Yoga+ Teacher Talks About How You Can Benefit from Yoga

Yoga teacher Ivy Hapitan of Yoga Plus shares how yoga changed her life and how it can change yours.

In today’s fast-paced world, we are often overcome with stress and anxiety that manifest in physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional ways in our bodies.

Yoga+ is one of the studios in the metro that offers classes that you can take before or after work, or even during your lunch break to clear your mind and strengthen your body. The studio’s newest branch in bustling Nuvali offers yet another great wellness option in the area. The lush surroundings and fresh air of Nuvali are definitely a nice complement to a mindful yoga practice.

Located in Solenad 1, Yoga+ Nuvali is central to the commercial establishments and residential villages in the vicinity. It’s just a 5-minute drive from Avida Southfield Settings NUVALI and Hillcrest Estates NUVALI. With their hour-long classes that are open to both beginners and experienced yogis, there’s really no reason not to get yourself to the studio to find some inner peace.
Yoga teacher Ivy Hapitan, who first discovered yoga in 2005, shares her yoga journey so far and why everyone’s body and spirit can benefit from a little time on the mat.

When did you realize that teaching yoga was something that you wanted to pursue as a career?
I wanted to help and be of service to the underserved population, but I did not know how until I practiced yoga again I think late 2010 or early 2011 when I found Yoga for Life Foundation, Inc (YFL). I knew I wanted to share yoga, but I did not see myself as someone who would be in front of people teaching. I have fear of public speaking until now. The only thing I was certain of was my love for practice and advocacy with Yoga for Life so I took my first teacher training in 2013.

I completed a 100-Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Victor Chng so I could volunteer for YFL and teach for free. In 2014, I took a 6-month Vinyasa Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training with Binky Mendoza. Right now, I am completing a Yoga Therapy Teacher Training with Living Yoga Therapy.

Have you had any realizations from your own personal practice?
I am kinder to myself and everyone else around me – strangers, acquaintances, colleagues, friends and family.

What do you love about teaching yoga?
I love teaching yoga because it teaches me to practice compassion and I am able to share this with my students. I feel my students are my teachers. I learn how to be kinder, practice patience and humility because they show up on the mat.

Yoga has a way of showing us reality and has a capacity of teaching us to accept where we are at in our lives. When we care about reality and learn to observe, to see things as they are, we can access pathways to honesty, patience, humility, acceptance and forgiveness. However, before we can access networks of compassion, we have to learn how to be kind to ourselves, be tender, soften around the edges and there is no better way to start than being with our body and breath.

Sometimes people who are on the heavier side are hesitant or even embarrassed to try yoga. What do you say to encourage them?
I understand. We see a lot of photos showcasing slim bodies performing complicated postures that require a lot of strength and flexibility. It is easy to feel intimidated.

At Yoga+ studios, we have a group of teachers who can hold space for different body types. We also host events such as feature classes on Weight Release so we can work through our thoughts and emotions rather than reject and repress them. We have daylong retreats such as Making Friends with the Body that can teach us practical mindfulness tools and offer a safe space for working with our insecurities.

We have all been touched by feelings of insecurity. Just like practicing kindness, one of the best ways to work with our insecurities is through the body while receiving support from our breath.

What are some of your top reasons why everyone should try yoga?
There are too many but here are the practical reasons:
1) Intentional movement and breath work encourage us to feel good and when we feel good, it is easier to practice kindness.
2) Improves sleep so the body can fully recharge and we can be fully present during our waking hours.
3) Improves digestion and detoxification process so the body can stay healthy.

A lot of us work so hard but we forget the value of self-care. We work relentlessly only to compromise our immune system and tolerate high level stress until the body can’t take it anymore.

What advice would you give to those who would like to go deeper into their yoga practice?
Practice. It is only when we consistently show up on our mats when our practice can mature. Whether we hope to change our bodies or have clarity, we can only experience this with practice. Yoga is a gift that keeps on giving.