The practice of yoga is on the rise according to an article published in Harvard Health Publishing in 2016. While this article was based on a study in the US, it may be applicable to the Philippines too.
When I first heard of yoga in 2011, there wasn’t even a studio in Cebu yet, and the yoga classes offered were still group classes inside gyms. Now in 2018, there are several studios in Cebu offering a range of yoga classes per day to suit the practitioner.
What is yoga and why should you do it?
In a nutshell, yoga is a mental, physical, and spiritual practice that originated from India. The mind and body benefits from a regular practice such as increased flexibility, muscle strength, and peace of mind, among others.
What’s in a typical yoga class?
A typical class or “flow” will start with a warm-up, followed by a set of yoga poses prepared by the teacher, then ends in stretching and relaxation. Depending on the type of class, it can be a fast-paced or slow class. If unsure, check with the studio before you go.
Since I have not been working out lately, I took a couple of power yoga classes. As the name suggests, this type of yoga flow consists of poses that challenge the body. It is a fast-paced class that is known to aid in weight loss. My mat and I were drenched in sweat once the teachers got into the main sequence. I had to stop to take breaks as my muscles were shaking. Soon, the class slowed down for final relaxation.
What if I’ve never tried it before?
The most common objection against trying a yoga class is people complain that they aren’t strong of flexible enough. Strength and flexibility are not prerequisites to yoga, but rather these are the benefits of yoga.
While the power yoga class I took was perhaps not for beginners, just check beforehand that the class you are taking is suited for you. If you are not sure, tell the teacher you are a beginner. Do not be afraid! It will help the teacher adjust the pose cues for you and make sure you benefit from the practice instead of injuring yourself. Remember, all of the yogis started as beginners.
Is it for women only?
Despite being a female dominated practice, men do yoga too! Robert Downey Jr, Adam Levine, and David Beckham are some of the male celebrities who do yoga.
Where can I go?
There are several studios in Cebu you can check out. I’ve listed some of them here:
Ground Floor, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, Lahug
Banilad Town Center and Raintree Mall
Skyrise 2, IT Park, Lahug
The Greenery in Mabolo
Insular Square, Mandaue City and Cebu Yacht Club
*Header photo by Scott Pacaldo. Other photos by Rusty Jorbina.