As prescribed by Paulina Constancia
From the Big Apple we head to the land of mangoes – the island of Cebu, southern Philippines. We meet with Jeanne Torrefranca, who is not shy to say she is a golden girl who feels younger and stronger – thanks to yoga!
“Marga Yoga : On My Way to Yoga”
Dragonfly Yoga Studio
DDoA: When did you start practicing yoga?
JT: In 2003, a friend of mine led me to try yoga with the Ananda Marga organisation.
DDoA: What sparked your interest in the practice?
JT: I was going through some personal issues and wanted to keep my mind and heart busy with some activity. I was more interested in the meditation part .
DDoA: What was your profession before teaching yoga?
JT: I worked in the sales and operations team of an international cargo forwarding company ( U-Freight, Inc.)
DDoA: From where/whom did you get your yoga training/certification?
JT: Under David Kim, 200 hours teacher training under the Yogaworks
DDoA: What were the challenges that you encountered when you made the career change?
JT: When one transitions from the business world to a yogic world it’s not easy, but it’s a choice and if you have a strong belief in the choices you make, then you can easily adjust and adapt and move on from there.
DDoA: What advice can you give yoga practitioners who want to train to teach yoga or run their own yoga studio?
JT: Practice, practice, practice. The masters say, “you have no right to teach if you do not practice”. Join as many classes as you can. Try different yoga styles, learn from both new and older teachers. If you want to run your own studio one day, keep it simple, a home studio is the easiest to maintain financially and it’s more personalized too. Maintain a tough mind but a tender heart – know, understand, and practice your Yamas and Niyamas.
DDoA: How has yoga changed you?
JT: Health-wise, I feel younger and stronger even now that I am in my golden years. Towards people – I have more compassion and always encourage others to practice compassion also to make life easier and happier.
DDoA: Please share some information on the nature and location of your YOGA teaching practice.
JT: I have a home studio- Dragonfly studio. Students, neighbors and fellow teachers come every now and then. I also teach at Golds Gym,
Yoga Hub, Studio 108, West Gorordo Hotel and do some private sessions in students’ homes.
DDoA: Please give us a glimpse of your daily routine as a yoga professional…
JT: Breakfast, bike to studio, teach morning class at studio, lunch at salad café, meditate, bike home, teach afternoon class at community centre, read book, meditate, go to sleep… My day is easy and simple. I wake up around 5:30 a.m. and have some bread and coffee, then prepare for either teaching a class, or joining a class. In between classes, I do a lot of personal stuff like answering emails or doing groceries or hardware stuff, then heavy lunch always with rice, fish and veggies (no meat). Then after lunch, prepare for mid afternoon class. Then surely coffee or chai after class. Some days, I have evening classes and some days none. Dinner is always lighter. After dinner, I could watch TV or a movie, then read a yoga book or magazine right before I sleep. There is always yoga everyday of my life- it could be meditation, yoga asanas, community service or yoga reading. Everything I do is related to yoga.
DDoA: What dictum/philosophy do you live by now that you are a yoga professional?
JT: A yogic life is a compassionate life and you can be a happier person if you practice this each moment.
“Tindak Sugbo (Bike Cebu) -Pedaling towards a Livable, Sustainable and Egalitarian Cebu” is a bike awareness campaign organized by the Psychology Volunteers on Bikes and the Office of City Councilor Ma. Nida Cabrera. The campaign is in support of the Tindak Sugbo Shared Priority Bike Lanes Ordinance proposed by Councilor Cabrera to provide for sharrows on the streets of Cebu. Learn more
DDoA: How in your opinion can YOGA change people?
JT: Yoga brings people back to their breath and back to the present moment and this kind of awareness is always a good starting point on your road to change…
So do… as Jeanne Torrefranca does – “practice compassion and encourage others to do the same to make life easier and happier.”