28 Jan Revitalize Your Resolutions 2016 Yoga Event and Up Close and Personal with Guest Yoga Instructor Francesca Regala
“Revitalize Your Resolutions 2016” was a four-part yoga workshop series presented by guest yoga instructor Francesca Regala at the One Yoga Wellness Studio.
She is a U.S. based yoga instructor trained at Yoga Kula in Berkeley, California and has been teaching Tantric, Buddhist, Taoist, and Native American holistic modalities for yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 10 years. She came as a guest yoga instructor upon the invitation of Ms. Jules Ang, proprietor of One Yoga Wellness.
The health and wellness healing, transformation, awakening, and empowering workshops she presented were:
- Grounding – January 22.
- Balance – January 23.
- Freedom – January 23.
- Crystal Bowl Sound Bath and Bhakti Yoga Chants with Lee Grane – January 23.
If you will recall, Ms. Lee Grane from The Voice Philippines was also in Cagayan de Oro on January 22 and 23 for her solo acoustic performance at the Pacifico Boutique Hotel’s E-Bar.
Here are some pictures after event. We did not take pictures during the event so as not to disturb the concentration of the participants.
After the 4th session which was the Crystal Bowl Sound Bath and Bhakti Yoga Chants which was facilitated by Lee Grane, she asked the participants to share how they felt during the session. Based on the feedbacks gathered, most of them felt relaxed, calm, peaceful and relieved of stress during that time. Others describe the experience as strange, something new to try and someone even described it as a form of healing after getting out of the citiscan! Although they had different feelings regarding the experience, overall all of them loved it and revealed they learned a lot from the yoga event.
Francesca Up Close
At first sight anyone could mistake Francesca for a foreigner due to her almost Caucasian complexion. This mistake may be reinforced when she starts to talk since she has adopted the California-American accent of English. However, she is a pure Filipino, born and raised in Makati City. She got her first travel legs in her formative and elementary years when her parents were working and traveling to Australia, Thailand, and New York City. She did finish her elementary and high school in Manila, particularly at the International School. She then finished International Development at the University of Boston in Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Her first experience with yoga was when she started attending a meditation center in Makati back in 1997. At that time she was still working in banking and still fresh out of college. Her mother also was ill with cancer, so she found that meditation was like a sanctuary for her, and eventually she quit her banking job. Her entry into yoga showed her what it was like to contemplate on her own life and how she related to the world around her.
According to Francesca she has had many career paths, one of which brought her through Cagayan de Oro and other parts of Mindanao when she was still doing corporate “international development” projects for DTI-CIC. She would often jokingly refer to her past employments as her “past life.”
When she discovered yoga, it felt like it was a calling, and something that was hidden inside of her all along as a passion. Doing yoga made her feel good with her body, happy in her heart and happy in her mind. Around 2009 Francesca decided that working for the corporate life and being employed gave her no joy so she decided to open her own yoga wellness integration center in Makati. She eventually closed it in 2013 after her business partner moved back to the U.S.
In the U.S. she has been teaching yoga for the past 10 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She started teaching in her off-hours since she was still with the Diplomatic Corps at that time. Both in Manila and in the U.S. she would give personalized yoga instructions or workshops to individuals or in groups.
In a way, yoga made her question what she really wanted out of life, how she really wanted to live her life, and how she wanted to spend her time. For her, she loves yoga because the meditation calms her mind and makes her one with her body rather than her mind and body being separate entities. There is also a oneness with nature. During yoga sessions she loves to connect with people since mostly we are disconnected with the world and the earth around us and with people in particular. When teaching yoga to others she hopes that she can also inspire and stimulate people to feel the same way and that these people can also find the oneness and peace with their minds and body. After all, yoga is all about “mindful awareness” and cultivating peace and happiness with yourself and others.
Basically, yoga isn’t just the physical aspect of postures and positions, but also of being mindful of yourself and the energy that exudes from your body and mind. This is why it has been proven that yoga can often detect an illness long before the physical manifestations, and yoga can also subdue the physical pain and manifestations generated by the illness. Yoga can also be “emotional healing” because it is believed that some illnesses are manifested through the mind’s anger, hatred, anxieties, etc. Thus, calming the mind and emotions can bring the body under control and even prevent some illnesses from occurring.
In one of her workshops she introduced “the yoga of sound” wherein aside from silent meditation one could also use chanting and music to meditate. This is because music is a universal language and can easily connect people with each other.
Anusara or Hatha Yoga
Today, Francesca teaches different yoga modalities in a major Manila yoga wellness center. However, she mostly focuses on “therapeutic yoga” or Anusara or Hatha Yoga. It is derived from the Iyengar yoga and elements of Hindu spirituality and a health-oriented western approach.
Francesca derives happiness and pure joy in sharing yoga with others, especially with the elder people since it seems these are the people more in need of inner peace. According to her the best health benefit derived from yoga is being happy because if the mind is happy and joyful, so the rest of the body follows suit. Youthfulness returns to the mind and body and perhaps may even prolong a lifespan because the body becomes healthier. She describes yoga as a “toolbox” wherein a person now has the “tools” for all aspects of life.
Francesca’s biggest tip for yoga beginners is to first attend a “gentle yoga” class rather than immediately jumping into an advanced class.