If one of your 2016 resolutions was to start being healthier, aka exercising more, there’s still time to fulfill that. It may already be the latter part of 2016, but like they say, better late than never. And the exercise, or should we say, discipline, that we recommend you try out is yoga.
Yoga is the best way to change up your lifestyle into a healthier one as it combines the physical, mental, and spiritual sides of a person. Not only will it nourish your body, but your mind and soul as well.
What’s even better is that there’s now a yoga center in the Philippines, LiFE Yoga, which aims to do just that – bring the physical, mental, and spiritual facets of yoga off the mat and into facets of everyday life! Founded by yogi Noelle Rodriguez’s desire to build a community based on health and wellness in 2015, LiFE takes a holistic approach to wellness by integrating good food, music, art, and a sense of community into the practice of yoga.
So if you want to learn more about this innovative yoga center and the ancient discipline of yoga, keep reading below as we speak to Noelle on the uniqueness of LiFE, how yoga improves one's body, mind, and soul, and her tips for practising beginners!
Lets go back to how it all started — when and how did you first get into yoga? What did you feel during those first moments of practising it?
My first yoga class was I walked into an Ashtanga class back in 2007, and I was quite overwhelmed because there were people and different yogis in different stages of their practice, and so I just jumped right in. From there on, that’s how my practice developed.
You founded LiFE Yoga in 2015; how is it unique from other yoga centers?
At LiFE, we try to focus on the lifestyle [by] bringing yoga into more practical aspects of life. We also try to innovate and infuse creativity in whatever we do. So we’re always trying to fuse together new things.
Being a student of yoga for 8 years and now managing your own studio, how do you keep yourself motivated to keep going?
It’s just really taking it day by day; and it helps to go back to your practice [because] that’s the core of everything. So now, I’m also learning “yoga off the mat,” especially at this point in time.
In your opinion, what do you think is the essence of yoga? How does it improve one’s mind, body, and spirit?
I think it (the essence of yoga) will always go back to the root word, which is “union” – it really does bring together all aspects of your life. It’s kind of like coming back home or coming back to yourself.
Yoga wasn’t always so popular before. With that in mind, what do you think hindered people from trying it out?
I think there was a big perception that yoga was for certain groups; I think it intimidated a lot of people. That’s why here [at LiFE] we try to make it very approachable and fun, and to show that it can really benefit everyone, no matter where you come from or what your background is.
Moving on, what are your tips for yoga beginners, such as what are the benefits of practising it and how can they get the most out of their sessions?
For beginners, it’s really more about being present on the mat. When you focus and you’re really ‘there’ and you come back to your breath, ultimately you’ll get the most out of your [yoga] session.
Being a yoga instructor, do you have any diet or lifestyle advice for those looking to integrate the two into their yoga practice?
At the end of the day it’s really all about balance, so it’s not really about any particular diet. I would say, generally, pick what’s good for yourself and for your body, and again, bringing it back internally and choosing from there – your own internal compass.
Lastly, can you show us your top 5 positions or poses?
The first pose is Warrior One, then the second is Warrior Two, followed by Reverse Warrior, [which] I really like because it’s like flipping your perspective and taking things backwards. The fourth pose is Trikonasana (Triangle) and it’s one of my favourites because I feel really strong and grounded while opening up the body; and lastly, the fifth one is Parsvakonasana.
Excited to try out yoga for yourself? Click here for a list of sessions and schedules LiFE Yoga offers every week!
LiFE Yoga is located at 2/F Eight Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle, BGC, Philippines