In the second quarter of 2014, a colleague suggested that I try Zen meditation. Intrigued, but not knowing how, I did a Google search and Sr. Sonia Punzalan’s name appeared. There were other links but somehow my attention was drawn to wherever her name would appear.
Back in 2014, my sister Joy said, "You need some form of regular exercise. Why don't we try yoga? My friend Elena is training to be a yoga instructor and needs students to practice with." I said, "But I'm not limber or flexible! And do we have to wear expensive yoga outfits?" Joy said, "No, you just need to be willing. Wear a t-shirt, and shorts that expose your knees." I was 47 years old then, and out of shape, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to try.
It was along the stairway of Shoppersville that I first saw the notice for Iyengar yoga classes. I called up the contact number and then formally met Elena. I introduced myself and said I was interested in attending her yoga classes. I think this was in 2016. The first classes I attended were held in her house and the Moro Lorenzo Gym,
Before the lockdown began, I had no idea that taking an online Iyengar yoga class was even possible. But with the nation in various stages of quarantine, yoga studios have had to reinvent themselves to maintain relevance and keep their businesses afloat. Most yoga classes are now via Zoom.
I had mixed feelings when I joined the Beginners’ Class at the Sankalpa studio. People were warm and welcoming but I was so insecure because I’ve always lived a sedentary life. With a history of rheumatic fever in primary school that exempted me from Physical Education (ergo, marked as fragile by my family), I am what you’d consider lampa.
Denial, that the lockdown was going to happen—and hope, that the lockdown will end soon—were the initial emotions I had in March. For the first few weeks, most of us did some pocket gardening, cleared out cabinets, and endlessly flicked the TV remote for binge-worthy Netflix shows. Then, yippee! Sankalpa Yoga classes via Zoom eventually became the highlight of each week.