Sunday, April 30, 2006


There was a time when I would leave the house at five a.m. to drive out to Luneta. I would park in front of the Quirino Grandstand and from there brisk-walk three times around Rizal Park which would take me about 20 minutes to accomplish. It was a glorious way to greet the day. It also brought back some childhood memories.

I was a sickly child. However, an aunt who helped my mother raise me used to take me to Luneta every morning no later than seven where she would let me run around to my heart’s delight. We did this for a couple of years beginning when I was three until I began school. Filling my lungs with the air from Manila Bay and soaking up the early morning sun did wonders for my health. She always brought along a jug of calamansi juice, which is very nutritious and helps prevent respiratory diseases. Supposedly, it helps strengthen and stimulate the growth of bones of children.

Anyway, one can only imagine how much I enjoyed doing my early morning brisk-walking in Luneta. However, with the price of gas continuing to soar, I feel guilty nowadays to be doing all that much driving every morning by myself. I guess, if I had a car full of people with me it’d feel better about it, but nonetheless, I had decided to limit my driving only when it's extremely necessary.

I can do brisk-walking around my neighborhood, but the street dogs that roam around the area in the early mornings petrify me. Currently, the only time I would drive out to Luneta is on weekends and only if a number of nephews and nieces are staying over whom I could drag out of bed to come with me. But that comes with a steep price, though; they all expect to be treated to Jolibee’s for breakfast right afterwards.

However, about a week ago while channel surfing, I chanced upon an infomercial about David Blanchard’s Progressive Power Yoga DVD trilogy series on home shopping network. I was sure its breathing and stretching exercises can boost my endurance and athletic performance—a must in my game of badminton. I ordered one immediately which I received the following day. As recommended, I’m now reviewing the entire series prior to actually performing the exercises. Beginning tomorrow, Monday, I will start doing the workout for at least once or twice a week.

Yoga has been touted as an ultimate body-mind-spirit exercise system. Considered one of the safest and most efficient exercise regimens, it has attracted about 15 million Americans to practice it today. With more than 2,000 yoga poses available, what Mark Blanchard did was design three wildly innovative, diverse workout programs geared to burn more calories, build leaner muscles and reduce more stress than jogging, brisk-walking, or kickboxing. And by rotating the three DVDs at least each week, one can supposedly gain utmost strength and flexibility, which at my age I can certainly use.

I will post another blog about this after the summer to share my experience with doing this DVD-guided exercise regimen.

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Photo credit: David Blanchard’s Progressive Power Yoga



posted by Señor Enrique at 8:53 AM


Blogger niceheart said...

Wow, you're really serious at getting into shape. Good for you.

April 30, 2006 10:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yoga yoga yoga ..your post reminds me of the things i really wanna do in my entire stay in singapore ... that is to enroll in yoga class :)
but thinking of the money i wil pay ... pwede ng pandagdag sa tuition fee ni Aya :)

April 30, 2006 12:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried Yoga for a few months last year. It's quite good but I still prefer tai chi over it. :D

April 30, 2006 9:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I thought that yoga will complement my playing badminton, niceheart.

But I'm sure when you're ready for it, melai, you'll sign up.

I had also practiced tai chi, but only the short form (about 60 or so moves), jhay. It actually helped rehabilitate my knees which took serious pounding when I used to do a lot of skiing on moguls. However, had stopped practicing it and eventually forgot the whole sequence. I'd gladly get back to it, but unable to locate a nearby school/center here in Manila; hence yoga on DVD.

April 30, 2006 11:42 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Tried a bit everything but didn't have the will power to continue after a few weeks... I find all those sports quite boring.
Yoga & swimming is for sure the best things I ever tried. Maybe you will convince me to start again.

May 01, 2006 8:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

What attracted me to doing yoga at this point, Sidney, is its philisophy: "it's yoga practice, not yoga perfect."

And that yoga is about doing what you can and not forcing anything. Each one is on his respective journey and there is no wrong place to be. And if one cannot bend low enough to touch his toes at this time, so what? Goodness, I can barely touch my shin :) Embarrassing but true.

But what's more important is that one enjoys every moment of practice regardless of whatever he can physically do.

Of course, swimming is one of the best! Being in the water is also the ideal place to do some stretching. But alas, I have no pool and I need a regular excercise regimen I can do at home.

Again, I'm not trying to move back the hands of time here, I just want to feel lighter -- without so much as huff and puff whenever climbing the stairs or playing only a couple of minutes of badminton.

Give me another couple of months, Sidney, and I'll invite you to play some badminton -- my treat :)

May 01, 2006 10:58 AM  

Blogger Corsarius said...

You must've been fortunate to have experienced the air from Manila Bay when it was clean. Last week, I was at the Manila Yacht Club and the air smelled like an estero.

Your post reminds me of one of my failures in UP (just graduated) -- failure to enroll in the yoga class :(

Good luck in your workouts, Señor!

May 01, 2006 3:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Congratulations, Corsarius!

Sad to hear that the water around MYC got so bad. How can the members tolerate it?

May 02, 2006 8:27 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I accept your challenge! It will not be hard to beat me. I too can hardly touch my chin... :-((((
I didn't saw it coming... but little by little, year after year ... I am not able to do it anymore...
Sad but true.

May 02, 2006 7:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Cool, Sidney. It's a deal then. BUT our intention is simply to volley and sweat; not to beat anyone :) And when we get tired, we'll stop, and then play again once rested.

Same exact thing that has happened to me. This big glob of fat that's hanging around me is much like a parasite I must get rid of.

Will keep you posted.

May 02, 2006 10:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

to be honest i was a bit enstranged as to why badminton suddenly became a craze. Even here in cavite, gyms and badminton clubs sprouted like those health care and nursing aide training centers. hehehe

Then again, it's summer and what badminton is really a fun way to spend summer while keeping in shape.

I still, however, would stick to tai chi. It also helped me recover from my knee injury from soccer and go-carting.

My grandma began to teach me tai chi when I was 8 yrs old. She even bought me a stright sword to practice with. I just speed up my movements and vioala! This skinny-geeky form of mine has an instant self-defense, saved me a lot of money from taekwondo lessons. hehehe

May 03, 2006 3:24 PM  

Blogger Rey said...

kids usually at age 3 and up are very energetic and it was good that your aunt take time with you.

some friends has been inviting me to yoga but I just don't have time to spare. I haven't been able to move my home weights for months now.

Being a child I enrolled in Taekwando coz I don't want to be bullied. But when I fell inlove with comics and discovered rock music, I stopped. Inuubos ko kasi yong pera ko sa pagbili ng mga ito.

May 03, 2006 3:59 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You're very lucky to have an aunt introduce you to tai chi, jhay. it's a great way to stay in shape; not to mention that it's a lethal form of self-defense as well.

Many years ago, in NYC, one of our executives at the office during lunch at an industry conference -- nonchalantly replied badminton as his favorite when asked what sport he engaged in. We didn't know whether to laugh or take him serisouly. Tennis was more the craze then and badminton was often associated with backyard activity to keep the kids occupied.

However, when I came back to Manila, I was suprised at how popular badminton is here. I tried it then but opted to stick with tennis. When I took it up again but more seriously a month ago, fell in love with the sport and have been playing at least everyday :)

May 04, 2006 7:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I, too, hate to be bullied, Rey. But I have always been big for my age -- must be on account of all that calamansi juice :) -- so didn't have too much problem with the bullies in school. Nonetheless, tae kwan do is an intense form of martial art.

Comics is great. I wish, like you, I had the talent to create my own characters.

I know they have serious comic conventions in NYC and have heard of kids (even adults) spend an arm and a leg on certain editions.

May 04, 2006 7:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds really cool.Let us know your experience bro. I am really interested with this power yoga.

May 05, 2006 12:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Will do, BW!

May 05, 2006 6:28 PM  

Blogger Corsarius said...

well, MYC members dine and rest in airconditioned lounges, from what i've seen ;) it was just us who were relegated to the open air dining area (we couldn't eat properly!) near the water, hehe.

May 05, 2006 7:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Understandably so, Corsarius. Management, in that case, should have done more to assure the comfort of their guests/patrons by taking actions to clean up the water.

May 06, 2006 10:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was my grandma who taught me tai chi, not my aunt. ;)

Aside from its health benefits, I experienced some downsides to my practice of tai chi. Since it helped me boost my over-all endurance, stamina and immune system, plus the state of mind, which allowed me to take on managing a theater company, college studies and community work (aka activism) all at the same time.

All this without without having to go tru rigorous physical activities or going to the gym to gain some weight and buff, I retained my slender and dorky form. As a result, most bullies underestimated me really, especially back in highschool.

I know martial arts teaches one to be at peace with one's self and others and only use the technique for defense, I was pushed to really use it.

I ended up in the principal's office, a three day suspension and shouldering the medical bill of the guy that picked on me, I fractured his collar bone.

What's worse, my grandma was ashamed of me for using the technique on him, she said I should've just walked away, like she always taught me.

I really learned a lot from that experience.

May 07, 2006 6:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Jhay, this is the site of the school I learned tai chi from. Master C.K. Chu was my teacher.

I'll probably order its DVD (short form) and get back to it one of these days.

I'm sure you had no other choice at that time but to defend yourself and your training in tai chi just took over. Like I said, tai chi is really a serious martial art and can inflict much damage to an opponent. You know what I also like about it? Not only is it a great way to practice active meditation, but the entire sequence is so graceful and can seem much like a dance.

I'm sure your grandma knew you did what you had to do to protect yourself.

Yes, I'm also sure that you derive much of your stamina from doing all those academic, theater and activism work from tai chi!

One more thing,I was skinny until I was in my late 30s.

May 07, 2006 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to know more about the benefits of walking exercise becoz me and the kids do this every afternoon at the local grandstand. Maybe, I'll bring the kids on walk by the sea, which could be more beneficial.

May 08, 2006 10:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ei! where are u?
wala ka atang update?

May 17, 2006 1:58 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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