Tish is here to show how you can begin a personal yoga practice, right at home through live online yoga classes. Her online classes are in real-time, so you get to see a friendly face going through the same motions are you, from around the world! So why not try some yoga from the Philippines, right at home!
I’ve asked Tish a few questions so you can get to know her a bit better and read all about her journey pre and post pandemic. Also to share the impact she’s making through teaching yoga from the Philippines online and giving back to the community.
Romi: Could you share a little bit of the journey you had with starting Tish.Yoga and why you decided to become a yoga teacher?
Tish: Before I became a yoga teacher, I had been doing copywriting work my whole working career. I had developed a sedentary lifestyle and struggled with adopting healthy habits. At some point, I started to feel the need to move my body more when I started getting unexplained aches and pains as soon as I woke up, almost every morning. It was in 2010 when I started to explore yoga classes near my workplace, and I enjoyed them. Some were really challenging, but that amazing feeling I’d get after a yoga class kept me coming back.
Meanwhile, little did I know, there was a revolution going on in my mind about how I made a living. Even after leaving the corporate world to become a freelance consultant in 2017, something about it didn’t feel right. I explored so many options the year I left corporate.
Then a few months later, I remembered previously researching about yoga teacher training and started to look into it again. Soon after, I signed up for the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training by Teacher Anna Carbonell at Beyond Yoga. I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do at first, but eventually, I decided to become a yoga teacher because it was obvious to me that I needed to try something different. I started officially teaching yoga in June of 2018 and since found tremendous fulfillment from it.
Romi: Was Tish.Yoga always virtual or did you start with in person classes at first?
Tish: Tish.Yoga started with in-person classes in my own residential community in Mandaluyong City. It was under a different name then. I would reserve a function hall every week, manage the Facebook group, teach the classes myself, and handle sign-ups and payments.
I started this around the same time I began teaching at different studios and gyms as a freelancer. Covid-19 happened right when I was just hitting my stride. I was back to square one. By this time I had just under two years of teaching yoga, and luckily had gained a few regular students. Little by little I began to reach out to my students and put a weekly schedule together. It took several months through 2020, but I managed to rebuild my yoga teaching practice completely online.
And here we are. I’m teaching 50% fewer hours than I used to pre-pandemic, but there’s still a lot of potential for growth.
Romi: You use Google Meet to host your classes, how is your experience with it? And have you tried other video platforms?
Tish: Google Meet is very reliable. I like how you only need a Chrome browser on your laptop to use it. It has its quirks, too, but I suppose any video conference platform has its own challenges here. (Internet in the Philippines could use a boost, but recent news says network upgrades are in the works. Wish us luck!)
Romi: How many times a day and week do you usually teach yoga and what types of yoga do you practise?
Tish: I teach yoga 1-2 times a day, or 5-8 times a week. I teach Vinyasa, Gentle Yoga, and Vinyasa-Yin across a mix of private and open classes throughout the week.
I’ve recently been studying Yoga for Better Sleep. Ever since undergoing my first teacher training, I’ve gravitated towards slower yoga styles. I find that it’s very much needed in these troubled times. And it has helped me tremendously with my own sleep issues.
Romi: Has the pandemic had any effect on your classes?
Tish: I would go out to studios, gyms, and clients’ homes all over Metro Manila to teach anywhere between 10 and 15 classes a week. Second week of March 2020, I went from this number down to zero. It was a somewhat welcome change because the road traffic had become unbearable. It sometimes took 45 minutes to travel 5 kilometers, and that’s outside of rush hour periods!
I got started teaching yoga online with a nudge from Beyond Yoga, where I taught weekly in-person classes before. I also had so much encouragement from family and friends. Not long after my first public classes with Beyond on their Facebook page, it became apparent to me that I had to start my own online classes. It was slow-going, being stuck at home drained me. Moving my business online felt like learning to walk for the first time. I started with one weekly class, and eventually added time slots and adjusted the schedule as I would see fit.
Romi: How many students are usually in one of your virtual classes?
Tish: In a regular virtual class, there are anywhere between one and five students.
Romi: Are your students mostly based in the Philippines or do you have some students from all over the world?
Tish: I have students based in the US, but most are based in the Philippines. My first regular online students are my two beautiful aunts based in New York and New Jersey. It was tough at first because of the 12-13 hour time difference, but now we’re on like clockwork twice a week.
Eventually, we got our grandmother, more of my aunts, and my cousin to join the classes. I also have my awesome neighbors, clients and friends from different parts of Metro Manila, attending my online classes regularly.
Romi: Is there anything exciting in the books for Tish.Yoga in the next few years and months?
Tish: It’s tough to say, but I’m looking into creating a self-paced yoga course, and maybe a yoga retreat outside of Metro Manila when it’s much safer to travel and gather. Right now throughout the month of May, I’m holding donation-based classes to benefit two community pantries. It’s a way for me to practice seva or service, and I’m very grateful to be able to help out doing what I love.
If you would like to help with this incredibly good cause with so many people suffering from the pandemic, follow Tish on her Facebook page, and see how you can partake in her donation based yoga class here. And you can part of yoga from the Philippines at the comfort of your home.
So far she’s raised Php 7000, and with the help of you, she can help raise so much more in supporting Community yoga and Community pantry to feed thousands of starving mouths! All thought her online classes, where you can also join yoga from the philippines, in the comfort of your home.
If you would like to see more of our incredible studios, read more right here.