One night, fifteen years ago, Lea was flipping through the channels on her television, looking for a movie to help her destress from her job as a financial adviser in one of the country’s top insurance companies. Instead, her channel surfing took her to a show on yoga, which kept her glued until the end. Watching the gentle flow of yoga poses helped relieve her stress, which kept her tuning in to the show regularly, until she found herself practicing yoga. “I fell in love with yoga since then. I loved how it had a holistic approach to health, focusing on both physical and mental abilities.”
For ten years, she dabbled with yoga until five years ago when she decided to make it her daily practice. “At that time, I was feeling exhausted and stressed. My body was pleading for a break. I decided to focus on myself.” With her regular yoga practice, Lea discovered a more focused way of thinking, and with this clarity came the realization of what she wanted to do with her life. “Two years ago, I decided to go to Vietnam to undergo training so I could be a yoga teacher. Our yoga class had five teachers, which we called masters. We would start our practice with pranayama, or breathing exercises coupled with meditation. It taught me to focus on my breath and to be still in the present. In the stillness, I could hear what my mind and body were telling me.”
Her six-month training certified Lea as a yoga teacher. Because of the pandemic, Lea holds online yoga classes, not just for Filipinos, but also for friends she made in Vietnam. At the same time, she supports her husband in developing an organic vegetable garden in Rizal. He focuses on growing high-nutrient fruits and vegetables that complement Leah’s yoga practice. Though Lea is living proof of yoga’s ability to help regulate blood pressure, fight insomnia and support the body’s natural healing process, she finds that the most important thing she gained from her practice is mental strengthening. “A weak mind can’t carry a strong body, but a strong mind can carry even the weakest body,” she shares. “A strong mind will keep you stable and grounded. It gives you the power to cope with stress.”
This October 14, Lea will share simple breathing and meditation exercises in Panahon TV’s much-awaited webinar, Peace of Mind during the Pandemic, which also features psychiatrist Dr. Rowalt Alibudbud, and Dr. RJ Naguit, chairman of the Youth for Mental Health Coalition, Inc.
From this webinar, Lea hopes that participants will learn to let go of things they can’t control. “Stress is inevitable, but what’s more important is that you know how to manage it. If you’re on a continuous fight-and-flight mode, you’ll get sick. Gentle yoga helps release the tension with mindful poses. Just by focusing on your breath, you honor your body, allowing acceptance, awareness and letting go. When you do this daily, you develop a calm state of mind. It’s a powerful tool to manage everything that’s happening in the world today.”
To register for the webinar, click here: https://panahon.tv/webinar/index.php