoin in my closet, I can now afford not to drive my car. With the onset of exorbitant gasoline prices, I’m just glad that most of the studios I teach in has a direct access to a train station. Now, I can pay for the food that I crave for without thinking of my gasoline and parking expenses for the next day.
For the most part of the week, I only teach in the evenings. For this reason, I have gained enough free time to write about things closest to my heart: yoga, my queer advocacies and the philosophies that I stand for. I have written scripts for films which have earned praises from critics and have grown three blogswith hundreds of readers a day. And for the first time in my life, I am publicly recognized as a writer.
Aside from the great wonders of a lifestyle change as a yoga teacher, my practice has deepened. I am now entering the realm of backbends, something for me was impossible for the past three years of my yoga practice. My meditation has become deep enough for me to have an overmhelming appreciation of my life and the world around me. Having attended the Asian Yoga Conference in Hongkong has taught me that there’s a huge world of yoga outside of Manila. And there’s a limitless direction into how I want to grow my practice.
Let me end this note with my most important lesson so far — I have learned that our lives are anchored on our mind and our body. The lifestyle of yoga leads us to a better body and a better mind. Hence, as I grow in yoga as a teacher and as a practitioner, I live a better life and so do my students.

I Am Not a Vegetarian.

 

I attended a talk of world renowned yoga guru Dharma Mitra at the Hongkong Convention Center and he talked about why yogis should not eat meat. For him, not eating meat is a commitment to non-violence. When we stop eating meat, we end violence against animals.

I am certainly against the inhumane treatment of animals. Animals have rights too.

But there are issues bothering me as I ponder on the ideas of Dharma Mitra. If all humans decide not to eat meat, could violence in this world actually stop? Is violence simply an issue of food consumption?

I decided to ask a vegetarian friend about this. My friend claims that by not eating meat, she participates in non-vioence against other animals.

And this where my perspective diverges from them. For me, all organisms whether they belong to animal kingdom or plants or fungi or what have you, are all important in this grand scheme of life. After all, we are all essentially made up of living cells.

Hence, if we are so concerned with animals, we must also be concerned with how we treat plants and other organisms belonging to a different taxonomical kingdom. Aren’t eating plants a form of violence against living organisms as well? You may not hear them cry for help, but they could certainly be aware that their life is being ended. Plants respond to external stimuli as well know. Following this thought, if we are going to be over-protective of other organisms, shouldn’t antibiotics be banned as well because they are designed to “kill” other organisms. Bacteria may be unicellular, but they are still living organisms. And just like other vegetarian fanatics, we should also ban pesticides and insecticides as they are testament to “violence” against rats, mosquitos and cockroaches. Let these vectors of diseases be protected as we can never kill another animal.

For these very issues, aside from the fact that eating out as a vegetarian is quite expensive, I am not a vegetarian.

I recognize that I as an organism is an omnivore. And I belong to a food chain that is based on the eco-system that all organisms, no matter how many cells you are made of actually belong to whether we like it or not.

Yoga and its values represent an amazing tradition that is a landmark in humanity’s quest for a better life. And I can’t help but honor and respect this rich practice.

But if we want to live a rational life, I feel that we must see yoga with a 21st century perspective.

Wishlist for My Own Funeral

The news articles on the recent maritime tragedy that killed 800 people last week brought me to tears and some introspection. First, it made me wish that all those people who died with the ill fated M/V Princess of the Sea lived at least a happy life. That despite how unexpectedly tragic their life ended, I hoped they were able to live it without any regrets.

Now, this makes me think about my own life and my funeral rites that I’d like to be observed should I find myself luckier than the victims of this tragedy whose bodies are still being searched by authorities.

Here are some things that I’d like to be done on my own funeral:

  1. No religious ceremonies. No public expression of prayers. I’d like my life to be a testament of the truths that I am grounded in. Let other people know that I am not looking forward to any second life after my death. I am dead. Period.
  2. Yoga Classes. I’d like my friends in yoga to contribute a class or perhaps a meditation moment for all the visitors. A good life is anchored on a healthy mind and body. I’d like people to remember me for that.
  3. Film Showing. I’d like all the films that I have written and the films that I may direct in the future be shown.
  4. Poetry reading. I hope some of my poems be read.
  5. Musical Requirements. Please play Madonna’s “Ray of Light” and the only song that I have written “Awit Para kay Antonio”. DON”T ever play sad, god-worshiping music on my rites.
  6. If speeches be made at any time, People don’t need to talk about how good I was to them. Had I been good to you, just keep it in your heart. I don’t want any melodramatic lines. What I’d like is for people to talk about the “unpopular” things that my life has stood for: human evolution, rationalism, positive atheism and sexual diversity.
  7. And should my boyfriend be still alive by then, I’d like him to sing a song for everyone.

How about you? Have you thought of your wishlist for your own funeral?

Stillness in Sagada

 

The majestic mountains of Sagada (Mountain Province, Philippines) remind me of how little we are in this awesome planet that we live in. The enormous beauty of this world will continue to exist even without us humans.

As I meditate amidst the breathtaking mountains and rice terraces of Sagada, a few statements resound in my mind.

I am little. I am no one. Yet, I am one with the awesome nature of the universe.

On peace of mind and rationality

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French philosopher Michel Onfray wrote that for many people they prefer “faith that brings peace of mind than the rationality that brings worry”.

 I choose rationality over faith.

 And for my “peace of mind” requirements, there’s always yoga to turn to.

 Namaste!

Life in Yoga

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For a few moments, I become aware of my body — my strength and my limitations. I can draw calmness within myself just by focusing on my breath. 

This is yoga for me – a great opportunity to be one with my mind and my body. And It’s a must-try experience for everyone as well – whichever fitness level you are in! 

If you’re in Manila, join me in any of my yoga sessions  

Prana Yoga (Bel-Air, Makati) – Tel. (632) 4030758

Chi Spa at Edsa Shangri-la (Ortigas) – Tel. (632) 6338888

Fitness First Platinum, Trinoma (Quezon city) – Tel. (632) 9160000