fitness • madness

28 Mar


i don’t consider myself a health buff. or a sports buff. but you’d think i was when you read the list of all sorts of activities that i’ve taken an interest in and spent a considerable amount of time learning: swimming, tennis, aikido, capoeira, (and now, yoga and zumba). the funny thing is, keeping myself in shape, so to speak, was never my motivation or reason for learning these disciplines . . . i just thought they were fun and interesting to try out and grew to really enjoy and love them.

i first got into swimming because it was part of my elementary school’s sports curriculum. even as a kid, i had always loved the water, so any excuse to jump into a pool, and i was happy. the sheer amount of time i spent in the pool was probably what gave my teacher the idea to train me for the swim team, which i was a part of for the next year or so. in my second year in high school, we were given two choices for physical ed: fencing or aikido. the latter called out to me, and for the next three years, i worked toward getting my yellow and green belt (or was it the other way around?)

then came capoeira. aahh, capoeira. everything else is a far second to it. nothing else can compare. the beat, the music, the dance, the songs, the acrobatics,the movement—simply beautiful. the combination of martial arts, dance, and music was enough to keep me gaga over capoeira in college. in fact, weekends saw me spending almost 5 hours each day in training! sadly, after graduation, work took up most of my time, and gradually, i found myself having less and less time for it.

fast forward 5 years (yes, for 5 years, I was close to sedentary. oh, how i regret those years!). yoga fever suddenly hit cebu, and everyone and their aunt was trying it out. truth be told, i was initially a yoga hater. i mean, coming from a capoeira background that was so lively and active, i was so suspicious and hesitant about doing yoga. i thought to myself, “an hour of just sitting down, quietly at that, and just . . .  breathing and what-not? how is that fun? sorry, not for me.” eventually though, too many friends invited me to join, and i finally succumbed to their prodding. and you know what? i DON’T regret it. (come to think of it, i have syl and meg to thank for it.) yoga is not at all what i expected it to be. it’s . . .  different, very different from everything that i’ve done in the past. at first, my reasons for joining yoga was mainly for my health. i was overweight, and it just got to the point where i just wasn’t happy with what i was doing to my body. in any case, i had heard that yoga was a great way to slowly get back into an active lifestyle because you worked at a pace you’re comfortable in. it became a way for me to reintroduce my body to stretching and exercising and for my muscles to get used to the idea of being worked out, haha. soon, however, it also was a de-stresser for me. no matter what’s on my plate for the week, i always find the time for yoga, most especially on those days when the burden of the world seems to rest on my shoulders. those days, i NEED my yoga. and if you’re someone who likes to push and challenge yourself, yoga is great for you too. there are too many reasons why yoga has become a part of my daily grind and not enough space for me to expound on it [note to self: could be another blog post]

finally, let’s segue to zumba. yoga and zumba. two totally different worlds, but i have to say, they both work for me. i tried out zumba coz one of the gyms close to my office decided to offer classes, and the schedule didn’t conflict with our yoga sessions, so me and my friends wanted to try it out. suffice to say, it’s something we’ve come to love as well. the high energy and the very danceable songs (i love me my samba and hiphop) is a perfect combination. a much, much better, updated, and more fun version of the 80’s-style workout. 🙂

it’s been almost a year since i first sat on my mat and greeted our yoga teacher with a “namaste” and danced at my first zumba class. i hope my interest in both doesn’t wane anytime soon. i hope to be doing this for a long, long time.

next stop? poi dancing. hmmm…


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