Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yoga Loca

It’s been almost four months since Yoga for Life started. Personally, it’s become a habit. Seriously. As in I haven’t missed a class since July, if I‘m not mistaken... except that one Wednesday session they cancelled due to heavy rain. I super duper look forward to yoga every Wednesdays and Saturdays. I actually have a yoga mat of my own now at home... shhhhh! So am I officially yoga loca?

I am now a true believer that Yoga is an excellent form of exercise. It’s non-competitive, so anyone of any fitness level can get into it. The only person you’d need to challenge is yourself. It’s very physical, but it’s about the mind and the spirit as well, so much so, that a strong mind and a robust spirit can bring the body to do things it never before could.

And I think Yoga for Life is a notch above any other yoga. Really, the sense of community is there. From complete strangers, there has grown enough camaraderie within the group. And the liberty with which lines like, “What are you doing here today? Aren’t you a Saturday boy?” and giggles brought about by a solemn chant concierto get thrown around tell me the group is getting tighter.

But regardless of how regular the regulars have become, newbies show up every so often and get the full benefit still. Probably the fact that yoga is such a personal practice helps, in that the camaraderie isn’t as directly important to the practice as self-discipline and self-awareness are. It’d just be abonus. So the degree of fitting in shouldn’t necessarily help or hinder either way.

As part of the group behind Yoga for Life - them more than me - it’s not a heavy thing for us, and it’s still a lot of fun every time. Last Wednesday, while lazing around our yoga mats, we were happy to realize that it’s become stable, and attributed our first quarter of “success” to the fact that we’re working together well as a team and actually taking the work out of “working together”. Yes, that definitely helps. And the good vibes we carry stand a good chance of rubbing off onto the others.

Recently our Yogi Bear and Babe requested some feedback from the participants, both regulars and newbies. I actually was given a piece of paper to write my feedback, but being considered as part of the team behind it, decided otherwise. Me no buhat sariling bangko. But for the others, here’s what they had to say:

• “Yoga for Life has been and still is a life and attitude enhancing experience. It makes you feel part of a community.”

• “It was nice, relaxing and de-stressing. Time worth spent.”

• “There really isn’t much I can say. I am just glad that there is a venue for me to de-stress with the little time that I have. It would be nice though if there are more sessions during the week.”

• “Yoga for Life is a wonderful positive influence in my life. Thanks!”

• “Yoga has helped me to start thinking about the healthy lifestyle and actually start living it. It gave me more focus especially when a normal day turns into a stressful one. It is a very good way of detoxifying...”

• “I feel more relaxed. My headache gone after the session. I enjoyed this.”

• “Since I started yoga, I never had fever. I used to have low-grade fever daily. I never felt so lazy or lethargic since. I feel rejuvenated. It makes me feel whole.”

• “Yoga for Life as a program has been helpful in dealing with daily stress facing and living with HIV. It helps that the community is so normal, even in the reality of HIV. It’s very healing and positive.”

• “All my stress and all the hard thinking has vanished because of this yoga. Love it!”

• “For me, yoga is good for my health and I feel good after doing it. First time I attended this class I told myself that I love doing Yoga for Life.”

• “Relaxing, can ease tension. Looking forward to the next session.”

• “Enjoyed this more than I expected. Twice a week yoga is becoming something I look forward to and prioritize each week.”

Even I couldn’t believe all the good feedback. But considering we used a secret ballot method, then they could’ve well given what violent reactions they had as well. I therefore conclude, yoga is good, good, good.

And yoga has been picking up elsewhere as well. Who else is into yoga? The boyfriend... Wait, did I just say boyfriend?! Whoa... Fine. The boyfriend has started working out as well with a trainer, and yoga is part of his regimen. I’ve invited him to Yoga for Life, but we‘re still working out some details.

He’s been ranting about how much difficulty he’s been having at yoga, which he attributes to his fitness level. As you know, he’s built with a little bit extra as of the moment, which really shouldn’t be a problem. At Yoga for Life, we’re always given options that adjust to our respective fitness levels, so one of these days I’ll try to teach the boyfriend (naks talaga!) what I’ve been learning from our yogis. He’ll get a private session with me... with extra service maybe. Hehehe.

But for those I cannot give private lessons and extra service to - hehehe - the invitation to Yoga for Life is still open. On Wednesday evenings, it’s at 7:00 pm at the 28th floor conference room of the Medical Plaza Building on San Miguel Avenue in Ortigas. On Saturday afternoons, it’s at 2:00 pm at the Echo Yoga Studio in Century Plaza Building on Perea Street in Makati. See you there!

Also check out our Yogi Bear’s new program under the Echo Yoga roster, which aims to immerse liberated men into yoga. Every Thursdays and Saturdays, he leads men stripped from the usual workout outfits and down to their skivvies, into a deeper and more fabulous appreciation of yoga. Check out Yoga Loca at the Echo Yoga website for more details.

1 comment:

InfinityStrip said...


I have been attending the Ortigas sessions for two consecutive Wednesdays already and I must agree with you that it has been very beneficial.

It has helped me understand my body a little more and has allowed me an outlet to deal with the virus in a healthy, productive way.

I always look forward to Wednesday evenings.