The Year That Was 2013

The Year That Was 2013

I can’t hardly believe I am sitting down writing again my recap entry to formally end the year. The year flew by so fast, with just so many amazing experiences that I am probably in denial that I am about to close this chapter of my life.

My 2013 can be described as the year of passion and experiences. The year marked a big milestone for me – I have now reached my 30s – which probably triggered the reason for being who I was in 2013. I closed the book of my 20s and opened up a new and great chapter for my next decade.

In general, my family and work life – two of which I’ve dedicated much of my time previously, have taken the back seat for a little while. I have already established them as fairly stable for the time being. It then opened the doors to a multitude of other areas in my life I am so eagerly awaiting to explore further.

PASSION FOR TEACHING

One of the things I am most grateful for and probably is the highlight of my year since it took up the most time is teaching. If last year, I discovered Anti-Gravity Fitness and trained to be teacher, this is the year where it has come into fruition.

I taught over 200 classes this year from Jan 3 up to Dec 30. I officially became part of the Beyond Yoga teaching staff starting February and have not stopped since. The longest continuous stint I’ve had was when I did over 30 classes in 22 straight days, and the longest I’ve been gone without teaching was only for a week.

I’ve met so many people many of whom I’ve inspired to continue with their training and found new love for themselves. I’ve experienced so many types of students – from my screamers to my timid ones – which helped me gain the wisdom to impart to the future teachers and students.

This experience helped me at work, where I am now heading a team of trainees.

PASSION FOR LEARNING

Apart from teaching, I am still very much a student. There are still so many things I don’t know and have yet to discover. I am now a very active yoga and zumba student. And I have learned to love both very much and use my learnings in my classes.

I am very grateful to have participated and learned from the best teachers. Our studio hosted some of the best teachers in the world and I am truly grateful for my experiences with them.

PASSION FOR ADVENTURE

I fell in love with traveling again. This year, I went to a lot of places where I’ve been to before, but amazingly experienced a lot of new things. From ATV in Boracay with Camille, trekking the caves and mountain side of Sagada, and an amazing dining experience with Cess in Hong Kong, I am in awe of so many things I’ve discovered.

 

And ofcourse, the turning point of my travel year is the trip to Vietnam-Cambodia. Words cannot express how much fun I had in this trip. Every day there were new experience and misadventures that still has me in stitches every time I think about it. This was where I did a 360 and opened myself up to the universe, and was given the most amazing experience in traveling.

PASSION FOR FRIENDSHIP

A big highlight this 2013 was all the beautiful friendships I have established. Taking the top spot are my fly girls and boys Ria, Aileen and Davis, whom I will always be truly be in gratitude for. They have exemplified what true friendship really is – no judgements, raw honesty, they got your back and learn and grow together. Some of my best times were spent with them and all I ended up was laughing my heart out and they have seen me at my worst.

Special mention also goes out to my dance partners Rianna and Cess, my rocks, when it comes to sharing my passion for AntiGravity Fitness and teaching.

 

I also celebrated with many other friends a lot of milestones, which I am so happy for and truly blessed that I got to experience that with them – from new loves (Sitti, Cess and Rianna), engagements (Leinee, Margaux, Mitzie), new babies (Shierlly, MayAnn, Rizza, Joey and Mi), new accomplishments (Mel), new business (BY Greenhills) and adventures (Paulo, Peaches, Mitch and Sarah). I have also lost a dear friend Martin, who succumbed to his illness last October.

I also got to reconnect with some very dear friends who I have lost contact for the past few years. Melissa is back home for good, and my good friend Toto has showed up once again in my life, and it seems like 6 years have never passed.

And most of all, my world has expanded once more. I have meet so many amazing new people along the way – new students, new gimmick buddies and ofcourse, dear friends from half way across the world. Its amazing how one little moment in a hotel in Siem Reap has lead to such an amazing friendship up to this day – Georg and Michael.

My world has truly expanded.

PASSION FOR BEAUTY

This is probably my fittest year to date. I took a habit of exercising almost every day and eating healthy food. I took a shot at being pescatarian (lasted for a few months) and going for 300 calorie meals a day.

But this year I also discovered, its not just being beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside. I used to be so insecure about my looks – I’m not the prettiest one or the sexiest one out there – and I used to focus so much on that hence my motivation to exercise and diet.

Real beauty comes from the inside. If you accept and love yourself truly for who you are and embrace your inner ‘landi’, it just shines through. I didn’t have to waste time sweating it out on a gym and starving myself in the latest diet. It was just changed with my mindset and support from dear friends. And it’s effortless and people see it better than if you have lost a few pounds or not. And the universe is attracted to that. There are days when physically I feel I don’t look my best (I’ve got no sleep, wearing simple clothes, etc), and yet my persona radiates through looks alone. And yet this was when I get to experience the most amazing times.

PASSION FOR LOVE

As written above, life has indeed become one amazing rollercoaster ride. And all it took was for me to open up. I was confronted by my dear friends who told me their observation that I was closing myself up on a lot of things and I was blind to the things going on around me.

Its was when I changed my perspective and started to notice the way I was being, catching myself and practice, my world slowly began to open. People were starting to show up left and right, and sometimes I can’t even get my head around what is happening. Its like sensory overload, you feel so many things at the same time.  I’ve gone from laughing my heart out on some days, to experiencing hurt and heartbreak after, reflecting and learning from the experience, and getting back on my groove the next. Its practice, practice, practice – one moment you are observing by the stands, the next you are playing the game. And it only gets better with practice.

PASSION FOR LIFE

To conclude, the journey isn’t over yet. 2014 brings even more promise. A new leaf has turned, more possibilities are opening.

I will be taking my learnings from this year further into the next, with grace and wisdom. The time has come to seek things in which I truly want, what matters to me – not necessary settle and sell myself short. And most of all, to enjoy every moment.

The future shines bright for 2014 and I look forward to spending it with all of you.

 A blessed New Year to everyone! Thank you for the wonderful experience of 2013 and thank you for being who you are to me!

Thirty Things: Do a Headstand (unassisted) – first attempt!

We had a fun Flying Fitness session with Paulo this evening! Since all of us were his regular students, he just made it an inversion workshop and taught us all, especially the Chua girls how to headstand.

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With Christa, Jenn and Polo

And since we had a pictorial session, I was able to keep the headstand up for a few seconds, just enough to take a picture unassisted.

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Next goal: hold it for 10 seconds

Food Trip: Grilled Lemon and Garlic Chicken

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I’ve been inspired to do some cooking in order to spruce up my eating habits. Healthy eating can get you stuck in a rut if you don’t unleash your creative side and try new recipes.

This morning I made a new meal, under the guidelines of the 3333 plan. It was actually quite simple and quick to prepare!

For my fruits, I had half a large pear.

For my vegetables, I tossed some spinach leaves and tomatoes.

For my protein, I grilled a chicken breast marinated overnight in lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt & pepper and 2 tbsps olive oil.

The olive oil made the chicken moist while the lemon made the chicken tasty, versus just grilling it off the bat.

For my carbohydrates, I ate a whole wheat bagel.

It was quick and easy and the preparations were simple. Looking forward to more recipes!

Thirty Things: Become A Teacher

Barely a month after I completed my teacher training (four days of lectures, 50 hours of apprenticeship and a 200+ point exam), I auditioned for a slot to officially become part of the Beyond Yoga Teaching Staff.

Cara de Ocampo, owner of Beyond Yoga, invited the trainees who completed all requirements to audition in front of a sample class for them to assess if the trainee’s ability to teach in their studio.

My “class” for the audition are the yogis and yoginis of Yoga For Life. They were a tough bunch of experienced Anti-Gravity students and teachers from different fitness backgrounds such as yoga and dance.

I only taught for about 45 minutes, about half of the class time, but it was one of the most terrifying experience of my life. For one, we were dealing with the BHS Studio. During our teacher training, I mostly conducted practice class in the Quezon City studio. The room dynamics of the BHS studio is much different that QC. Two, there were about 15 students in attendance. In practice class, we had maximum of 8 students. And three, it was another thing to be observed by your students, mentors, peers and future employees – absolutely nerve wracking!

But in the end, I was happy with my experience to teach these fantastic group of people. I learned so much from them about myself, about teaching, and the yoga community. It was definitely a fun experience and boosted my confidence into teaching. They gave good feedback and complimented on my knowledge and confidence. I just needed to practice the other side of teaching, which was connecting with the students and other little tips.

With my co-teacher Mark Mizal

With one of our mentors Paulo

Class picture

And officially, as of January 18, less than a week after the audition, I was officially given slots to teach starting for the month of February.

Come join me in my classes starting February 2013, 8.30pm in Beyond Yoga Bonifacio High Street Central on Tuesdays, and 9am and 7.30pm in Beyond Yoga Quezon City on Wednesdays.

Thinspiration: Beyond Sculpt

As part of my of my goals for fitness in 2013, I had the pleasure to try for the very first time Beyond Sculpt, one of Beyond Yoga’s signature classes.

Get the best of strength training and yoga through Beyond Sculpt. This brand new fitness-based approach to yoga is targeted to strengthen the body as well as the mind with the use of weights in your yoga practice. Get rapid results, have fun, and sculpt your body into the shape you want through this program designed for anyone who is up for the challenge. (60 minutes)

This class is taught by the lovable Paulo Leonido, a yoga and fitness instructor in Beyond Yoga. This classes uses weights and the class moves through aerobic and yoga fusion steps that really strengthens your arms, core and legs. Paulo also loves playing upbeat music that really gets you into the groove.

You sweat buckets, and you may feel like you’re in boot camp in class, but you come out refreshed and stronger, with happy hormones circulating the body. I really felt the difference in my body especially when I did Rianna’s class after for Vinyasa. My arms were a lot stronger especially in doing the chaturangas.

I really enjoyed my first class and looking forward to more.

With the Beyond Yoga teachers after Paulo’s class

Beyond Sculpt Classes are available at Beyond Yoga Quezon City and Bonifacio High Street Branches.

Thirty Things: List of things to do By 30

2013 is a special year because it marks my 30th year. So basically I’m 13 going on 30 :)

To mark this new decade, here are some of the things I plan to do by 30. I will post some accompanying article as well as I go along.

1) Quit Smoking For Good

2) Become a Teacher – done

3) Travel to Europe

4) Learn how to pole dance

5) Live at my own place

6) Climb a mountain

7) Learn to cook my signature dish

8) Have a beach worthy body

9) Formulate my signature party drink

10) Meet my future husband

11) Raise funds and support a charity

12) See COldplay live

13) Perform a routine (dance/singing/AGY) in front of an audience

14) Learn to play the ukelele

15) Run a 21K marathon

16) Finish photoaday

17) Own a set of real jewelry

18) Own a heirloom worthy watch

19) Do a headstand (unassisted) – done

20) Go bungee jumping

21) test drive a sports car

22) Get featured in a magazine

23) Own a pet and really take care of it

24) learn a new language

25) Plant a tree

26) Fall asleep under the stars

27) Go on a cruise

28) Read 20 classic books

29) Watch AFI’s list of 100 best movies

30) Go Scuba Diving for one day

This is also part of my bucket list, but this time, it’ll be 100 things :)

Food Trip: Tea Time at da.u.de

Its amazing how the Philippines is fast-growing in terms of the food industry. We Filipinos like to eat and explore different culinary cuisines from other countries that those food and restaurant chains often find such a good market for it here in the country.

And just like fashion, we also like trends when it comes to our food. When Starbucks came here 15 years ago, it brought with it the coffee craze. Soon dozens of coffee shops popped up and it was here to stay. Then came the fruit smoothies, frozen yoghurts, and last year’s milk tea craze.

The Philippines is generally a coffee drinking country, especially now that Starbucks is a staple in almost every working class Filipino diet. But there are those, like me, who prefer its more dainty cousin – tea.

At the time where the fitness and health craze is here to stay, tea shops are slowly making its way to the Filipino cuisine. There is a market for it here as there is still those that don’t drink coffee – like me.

My fellow foodie and officemate Mia invited me for tea after our regular service day in the Fort. We went to Da.u.de, located along 4th Ave cor 26th St in Bonifacio Global City.

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Its the first Tea lounge to be established here in Manila, launching back last August. It was soon followed by other tea lounges such as TWG.

Its a quaint little restaurant tucked in the business district of Bonifacio Global City. I liked it bright interiors and perfect to spend a semi-cold January afternoon.

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They offered a wide array of tea selection that I was actually overwhelmed on what to select. Although I am a tea drinker, I am not the adventurous sort and mostly stick to green and chai teas. So I decided to stick to my usual and got a green tea option for the meantime.

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It came on a cute tea dispenser where the tea just flows down to your cup when you place the dispenser over it. And I thoroughly enjoyed the tea despite being just regular green tea. It was pleasantly fragrant – I could detect some hints of flowers mixed into the tea and the taste was smooth and not surprisingly overpowering like some green teas served in coffee places. And theres no weird bitter after taste!

I am definitely curious about their other tea choices but I might still stick to green tea or other less decaffeinated options since its the caffeine that makes me not drink coffee in the first place.

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Mia went for their iced tea option, which is their more fruit based tea and ordered the skala fruit tea. I liked how it looked in her glass, using chipped ice instead of regular cubes and the waiter gave her options on what straw to use. True to its very healthy mission, the straws they used were made of paper and came in cute designs. Mia chose the polka dots in honor of new year.

Teas range from about P100-200 depending on the type and size of the drink. Hot tea comes with unlimited hot water. I had a second cup.

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It also wasn’t just a tea place where they served drinks only, but it was also a restaurant, offering gourmet sandwiches such as Bah mi (pulled pork) and salads. Since we needed to shed pounds, Mia and I shared a grilled chicken salad. I just loved the presentation, with fresh greens in the middle and the chicken and dressing served artfully on the side. And it was really good, the sauce was creamy and just right to mix with the salad. The separate option made it easy for me to control how much I placed on my plate. The greens were fresh and crunchy, served with parmesan cheese on top, which Mia declared to be deliciously pungent. The meals range from 300-400 per plate.

I really enjoyed our little tea adventure with Mia and was thrilled that this type of craze has finally hit Manila. I was wondering if the tea habit of the British would be accepted by Filipinos and surprisingly the restaurant had patrons despite the odd hour. Only time will tell.

Hooray for tea!

Thinspiration: The Work Out Begins

2013 barely just begun and I’m back into work-out mode to keep myself fit.

Began my day subbing for Maitri, one of our regular teachers, for her Anti-gravity Yoga class at 9am. It was a last minute call and I was the only available sub that was contacted.

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It was great to get back into teaching mode and I only had one student so it wasn’t as stressful even if the situation was.

And I followed it up with back to back mat yoga beginning with Power Yoga with Anna Man and later on Vinyasa 1 with Rachel.

Despite doing 20+13 suryas and then some, it was just great to work out my body and get rid of all those accumulated weight from the holidays.

I plan to stick to a similar routine this year focusing on mat yoga and teaching Anti-Gravity Yoga.

My fitness goal is to do a headstand an handstand (without assistance) within the year.

Powerful indeed.

Namaste!