16 May Here’s what doing Yoga on the waves feels like
I’ve been practicing yoga since I was 22, which makes me one of the slowest students in my batch as I still cant come into a handstand until now, (so much for my teachers training). I yawn so much in Ashtanga it irks my teachers. I’m mostly absent during summer because I don’t like to practice when it’s hot.
Sometimes I try to be competitive and I’d push myself to be extra in my Asanas but my ego isn’t big enough to sustain such efforts.
One time, a senior teacher commented that he commends that I come to practice just for the sake of it. “You don’t come with the intention to achieve, and you never look at the person next to you.” I remember being mid-20s then and looking at him confused, thinking, “that’s special because…?”
It wasn’t until much later, when I heard some girls gossiping about yoga wear fails, bad alignment and other high-school gibberish, that I realized what he meant—breath in movement is about mindfulness, not jump throughs and contortions nor the damn Lulus. (Ed’s note: Lululemon, a popular line of yoga wear)
So when I was invited to cover a yoga class for Metro.Style in Shangri-La Makati, I had mixed feelings. Don’t we have enough people bastardising Hatha yoga already? Vinyasa pretty much goes with any flow so how different can this be? But I was bored, felt I was getting fat and figured it would be an air-conditioned class so I gave it a go.
Lala proved me wrong. She wasn’t just another fitness coach who wanted to capitalise on yoga poses to sell a program, she actually lives her practice. After finding out that her inspiration for Aquanimous yoga and Aqua Firma was rooted on the teachings of equanimity in Vipassana meditation, I knew it was going to be an authentic experience. Lala married her love for surfing and her background as a yoga teacher to curate a program which strengthens the body and quiets the mind.
Asanas are performed on top of a specialized balance board that Lala herself designed. On top of a solid floor, the paddle board will mimic floating on water. Submerged on a pool, it’s like a real paddle board.
What to expect
With constant practice, one can expect improved coordination and reflex response. Balancing on an unsteady platform requires focus, which stills the mind allowing it to rest on every movement. Better flexibility and mobility. On weight loss, training while balancing your body will engage more muscles than when doing the same exercises on a mat thus burning more calories.
Lala spent years developing a successful sequence that allows her to share what she learned with meditation, surfing and yoga. Aquanimous Yoga and Aqua Firma embodies all three.
Published for Metro.Style