Monthly Archives: March 2011

The music of ashtanga yoga

My first teacher, Hoze, likened the practice of ashtanga vinyasa yoga to a dance with your breath as the music.  I love this analogy.  I don’t dance and I definitely don’t sing so this yoga practice is the closest I will get to “dancing and playing music” on my own.


I savor the steady and controlled ujayii breath during surya namaskar A.The music gets excited and energetic during surya B and the standing poses.

(pic from

Lately I have noticed that my breathing is less panicky during uttitha hasta padangustasana.  During the seated asanas, the numerous vinyasas feels like a chorus played over and over again.

(pic from

From Garbha pindasa to end of the asanas it feels like disco and swing music already.  My heart is pumping and I need to feel my breath strong and steady to do the poses.

During urdhva dhanurasana, i definitely hear “rap-like” breathing.

And finally back to the slow and steady music of my breath during the finishing and closing sequence.



The led class I attended yesterday afternoon has invigorated me enough that I decided to just do pranayama this morning.  My daily pranayama practice has helped me focus and gives me enough energy to go through my everyday tasks.

Tomorrow will be a big day (for me and some students anyway) so I am preparing myself mentally, psychologically and spiritually.  Yoga don’t fail me….

When you inhale, you take the strength from God,  When you exhale, it represents the service you give to the world.  – B.K.S. Iyengar

“not too serious but sincere practice.”

Our teacher Jon began the class with this advice. Throughout the practice this was hanging on mind…am I too serious in practice? One time, my sister’s friend described me as intense? Was that being too serious? Am I sincere? How do I show sincerity in practice? I think I am but I never thought that this is an adjective I could use to describe practice.
I will keep on reflecting on this until I have a better understanding.

At year’s end….

(It’s Fall in Manila, our backyard in school this year was filled with falling leaves from a nearby tree!)

The academic year is winding down, yesterday was officially the last day of clinic. The patients  (and their therapists) will have about 6 to 8 weeks of break from therapy this summer.  I can’t help but look over my decking board and make an inventory of what the patients have accomplished this year:

One girl, Riamm, with sensory issues has difficulty walking as she can’t keep her legs steady on the ground…yesterday, she took three controlled and calculated steps!! Whoopee! I can’t wait to work with her come June.

Another girl, Shane, used to come to the clinic sleeping all the time.  Her medication time was re-set and she started to keep awake in the clinic.  But even then, due to her gravitational insecurities she always has this scared look on her face during sessions.  Yesterday…she was intentionally smiling at an Elmo toy that was presented to her! She was still scared when we moved her around but, her smiling was consistent!

And last, Glisten, a very young girl with hardly any eye contact this year…looked at me in the eye for some seconds! Yehey!!!

There are others in my list; some gained mobility, some stayed the same.  This job is certainly a vocation.  You have to keep at it…be patient…the changes will be seen later on.  Hmmm….this sounds like my yoga practice!


Sunday Pranayama and a Chant for Healing

This is the second Sunday of Aahuti. When I took on this “challenge” I knew Sunday would be the most difficult.  Sunday is my sleep-in day (right!  I still wake up at 6 or 7 am..); my “laze-around” day, my day to walk with my hubby.

Today, Ricky helped out in the Dream Marathon for the TBR at Nuvali so he was out of the house very early.  The ambient sounds on Sunday are different too;  the traffic on EDSA is quiet; there are no kids waiting for the schoolbus; the sound of birds are more predominant actually.

I was able to do my breathing activities well. Although I tried to up my ratio today, I realize I still need to work more on this.  I did 5 minutes of meditation too; the quiet-ness was very enticing.  I felt peaceful at the end of practice.  My mind is clear and my body is ready for work.


My friend and teacher re-tweeted this chant for healing…

Om tiyabakam yajamahe/Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam/Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaat/Mrtyormuksheeya Maamrtaat

(To Siva, the three-eyed one, the one who is master of all senses and qualities and the one who is the sustainer of all growth; May he releas us from the bondage of death as a ripened cuccumber is released from its stalk; and may he grant us immortality.)

Shanti, shanti, shanti…

Patanjali’s Eight Limbs

I like this illustration created by Alison Hinks on Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. It gives the yogini (me) an easy understanding of the paths or steps that are needed to achieve Samadhi.

Still a long way to go for me but just looking at this illustration inspires me to keep on going.

Thank you Alison for allowing me to post! Namaste!

Aahuti: An offering to a higher being

Asanajaya invited me to take on a yoga challenge: 40 days of yoga practice.  (

Twenty minutes of either pranayama, meditation or asanas everdyay for forty days.  I’m taking it on.  Last year for lent,  I gave up chicken and I am still off chicken unless really necessary. So let’s see…maybe this lenten “sacrifice” might be a regular practice to.

Day 1 of Aahuti:

30 minutes of pranayama and 1 hour of ashtanga vinyasa.


Costume change

My current roles were defined  by the change in outfits I did yesterday.

I see patients at the clinic on Wednesdays.  I arrived at work in my clinic wear — jeans and scrubs, this I call my “yaya-look”. Then I had to attend an official function so I let down my hair and changed into my “administrative look”.  On Wednesday afternoons, I help some of the faculty members in their yoga practice therefore I donned my comfortable yoga clothing for this.

Despite the hassle of bringing all these clothes, I think the variety of work (and play) that I do makes my life more interesting!


For some reason, Wednesday yoga with the faculty inspires me to have a good practice the following day.  I am more focused and sincere in learning the practice when I see them practice.  A quote from a wise guru (guro) comes to mind:

“I can only take you where I have gone. A teacher can only take you as far as where he/she has been.” – Nava, 15 Feb 2011