Joining a yoga class can be intimidating, but if there’s one place where you won’t be judged and where people are more likely to be curious beginners such as yourself, it’s Tantra Yoga in Amorsolo, Legaspi Village, Makati.

The studio itself is relatively new, having just opened in July 2013, which could explain why many newbies find it more welcoming than others. It also offers a lot of beginner-friendly classes such as Hatha and Kids alongside Jivamukti, Flow, Vinyasa, Power, and Kundalini Yoga.

However, Tantra Yoga is anything but a novice in the field. Dr. Yanee Vasquez, one of the studio owners and a Hatha Yoga teacher herself, has been practicing for seven to eight years now, and while she deeply believes in using yoga (Ashtanga for her personal practice) to foster a connection with the divinity, she is not above understanding the more rudimentary motivations people have for pursuing the practice.

“Yoga is really about awareness,” she says. “It’s knowing what’s really happening to your body or what’s happening to your mind.”

With morning classes making up the bulk of the beginners, Dr. Yanee has heard it all: relaxation, inner peace, weight loss. “That’s how they start,” she says good-naturedly. “Eventually, they will discover the union, because yoga means union of the mind, body, and spirit, and that’s how we achieve direction.”

In fact, Dr. Yanee credits yoga for changing her life’s direction. “It has helped me know myself more,” she says, sharing that she was in a very difficult place at the time when she first discovered meditation, and then soon after, yoga. “You don’t settle for relationships. You tell people this is what I want. You learn to say no, and you understand yourself more.”

Health-wise, practicing yoga also had several positive benefits. “Physically, I like my body when I do yoga. I’ve always been thin, but since I’m already 44, it’s quite difficult to maintain your weight,” she says. “I used to have insomnia. I used to have back problems. I still get them occasionally, but [yoga] has helped me tremendously.”

Excited to give yoga a try? Browse through the gallery to learn more about yoga plus more of Dr. Yanee’s tips for beginners.

Tantra Yoga is located at 150 MG Building Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village. Contact nos: (02) 551-8964 and 0917-8621804

(Photos courtesy of Tantra Yoga, watermarked photos by Mike Dee)

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