Mar 5, 2014
Yoga Immersion with Veer (Vaibhav Rana)
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
Fork on the Road
It's a common adage that when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Such is the case with Veer. I came to a point in my yoga practice where the road forked in many different directions.
- therapeutic yoga to tailor-fit a yoga program to address specific health issues eg. scoliosis
- pursue the resulting clairvoyance from a deepening yoga practice (this is considered taboo in yogic and meditative circles, but so what? let me be the child who burns himself while playing fire, but learns in the process)
- continue developing the more challenging asanas as a natural progression
- venture into other types of yoga eg. kundalini, sivananda, etc.
To this day, I find a strong appeal in pursuing all of the above. I'm sure Veer's teaching takes me closer to the third, but at this point, the rest don't even matter. What he puts on the table is plenty on my plate.
Yoga Workshops and Programs
Veer conducts many programs in his classes - yoga for strength, playshop, fly-days, kriya yoga, krama yoga, etc. Each program is designed to develop technique, strength, power, balance, mobility and/or flexibility.
Donkey or Tiger?
Even though I train 4x/week with him, I still can't get enough, often doing my own private training to augment his lessons. I actually injured myself while pushing it too hard. I got reprimanded. He was shaking his head, saying, "I don't know why you continue to overtrain. Do you want to train like a donkey? or train like a tiger?" He is keen on rest being an integral part of the training process.
The Usual Suspects
As I mentioned in my previous blog, with Veer, it's take it or leave it. There is no middle ground. The ones who decide to take it, stay and remain hardcore. As for the others, you don't see them anymore after the first few sessions. Not surprisingly, you see the same handful of people who push their limits on every practice - the usual suspects, as I fondly refer to them. They're all strong - you stick around long enough, there is no other outcome but to be strong. It doesn't mean he only accepts advanced students. On the contrary, he welcomes first timers. According to him, they have nothing to unlearn.
||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
Find Your Teacher
When I attend led-classes in yoga centers (which is the conventional way of practicing yoga), I go through the flow with a sense of duty in keeping faith with the practice. Fortunately, there are many competent teachers in Cebu - I always maintain that a student tries many different classes with many different teachers. And then follow the teacher that resonates with him - the one who'll look after his/her continued growth. Until when? You'll know when it's time to move on.
Attending Veer's class extends beyond a call of duty. It's exciting. I'm always in eager anticipation of what could be learned for that day. Yes, every session is golden. There is something that puts an added notch to the practice. With no ego, I don't mind looking stupid as I fumble and stumble with the difficult challenges. But I learn. Of course, every teacher can make the session hard and challenging - increase the pace, do the difficult asanas or hold the asanas longer. With Veer though, he explains what the asana is for, why it's important, the intricate techniques to enter into the pose, the common mistakes, the human anatomy, etc. In doing one pose, you learn so much already.
Sunday Mudra Pranayama
This is the part where I don't know if I'm already trespassing. Sunday is his private family practice at home with pranayama and mudra - him and his lovely wife, Claire (who is also a yoga teacher). I somehow squeezed myself into that equation. So him, Claire and their little bundle of joy, Mahi would be there in an intimate family gathering - and I'm there. They take a family walk in the park - and I'm there. I somehow feel I'm an itch he can't scratch! LOL. Seriously though, I hope I'm still within normal bounds (as I tend to be clueless).
From a philosphical perspective, he echoes a lot of my own thinking about yoga
- that if you follow your bliss, your yoga will be your own, not somebody else's yoga
- that the demi-gods of yoga are also fallible people who get grumpy, play favorites and fall off the wagon too
- that yoga is not the end-all and be-all, but a unifying nexus to keep things together in life - your job, your sanity, relationships, etc
- that yoga has to adopt to the student...not the other way around
- that yama and niyama are inevitable off-shoots of asanas (read: I only consider 6 limbs of yoga and not 8)
With my forever questioning mind and critical thinking, they all make sense.
People read my blog and come to me in private saying they'd like to join Veer's class too, but feel intimidated. They say they'll attend other classes first to get established and then, they'll attend Veer's. Since his classes differ from the conventional approach, I tell them what Veer told me - it's best to get started with him at the outset than get started somewhere else - there'd be less to unlearn.
I recently had a conversation with a devout Ashtanga teacher who even went all the way to Manila to attend Ashtanga guru, Richard Freeman's workshop. Apart from the workshop itself, she was seeking counsel. With her practice in Cebu, she does not have a senior teacher to provide the much-needed guidance to direct her practice. Then I began to appreciate my blessing even more. I have one - Veer.
(Mar 7, 2014) ditto :)
- 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
Mar 5, 2014
»» next story: Test Driving the 420D BMW Coupe
»» next Yoga story: SUP Yoga with Jeanne Torrefranca at Plantation Bay
»» back to Yoga
»» back to Homepage