Louise.jpgIn Sanskrit, the word yoga means “union”—a mental, spiritual, and physical union with “the divine that lives within us,” according to yogini Louise Lee. Boracay-based Louise teaches in her own studio, and recently led a Hatha Yoga class for Women’s Health’s annual Beauty and the Beach event.

“During your first yoga session, you could realize it right away: ‘Oh, this is what I need to do. I need to focus, quiet my mind, and breathe deeply,’” she explains. “If you do that, even on your first session, even if you’re not doing the pose perfectly, then you’re already achieving yoga.”

For those of us who have yet to try this fitness philosophy, yoga is a discipline originating from India which seeks to attain spiritual awareness and full-body tranquility. Through various held-and-released postures, the practice of yoga contributes to muscle strength and elasticity, while its meditative elements foster a sense of inner well-being.

Several types of yoga are taught all over the country—Hatha, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa Flow, to name a few. But if there’s one thing that all yoga styles have in common, it is the way they are mastered: through perseverance.

“The best way to be good at yoga is to keep consistently doing it,” says Louise, whose favorite pose is the Upward Facing Dog. “It’s understandable if you can’t go to class every day or even three times a week. But if you can make it once a week with some regularity, and then the rest of the time you practice at home, that’s good.”

We asked Louise for 5 things that yoga virgins need to know before taking to the mat. Click on for her words of wisdom!

Louise Lee lives in Boracay with her husband Jude and daughters Satya and Jordan. She teaches at True Yoga, 2nd level, True Food Indian Restaurant, Station 2, White Beach. For inquiries, call 09997913894.

(Photos by Mario Manzoni)

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