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_dsf0432There’s nothing better than having a buddy beside you at the mat; somebody to drag you down to the studio when you’re feeling lazy, and somebody to trade notes with after every session.  Luckily for mother and daughter pair, Jane (52) and Mika (28), they’ve found that buddy in each other. “It’s like having a friend come along,” says Jane, who initially started yoga to heal a bad back. Mika, for her own part, needed a little time for herself, away from the stresses of work. The two, who have always been close, use yoga as a means to bond and set aside time for each other. They share an enviable relationship; a bond obviously held together by fondness and mutual respect. Together, they navigate their yoga practice, learning about where it can take them in and out of the mat.

How long have you been with Yoga+? Is yoga something you do together?

Mika: I started around 2014. I dragged her along with me after a few months so that she could practice around Makati. When I still worked there, we’d both attend classes together, usually Hot B. She’s more into hot classes. But after recently moving to BGC, we only get to practice together during weekends and holidays.

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What’s it like practicing together?

Jane: It’s nice! It’s like having a friend come along.

Mika: And after, parang meron kang sharing session. We’d share tips and exchange what we’ve learned.

Jane: I’d say “I can do this pose now!” or “I can touch my forehead to my knee!” Things like that. Or I’ll tell her stories from the class, like Ryan teaching me something, and I’ll share that with her.

Why did you start doing yoga?
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Mika: Because of the stress of my work. I work in Marketing, as the Brand Manager of Lactacyd. So it’s long hours and a very unhealthy lifestyle. I needed something to help me de-stress. That’s how it worked; just finding an exercise that I can do regularly. Yoga, for me, isn’t just about losing weight.

Jane: Losing weight, having a toner body, it’s all really just a bonus. You do it because you enjoy doing it, because it’s fun; (because of) every milestone that you’ve achieved. I can say that I’ve improved a lot.

I’m not really an exercise person. I don’t go to the gym. But a few years ago, every time I had my physical exam, my blood cholesterol would always (be a problem). The doctor advised me to change my diet and to start exercising. When I enrolled at the gym, I couldn’t do a single push up. My back was very bad and I had stiff shoulders. The gym suggested that I go to therapy so I joined the yoga class there. It was difficult at first. I’d cheat at chaturangas because my back was so bad.

Yoga in the gym is so different from yoga in the studio! The first time I went to Yoga+, I joined the hot class.

That’s intense! How did you feel?

Jane: I had already developed endurance because I was doing hardcore Zoomba at the gym. But the first time I entered a hot room, I wanted to run away. I felt so miserable. I managed to finish the class but I told myself I wouldn’t go back.

The second time I did it again, I thought, “Why am I torturing myself? This is too difficult!” I managed to finish the class again and told myself I wouldn’t do hot class anymore, so I did Flow for a while. One day, I decided to try Hot Yoga again and I started to like it. And now it’s my favorite.

What is it about the Hot Classes that you like so much?

Jane: Maybe it’s because when you sweat a lot, it feels detoxifying. My body gets toned more in the hot classes. And I seldom get sick. This year, I never caught a cold or flu.

Mika: She used to complain a lot about her back before, and it was a recurring thing. But now, it’s much better.

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How has your relationship with yoga grown, compared to when you first started?

Mika: Now, it’s really a part of our routine. We plan our free days around it. We’ll go together and then make a day out of it, like eat and go somewhere else. But basically, it starts with what class do we want to take that day. It’s really our bonding activity.

What are your favorite classes?

Mika: I usually attend different classes. There’s something about each one that I enjoy. I like how Hot C really challenges you, to the point where you feel like you can’t do the pose anymore. But when you try it, you realize that although you might not do it perfectly, you see that kaya pala eventually. I like also, Hot A and Hot B because of the routine. You get to practice it and really immerse yourself and improve on it. Flow, because it’s dynamic. You learn something new in each session. Each class has its own benefits.

What do you think are the biggest changes in your body, mentally or physically, since you started yoga?

Mika: I think, more than the physical benefit, it teaches you how to not panic when you’re in a difficult situation. In yoga, you encounter all these difficult poses that make you want to give up. But it has taught me that all those difficult positions end at some point. So you just have to breathe through it. Stick to it and eventually it ends. That’s something I try to carry on even when I’m outside the mat.

Jane: Pretty much the same. I used to be bothered by the heat, but now I concentrate on the pose and doing it right. The heat doesn’t bother me anymore.

What’s your favorite achievement or milestone in your practice?

Mika: What I’m proud of the most is probably my endurance. I can’t do all the poses perfectly, but I try to at least finish the class and push myself as much as I can. Every time you go to yoga, there are always small wins.

Jane: Same. There are times during practice, when you’re sitting beside somebody younger, and he’s already in child pose, resting, but I’m still going strong, considering my age. I’m more flexible now.

Mika: I’m proud of her, promise! Sometimes, she’ll do better that most people my age.

You both have demanding jobs. How do you both manage to find the time and energy to go to class three times a week?

Jane: It’s already a lifestyle for me. I have to do it at least two times. Parang kulang kung wala.

Mika: And if you don’t do it for a week, you feel less strong the next time you do yoga. You feel the difference. I tend to have long work hours, and despite that, I sometimes still drag myself to the studio—and I feel good afterwards. I think that’s why it helps that we go together, because if one feels lazy, the other will drag her along. That’s the beauty of having someone to practice with.

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