June 18-28, 2015
Back to Cebu, Back to Yoga at Surya Nanda Yoga Studio
Location: Advent Business Center, 30 Acacia St, Camputhaw Pob., Cebu City, Philippines
Website: Yoga by Gigit
Feri and Claire
With teachers Feri and Claire as the new faces of Surya Nanda (in my dealings), it was a fresh start on a clean slate. Tuyen, my Vietnamese traveling buddy whom I was hosting in the Philippines, had her yoga immersion and I also had a chance to get back in the yogic groove by participating in several classes and teaching a beginner class.
Beginner Yoga Class
A beginner class is something I'm not used to but took as a challenge anyway. I had to do my usual research on what issues plague a newbie, the do's and dont's, introducing philosophy and keeping the poses basic. What challenged me was instilling a mindset that would guide them through their long-term practice, to wit:
- that at some point, they should start doing their own yoga that is compliant to their unique body anatomy, temperament, life experience, etc. That it's good to start with the yoga of Pattabhi Jois or BKS Iyengar (or any established yoga discipline), to get grounded on the techniques, but at some point, they should gradually integrate their own asanas or sequence to make up their own yoga - not someone else's
- that they should see this session as a preparation for a more progressive 'next' session. In short, it's vital to make the most out of what could be learned in the here-and-now by pushing the envelope, paving the way for a progressive yoga practice. I have seen students doing Crow within a month of practice, but still doing Crow (as an Arm Balancing pose) after a year! They seem to stay at certain ceiling without moving forward (unless of course, it's by choice)
One on One
With a 3:45pm class, I had one student. My student was smart. She knows it's a dead time slot so there won't be too many students and she gets quality time with the teacher. For me, with just one student, it became more of a workshop/vinyasa flow, making frequent stops to address compelling asana and philosophical issues. I wasn't even too concerned about finishing my sequence the way I planned it. What mattered to me was laying down a philosophical cornerstone that would anchor her in deepening her practice. Yes, even though my sequence was for beginners, it wasn't designed to be a walk in the park. She was winded and almost paniced - a good opportunity to make her mindful of the sensation, oberving it without reacting to it. She was a fast study. I can only hope it was motivational for her as much as it was a rude awakening.
Handstand Clinic with Michelle and Steve
Perhaps the most elusive of all yoga poses for me is the handstand. I had been attempting to hold my handstand into a steady-state for years now. But I still wobble and end up walking on my hands. Michelle's approach is to breakdown the process - repeated tucks, repeated air kicks, etc. She does it effortlessly. Of course, no one can do the handstand after just a clinic. Bottomline is still consistent practice, applying what was learned. Tuyen was fearless in kicking up to vertical and doing wall-assisted headstands. She'll do well.
International Scoliosis Awareness Day
As a community service by Southwestern University Physical Therapy Dept. and the Scoliosis Asso. of the Philippines, a scoliosis awareness event took place at Park Mall where people were given free diagnostic screening if they have scoliosis or not. Alarmingly, up to 10% of women and 5% of men in the US are afflicted with it. Most however, are not severe enough to require medical attention. I took the assessment and they gave me an "11" score meaning I have a mild curvature but any score less than "18" fall within 'normal' range, so no worries.
Surya Nanda was one of the sponsors of the event giving a free yoga class in an outdoor setting. Yoga is a tried and true reliever for scoliosis sufferers. With a yoga practice, the core can be developed enough to provide ample support to the spinal column, preventing vertical misalignment. The core muscles take the load-bearing tasks instead of passing it on to other muscle groups that are not designed to carry such load. Balance is attained putting the body in a state of homeostasis, allowing it to heal itself. Yoga perhaps is the most effective general cure-all, or putting it more accurately, the best preventive maintenance in keeping the doctor away.
Conducting the Class
I was asked to handle the 2nd stage of the session focusing on seated and core poses. Since most of them seem to have a strong practice, I opted for the more challenging poses, testing their resolve but constantly reminding them to observe the body sensations instead of reacting to the induced stress. After the class, a few students approached me for a selfie or asked where I teach - a good indicator on how my method resonates with them.
Altogether, it's good to be bridging with Surya Nanda Yoga again. I don't know how this progresses, but it's off to a good start.
Pictures courtesy of Claire Paredes, Ferilyn and other staff of Surya Nanda Yoga Studio
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
June 18-28, 2015
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