2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


He’s Back! (Part 2, A Long Overdue Post)

(This is a sequel to this entry.)

In fighting form.


He’s back in the country, in the state university, and in teaching yoga.


You know he’s back in the shala when you hear “shh!” to keep the class focused. Yup, I love it when he maintains class discipline (er, do I sound like a high school teacher? or a college prefect?).

I know he’s back when I get bound hands and feet in supta kurmasana–yes, he’s one of the only two teachers (so far) who can bind me in SK.

Happy to be with my Ashtanga teacher again! I should have posted this entry last month and would have started it with this:

This time five years ago, I was introduced to Ashtanga in a one-on-one session. Few months later, I became an official Ashtanga convert.  Yes, he had me with squash and string beans! (Read this related post: https://varrahyoga.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/yoga-with-jogas/)

Go catch him at Yoga Manila Ortigas every Monday and Thursday at 7am and at Yoga Manila Quezon City every Thursday at 6:30pm.

Welcome back, Jon!


Had Yoga Manila opened a photo competition with Jon as subject, I would have good chances of winning. Skinhead, shaggy, long-haired, or clean-cut Jon? Artsy or photo journalistic shots? Name it! 😛


Why I Am Loving Led Class

Again. And even the ‘killer’ led class at that. 😉


Because practitioners start at the same time, so there are no rushing energies that tend to disrupt the flow of the class. I do not understand why during mysore, when students come at their own convenience, they still enter the shala panicky? anxious?

Because it promotes discipline. Do as you are instructed. No leaving of posts to drink, go to the restroom, or chat at the bar. Therefore, unnecessary movements are minimized.

Because it forces you to focus–on the breath, on what the teacher is saying, on your movement. Ergo, there are less opportunities for the mind to wander.

Because it brings you out of your comfort zone and thus expands your limits. Sure, it is not easy to adjust to YT’s rhythm, which is not necessarily in sync with your own (which, admittedly, was my initial reaction to that killer class, ha!), but that’s where you get the stretch.

Led class causes me mat burn. Seriously. But so what?


Side note: It’s not in the mat. It’s not in the brand of yoga outfit nor the facilities of the shala/studio either. Photos were taken during the practice of the UP Pep Squad. Go batchmates, haha! 😛



A lesson I learned around two decades ago, which came to my mind this morning on my way to shala: you break a horse not to weaken it but to direct its power.


During my home practice yesterday, I was surprised to have felt my nape “open up” as I did halasana. All of a sudden, my feet reached farther than usual. Yes, I am now beaming with hope for the eventual chakrasana. 🙂


Never in my whole Ashtanga life (I am now on my fifth year) had I bound my hands in pindasana. Of course I always blamed my thighs for not being able to do so (just like in pasasana, ha!). Today, however, I was able to do it for the first time! Yay! Chamba?

photo from ashtangayoga.info

photo from ashtangayoga.info


Was able to bind in Marichy D during my home practice and earlier today. I knew I was doing it differently from what I learned from grandguru Paul and from what I intuitively did last year (see this related post)–which was a bit in sync with what Kino was saying in this video about putting your weight forward.

Oh well, like what M said, whatever works for you.  


Part of my “intuitive marichy d” was closing my eyes as I twisted and turned into the pose, sucking my belly in to get my armpit and ribcage as close to my thigh as possible before internally rotating my arm and shoulder. Essentially, I was feeling my way into the pose. The trick helps all the time and so I did close my eyes today while I practiced in the shala. Did anyone see me do it? Where’s the dristi, huh?

I was surprised that at some point today, GTMS gave instruction to someone to “feel the pose.” Hmmm. Did we mean the same thing?


Lastly, in today’s practice I realized that it pays, and is less painful, to WAIT. Om.