One of the things I look forward to every time the -ber months roll around is the annual Global Mala Project. Founded back in 2007 by yoga teacher and energy activist Shiva Rea, this world-wide event brings together yoga and wellness enthusiasts during the Fall Equinox for a whole day of collective practice aimed at fostering positive change. In Manila, we have Teresa Herrera (model, host, and yoga student of Shiva Rea) to thank for bringing this international experiment to our shores.
This year’s event was held last Saturday, September 24, at Whitespace Manila, in support of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP). It was a successful collaboration of several local yoga studios, wellness organisations, music and fitness enthusiasts, and generous sponsors such as Certified Calm and The Wholesome Table.
There were various classes and workshops scheduled throughout the day, so many that, as always, choosing among all the offerings proved very difficult for me. I ended up participating in three yoga classes, quite a feat since I hadn’t really been practicing regularly this past year.
Since Global Mala is based on the sacred cycle of 108 as represented by the traditional mala beads, I felt it apt to kick the day off with 108 sun salutations. It was a highly energised class; despite the early hour, the room was packed.
An hour later, I went back on the mat for Pio Baquiran’s Vinyasa class. It was one of the more popular classes, and we really had to squeeze in to accommodate all the participants.
My last class was the Living Yin session led by Donna Tumacder-Esteban. Her series of poses really helped open up and stretch out the joints and muscles that took quite a beating during my earlier classes. By the end of the hour, I felt relaxed and rejuvenated, a perfect way to wrap up my practice that day.
There were so many other classes I would love to have taken — drumming! capoeira! more yoga! — if only time and energy had allowed. Here are a few snaps of the other activities that day, taken by my good friend, yogini and martial arts enthusiast Cookie Pido:
I heard some rumors that next year’s Mala will be a multi-day affair. I think that’s a fabulous idea