Urban Ashram Yoga

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The yoga craze that started in the 1990s has intensified in keeping with the now organic lifestyle of body and mind wellness. Of the many yoga havens that have taken root in the country, Urban Ashram stands out for its commitment to make the ancient practice of full body stretching, breathing exercises, and meditation a necessary part of your fitness routine.

Each studio is manned by a staff trained here and abroad. It is is well ventilated with high ceilings and bright skylights, and fully equipped with mats, bolsters, and towels.

Urban Ashram offers various packages for individuals and groups |Urban Ashram is on Ayala Avenue, i Bonifacio Global City, and Kapitolyo Pasig

Climbing and Mountaineering Spots

Once reserved for rugged enthusiasts, mountaineering is fast becoming a leisure and even family activity. Take the new SUV for a countryside spin, park at the mountainside barangay hall and register with local guides for that Walter Mitty moment a thousand feet above sea level in these entry-level mountains near Metro Manila:

Mt. Sembrano, Pililia, Rizal

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The third and last peak of Sembrano. Photo courtesy Bev Caluma

Formerly a communist rebel bastion, the mountain and its three peaks have since been open to the public; the summit offering a breathtaking 270-degree view of Laguna de Bay.

Mt. Daraitan and the Tinipak river, Tanay, Rizal

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Daraitan features limestone formations near the Tinipak river| Photo courtesy Lo Regino

This former logging camp offers many springs and natural pools for hikers to stop and rest by. From the summit, one can spot Mt. Sembrano and the rest of the Sierra Madre mountains. The hike doesn’t end here, however, a major attraction is a stopover and picnic by the Tinipak river, whose pristine clarity has been preserved.

Anvaya Cove and Pico de Loro

cove coast.jpgRelaxation and sporty pursuits co-exist in these leisure resorts.

Anvaya Cove near Subic and Pico de Loro in Batangas offer muscle-clenching activities such as trekking, snorkeling, and rowing for the more adventurous vacationers. Must-tries are the open beach soccer, beach volleyball, and Ultimate Frisbee games. These are organized every afternoon in Anvaya by a trained staff equipped with quality paraphernalia. There is even a “beat the staff” challenge where players are invited to build their own teams. Similar activities are also offered at Pico de Loro alongside their indoor sports such as badminton and basketball.

Here’s a tip: Running on sand makes for a worthy workout – but don’t be deceived. While actor Derek Ramsey makes it look easy for the paparazzi, it is no joke.

Ride Revolution Philippines

A peek into the Rockwell studio with Coach Lexi Gancayco | Photo courtesy Lexi Gancayco

The treadmill and stationary bike are more tedious than tiring. Their apparent monotony seems like grunt work, trudging “miles” while jogging or biking in place. But not for the glamourous and toned coaches of Ride Revolution.

Their studio has rows of stationary bicycles in a neon-signage black granite room that seem to power a central generator when in fact what’s getting powered up is you. Don’t be fooled by the seeming ease of the sport as an hour’s session promises to work your muscles from head to toe.

Ride Revolution’s studios are located in Rockwell, Makati, and Shangri-La, Mandaluyong

 Diving at El Nido, Palawan

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Surreal can be very real. Photo by Alo Lantin

Nicknamed the "Last Frontier", Palawan is indeed one of the last sanctuaries of nature at her most pristine. Its strict environmental laws make for a breathtaking tour of the world underwater: Schools of fish and kingdoms of coral where the grandeur of the world below reflects that of that above with its towering limestone mountains and expansive sky.

A brief course on aquatic maneuvers and first aid heralds one’s first dive at El Nido. These exercises and actual descent tone muscles, increase circulation, and build lung capacity. Salt water is also known to rejuvenate skin cells. The soul too is refreshed after having a view of the world and its vistas literally turned upside down. Diving indeed is a package on its own where no ocean embraces the same diver twice.

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 Photo by Alo Lantin

As the parties peak and the wine flows freely this holiday season, the call to fitness seems less of a chore and more of an adventure in these locales and the experiences that call out. We guarantee less resolutions on your New Year’s list this time around. Here, you can have your cake, and burn it, too.

Ready to take the plunge? Contact El Nido’s accredited Turtle Divers at info@turtle-divers.com

 

Tags: Fitness