Back when I was on the student’s side of the yoga classroom, teachers always seemed so impenetrable in their calm happiness, and sometimes even, otherworldly. Now that I’m a yoga teacher myself, I can tell you all with full confidence and honesty: we can be just as crazy, unhinged, insecure, uncool, basic, and normal as everyone else on the planet.
And you can bet the teachers in Manila have a lot of the Filipino quirks you can think of too 😉
In an attempt to demystify yoga teachers and the seeming perfection of their practice as seen through social media, I’m starting a series on my blog not-so-creatively entitled “Yoga Teachers of Manila.”
With grace and honesty, yoga teachers share with us their struggles, their funny “un-yogi” moments, and what keeps them on their mat as a teacher and as a student.
So happy to be doing this and so happy that teacher Ria Tirazona has agreed to answer our questions for this first post.
A little bit more about here on the Yoga+ website: “In 2012, I took my 300 Hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training under the supervision of Anna Carbonell, Clayton Horton and Moching Yip. I am also certified as a Kids and Family Yoga Teacher by Rainbow Kids Yoga and I hold a Level 1,2, and 3 certification by Radiant Child® Yoga, where I was trained to work with children with special needs. In December 2013, I came back to the practice that began it all for me, and completed my 100H Yin Yoga Training in Singapore. I received my certification from Victor Chng, director of Yin Yoga in Asia. My next goal is to become a yoga therapist, and at present I have completed a 50H SmartFlow® Teacher Training Intensive on Older Adult, Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga.”
A lot more about her in her own words below 🙂
♥ How long have you been teaching yoga?
I’ ve been teaching since November 2012.
♥ With what studios?
Presently, I teach at Yoga+ Makati and BGC and Yogaplus Express Manila
♥ What kind of yoga do you teach?
I teach yoga therapy, yin, and vinyasa. I love teaching basics!
♥ What’s your personal practice like?
I struggle with a home practice, I must admit.
It’s really tough for me to keep focused and motivated on my own. I try to go to class as often as I can, but as it often is the case, I don’t get to practice because there’s no class during my free time! Hehe. When I don’t get to do an asana practice, however, I take my yoga off of the mat with some mindful walking with my dogs. Also, since I spend a lot of time in my car, I use that as a mindfulness practice. My most consistent personal practice is that of my gratitude journal, which I’ve been doing since April 13, 2011. I think I’ve only skipped three days (maybe max 5) since then!
♥ Do you ever get unmotivated in your practice? How do you deal with it?
Oh yes. Especially after injuries.
It depends. Sometimes I barrel through it and hope desperately that I find motivation again. Other times I take a break for a while and explore something new, then I am able to come back to it.
♥ What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you in a yoga class?
Hmmm. Other than weird cues? I guess it was that one time i was trying to demo utplutihih to a group of friends and I let out a fart as I lifted. Hehe. Buti nalang it wasn’t a real class but just a private with friends!
♥ Can you remember a funny or weird thing you said in a class that surprised even you?
Just the typical weird cues.
I’ve said kick your hands to your feet once. Another I said: slowly reach your right ear to your left shoulder when cuing a neck stretch!
Sometimes i catch myself saying inhale to breathe in, exhale to breathe out. Rawr. Hehe.
♥ Can you share any roadblocks you had in your practice and how you got through them?
I don’t know if this is really a roadblock per se, but not being able to do inversions because of structural limitations/issues in my body. This used to frustrate me. Before I used to force myself to learn it. After all, practice and all is coming diba? But finally in one of my therapy trainings it clicked: there are things that can handicap you. While it doesnt mean you can’t do the pose, it means you may need extra support or props to get into it safely. So I really work on modifying and finding the best way for it to work for me, and that idea of individual differences is what I share in my classes.
♥ Why do you continue to teach yoga?
Its such a privilege to share the practice of yoga. I continue to teach because yoga has gifted me with so much and it is selfish not to share that with others
From all of us, thank you Teacher Ria 🙂 If you have any questions for her, you can get in touch via the details below.
Her website: Archetypes and Asanas