Yoga Para sa Masa

This line has been resounding in my head for weeks now, maybe months. I have been working in the development world (you know, poverty alleviation and those stuff) for more than 10 years now and I must say that the development workers—either from the NGOs or the government agencies—are the primary candidates for burnout and thus need yoga the most. These people are the ones doing thankless jobs and simply running, not on adrenalin, but on their passion—passion to help, passion to build our nation, passion to make a difference.

a development worker and a farmer

I know. I have been burnt several times already and still recovering…and healing. And yoga plays a big part in this process.

The other day I was analyzing the yoga market in Manila. Who are the regulars? Either those mothers, who do not have to work full time and thus have the time to do yoga during the day, or those who have established careers already and thus are no longer struggling for financial stability and can sneak out of the office early enough to catch the evening classes. Sad but it seems that only those who have the financial capacity can enjoy the benefits of yoga.

This realization and my family history have moved me to become a wellness or health advocate. I came from an old and not-so-healthy family. Every time I undergo medical history “tests” my interviewers could not help but say “lahat pala ng sakit nasa lola mo (my maternal grandmother).” My mom is a cancer survivor. Her brother passed away last year because of cancer. Although my dad had pretty healthy genes, he died of emphysema caused by his smoking (his not-so-good choice of stress management), so I grew up not seeing him well.

I might not have chosen my genes but I can certainly make choices for myself in terms of my lifestyle and health habits. Since I came back my trip sans my mom, I have been eating home-cooked vegetables (now on my 23rd day and still counting, he he). During this time, I ate chicken just once (when I had dinner with a friend) and I had bum stomach for the following couple days. Uh-oh, it’s my body already saying no to meat.

I also plan to get out of the city by the age of 40. I want my “retirement career” to be running a wellness center outside Manila where there will be a yoga shala, a vegetarian restaurant, and a retreat B&B place that lie in front of an organic farm. My wish for everyone who will visit the place—both the moneyed and the marginalized—is to find refuge and nourishment, physically at the very least.

So how am I going to do this? I don’t know. I have no idea. I shared this “yoga para sa masa” thought with a friend-yoga teacher who happens to have the same goal. However, he said “I guess pag marami na akong pera at hindi ko na poproblemahin kung saan ko hahanapin yung next na pambili ko ng bigas I’ll continue the yoga mission.” May God bless his soul.

But here I am, I have enough to cover my cost of living and the time to pursue the mission, but I do not have the means. I now work for only six days in a month. What do I do with the remaining 24 days? I want to spend them, invest them wisely. At this point, my most logical choice is to undergo a teacher’s training and get a certification but my yoga experience is yet short of the requirements. Sigh. Frustrating. Where then do I begin? I am actually in tears as I write this page.

Let this be my way of whispering my desire to the universe. And let my heart be detached and content wherever it will lead me.


“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit.” (John 3:8 )


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