I suppose if you clicked the About link, you'd like to know more than just my obvious passion for yoga. Well, here it goes...
I belong to a huge family hailing from a no-name suburb in the Philippines. My family fought for that immigrant's dream of a better life in the USA and ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area where I was raised. That upgraded life was a big privilege and my parent's always taught me that with great privileges come great responsibilities. This has been a huge driving force in everything I do, to serve and contribute to the lives of others.
I love music, film, and photography.
I get hooked by an artist's ability to manipulate reality and express themselves so deeply, creating something so spectacular, you can't help but get lost in dreams and fantasies. The artists and works of art that move me the most are mysterious and abstract, sometimes full of rage or melancholy than peace and contentment. Go figure. I don't like horror films or musicals either and I can watch Cirque Du Soleil all day.
My fascination for art and computers led me to study Special FX. After obtaining my digital arts degree, I ended up disillusioned by technology. I felt so disconnected from the world and myself cause I was sitting in front of a computer for 10-12 hours every damn day. That life didn't seem right for me and it drove me away from technology for a long time.
As a kid, I played a lot of sports, especially basketball. That was until I was introduced to performing arts. I loved the challenge of competitive sports, but it was dance and theater that resonated deep within. It was through dance and performance that I got curious about my own human potential. What is my body, this temporary vehicle, capable of doing? And I knew my optimal health/wellness was the only way I could discover and push myself to find those answers.
I believe the worst kind of pain comes from living a life that isn't true to who you really are.
Knowing you're meant for something more, something bigger but you don't know how or have the courage to change it. Imagine watching your life pass by, knowing your dreams may never go unrealized. I came to know this pain very well for a long time.
I found myself years later in a suit & tie as a loan officer working for a mortgage broker. One day a colleague I barely knew was blazing out of the office. I asked where she was rushing off to and she replied, "Here, you look like you workout at a lot, you should try this", as she handed me a card that read, 'Yoga Class Pass'. I took the class, despite being the only guy in a room of 25+ women. Regardless, I fell in love with the experience and I've never stopped practicing since. To this day, I still can't track my colleague down. I want to give her the biggest, tightest hug and say, "THANKS, you never knew, but your simple gesture changed the course of my life."
I also believe the best gift we can give to the world is ourselves... the best version of ourselves!
And I found yoga connects me with that. I still enjoy the intensity and competitive nature of sports, but as I grow older, the competition I seek is not against others, but more with myself. Something I enjoyed as a performer was the feeling of euphoria that came from giving everything I have. I stopped performing at the age of 23 cause I had to 'grow up' and 'get a real job'. The closest thing I've felt from that bliss of performing since then was the day I discovered yoga.
Growth & Contribution
Life began to make complete sense when I finally realized the 2 deepest sources of my happiness: Growth & Contribution
From there all I needed was a container for those 2 seeds to flourish. When I decided teaching yoga would be my platform for growth & contribution, I was finally 'pain-free'. Suddenly I was living a dream.
Really cool things happen when my heart & soul is fully invested in something.
I've been extremely fortunate to share yoga as a premiere yoga teacher for major tech companies like Google, YouTube, AirBnB, Dropbox, and MyFitnessPal to name a few. I've gotten to work with award-winning photographers and I've taught at almost every top fitness facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. A big highlight for me was in 2012, when I was voted by the reader's of Yoga Journal magazine as their favorite yoga teacher.
So what's next?
Well I think you should know that I'm fairly naïve when it comes to many social issues. It's not something I'm proud of, but things like climate change and our current economic situation have felt way too complex for me to make a direct impact on. I hope as I get older, my ability to understand and solve these complex problems improve. There is one issue though that I am deeply disturbed by: poverty/hunger/lack of drinking water. Eventually, I would like to find a way to spend a good part of my life and energy tackling these issues.
The most important thing
The most important thing I've learned so far in my journey through yoga is that health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. It saddens me to think so many people out there are unable to express themselves boldly and chase their dreams because of illness and poor health. I'm doing my part to change that.
Wow, if you've made it this far, we seem to resonate. We'd probably make great friends. Keep in touch, perhaps we'll meet one day.
For now, I'll put my best foot forward for you to see here: