Don’t rush off into the future, don’t get stuck in the past. Stay in the present.
We’ve heard this advice before, and while we know this in our hearts, we muddle it in our minds, and I was reminded of this muddling during my yoga practice with True Yoga during my trip to Boracay last week.
True Yoga offers classes taught by Louise (Vinyasa Flow), Nicole (Anusara) or Stacy (Ashtanga Vinyasa) every 9:00 a.m. at the 2nd floor of the popular Boracay Indian restaurant True Food.
One might think it strange that they hold classes on the 2nd floor of the restaurant, but this was a sound decision given that it is idle space to the restaurant during this time, and that this was what our yoga space looked like.
When my friend Louie and I got to the 2nd floor, our teacher Louise Lee greeted us, and took the time to get to know a bit our previous practice before proceeding with the class. 🙂
We were more than sufficiently challenged by the class, but extremely refreshed by it as well. Louise had her own share of quirks as a teacher, but we loved it when she’d insert what I felt were like Power of Now excerpts during the class.
When my arms burned due to repeated vinyasas, or my thighs trembled on prolonged lunge poses, I acknowledged the sensation, and then steadied my gaze towards the window, reminding myself of how fortunate I was to be practicing yoga with such a view and the familiar summer smell of salt water and sunblock.
We were thrilled enough to have practiced there, and casually interview Louise after the class, but we were doubly thrilled when Louise suggested we go to a different side of the island (Bulabog Beach) to continue chatting.
And that time to listen to Louise really proved to be the highlight of my Boracay trip. Louise spoke of her first yoga class in 1999, during a 3-month backpacking trip in India while in Dharamsala, at the foot of the Himalayas. And for her, doing yoga felt like coming home; it felt so familiar to her body.
Upon returning to the Philippines, she couldn’t find yoga studios in which she could refine her practice though, until she found Mandala Spa 2 years later. She then enrolled in teacher training at the Mandala Spa in 2001, packed her bags again for Sivananda at Kerala, India in 2003, and again in 2004. In 2009, with partners Nikki and Stacy’s persuasion, Louise agreed to be part of True Yoga and the three started offering their services in June that year.
She also shared her experience in meditation, and whether or not you’re in the process of developing your yoga and meditation practice, I sincerely hope that what Louise generously shared with us will also help keep you more present:
«Focus on your breath, focus on a mental image, and turn down the volume on the side thoughts. Don’t fight the natural tendency of thoughts to creep in though. Just let them fall away, watching the thoughts. We are not our thoughts. We are not our minds. Who we really are is that still calm. No judgment. That’s the center. That’s who we are. And what keeps us apart or unconnected are our thoughts and our ego.»
Me, teacher Louise Lee of True Yoga, my lucky friend Louie 🙂
Saluting the divine within you,
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2/F, True Food, Station 2
White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
MON-SUN; 9:00-10:30 a.m.
+63 908 140 6615
* Yoga mats may be provided to those who don’t have their own. 🙂