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.

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!

Road Trip: Surfs Up in La Union!

08.25-08.27

We’re very fortunately to enjoy two back to back long weekends! And for the second long weekend, my officemates and I took a road trip to San Juan, La Union, also known as the surfing capital of Luzon.

San Juan is a town in the province of La Union, located at the north western part of Luzon and is famous for its surfing spots and beaches. It is accessible via car from Manila, about 4-5 hours away (depending on traffic and number of stop overs), or via bus going to Ilocos.

It was our first time to go to San Juan, but not our first time to surf. However the last time I hopped on a board was way back in 2009, so I am a little rusty and apprehensive when it comes to surfing.

We checked in at the Kahuna Beach Resort, one of the nicer resorts in the area. It was actually very comfortable and reasonably priced, although this is given they are at low peak rates. It had garden rooms like little villas and had its own pool, spa and direct access to the beach.

We were tired from our long drive that Saturday so we mostly spent time resting, sitting at the beach and swimming in the pool.

Since we had the whole day of Sunday, that’s where all the action began.

We spent the first part of the morning playing with baby Shawn in the kiddie pool as its his first time to swim.

Then it was time to conquer the waves of La Union!

As mentioned earlier, I haven’t surfed in years so I was a bit apprehensive with conquering the waters of La Union. The waves actually looked scary and with the constant rains and southwestern winds blowing, the waves were coming in droves along the coast.

We hired some local instructors to teach us how to surf. We used long boards first since we were beginners. We practiced the techniques on how to get up on the boards on the beach first before going into the water.

After a few minutes, we headed into the water to put our skills to the test!

We were just a few meters from the beach. The water just reached to chest level where we started catching waves. Our instructors usually just helped us position our boards and gave the signal when the wave comes in.

After a few wipe outs due to nerves, I finally got up on may board and hung on for a few moments!

It was just so awesome! Now I understood the thrill surfing gives! After that initial time, I stood up more often that not during the rest of our one hour lesson. Here’s an actual video:

I am not sure if its the waters and waves in LU or the instructors that made the difference, but I can definitely give credit to all my yoga and Anti-Gravity Yoga Flying Fitness classes for helping me with my balance and upper body and core strength. I could really feel my arms and core working to help me stand up properly and keep my balance.

I really had so much fun during the trip and being on a health program didn’t spoil it either. I actually packed my fruits and veggies in a cooler and brought it with me. ­čÖé

I am all excited and looking forward to my next surfing trip!

Thinspiration: Fit All You Can

07.21.2012

Despite the heavy rains caused by Tropical Depression Ferdie, fitness enthusiasts from around the metro converged at the Rockwell Tent for Fit All You Can, the first ever fitness event, bringing together the country’s top gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, equipment providers and other related suppliers under one roof.

They called it a smorgasbord of all thing fit. Where else can you pay a minumum fee of P500 and sample different kinds of exercises?

As a fitness enthusiast, I was very interested in attending the program because not only did some of my favorite studios like Beyond Yoga and Yoga+ were participating, I could also get to try out work outs from the other places/workouts I am interested to try such as PlanaForma, 360 circuit training and CrossFit for only P500 for all of them. That’s value for your money because a class is usually P500 or may require you to pay certain minimum trial fees at a much higher cost. And you get to sample them all in one venue!

I rounded up my co-fitness buddy Ria, and coined ourselves the “social-exercisers” because we love attending fitness events such as running events or things like this.

Here is the list of classes lined up for that day:

I had an appointment at 4pm so it was best to sample as much classes as we could within our timeframe from 10am-3pm.

First thing we tried was Crossfit, lead by the coaches of CrossFit Insurrecto. My AGY/Yoga Teacher Rianna Gatus, Ria and I all decided to join in. I was really scared because I’ve heard that this was such a killer work out but I decided to let my fear go and just have fun. Hey, its a trial after all.

Rianna, Ria and I warming up

Coaches from CrossFit Insurrecto explaining the Work Out of the Day (WOD)

Coaches teaching us how to do proper squats

After our intense workout, Ria and I took a quick lunch at the mall before heading back to the event. When we came back the Zumba class headed by Teacher Julie of PlanaForma was on its way so I jumped right in at the side with the Beyond Yoga girls Iza and Cathy since this was a very full class.

After this, Ria and I headed towards the other tent to do Absolute Hot Yoga (Hot A) with Teacher Dinah from Yoga+.

I was thrilled to have done this because I’ve been curious to find out what Hot A was all about but never got to try it because I usually stick to Hot B (Bikram) at the Studio. Its a lot similar, but Ria’s correct to say that there are a lot more transitions into the poses. Will definitely try this at the studio soon!

In the middle of all this, I hung out mostly at the Beyond Yoga booth, where they offered free trial of Anti-Gravity Yoga.

My usual seat

Ria’s first time on the hammock and got to do the vampire pose!

It was such a great day and endorphins were running high through out the day. I just wished I could’ve stayed all day and tried out the other exercises and class such as 360 circuit training, yin yoga and Plana Forma.

I commend the organizers for such a job well done. It was very organized, and despite starting the program late, everyone else kept the schedule. I’ve heard great reviews and people very much enjoying the event. There was a sense of camaraderie and fun as the different fitness groups tried out each others work out and not compete with each other.

I will definitely be joining the next event and hope to see more of you fitness fans there!

Photos courtesy of: pinoyfitness.com, The List Group, Beyond Yoga and Yoga+

Thinspiration: Bikram Yoga

I haven’t been as actively posting entries as of late (and as you can see, I posted 11 days worth of photos a day) and this can the reason why I’ve not been posting.

Starting last June 5, I finally got the courage to try out the toughest yoga class – Bikram Yoga.

Bikram Yoga is is a system of yoga founded by Bikram Choudhury, and is synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques. Bikram classes run exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105┬░F (Ôëł 40.6┬░C) with a humidity of 40% and is the most popular form of hot yoga (a series of yoga poses done in a heated room).

I used to avoid Bikram yoga like plague due to the fact I was terrified it was held in a heated room. I just didn’t trust myself when it came to heat and I was so afraid I will collapse or can’t survive the heat.

I attended my first Bikram class at Yoga Plus‘ newly opened studio in Ortigas since it was the only available class at that time. Since it was my first time, the teacher, Ryan, set me aside 15 minutes early to do an orientation on the class, what to expect, and taught me the first breathing exercise called the Pranayama.

I actually enjoyed my Bikram class. To be honest, this is my 2nd hot yoga class so I was better prepared physically and mentally, and what a difference this makes.

The poses, though it looks hard, is very beginner-friendly and has options for beginners and more advanced practitioners. I found sweating my ass off very invigorating and refreshing. And I found it more relaxed that my regular vinyasa classes because it was just a repetition of the 26 poses and there are more resting times, or savasana (corpse pose), as opposed to vinyasa or flow where its poses done in series.

I am on my second week now of practicing bikram and it gets better every time. I had a one week coupon at 50% off at another studio, Sundar Bikram Yoga studio in Greenhills, and managed to go to the studio 4 times in one week.

I found my body getting more toned and my flexibility greater. I noticed my tummy tighten and I actually feel a lot lighter. I now go do Anti-Gravity Yoga once a week and bikram for more regular workouts.

Some tips for first timers:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink up at least two hours before class. I learned this the hard way in my first hot yoga class at Yoga Plus where I was dehydrated and suffered from migraine and vertigo after class and even the days after. Since then, it is my practice to drink up, before and after class.
  • Come on an empty stomach. Eat light meals 2-3 hours before class.
  • Come in comfortable clothes. The lesser the better (bra tops and shorts are great stuff to wear. Never mind your tummies!). It is because you will just sweat and sweat and sweat!
  • Bring extra towels and change of clothes for showering.
  • The instructors will ask you to stay inside the room for the whole 90 minutes. If you cannot keep up with the poses or the heat is getting to you, just lie in savasana and its okay.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t do all poses perfectly! I, for one, am not so flexible, and still have trouble doing the Dandayamana – JanuShirasana (the standing one leg with your other leg straight out) or the half tortoise poise because my knees really hurt when I do that. All it takes is practice, practice, practice. One of my instructors told me, if you can do all poses perfectly at the first try, why bother doing it?
  • Have fun!

 

Sports Report: Pacquiao Vs Bradley

06.10.12

The world, not only the Philippines, was stunned as the night (morning here in Manila) ended with a surprising result after the Pacquiao – Bradley match.

After an amazing 12 rounds, the result announced a split decision of 113-115, 115-113, and 115-113 in favour of Bradley.

I wasn’t able to watch the whole fight as I took advantage of everyone focused on the fight to go to the mall to do some errands I needed to do. I got to see the last 3 rounds but I was beginning to see Manny slowing down and Bradley throwing some really good punches.

Statistically Pacquaio had the better scores. And when the announcement was made, the whole world was stunned by the result, and social networks exploded with protests about the fight result. Celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Shaq, Snoop Dogg, Nick Carter of BSB, and other athletes all said their piece on twitter.

My heart did go out to Pacquaio since he served as an inspiration for Filipinos and a source of Filipino pride. He did put the Philippines on the map these days. But a little part of me was glad that he got knocked of his pedestal for a bit, and showed the world he is human after all.

But in true Filipino fashion, he never wavered on his faith and belief in himself, and took his loss graciously.

The Pacman is still our people’s champ.

Project 365: I <3 New AGY Classmates! (Day 158)

Had fun with these newbies in AGY class because they were all whining and screaming. Hahaha! Reminds me of my first time on the hammock!

Anti-Gravity Yoga at Beyond Yoga

Another post on Anti-Gravity Yoga!

Project 365: I <3 AGY Teachers! (Day 137)

I am proud to be in the taught by only 300 people in the world who are certified to teach Anti-Gravity Yoga ­čÖé

Flying on Anti-Gravity Yoga

Ever wonder how does it feel to fly? Or how does it feel to be suspended up in the air with nothing but a piece of cloth to hold on to?

Well, look no further!

Anti-Gravity Yoga(r), or AGY, the newest thing in Yoga practice, has now come to Philippine shores and is exclusively partnered with Beyond Yoga studio to bring the flying experience to fitness enthusiasts in the country.

AntiGravity® Aerial Yoga is a unique fusion technique, revolutionary in relieving compressed joints and aligning the body from head to toe. The AntiGravity® Hammock acts as a soft trapeze and as a support while you master simple inversions and finally progress to more advanced poses.

AntiGravity┬« Yoga is a fitness regimen designed by Christopher Harrison to increase one’s overall health and physical agility while having fun and creating beauty. AntiGravity┬« is an acrobatic performance company whose daily workout utilizes the AntiGravity┬« Hammock. The technique was originally created for athletes and gymnasts and has since been modified and perfected for the everyday athlete. Incorporating components from dance, Pilates and calisthenics, AntiGravity┬« has created a complete workout that is certain to get you in shape while realigning you from the compression of gravity.┬á AntiGravity┬« Yoga works to manipulate physics while staying lighthearted.

~ Taken from http://www.antigravityyoga.com

I’ve heard all about AGY through the Beyond Yoga facebook page and one of my officemates Mia has been asking me to try it since it was offered to newbies two weeks prior starting last April 10.

And finally I did last Monday, April 30. I figured it was a relatively light week, and I’ve been wanting to try out a new fitness routine. I knew I would be taking something like yoga, but I was having trouble looking for a studio that could accommodate my schedule.

But I just said, what the heck, I’ll just go for it, and work things out as I go along the way. That Monday I scheduled myself for some hot yoga and signed up with Mia for the AGY class after.

Beyond Yoga offers a 3 day trial package for beginners which is great trying it out.

Since it was my first time on the air, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. If it wasn’t for Mia’s coaching and enthusiasm I wouldn’t have survived it.

Unlike regular yoga, AGY makes use of special hammocks for its exercises.

The┬áAntiGravity Hammock┬áis a structural fabric that is connected from two overhead points. It acts like a swing or soft trapeze. The AntiGravity┬«┬á Hammock is utilized to change one’s dynamic relationship to the ground, allowing the participant to better understand their body and its relationship to physics.

These hammocks can carry as much as 3000 lbs, thats like a baby elephant (so for those worried about their weight, no need to fret).

Before each class, each hammock is adjusted to each student. The lowest portion should be at your hipbone and there is tension when you extend your arms. The instructor opens with an introduction to what is AGY and some tips and other instructions needed in the class.

The first thing you should always remember is TRUST. Trust the instructor, trust the system, trust the hammock and trust yourself.

Then the instructor takes you to a series of exercises using the hammock, including inverted poses, that even newbies can do on their first class. I had a bit of trouble at first, but the instructor was always there to assist you if you have trouble doing the poses.

In my first class, it took a while for me to follow the poses because these weren’t exercises I was used to and I had trouble looking for the best positions for the inverted poses. I’ll be honest to say it hurts! You know when you watch behind the scene shows where actors say it hurts when they are harnessed for stunts? Its something like that. That’s probably because I never actually had use for my hipbones before so I found the situation uncomfortable.

But by my second class, which was the next day, I was already doing some of the poses with less assistance already. My body was getting used to the exercises and found my spots for the inverted poses that was comfortable.

This is from my 3rd and last class. I can already hold poses and follow the instructor at most times already. That’s me at the end of the middle row.

There are two types of AGY classes being offered in the studio – the FUNdamentals class and Flying Fitness. FUNdamentals is the ‘lighter’ one of the two, which focuses more on stretching, while Flying fitness is more intense with more weight exercises and poses. FUNdamentals is more like regular yoga but with a different orientation, while Flying Fitness can be compared to TRX (another type of workout exercise). Both classes do the inverted poses, so no escape there!

These are some exercises done during Flying Fitness. Imagine inverted crunches. You can’t see me, but I’m directly behind the guy in black. You can only see my legs.

Some tips:

  • Do not eat right before class or you mind end up seeing your food again. Or taking something light about 1-2 hours before.
  • Wear shirts with sleeves to prevent fabric burn
  • Advisable to also wear sticky socks (but not a requirement)
  • Call to reserve a slot or come early. There are a limited number of hammocks in the studio per class.
  • Keep hydrated beforehand.
  • Remove any type of jewelry.

From my experience, this is very prone to be dizzying so I don’t recommend it to people with severe motion sickness or vertigo. I have suffered dizziness because of it from the rocking motion of the hammock and the inverted poses. I have yet to try it, but maybe I could take some bonamine before class, as the symptoms are just like motion sickness. Usually I am fine after a quick nap in the car or sipping diet soda or water after. I am also not sure if its because I took back to back fitness classes as well that left me really dizzy during my third class so I didn’t complete the last inverted pose (the vampire). I had to get off the hammock to stop my head from spinning.

Don’t worry about falling as well. Remember when I said trust? But not everything is perfect and guess what? I did fall of the hammock during my second class during an inverted pose and got a slight bump on my forehead (thankfully it didn’t show an ugly bruise). It wasn’t so bad because you are just hovering 3 inches from the ground. The lessons here is to 1) listen to the instructor for instructions; 2) wait patiently for the instructor to come to you; and 3) keep calm.

For beginners, Beyond Yoga offers a 3-day trial package at P1,500 good for one week. I think this is a perfect way to start because it takes a while to get used to with poses without overwhelming the students to commit to the lengthier package, and will get your moneys worth.

AGY classes is costed separately from regular yoga and is priced higher as well (1x AGY drop in class is P1000 versus a 1x regular yoga class at P450).

From this experience, I was just amazed at the results. I felt my stomach tighten and my muscled worked out almost the same when I go to my regular gym, but this is like a variation of that if I am tired of the same of gym routine. I also felt my body really stretch and improve on its flexibility, even if I’m already a gym goer to begin with. The fitness workout is intense and I find myself really sweaty during the sessions.

The most amazing thing ofcourse is I really surprised myself at what I am capable of. Never in a million years did I imagine I can fly on a piece of cloth, hang upside down or do an assisted headstand. It was what made me come back for more. I was really motivated and determined to be able to do those poses. Even with my fall, I was eager to get back on the hammock to try again.

I recommend this to anyone who is up to try something new. I will be definitely doing the class again in the coming weeks. I already miss it.

Check out the AGY class schedules and updates:

Beyond Yoga

3F Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Madrinian St., QC

0917-5BEYOND (0917-5239663)

921-6070

inquire@igobeyondyoga.com

www.igobeyondyoga.com

Like their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter.

 

PS.

Photos courtesy of Cara De Ocampo of Beyond Yoga (my classmate) and AGY Facebook Page.