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: 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.


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.


Anti-Gravity Teacher Training

Early September, Beyond Yoga opened its doors to the next batch of Anti-Gravity Yoga teachers for an intensive training happening in November.

They are opening three types of training – AGY Fundamentals + Flying Fitness 1 training, Flying Fitness 2 (open only to certified AGY FF1 teachers) and AGY Pilates (with mat certification):

If I’m not mistaken, the AGY Pilates is going to be the first in Asia.

And guess who signed up?

Yup, as of last October 5, I have officially enrolled to become an Anti-Gravity Yoga Teacher Trainee.

Even before the posters of the teacher trainings came up, I knew I was going to take this. My instructors and friends at Beyond Yoga have been telling me about this and so the possibility has been in my head for a long time.

As soon as the posters came out, all my actions gravitated towards it – I filed for a leave early on, i hit my quotas for the tuition, trained like crazy and even made a bunch of new friends with some of the regular yogis and other fellow teacher trainees!

I even invited a couple of my friends to try it our for themselves:

This to me is such a big deal because it’ll be the first time I am seriously gunning for a teaching/leadership role.Its the first time in ages I will ever take on a challenge such as this where my intention is already set and the end point is exactly what the program is designed for.

I have so much love and faith for this practice. It was where I got my strength, flexibility, balance, discipline and one of the factors for my fitness goals.

I’m quite nervous but my excitement outweighs my nervousness. I’m so looking forward to November!

Road Trip: Surfs Up in La Union!


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. 🙂

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

Thinspiration: Fit All You Can


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:, The List Group, Beyond Yoga and Yoga+

Laugh Trip: Yoga Thoughts

A funny video on what people actually think about when they do 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 (≈ 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


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.

Thinspiration: White Space Mind and Body Wellness

Sharing with you a special announcement from White Space Mind and Body Wellness:

White Space opens its doors with a lineup of free demonstration classes on Yoga, Pilates, T’ai Chi, Reiki, Inner Dance, Inner Medicine, massage therapy and meditation! Visit us and bring family and friends along for a weekend of mind and body wellness fun!


09:00-10:00 GENTLE YOGA
Start the weekend off by joining Mizel Evangelista for an hour of sedate and calming practice based on the Hatha Yoga tradition. Our Gentle Yoga is perfect for new and regular practitioners alike.

11:00-12:00 SUN-/YANG-STYLE T’AI CHI
Explore two different styles of T’ai Chi at once with Ton Delgado’s combination of the healing Sun style and relaxing Yang style. Discover why T’ai Chi is one of the fastest growing health activities in the world.

13:00-14:00 CHEN-STYLE T’AI CHI
Experience the oldest and most martial form of T’ai Chi with Karl Go and discover how the art of T’ai Chi has a dynamic and invigorating aspect of its own.

15:00-16:00 MAT PILATES
Work with Billy Goco for an hour of core exercises designed to align, balance, condition, strengthen and tone the entire body. Find out why Pilates is among the most popular fitness activities in the world.

End the day with Billy Goco’s introductory and application session on massage techniques for the common problem areas of the neck, shoulders and lower back. Learn how to apply quick relief to yourself and others!

SUNDAY: JUNE 3, 2012

09:00-10:00 FLOW/POWER YOGA
Explore two different styles of Yoga at once with Mina Aquino’s combination of Flow and Power Yoga. Kick the day off with a fluid and invigorating practice!

Discover and experience the Japanese meditative healing technique of Reiki with Sarah Salcedo-Rubin. Find out how Reiki can be used to balance, conserve and enhance your energy and those of others.

Learn about the Filipino healing practice of Inner Dance, a consciously cultivated and musically-accompanied trance state that has healed scores of people around the world. Find out what Inner Dance can contribute to your life with guide Arianne Olegario.

Discover the comprehensive healing framework of Inner Medicine, a program that integrates Inner Dance, life coaching, guided meditation, inner journaling, bodywork and energy healing. Explore how Inner Medicine can transform your life with founder Mary Raynor.

Discover and experience the basic principles and techniques of meditation with Sarah Salcedo-Rubin. Find out how this ancient discipline, found in different belief systems and cultures, can contribute to enhancing and expanding your quality of life.

For questions about any of our Open Studio activities, write us at Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at White Space!

Visit their Studio at:

White Space Mind and Body Wellness Studio,
6/F Regis Center (across Gate 3 of Ateneo de Manila University), 3
27 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights 1108 Quezon City, Philippines

Anti-Gravity Yoga at Beyond Yoga

Another post on Anti-Gravity Yoga!