Apr 11, 2014
Leveling Up: Veer-Yoga with the YogiVeers
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
MWF Evening Class
Veer (Vaibhav Rana) holds an MWF yoga class at CitiGym consisting of programs for strength, mobility, endurance, power and flexibility. It's a mix of theory, workshop, techniques, kriyas (completed repetitive movement), kramas (full exploration of a base asana) and led-classes (rarely). He teaches other classes, but these are the ones I attend. He introduces whole new concepts in yoga I've never encountered before - e.g. "no thought" yoga where you spontaneously do a kriya without making room for thought (this way, instinct takes over). I am amazed how he can weave together stand-alone disciplines - body anatomy, asana, mudra, bandha and pranayama into a seamless singularity.
I've been with the class for nearly 3 months now and I see the same faces showing up regularly. This is a different set of practitioners - not like the ones I've seen with the many yoga classes I've attended (over 10 years and counting). These guys are highly motivated (showing up as early as an hour before class to warm-up), have a strong resolve (pushing themselves to their limits) and focused with their goals (often perfecting an asana or specific skill set - eg. arm balances). I've seen them fall and then come back up again, fall and unrelentingly come back again. I myself would fall several times, and with my head still on the floor, I'll look at them and they're still banging at it. I feel privileged to be in their company. The collective energy in the class is infectious and supportive. And like them, we are all big fans of our teacher, Veer - we fondly call ourselves YogiVeers.
Can't Get Enough
Personally, I can't get enough of the practice. Even when I was injured and couldn't participate (awkward landing on a handstand), I'd still show up for class even if only to take down notes. Lately, I'd setup my digicam to video the entire class - my archive is growing. I'd read-up, watch YouTube videos and refine some vinyasa flow. I'm completely stoked.
||You guys are lucky you have me. If I want the same level of performance for MY practice, who do I have? -- Veer (Vaibhav Rana)
*** talking to his MWF class YogiVeers
Back to Teaching
At home, I would review the video and develop my own sequence and later on, use them on a class I'm teaching. Teaching gives me an opportunity to apply what I've learned. I only teach once a week (whoever wants me to sub for them), no more, as I want to use my time to further my own practice.
||This is the only class where if you come on time, you're already late. -- Veer (Vaibhav Rana)
*** referring to his MWF Master Class where students usually come an hour early to start warming up
From a performance perspective, when I attend other 'led' yoga classes (not by Veer), particularly Ashtanga classes where the sequence is set (and therefore serves as an excellent benchmark), I begin to appreciate my gains. I am surprised at my newfound strength, endurance and flexibility. These gains motivate me to even push my practice harder.
As I write this, I am nursing a few injuries. Injury is something people don't usually talk about, as if it's taboo. Let me put 'injuries' in perspective here. To me, injury is simply part of the landscape if you push yourself at this level. With leveling-up, you start doing things you've never done before - and nobody does it perfect the first time, right? It's not because the teacher is clueless, it's not because yoga is injurious. If I practice yoga on 'safe mode' (instead of leveling-up), I can get away with no injury (as I've done so for many years). It's not just yoga, but in any sport or activity. If you push your limits to the next level, injuries are inevitable. It happens in mountain biking, free-diving, roller blading, etc.
The extent of the injuries can be manageble though. Example: I'm willing to risk a moderate crash on a mountain bike to traverse a technical trail - worst case, I might get a sprain. But I've met Simon (a downhill rider) who has become very good at riding bikes at breakneck speed, but at the expense of two broken collar bones, broken ribs, fractured arms, etc. - I'm not willing to take those risks in order for me to be as good as him. That's where I draw the line. The challenge is, knowing where your limits are, to calculate how much risk you're taking. Then, finding the restraint to let the body heal, if you do get an injury.
Veer's days in Cebu are numbered, but he left us a reassuring message - that before he leaves, he will see to it that he gives us enough on our plate to pursue our practice in his absence. Yes, I find that reassuring. Combined with the videos I've taken of the yoga classes, I feel confident I can carry on. Moreover, the YogiVeers will be there to keep the fire burning.
Yes, Veer, we are indeed lucky to have you here as our teacher! Many many thanks!
(Apr 12, 2014) raw, honest and beautifully written. thank you Git. I am happy to be part of a group so committed, focused and supportive. extremely privileged to be a YogiVeer!
Mona Michelle Martinsen
(Apr 12, 2014) Thank you, Git, and all my ates for inspiring me every time I go to class
(Apr 12, 2014) to the Yogiveers!
Yves Lorraine Fernandez
(Apr 12, 2014) Tnx Git!
(Apr 12, 2014) awesome article! such an honor just being in the claas, thank you so much for bringing me here!! :))
(Apr 12, 2014) :)
- Thank You Cebu, til the Next Time Oct 21, 2013 - May 15, 2014
- Leveling Up: Veer-Yoga with the YogiVeers Apr 11, 2014
- Yoga Immersion with Veer (Vaibhav Rana) Mar 5, 2014
- Hiatus Feb 22, 2014
- Demystefying Ashtanga Yoga Feb 13, 2014
- Shifting Yoga Paradigm Feb 12, 2014
- Abundance in Cebu (Part 2) Feb 11, 2014
- Crossroads Jan 20, 2014
- Deepening the Yoga Practice in Cebu Jan 12, 2014
- Fab People: Vaibhav Rana (Veer) Jan 1, 2014
Cebu City, Philippines
Tops - hilltop offering panoramic view of the city
Taoist Temple - temple on a hillslope in Lahug with panoramic view of the city
- Hostel Seven Cebu - newly opened, resto/bar, central location, solo/group travellers
Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
- S Hotel & Residences - new hotel, luxury rooms, central location
827 M. Velez corner Andres Abellana St.
resto / cafe / bar
- Fujinoya - new and refreshing twists to Western style desserts using Japanese techniques
Wilson St., Lahug, Cebu City - tel. 888.6075
- Bad Boys Wingz - Buffalo Wings, unique versions of sauces! Great service, accommodating staff, bad boys vibe
Kasambagan, Cebu City | (032) 415 4811
- Love Yoga World - yoga studio
11/fl, Skyrise 2 Tower, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
- Yoga Now - first Yoga and Wellness studio in Mactan offering daily Yoga Classes
at The Yacht Club Mactan
- Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure - MTB tours, bike sales and repairs. Bed and Breakfast + Resto Cafe + wifi
1298-b V.Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City | 0942.959.7451
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
Apr 11, 2014
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