366 Gratitude Community Yoga is my personal commitment to share yoga at the local/grassroots and community levels through personalized community yoga sessions, online accompaniment and support. As a peace practitioner and conflict transformation educator, I am fortunate to get to travel to different countries for longer periods of time, where I am able to share yoga as an empowerment practice to smaller communities and groups. It is a community because a studio is not necessary to be able to share and raise awareness about yoga – a group of people coming together in a shared space, sometimes in nature, has great potentials!
One of my main motivations for setting up this community yoga scheme is to share my personal journey through yoga – as an empowerment tool, where the physical, technical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts of yoga intertwine. I really want to be able to spread the humility and balance that I learned through my practice.
How I started with community-based yoga.
Living in the small city of Zugdidi in the Samegrelo region in Georgia (the country), I came up with the idea of bringing together a group of women to share with them the holistic benefits of yoga. After introducing basic yoga, we grew into a small support community – empowering each other and keeping each other grounded. Zugdidi was my first community yoga, and the meaningful experience I had up until I had to leave, made me realize that I want to create/encourage small communities where I find myself in – to come together through yoga. Since 2015, I have shared yoga with groups in Azerbaijan (Baku), Armenia (Gyumri), Georgia (Zugdidi), Jamaica (Kingston), Lebanon (Beirut), Spain (Barcelona), the Netherlands (the Hague), Nigeria (Abuja), Panama (Panama City), the beautiful mountains of Romania (Paltinis/Sibiu), and now in the Philippines. I plan to continue doing community-based yoga awareness, especially in cities and regions where I travel.
My yoga background
I was born and raised in the Philippines and have lived in three continents in the last 10 years, in beautiful cities such as Barcelona, Los Angeles, Zugdidi (Georgia), and in very short-terms in Panama, Jamaica (Kingston), Trinidad and Tobago, Lebanon (Beirut) and very recently in Hawaii. Yes, I call all these places HOME. I am a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor, proud to have completed my RYT200hr at Shiva Yoga Peeth in Rishikesh, India, also known as the ‘Birthplace of Yoga.’ I specialise in yoga for healing, empowerment and therapy. I was privileged enough to have been taught the Sudarshan Kriya – a very powerful breathing technique that eliminates stress, fatigue, negative emotions (anger, frustration, depression) through unique natural breathing rhythms that link the body, mind and emotions. I learned it at a time that I needed it most, and since then, I have been doing the kriya every morning, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have passed the 200-day mark and continue doing it until this very day! It keeps me grounded, energised, focused and relaxed. I have also attended different types of meditation such as dancing and laughing meditation, and continue to improve my meditation practice. I also enjoy doing yoga with children and have guided fun yoga sessions for 3-7 year old kids of friends and family. I hope to specialize in kids yoga someday!
My yoga journey
After 10 years of being introduced to yoga for the first time in university, I re-discovered yoga in 2011 as a healing and self-improvement practice – a safe space that I dedicated myself to since then. Through yoga, I found strength for inner reflection and introspection to change my very hectic and work-centred lifestyle and be happier. The peace work that I do, especially my work in armed-conflict affected regions of the world gave me a meaningful sense of service to humanity, however, it came with drawbacks. Too much traveling and back-to-back training engagements gave me little rest, and soon enough, I had forgotten about myself and my well-being. Thankfully, I realised this sooner than later, and decided to do something about it. I learned (the hard way!) that meaningful service and love to humanity means first and foremost, love of the self. I completely turned around, dedicated the needed time to recuperate and recover from fatigue, and found balance through yoga. When I started yoga again, I became more and more aware about myself and how I had to make balanced choices every single day. The more I practiced yoga, I felt healthier and became more productive at work.
In the summer of 2014, I travelled to Los Angeles for a month and a half to learn different styles of yoga teaching, attending various yoga classes and exploring different methodologies – from core power yoga, ashtanga mysore, ashtanga rocket yoga, hatha and vinyasa flow, hot yoga, iyengar yoga, aerial yoga and kundalini yoga. During that trip, I also explored on different aspects of healthy diet, based on raw food – vegetable and fruit juices.
My yoga teaching
I take on an authentic, flexible teaching style and compassion-centered philosophy in my classes. I like to explore and combine creative sequencing with powerful energy and soulful restorative twist – always focusing on safe and correct alignment and proper breathing.
As a happy and jolly person, I also embed some humor and share a spirit of playfulness and open atmosphere among my students. I love to weave inspiring and insightful wisdom at the end of my classes, inviting students to reflect on their practice, and to allow them to step off the mat feeling nourished and balanced. Sometimes we can do yoga with some music, too.
My teaching is inspired by my own daily yoga practice (usually done at the beach!), and my firm belief in holistic health – of mind, body and soul, and the love of sharing yoga as a way of life, beyond the poses or asanas. More than a sport or physical exercise, I teach yoga as a tool for empowerment – aware of its powerful therapeutic and healing benefits to the human experience.
For more information about community yoga and booking reservations, kindly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All community yoga sessions are donation-based. I appreciate whatever your community or group can offer, including social commitments. I cater to groups between 5-25 people only to ensure quality guidance and support.