MANILA, Philippines — With the year about to end, I reflect on the things that have worked for me and yoga is definitely on the top of the list. As a “yummy mummy” of two very active boys, managing my home, home business Indigobaby (www.indigobabyshop.com) and Flow Retreats, I’ve turned to yoga countless times to find solace and sanity.
Here are five reasons why yoga has saved my life:
1. Yoga keeps my mind, body and soul focused on the here and now. In a time of multi-tasking and a million and one demands for this wonder woman, practicing yoga has taught me how to zone into the moment and celebrate the here and now. It takes practice and effort to calm the mind, but I am a work in progress and enjoy how yoga puts me in a good place — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am blessed to be immersed in the yoga lifestyle, which advocates all things good. It not just stretches and tones, but also strengthens beyond the physical level of exercise.
2. It is one hour of self-care and self-love that we all deserve. For me, 2017 was learning to take care of and be more loving towards myself. After all, as the saying goes, we cannot give from an empty cup. As yummy mummies, we tend to put our needs last and give, give, give, only to find ourselves depleted, cranky and unhappy. Getting myself to a yoga class, or any self-care ritual, for that matter, is a gift I give myself. Yes, there may be some mommy guilt initially, but I always end the class with joy in my heart — happier, healthier, and in a better space to be the sunshine lady that I am.
3. Yoga is a sure-shot, all-natural cure for anxiety and depression. Yoga is union and connection. It connects us to the present moment through breath work and meditation. It reduces stress and promotes relaxation. There was a time when I found myself waking up anxious and this would go into an ugly cycle of feeling low and depressed throughout the day. I found that there is a very thin line where I can will myself into a yoga class and let the magic happen. More often than not, I get exactly what I need for that moment. There are also certain yoga poses that release anger and fear. In fact, I have found myself crying at the end of some yoga classes as a form of cleansing that I needed. Movement plus proper nutrition all help to make things better.
4. Yoga promotes better sleep. Like children, we need to release energy so that we can rest better at night. Integrating yoga asanas and poses as part of your daily exercise routine gets your blood pumping, heart thumping and helps with digestion and all other bodily functions that we need to stay healthy. In line with this, we will improve the quality of our sleep — one aspect that is very essential to keep the mind and body in tip-top condition. As I get older, I really value my sleep and I’m sure every yogi will attest to better quality of sleep due to yoga. Better sleep makes me a better person ready to face the world when I greet the morning sun!
5. Most of the nicest people I know do yoga or practice a yogic lifestyle and outlook on life. People I’ve met on the mat are usually likeminded, enlightened beings — people who want to improve themselves and be better humans. They are concerned with themselves as part of this grand master plan, so they are old souls and forward thinkers. As one of the organizers of Flow Retreats, I’ve made many awesome friends throughout the years, some of which are fondly called my Far-Out-Friends, a.k.a. FOFs. These are the #fierceladiesandgentsofwellness or wellness warriors.
“Most of the nicest people I know do yoga or practice a yogic lifestyle and outlook on life,” says Gonzales-Bernardo.
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Flow Retreats offers a “Tune Into You” wellness retreat from Dec. 28-30 at Kahanamoku Bed and Breakfast in Baler for three days of yoga, Pilates, Reiki, meditation and vegan meals.
Beyond Yoga, Manila’s premier yoga studio, is bringing home Australia-based yogini Anna Carbonell for a 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training from Jan. 26 to March 18, 2018. Early-bird rate for tuition is extended until Dec. 31. Please use promo code BEYONDxPHILSTAR to avail of a P1,000 discount on the tuition.
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You can reach the author @indigoyummymummy.
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