Say what, it’s November already?! October has been all about making big decisions and turning new pages. It’s been overwhelming, exciting, and scary. And while life lately has been on ultra speed, I’ve been trying my best to manage myself properly. It’s a struggle, honestly. Focus has been one of the hardest things to get together, especially given my child-level attention span.
Last September, I made it a point to try my best to take things slow for the next few months, practicing conscious awareness and mindfulness. It’s an ongoing process of constantly improving—and that also includes being kind and forgiving to yourself when needed. That said, I think it was pretty timely that I started going to yoga and meditation classes at Urban Ashram Yoga to help better my situation last September.
Bur first, here’s a confession: I took yoga for my P.E. class during my sophomore year in university. It’s not like I intentionally chose it, but I had no choice because my enrollment number was in the horrific far-thousands. It required me leaving Makati at 5:00am to make it to my 7:00am yoga class. My next class wasn’t until noon, so you can imagine a half-asleep me trying to put myself into a state of calm. I ended up in a state of pathetic doom. I almost failed my class—I knew this because at the end of the semester and countless make-up classes later, my yoga teacher asked me what grade I wanted.
(In case you were curious: he gave me the lowest possible letter grade for P.E., but he was kind enough to not mark it as a Withdrawal.)
My friends have also invited me to take yoga classes with them in the past, but I would always make some weird excuse like, “Meh, I’m not flexible enough—I can’t even touch my toes,” or “I might fall asleep”. But last September, I finally gave it another shot. The first class I took was FNR (Flexibility-Not-Required, haha perfect for me!). And I was surprised at myself at how frequently I’ve been practicing, and how much good it does in the present.
Things I have been learning lately thanks to my practice—there is no outside expectation, really, for how far you can reach or how long you can keep a stance. You challenge, work with, and improve on the body you have. But the funny thing is, you are always motivated to do better. It’s also surprising to find out there are so many things you can do that you never thought you could! Beyond the physical benefits of yoga, what I also realized was that it incredibly helps me focus better. (Add to that, there are some poses that really require you to focus all your attention to one point or else you’ll fall!)
The past few months have been pretty challenging, but yoga has been a huge help in keeping me from falling apart. I can get really messy at times because I tend to overthink a lot, but remembering that I am gifted with life—energy and breath—and that I am giving energy to where I put my mind to (may it be positive or negative) keeps me grounded.
What I have also been constantly learning through my practice is that life will always hurl trials and challenges your way, and to successfully navigate through these hurdles is to face them with the right perspective and attitude (easier said than done, but being aware is a start!). It’s not about constantly running away from them, but it’s about choosing the battles that are worth your time and energy.
One of my favourite poses is the warrior because it reminds me to use the right tools and weapons to fight the good fight. A lot of people think that what makes a warrior is the number of downfalls experienced in life. But really, it’s the standing up and starting over that gets us by.
Focus, mediation, and alignment with my centre used to be things that I took for granted. But now, I can see myself gaining more clarity and focus. I always look forward to the next class, and I truly believe everyone should give it a shot.
Mikka is a 20something writer and a new yogi. She likes to travel and read. She writes about food and contributes in food and travel magazines like Pepper.ph, (where she was an Editor), Rogue, Travel Now, The Navigator, and Mabuhay Magazine.