Saturday, January 24, 2015

On Teaching

The past few weeks I have been busy studying and preparing a class presentation because I led two modules at the current Beyond Yoga teacher training. My section was on a BIG topic, Yoga Philosophy: Sutras by Patanjali and the Chakra System. 

Despite agreeing, I first felt inadequate and questioned myself. But as I mentally prepared by studying and put together a multi-media deck for the trainees, I fell in love all over again with being a yoga teacher. Of course, I am first a wife and a mother. But another purpose of mine is to teach and spread the light, ignite the spark that is within all of us.

Posted this a few days ago on my Facebook timeline. I thought it was inspiring. Happy Sunday!

“Truth is the same always. Whoever ponders it will get the same answer. Buddha got it. Patanjali got it. Jesus got it. Mohammed got it. The answer is the same, but the method of working it out may vary this way or that. (115)” -Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

Monday, January 19, 2015

Detoxing at Bahay Kalipay, Palawan

Every year, we do a detox retreat at FLOW for the first quarter to jumpstart your engines! Yes, our bodies are vessels of energy and we want it clear of accumulated unwanted toxins throughout the past year/s. Come join me as I lead this detox retreat at one of my favorite sanctuaries in the Philippines - Bahay Kalipay in Palawan on Feb 19-21 (Chinese New Year long weekend!). Registration is now open at

Let's start the new year with a clean slate :)

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Top 5 Family Friendly Reasons Why Baguio is a MUST

Despite the long arduous travel it took our family to get to our final destination (total of 9 hours in the car hardly without any stops!), we found our refuge at home and enjoyed Baguio for the simple pleasures that this place brings. I'm quite sentimental because childhood holidays were always spent here. 

Here are my top 5 personal family-friendly reasons why Baguio is a must local destination in the Philippines.

Photo taken by my husband at John Hay
1. Pine Trees: Baguio is known as the "City of Pines". While many complain that forestry isn't as it used to be, we still enjoy the scent of pines around town especially in Camp John Hay. I certainly do not see this much trees in any park in Manila!

All this greenery just outside our Ninang Reggie's beautiful home.
2. Fashion: Admit it, we book trips to cold places just so we can wear clothing we don't normally do in Manila! Personally, I was thrilled to dress my baby girl each day during our vacation. And I honestly think babies are less fussy in cooler climates. 

Maya's Microfashion

Thank you to cutieverse for the baltic amber necklace and Lola Suzanne for Maya's top and socks

Thank you to Lola Amy for Maya's headpiece and Lola Suzanne for the outfit!

3. Outdoor activities: Many things are more pleasant in Baguio weather like walking, babywearing, picnic-ing and playing. Without the sweltering heat, we can just enjoy the outdoors longer!

Maya and I babywear using the Saya Baby carrier
My son tries out the slackline outside ROX in John Hay
Picnic on the spot after our morning walk around the village
My family is happy to do nature walks in this nippy weather
4. Mountain Views: Mountains are just marvelous to look at!

This is our breakfast view each day. 
5. Roasted marshmallows: A great family activity by the fire. Not only does the fire warm your bodies and soothes the soul, it also roasts your marshmallows for an after-dinner treat! It isn't healthy, but we break the rules, sometimes :)

Next time we'll do s'mores!
How was your holiday spent with your families? Share your favorite family destinations here!

Monday, January 05, 2015

"Why Did They Crucify Jesus, Mom?"

Last night, my son asked me yet another difficult question, "Why did they crucify Jesus, Mom?" Recently, my son's curiosity about the world has left me grappling for the right answers appropriate for his age. As a Waldorf parent, I understand that children need proper filters for them to appreciate the answers right for their consciousness. So, I asked help from the Waldorf community on how to answer appropriately and here's a very enlightening approach from Susan Quimpo, an Art Therapist and former Waldorf parent :

When my youngest was about 7 or 8, she asked me what Communism was! My answer was: Give me time to think about this. I decided I shouldn't "intellectualize" the topic but at the same time I wanted to give her an honest answer and acknowledge (and encourage!) a budding interest in history. So the best way I could think of (also the Waldorf way) was to treat it like a story, though very simplified of course. I told her a very simplified story of the struggle over land, the Hukbalahap and post World War II Philippines as a backdrop for the rise of communism. It became an animated discussion specially when I was able to include little stories about her grandparents and the War, what Manila looked like, etc. It became less of a discussion on Communism, but the story of three generations of Filipinos from 1935 to martial law.
So for Jesus' crucifixion -- I would choose the story of the Roman Empire, how the king (Caesar) became so greedy for power that he wanted more and more kingdoms to lord over. Link Caesar's greed to the story of the Epiphany, the Three Wise men who decided not to tell Herod (an ally of Caesar) where the Baby Jesus was because the Roman soldiers were killing all infants then because of the prophecy that a baby then born would one day be King, thus threatening Caesar's reign. So when Jesus grew up and became a leader and a healer -- Ceasar and Herod were once again threatened. Thus, Jesus was put to death in a manner used by the soldiers to scare other people who were a threat to Caesar.
Let's leave the spiritual side of the story for later. At this point your son would understand a story that had to do with kings, soldiers, greed and selfishness. Highlight the story of the innocent baby being recognized by the Wise Men and Angels as a King, not just of men but of a singing host of Angels as well. Juxtaposed with an insecure Caesar with all his wealth and soldiers afraid of a baby. In short, less of the gore of the crucifixion and more the magical story of Wise Men from the East following a star.

I shall prepare a story for Santi tonight! 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

How I Spent My Silent New Year

As posted on my Instagram feed, I had a "Silent New Year". Being a parent of two children, one very small and the other quite sensitive to his senses, my husband and I opted to skip the usual festivities and fireworks. We headed home after dinner out with family and did preparations for the upcoming countdown. I nursed my baby, read a story to my 7-year old, said our prayers and then did a few more extras on top of the usual bedtime routine. You can call these the new Manzano family traditions to be done annually :)

  1. We don't usually turn the air-condition on because I prefer negative ions coming in from the fresh air outside but since we were expecting pollution coming in through the windows from the fireworks, we sealed our room shut and turned on the AC!
  2. My husband prepared the ipod and speakers to play soothing music so the baby doesn't get startled from the noise outside.
  3. I used Lavender and Geranium pure essential oils to act as an air purifier and help set the lulling mood for deep sleep. You may get your pure essential oils online from Mountain Rose Herbs.
  4. I fixed a space for my prosperity candles and lit them at 11:30 pm. I intended to blow them when the clock struck 12 midnight but Maya cried wanting to nurse right before 12 so I had to breastfeed her til after a few minutes past 12, so I continued to blow them out around 12:18 instead. 

There is something about the element of FIRE that strikes wonder and excitement not just for children but for me, an adult as well. Fire symbolizes transformation. I've been lighting candles for Shabbat, Chanukkah, Advent and now this.

In Hinduism, Kali is the Mother Goddess associated with destruction and fire. She is a powerful diety because the aftermath of her wrath is always....renewal and regeneration.

The next morning, I laid out the prosperity candles according to height. On the directions of the prosperity candles given to me, it says that the shortest candle will represent the greatest blessing that the new year will bring followed by the rest in succession. While I am uncertain if this would be true or not, I do like participating in these rituals because they signify transitions in time that help me flow.

Here's what the each of the colors mean:

ORANGE: Brightness

BLUE: Peace

GREEN: Money

VIOLET: Material Wealth

PINK: Love / Health

RED: Life

YELLOW: Good Spirit


How did you spend your New Year? Any special traditions from your family? Please share!

For those interested, the prosperity candles were from RSJ candles which you can buy in National Bookstores.


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