The Poetry of Rest

I booked my ticket to Goa, India last October 2019 to get my yoga teacher training (YTT). I already had my suitcase, my yoga mat and a mindset ready for the life that is about to change me.

Then in December 2019, an outbreak in Wuhan, China leaving several people lifeless on the streets. My flight has a stopover in China before I fly to India. I emailed the organizer to ask for a refund (they understood and gladly returned my payment) and cancelled my flight.

November 2019, when my friend and mentor in Pranalaya, Baguio City offered me to take her yoga teacher training that will start the same period that will run from January to April 2020 (India YTT was supposed to start January 6 to February 3, 2020) and I immediately said yes.

I repacked my things and got ready by the turn of the year.

The World’s Longest Lockdown Started on March 2020

We just finished our third module on the first week of March 2020. We are about to finish by the first week of April and we are almost there. Then, on March 12, 2020, the President ordered a nationwide lockdown effective March 15 as COVID-19 has officially infected the country. I only got home the weekend before the announcement and so I ran to the bus station to get my return ticket and will leave March 13. I returned to Baguio with the will to finish the YTT and not be affected by the pandemic.

By mid-March, Pranalaya decided to temporarily hold the program until there is a sense of normalcy. I got stuck in Baguio for another 4 months.

Lockdown Dilemma

During that time, I also just got my full dose of anti-depressant. I was alone in the room most of the time. Even the internet was not enough to satisfy my loneliness, even the daily video calls with my family in Manila gave me this longing for contact.

By June, finally my psychiatrist has given me an online counselling and asked how I could get my meds as there were a lot of confusion in the national and local government and health officials who could go out. Good thing there was a service in Baguio who could get and delivery my meds.

Eventually, the city has permitted individuals who are not permanent residents to return to their hometown. I was lining up on July to get my medical clearance and I had my last online call with my psychologist.

I returned home last July 2020.

Hybrid YTT

Pranalaya reopened the program and under the updated rules from Yoga Alliance, our program became virtual. We finished the program by end of August 2020.

The YTT not only became a retreat but also an awakening of my priorities. I dedicated 2020 to reorganized my programs and how I teach and coach in fitness, and now with yoga.

Enter Restorative Yoga Teacher Training

The pandemic has made me scouring the internet for continuing education for yoga teacher training: trauma-informed, yoga for mental health, yoga medicine, even yoga therapy (recently Yoga Alliance clarified the yoga therapy course).

Then I received a message from one of the founders of Medicale Yoga Institute, Viel Olegario and offered Restorative Yoga Teacher Training, I grabbed it and joined.

My mini graduation

This course has happened to most of us in the worst time of our lives. Most of us felt alone and it was really great to see a huge turnout of this first batch of the course by Medicale Yoga Institute with Teachers JC, Viel and Alex.

The students composed of studio owners, doctors, psychiatrists and yoga students. Photo courtesy of Teacher JC.

It was a healing worth having and I strongly recommend this to yoga teachers and students who do not only want a continuing education in yoga but also who wanted a real change and recovery from present and future trauma.

Thank you Teacher Viel for considering me. Thank you Teacher JC for such a profound talk on the philosophy of yoga. Thank you Teacher Alex because I felt your embrace and your courage to move on amidst your recent loss. Thank you classmates for holding a warm space for everyone.

Gratitude to you and praying for blessings to you and your group.

I carry you in my heart and while I currently offer restorative yoga to my family and close friends, I hope to offer it to public maybe after a year of private practice.

Watch out for more courses of Medicale Yoga Insitute on their Facebook page.

To get a peek of what Restorative Yoga is, you may click here for some sources.

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