Many moons ago, I discovered the love of moving. Hearing music, in the real world or in my head, I would twirl, prance, and walking on my tip toes was what I did all the time. My parents put me in ballet lessons when I was four and I haven't stopped moving since. Growing up, I explored dancing different styles - ballet, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop and even Filipino folk dancing. I loved performing, creating, sharing the movement on stage, and creating space for the audience to feel. Competitive dancing turned to professional dancing - I thought that was my path.
I was using my friend's yoga studio Sanguine Yoga, in Calgary, Alberta just to choreograph my solos for "So You Think You Can Dance Canada." I would be there all afternoon when there were no yoga classes scheduled. I would just dance, play, create. Frank let me use the studio space for free.. What a gem! I wanted to help clean the space in exchange for his generosity. So, I joined the Karma Team: an energy exchange where people "work" at the studio and get free yoga. Then Frank was like, "Why don't you try yoga? You get it for free..!" I was like, "Sure. Why not?" I hated yoga the first 3 times doing it... I was like, "Why are we holding this pose soooo long?" As a dancer, I just wanted to move! Then there was a 30 day challenge at the studio and my ego was like, "Ouuuu.... a challenge! Let's see if I can do it." There is something about putting a sticker next to your name that is so satisfying. Anyway, after showing up on my mat consistently for 30 days, I fell in love with the practice. I felt the benefits of feeling stronger, more flexible, and easefullness in the mind at the end of each class. I would completely let go in my savasana and wake up when the room was completely empty. The floating feeling after every class was my favourite.
A couple of my yoga teachers in Calgary would ask, "When are you going to start teaching?" I would say, "Nope, not for me. I am going to focus on dancing and performing. That's what I want to do." So I did. Went to L.A. for a bit, explored New York for a couple of months. And NYC was where I wanted to relocate. Worked with a lawyer, figuring out how to get my O-1 Visa - then realizing that I needed to build my resume. So, I moved to Toronto. Stayed in my country where I was legal. Did a couple of music videos, web series, commercials... had the most random jobs to pay for my survival in my transition to the big city. Yoga is what kept me sane.
I got a job with lululemon and their benefits program allows the employees to take free yoga classes a couple times a week. That is when I felt like I was beginning to get my footing in place. I would explore different studios, teachers and then I went to Ahimsa Yoga Centre on one Sunday morning and it changed my life. The room was packed with many different souls, but the vibration in the room brought tears to my eyes. The feeling of connecting to something outside of myself, the connection to others, the connection to the Divine big picture is what I experienced in that moment. It was that very moment, I knew in my body, mind, and heart that I just discovered the true meaning of yoga - union or connection.
Then one day, I needed guidance. I was having a midlife crises, which I usually have weekly. I went into a restorative yoga class with one of my favourite yoga teachers with the intention: "Angels, please let me know what's next... I am ready to move forward.." I didn't get any Divine messages during the practice, but as soon as the class was done, the first thing he said to me before saying anything was, "When are you going to start teaching?" I knew that was the answer loud and clear! That was the third time someone had asked me. 3 different teachers, 3 different times, same question and weird thing was that my best friend Reggie was there every time witnessing the moment unfold. So that is when I chose to dive in. I chose to develop the practice of yoga. I did my yoga teacher training at Ahimsa Yoga Centre, in Toronto and the rest is history.
It is funny how life unfolds. I had zero intentions of becoming a yoga teacher, but now every cell in my body, mind, heart knows that this is where I belong. Thank you, Universe. Thank you!