FAQs

Yoga Related Questions

It was June 17, 2017 when I first tried a yoga flow. Everyday is different. Sometimes I spend 5mins on my mat, 10mins, 15mins, 30mins, 40mins, or even an hour and more. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter how long you spend time on your mat in one session, but how long can you stay committed with your practice long term. As cliche as it sounds, but consistency is key. Yoga is a lifestyle. 

My first flow was a 5min experience at home, without a yoga mat, just on a rug. I followed Boho Beautiful Life on Youtube and it was their video called "Sore Back Release" as I was looking for relief with my agonizing back pain. It's one of her "5 min miracle" videos on Youtube, and after trying that video, I have never stopped practicing up to this day.

She was heaven-sent for me and I have followed along her yoga videos for 8 months straight without missing a day. Sometimes I only do 5mins, 15mins, or even an hour long depending on my schedule and how I was feeling during those days.

I hopped on my mat at least 3x a day because I used to be in pain almost every hour and yoga was an instant relief for a lot of my pain. That habit of practicing yoga sporadically throughout the day had been ingrained in my lifestyle. I'm a huge believer that only by making it a habit will then turn it in to a lifestyle. A lifestyle that will change your life and you will treasure forever.

I was a cheerleader and a dancer during high-school and college. But I was never into sports. I am not a gym person, not an athlete, but always passionate in flowy-body-movements.

I don't technically follow a certain "yoga type" but I do love Hatha, Vinyasa, and a little bit of Ashtanga practices. Sometimes I'm in the mood for Yin Yoga if I could barely move due to pain. I also love pilates but never really have the best agility so I tend to not finish a full 30min class but instead, I incorporate the pilates moves to a drill when I started flowing intuitively. I love mixing yoga drills in to my flows. 

No, not this flexible but I probably am more flexible than others to begin with because of my cheerleading background where I learned how to do wheel pose, kick up as high as I can, and stretch out my body. So I know those all helped. But everything else that I can do now aside from wheel pose, I learned through my yoga practice.
And oh, I also used to break dance–"baby freeze" which is very similar to fallen angel pose. So I did have one background to an arm balance hehe. It's amazing how our muscle memory works!

 

I never really got drawn into inversions, only until my 6th month of practicing yoga. I saw so many inspiring yogis on Instagram and thought I could also try it myself. So I did. Started with headstands next to the wall and then I fell so hard on the floor, hurt my knees, nothing major but I had knee pain for weeks. This is when I got traumatized from falling and hurting myself. Even up to now, I am still afraid from falling. 
That was the time when I told myself, I will not try it again until I feel that my body is strong enough to perform any types of inversions, and promised myself I will work on my strength more. I took my fall as an inspiration and really worked so hard facing my fear. This was the time that I also started incorporating meditations in my practice. I had to meditate to help myself from working on fear from inversions and also backbends. 
On the 8th month period in my practice, I started headstands again and I've gotten so much stronger, improved on my fear, and the rest was history. My fear from falling made me learn the hard way of pressing my feet up from any inversions. This is why from headstands, to forearms, and hands, I learned how to press up. I guess that is a great thing in that regard hehe!
I started practicing pincha mayurasana somewhere around my first anniversary into my yoga practice. I could already do headstands without the wall support. But I didn't have the courage to practice inversions in my forearms without the wall. I started facing the wall in my forearms and did a lot of drills, even participated in a lot of yoga challenges on Instagram! Those were fun and honestly helped improve so much in my practice!
Handstands were something my body just surprisingly did after getting so much stronger from more than a year of solid practice. I had a better understanding on how to engage the core properly according to how I need it to move. I never learned how to kick up into any inversions because I am too afraid to fall over. So my first handstand hold was a straddle press, and it was during around November 2018. Everything I learned through self-practice. 

I only started training with Miguel Santana, a professional hand balancer, when I was in my 3 years of yoga practice because I wanted to learn from a professional, learn the proper form, tips & techniques, build more strength & agility, and also learn how to jump in to handstands. He is now my private hand balancing coach and I train using his program for an hour each day (or 3x per week, or whenever my body can handle).
In times of herxes however (from Lyme), I can't perform any handstands nor train. So it really depends with my current health condition.
To be completely honest, I haven't been to any yoga class with a bunch of students. Since the beginning of my yoga life, I've only been practicing at home. Due to health reasons, I am restricted to go out especially with a lot of people breathing in a classroom, because I cannot risk my health. More of my health condition in "Let's Get Personal" below. I learned all of these through videos, self-practice, and reading informative books (I owe a lot of my learnings from the books that we published about health & fitness). So I have been self-teaching since the beginning! I am not against classrooms or meeting people, I am just saying that if I can do it at home, anybody can do it anywhere! And for someone who started with zero strength, I fully believe that anyone can be as flexible or strong if you put in the work. It's just a matter of time.

Let's Get Personal

Secret! Hehe... kidding! Not that young as you might think! But as I'm writing this (2021), I am in my mid-30s. 

I am pure Filipina. Born and raised in the Philippines! Both my parents are Filipino citizens. My Papa has a little Spanish blood. My Mama has a little Chinese blood. Both of my grandparents are all Filipinos with a just a lil mix of Spanish and Chinese blood.

Stop Asian Hate! Hehehe I don't come saying that a lot, but I thought it's funny to include here because I am seeing it everywhere these days!

I am based in Nevada, somewhere near Las Vegas. I don't really disclose my exact location due to privacy/security reasons.  

I suffer with Lyme disease. If you want to read more about this, I shared it on my about page. I also have a bunch of co-infections that came with Lyme, but if you want to know more about that, or are curious because you also have Lyme, you can send me a message here.

I also suffer from scoliosis. I used to have an S-curve. But I have (almost) corrected my spine through yoga for 3 years, and now, you can't barely see my S-curve anymore. So proud of that! Didn't undergo any surgery because I am too scared for that. I shared more about this in detail with a few of my before photos on a blog post in my previous website here.

I have inborn TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). In which I struggled so bad in the beginning of my early Lyme stage. I also had braces for more than 5 years when I was in my teenage years.

I also used to suffer from constant migraines even before Lyme. It has gotten better now and I noticed too much fructose or any sugar that can spike up the insulin is a trigger of my migraines. Since I cut out processed sugar in my diet for years, I haven't gotten any migraines. I watch closely my sugar intake for this reason, and I just started dialing healthy sugar back in since end of 2020. I make sure I don't exceed beyond 20g of sugar in a day and this has been working for me!

P.S. The healthy sugar I am talking about is non-processed like coconut sugar, fruits, etc. And I am a Stevia user (a healthier alternative for sugar that spikes up the insulin).

Not with my scoliosis. I was too afraid to do any surgeries involving the spine.

However, I did a bunion surgery early in my twenties which then led me to understand how surgery can f*ck up our bodies. It was on my left foot. Even up to now it is still very vivid to me when I felt that grinding of the bones (I did have anesthesia but I can feel the grind before the anesthesia put me to sleep).

After getting a spinal headache from the spinal anesthesia, this was the time I started getting migraines. It's awful. And ever since, I told myself I will never get a surgery again only if I had no choice.

Oh, and I had mouth surgeries from all my impacted teeth when I was a child, about 7 stitches in my mouth from the first surgery. I've had several mouth surgeries as a lot of my teeth were impacted and it sucked hehe. I had about 6-8 impacted teeth removed in total. I can't remember exactly, but they were a lot and I don't have much teeth left haha! But I survived! 

I am a full time homemaker, and proud to be working alongside my husband. My husband is an author and a publisher. We publish health and fitness books and he's been in the business for more than a decade now. My husband is a New York Times bestselling author before he became a publisher. He wrote more than 30 books before he started his own publishing company. If you are curious, you can visit our website at www.victorybelt.com. A lot of our books are what have helped me in my yoga journey (by reading and self-teaching).

I am also an entrepreneur and used to run a small business based in the Philippines. I designed swim pieces and used to sell online @georginasasha and put up my own boutique in the city. Due to Lyme, I was forced to end it so I can focus on our health. Then yoga came in to my life. It was a life changing experience for me, and so I was inspired to share with you this magic that yoga brought in to my life. And here we are! Welcome to my new realm!

Ahimsa? I hear you.

However, Vegan is not the optimal way to eat a healthy lifestyle for me. I strongly believe that humans are meant to be omnivores. The human form is not designed to eat only a plant-based diet. We need animal protein to sustain all the essential amino acids our body needs. Sure, there are plant-based proteins but these are mainly not healthy for the gut. To name a few...tofu, legumes, beans, etc. are actually not part of the paleo diet for a reason. You can read more about this in "The Paleo Solution" and a lot more books out there that are backed up with science.

We produced a number of Paleo, Keto, Carnivore, and now adding plant-based books to our collection, because plant-based foods are healthy! But that doesn't mean that I will solely eat a plant-based diet either. It is always great to know all these types of diet/lifestyle to see what works best for your body. I am not against Vegan. I love the power of plants! I also use a lot of Vegan products! I just cannot take the protein alternatives like mentioned above because it can cause leaky gut (and Lyme patients have so much gut issues already, and I will not add harm to my already healing gut).

We are all different. Vegan might work for you, but it doesn't mean it can work for everyone. Same with anything in life, really. So it's always great to expand our knowledge and not close our doors to solely what we think is the truth. Because one's truth doesn't equate to the only truth. 

YTT (Yoga Teacher's Training) Questions

Yes! New and proud! I finished my training during the last week of September 2020. I just recently got my RYT® 200 certificate last December 28, 2020. Such a great feeling to end the heavy 2020 year.

I am not going to disclose the school where I graduated my 200hr training, because I do not like to recommend something my heart does not feel good 100% in. Especially YTT is an investment. But I finished an intensive online course in 31 days, 5-8 hrs per day and it was still a good experience.

But I was hungry to learn more, so I enrolled in another school beginning of January 2021 and I am currently in my 300hr YTT as I am writing this. I am more than proud to share with you my experience with Briohny of Aligned Yoga. You can read my detailed story on "My YTT Story" page.

Let's be real. It wasn't life changing for me like how others perceived it, maybe because my expectations were really high. So learn from me, do not expect anything hehe.

But I learned so much about yoga theories. I've never really read a book about the history of yoga or the like. I was really waiting for this experience to learn all of these things. 

I also learned how to properly assist as a yoga teacher which was huge for me. I think this is very important not just for hands-on practices, but can also work with online teachings depending on the circumstances.

My meditation practice had improved a hundred fold. We meditated every single day and sometimes more than 3x a day, and I'll be forever grateful for this learning experience.

But when it comes to asana, or any physical practice, I didn't gain as much as I thought I would. Pls. keep in mind that I have been a seasoned practitioner for over 3 years before I started my training. I am not saying that you will not gain any experience from this aspect, but because we all have different backgrounds which are all relative. I have been aware about proper alignment and more through the books that we published, and learned from all the amazing authors that we worked with. These people are not just doctors, but are specialized in their careers, from Crossfit experts to movement experts, basic anatomy to proper postures, some are yoga teachers, as well as nutritionists–which I have learned a lot about nutrition more than what was offered in YTT.

Yes and no.

Let's start with the latter. To be honest, I wouldn't recommend an online training if you are able to go to a physical training and if not for covid. Because I fully believe that learning with your peers physically is really important especially in a yoga community. Yoga is about unity, may it be physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or even our movements with our breaths. That physical presence can never be replaced with any online platform.

Why yes? Because for me, it is everything! Going to a physical training with my health condition is just not the best as of the time I am healing/treating due to health reasons. So it worked out perfect for my case.

But of course, at the end of the day, I am sure you have your own reasons, and I'd say just go for whatever your heart desires! You will learn the curriculum of the school either ways. It's just a matter of picking the best school that resonates with you. Maybe a pros and cons will help!

 PROS

CONS

You have the option to schedule everything according to your availability.

You have to follow the given schedule. 

You can rewatch the lives and zoom classes anytime over and over through your online account with the school.

You don't have this option unless you are free to record the class with your own gadget or the school.

 

You will not meet amazing people in-person. You'll be able to really feel the presence of your peers in full-bloom!

 

If I didn't answer any of your questions, feel free to reach out to me here