Jan 1, 2014
Fab People: Vaibhav Rana (Veer)
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
I first heard of Veer as a man schooled in Pranayama - the esoteric process of manipulating the subtle life-force of this universe by regulating the breath. Having experienced the Superman-Effect through a half-day of doing pranayama a few years earlier on my own, I've always been curious what it's like to learn this ancient art from a qualified teacher. I searched for Veer until I started attending his yoga workshops back in 2012. I've only attended 2 of his workshops before I left Cebu, but I knew I wanted him to be one of my teachers. Now that I'm back in Cebu after a year of absence, I am only grateful that he has taken me again under his fold.
Vaibhav Rana (Veer) is close to being a renaissance man - EFR Rescue Scuba Diver trainer, ex-commercial flight instructor, Red Cross certified Safety instructor, mountaineer, marketing man, fitness coach and yogi. He has several degrees and excels in just about everything he dips his fingers on. As a highly intelligent man, he can articulate his broad knowledge-base from the countless books he has devoured. He has schooled himself in many aspects of yoga - asana, pranayama, bandha, mudra, philosophy, history, etc. What he read, he practiced. His knowledge is equaled by his proficiency in the practice. He is strong - in physical strength, in his conviction, in his discipline and with his sheer presence. When he starts talking at the start of a yoga session, he doesn't stop. He keeps talking. But every word he utters is golden - you couldn't dump anything away. You only hope that you remember all the adages, techniques, tips and information he throws at you.
Here in Cebu where he resides, he has become a controversial figure - like him or hate him. You can't stay in the middle. He is admired for his wealth of knowledge (he is practically a walking encyclopedia), his high-level practice and his take-it-to-the-limit style of teaching (which particularly appeals to me). In Cebu's culture of gentle persuasion, he could be too much. His detractors find his off-the-cuff remarks, misplaced. His mattter-of-factly bashing of things that don't make sense to him and his aggressive style of teaching (different strokes for different folks) come on too strong for the local culture's genteel demeanor - Cebuanos are cariñoso (warmly affectionate) by nature. Take it or leave it - he makes no apologies for his uniqueness.
In this day-and-age of politically-correct posturing, he comes as a fresh sigh of relief. When you ask him a question, he won't give you a 'safe answer'. He'll say it like it is. You don't have to read between the lines. If shit hits the fan, then so be it. I would liken him to the rare individual who say, "the emperor has no clothes". You may not necessarily agree to what he has to say, but you have to give him credit for raw grit and honesty.
He's the equivalent of a drill sergeant. He'll push you to your limit to bring out the best in you. You'll be humbled at the many things you couldn't do, but you'll feel progress after every session. Your growth is exponential. I never felt that it was about his ego (despite how a few may perceive him). And yes, he's not for everyone. Either you hang on to him or leave in search of a gentler progression. If you are looking for a 'Yang' teacher, you can end your search with him.
Veer teaches with planned-expendability but he'll teach you everything you need to know - he is generous. When you have learned enough to be on your own, he doesn't want you hanging around for guru worship. He wants you out to pursue your practice and make room for other students. In his parlance, "I am not your massage therapist." The teaching process renders himself expendable. To me, expendability is the acid-test for a true teacher - ensuring the practice and discipline will outlive him, through his students.
- don't follow other people's yoga
- if you're not engaging your breath and bandhas during asanas, you're not doing yoga, you're doing gymnastics
- evolve or perish (if you can't keep up with emergent technology)
- there are only 2 kinds of people who cannot learn yoga - the lazy and those who do not want to change anything in their lives
Despite the controversy surrounding him, I maintain that a lot of it is cultural. He could bash one thing and praise it the next for other positive attributes - he has no axe to grind...just calling a spade, a spade (from his viewpoint). You'll be hard pressed to find someone else as good as him, as dedicated and impassioned as him and as knowledgeable as him. With his scheduled return to India, his days in Cebu is numbered. Good riddance perhaps to some, but a tragic loss for Cebu and to those who appreciate what he puts on the table. When that time comes, I will very sorely miss his presence.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
Reader Comments:Bernadette Wan Pacana
(Jan 10, 2014) I so love this article Gigit!
(Jan 10, 2014) What an interesting comment on the frequency you operate at, that this is the kind of individual you draw into your world... I'm not surprised.
(Jan 10, 2014) Totally agree! You articulated it well!:) Love him or hate him! One of the best yogi I know in cebu!!:) I am grateful that I met this wonderful being.
(Jan 10, 2014) Awesome write up!!!
Dunia Delos Reyes
(Jan 10, 2014) wow!!! breath taking write up Gigit!!!
Veer (Vaibhav Rana) Blogs
- Thank You Cebu, til the Next Time Oct 21, 2013 - May 15, 2014
- Leveling Up: Veer-Yoga with the YogiVeers Apr 11, 2014
- Yoga Immersion with Veer (Vaibhav Rana) Mar 5, 2014
- Hiatus Feb 22, 2014
- Demystefying Ashtanga Yoga Feb 13, 2014
- Shifting Yoga Paradigm Feb 12, 2014
- Abundance in Cebu (Part 2) Feb 11, 2014
- Crossroads Jan 20, 2014
- Deepening the Yoga Practice in Cebu Jan 12, 2014
- Fab People: Vaibhav Rana (Veer) Jan 1, 2014
Cebu City, Philippines
More Information about Cebu City
Suggested Destinations in Cebu
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
Next stop: New Year Yoga at Dragonfly Yoga Studio
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