Jan 20, 2013
Holiday Spa Yoga, Davao City
Being at the Right Place at the right Time
With the connections of Jeanne, a yogini friend from Cebu, I got a phone call in Davao that opened doors for me to teach yoga at the city's finest gym/spa - Holiday Spa. I would be replacing teacher Abbie who is Manila-bound for greener pasture. It seems like a Flow for me - something I cannot ignore despite my hesitation. She is leaving the studio with no immediate replacement, and I show up in Davao - what are the odds? Also, despite my aversion to receiving money for yoga (I've always taught for free), I am now low on funds that it would seem arrogant on my part to walk away from a path that's been cleared for me.
Straying Out of the Comfort Zone
It might seem like a logical progression to teach in a gym, but it was actually a petrifying situation. I've never taught yoga to a paying clientele - there was pressure of course. Is my yoga good enough to a critical audience? In teaching free yoga, they can only say 'Thank you' at the end of the session. But to a paying clientele, they can say, 'You suck'. It's a scary but baseless feeling...the body's natural tendency to cling tenaciously to what's familiar and comfortable. The last time I felt this way was during the selection process for Survivor Philippines. I can completely understand why some people would walk away from an opportunity simply out of fear from leaving his comfort shell. It does take courage to break through the ceiling, specially if you have the option to say no.
I insisted on performing yoga twice with the departing teacher to get her validation. I needed that, even though she didn't feel the need for it. It took her over a year to develop the yoga community she would now leave it in my care. It's like being tasked to handle a delicate Fabergé egg. I took it seriously. At some point, I had to say enough walking on egg shells. I'll simply do my own yoga...my own style, my own way. If that doesn't make the grade, at least I faced the challenge. I'm glad she gave me the nod.
My very first class was a full house. The Monday morning crowd was there. There were already set conventions that didn't really resonate with me - music in the background and air-conditioning. The question for me was, whose yoga is it? Is it theirs? or is it mine? It was ours. I was willing to bend back but only to a point I could still enjoy teaching. I asked them to let their breath serve as their music and allow the room temperature to help them build up heat from within. I'm glad they saw merit in that.
The Morning Crowd
I was being allowed into their circle. The morning crowd is its own thing. For their despedida to Abbie, I was invited to come along. We partied at a quaint cottage in Eden overlooking the lights of Davao City. With added elevation, it was also pleasantly chilly. Awesome! It was a poignant farewell party for Abbie who was in tears. I felt privileged to be in their orbit.
It would seem like a shoe-in, but the reality is, the things I had been developing in Davao to sustain my stay never panned-out. Without that underlying support, I had to leave Davao in search of greener pasture myself. I'm saddened too that the yoga community that took over a year to develop may unravel without a yoga teacher. Also, despite full tranparency about my plight, I hope I didn't get their hopes up that I was there to stay. I have no schedule to see them again and it would seem unceremonious that I simply disappear. Sad. If anything, the yoga group was a highlight for me in Davao.
ps - If you want me to participate and write about your yoga studio or your yoga practice, email me. I can also teach a free karma yoga class. No money changes hands. For my complete yoga profile, you can visit this page: Yoga by Gigit
*** Some pictures lifted from the FB pages of the Holiday Spa Yoga group
Committed to healthy living
||F. Torres St., Davao City (~100 meters from J.P. Laurel Ave)
|Phone:||(+6382)222.3041 / (+6382)222.4207
|Facilities:||yoga, gym, spa, sports, physical therapy, cafe, salon
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