Oct 4, 2017
Yoga for 60+ Millennials at the University of Bohol
Location: VDT Advanced Learning Center (University of Bohol), Tagbilaran (city), Bohol (province), Philippines
Yoga & Fitness Website: YOGA by Gigit
After giving a talk to 11th graders at the University of Bohol about my philosophy and spirituality, I was asked again by UB faculty, Mehul, if I can conduct a yoga class for a bigger audience...around 60 students, all of them first timers. Of course, I said Yes!
60 people demand more logistics. Will people at the back hear and see me? I may need a hands-free mic. Do we have enough space for everyone? Since not all will have a yoga mat, we will do mostly standing poses. Do they have enough elbow room so that if one falls, there is no domino effect? Since they will be on a tiered classroom with limited space in front of them, how do I modify the poses? A lot of questions were racing inside my head. It wasn't as simple as showing up and conducting my usual class.
What Yoga is Not
Since all of them were first timers, it was an opportune time for me to lay down a strong foundational cornerstone from which they can deepen a guilt-free practice. First and foremost, I had to dispel a lot of myths about yoga - that it's not about that stunning Instagram pretzel pose, that you don't need to be sexy wearing Lululemon apparel, that it's not about worshipping a new God, etc. There are so many cobwebs that had to be cleared-up specially in a country steeped into Catholicism.
What Yoga Is
Ask any yoga teacher what yoga is and you get many different answers. I have my own based on what I've read, based on my own practice and based on my life experience outside the mat. I could write a whole book about yoga. But for these first-timers I wanted to narrow it down to three basic things - the pose itself, the breath and the mind. Without all those three components working into a harmonious symphony, I would not call it yoga. Perhaps it's just stretching.
I spent a great deal of time on the theory part. It was ok not to have too much time on the asanas for as long as they get the whole mechanics of stretching all the way to their safety edge in full compliance to the breath while being mindful and not reactive to all the body sensations they can observe. It was imperative to get that nailed-down before doing all the asanas.
Teenage First Timers
Most of the mixed-gender students were 10th and 11th graders who were in their teens - 15 to 18. They were excitable with lots of energy to spare. Despite my plea to keep still and focus within, they couldn't help minding their neighbors. It was an effort explaining things when a good number of them were having their own conversation. Maybe it's this millennial short attention-span I was dealing with. Of course there is always the funny guy who had to crack a funny quip making everyone laugh. It's all good - they are teenagers who do teenager stuff.
First, I'm glad it's their first yoga class and I was their teacher. I was able to establish a firm cornerstone for the practice - synchronization of the indivisible 3 (asana, breath and mindfulness). There were no bad habits to unlearn. I hope it sinks in. I don't think any of them would take the practice seriously at this point, but at least, I was able to give them a good basics if they ever pursue it.
Secondly, and perhaps this is an unfair statement, but increasingly, having conducted yoga classes to people spanning a broad age horizon, I feel yoga is better appreciated by people who have already ran the gauntlet of life - graduated school, worked, family, kids, stressed-out, betrayed, fired, divorced, lost a loved one, on a crossroad, etc. The more life dished-out at them, the more they appreciate yoga. But for a bunch of kids untested by life whose hormones dictate the order of the day, they'd be better off studying hard and partying hard. Later on in life, they can always find room for yoga.
Again, thank you Mehul for the opportunity.
University of Bohol Blogs
- Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol Oct 4, 2017
- Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 11th Graders at the University of Bohol Sep 27, 2017
- Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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