Friday, July 3, 2015

Discovering Vinyasa Yoga by EVOLVE...

Running and outdoor fitness are something I really love to do and I’ve been into this type of lifestyle for quite some time now. Over the years, I always believe that an effective workout requires dynamic movements. But recently, I learned that one can also achieve full body workout through static exercises, and Yoga is just one of them. 

Last week, my wife and I were invited to try another kind of workout adventure and this is called the Vinyasa Yoga. Coming from a long run the night before at the Energizer Night Run, Ruth and I braved to attend a Yoga workshop session at Evolve. We never thought of the physical fatigue it will involve, but we tried it anyway. And because I've always thought that yoga simply involves sets of static planking and stretching, so how hard can those be?

Dexter Tan demonstrating how to do an inversion
We arrived in the afternoon session, so we were not able to do the “prep” session in the morning. We yoga first timers were introduced to the Vinyasa Yoga and the first yoga lessons we learned were the seven types of inversions or head stands! Although these were something we never expected to do, since it’s a workshop, participants can just perform the lessons at their own pace. Our adventurous spirits compelled us to try and experience it ourselves, so we did! 

my first head stand
It’s a good thing that most of the people there were seasoned yoga practitioners and instructors who were so kind and accommodating in guiding us what to do. After several tries, we finally achieved an “acceptable” head stand pose for at least a few seconds. As much as this yoga pose is quite difficult to do, I felt a relaxing sensation after although my arms were pumped up a little and I felt a bit of pain on my navel. It was still far from the “nirvana” everyone else was trying to achieve though. 

my wife's first head stand
Another lesson that was presented was the “Back Bend”. I remember doing this when I was in grade school and I was so good at it, I made a good impression to my girl classmates back then. But after decades of laid back lifestyle, the flexibility in me regressed. Ginger, the owner of Evolve told me later that I can regain flexibility much faster than strength, and the key is repetition. Surprisingly, after several tries, I was able to do it but with a help and guidance of Joy, one of the coaches. Ruth, whose flexibility is much worse than mine, barely made an arch, more like a “bench” and I was even more surprised how she did that! I think she invented another yoga pose – The “bench pose”. Nonetheless, I was still proud of her for making a grueling effort to try. Good job, mom. :)

Michelle, another blogger, doing the back bend
Shortly after all the lessons were done, all of us were encouraged to lie on our backs to cool down and rest. With our eyes closed, we were prompted to release all our emotional and mental stress through meditation and the facilitator ended it with a short prayer. After a quick shower, Ruth and I went home thinking, that our first time yoga session wasn’t that bad after all. 

the "bench pose"
So, that’s Vinyasa Yoga. But I heard Bikram Yoga is also good. Maybe we could try that one too, soon.

What is Evolve:

Evolve is a special place for people who wish to a relieve stress and achieve a full body and mind workout thorough Yoga. Its purpose is to allow yoga practitioners achieve their own personal 'nirvana" where an individual evolves into better beings. It is located at the 2nd floor of Commerce Center, along Commerce Avenue, across Acacia Hotel, in Filinvest Alabang, Muntinlupa City. The Vinyasa workshop was headed by Mr. Pio Baquiran, a multi-awarded Yoga instructor including Most Outstanding Yoga Teacher of 2006. He was trained under the mentorship of Chanu Chandra Prahbu under the Sivananda Style Yoga. He has been practicing the Bahkti style Yoga for 32 years.  

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