On the exterior, she is a fun-loving and down-to-earth beach baby, who, when not out in the sun, is in the company of her friends, enjoying laughs over a meal.
But what defines RIANNA GATUS is her determination to do the best she can in all the endeavors she pursues. In her early years, Rianna’s determination led her to become a skilled figure skater and dancer (to which she credits her flexibility). Later on, it was determination that led her to a career as a manager in the entertainment industry.
Determination is also what led Rianna to start a yoga practice a few years ago, which was a time when she was looking for ways to push her body further. “It was love at first sight, I even took two classes in a row the very first time I tried it!” says Rianna, who completed her teacher training as a Vinyasa instructor over a year ago.
As a teacher, Rianna hopes to inspire students to challenge themselves and see how far they can take their practice. Her favorite quote from yogini Tara Stiles, “find the ease in the effort,” is something she hopes she can live by.
LESTER at first glance may seem intimidating. Tall guy with muscles and tattoos, well, you get what we mean. But once this guy warms up to you, this goofball will turn out to be one of the most approachable people you might meet.
With a background in boxing, fencing, and weightlifting (to name a few), it was eventual for yoga to find its way into LESTER's life. Trying out different forms of yoga since 2007, he then found his love for Vinyasa that eventually lead him to take Beyond's 200hr Vinyasa Teacher Training a few short years later. He and his wife Karen (also a yoga teacher) are parents to a beautiful boy (who will soon enough find his way onto a yoga mat for sure). They are members of their church's renewal community and serve to show their support whenever they can.
His ability to fuse a lot of fun into his classes are reflective of his personality. Expect a few laughs and a lot of motivation with him on the mat, he believes that you can achieve anything if you are willing to put in the time and take the steps towards it. Now if that won't get you on your mat, we don't know what will!
For our teacher KAREN, yoga seemed to be the only path to take. Despite graduating from her MBA, she ditched the corporate route which took to her mat. From there, she pursued several yoga teacher training programs. From prenatal to yin to vinyasa, it is obvious that her desire to learn and share her practice was shaping the course of her life. Being a self confessed bookworm, it wasn't a surprise that her own interest in the practice began with a yoga book! She has been practicing yoga for around a decade.
Throughout the many things that went on in her life, it was definitely yoga that seemed to be the most consistent. Being a wife and mother to two yogis on top of teaching keeps her busy, but she believes having a smile on your face keeps you young. As a teacher, Karen imparts the ability to find honesty in your practice and the importance of connecting with your breath in her classes that are both fluid and relaxing.
Running, weight lifting, Capoeira, surfing, AntiGravity Yoga... if it isn't obvious enough, MARK was definitely meant to share the benefits of an active lifestyle with others. Mark has got boundless energy that has made this fun-loving guy a crowd favorite. His sense of fun and enthusiasm for fitness reflects in the classes he teaches. "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." is a saying he goes by.
Mark makes the most of the good things life has to offer by being open to new experiences. He also enjoys meeting people from different cultures because he believes that there is so much to learn. His ability to reach out and connect with others is one of the reasons why he never misses an opportunity to create memories worth remembering.
The journey is only beginning for this adventurer. And as the road goes on, it is certain that his students will find the passion and determination to live to the fullest. With Mark as pilot, your Antigravity experience is going to be one incredible ride.
When you first meet ROANNA, there is a magnetic force that pulls you in. As a teacher, she is both encouraging and gentle with creative sequences that allow you to grow and progress as a student. Just recently, ROANNA has been certified as the Philippines' first Universal Yoga teacher.
A dedicated mother and wife, this homemaker is the coolest mom with the most spunk you might ever see. This self-confessed nerd has a passion for education and is a chief instructor for Kumon among her many other roles. Prayer has been something she draws strength from and it is making music with her family that keeps her inspired.
This dedication for the things she loves has given ROANNA the balance in life she needs. Always grateful for all the ups and downs life brings, positivity is a gift she has the talent of sharing. She believes "we are so blessed to be stressed" and true enough, with ROANNA there will always be silver lining. It is this light she emits that reminds you that there is always reason to smile.
It might be her magnetic personality, her boundless energy, or her passion for fitness that gets people drawn into her Zumba classes. One thing is for sure though, SHARON YU, has the gift of drawing out the fun in everybody. Her love for dancing is something she discovered as a child, finding her roots ballroom and line dancing early on.
When Sharon isn’t leading high energy Zumba classes, expect to see her spending quality time with her husband and two sons.
Sharon is truly an example of living life to the fullest, emanating the definition of the saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”, and doing it all with a smile.
It could be the amazing choreography, it is possibly because of how she exudes confidence in every step, or even the endorphin high she can give you when she teaches – whatever it is, we are pretty sure that it is impossible not to get hooked on TANTAN’s Zumba classes. Believe it or not, our dancing queen admits to being the shy type and she says that it is through dance that she broke out of her shell and stepped out of her comfort zone. She believes in the saying "Dance enables you to find yourself & lose yourself at the same time". There is a freedom in Zumba that she has found to be a strong influence in her life and it is something that she is able to share to her students.
A wife and mother of three kids, TAN enjoys spending time with her family whenever she isn’t practicing her routines. She also loves comfort food and points out ramen and sushi as two of her favorites. Formerly based in Arizona, it is also where she took her certification for Zumba Fitness and Zumba Toning in 2011. Always having been a fan of Latin dance, the Salsa is a dance that she enjoys as well!
As a teacher, TANTAN is both vibrant and dynamic. Because of the passion and love she puts into her routines and choreography, it is no wonder that people keep on coming back for her. Get ready to dance like there is no tomorrow and be prepared to shake it in her classes because TAN is surely going to keep you on your toes.
There is an infectious enthusiasm that ROXANNE emanates in her classes. Any student of hers will tell you that her love for AntiGravity Yoga is evident in the way she instructs. It is this same passion that made her the dynamic teacher she is today. Clad in her funky leggings and that warm smile, Roxanne has an incredible aura makes you want to keep on flying.
She began her journey as a student of AntiGravity Yoga where she practiced daily despite having no fitness background whatsoever. Like most beginners, she had her own challenges with AGY – Angel Flip, Falling Star, and Monkey – all former arch nemesis poses turned into favorites. "I learned to put my fear aside, listen to the cues and trust my body.". She believes that you can gain confidence and determination to work hard for the things you want to achieve through this practice.
Whether she is flying in a hammock, shaking it at Zumba, or running in a marathon - it is without a doubt that Rox is a true testament to how it is never too late to make a positive, healthy change in your life.
Altruism is defined as “the belief in or practice of selfless concern for the well-being of others.” BEA GOMEZ-DEY is a true example what it means to truly be altruistic.
She had previously worked for one of the biggest local networks when she first stepped into Beyond Yoga. In search for a sense of serenity in her life, it wasn’t long before Bea found that the benefits of yoga transcended beyond the physical. Her practice inevitably brought about a tremendous shift in her perspective towards life that led her into turning her love for service into her career. Needless to say, yoga changed her life.
Her passion for yoga guided her to taking Beyond Yoga’s 300-hour teacher training program to be able to share it with those around her. “Yoga reminds me of the beautiful things in life,” Bea says, “I find life again on the mat so I can live it better off of it.” As a teacher, Bea brings about that determination and encouragement that she herself resonates with as a student into her classes, and it is that very same love for the practice that makes hers one to look forward to
It doesn't take a lot to see that yoga is a significant part in Eena Saniel's life. Whether it is the obvious dedication to her practice, that certain spirituality she emanates, or the natural ability she has to share yoga with with others, it was all a matter of time before she took the path towards being a teacher. She traded up her corporate wear for sweats, flip flops, that trademark headband, and a brand new direction in life. Eena keeps herself busy by staying active. Whether she's playing games with Boomer her border collie, trying out a brand new sport, biking with her fiancée, or hitting the beach, she considers herself betrothed to the outdoors. She spends her down time with her loved ones talking about the latest sci-fi or fantasy plot of interest, having good conversation at her favorite restaurants, singing her heart out on her guitar, or letting her creative juices flow through her writing. It's true, this girl does it all.
Through everything she's dabbled in, Eena says that nothing stirs the soul or engages both mind and boy like yoga does. Warrior 2 is a particular favorite, because of the self-awareness and fierce determination required to stay in it. It is that very strength that translates into the classes she teaches. Prepare to sweat, find inspiration, and be challenged - hers is a class that you wouldn't want to miss.
They say that superheroes only exist in comic books and cartoons, but here at Beyond Yoga, NIK BLANCAFLOR is as close as it gets. Rock climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, and AntiGravity Yoga (apart from his many other super powers), yup, this guy does it all. A love for travel, sweets, and hanging out with his friends are some of his favorite things, as well.
Being a true adventurer at heart, he always finds ways to push himself to the edge and break his own boundaries. Being a rock climber for over five years, Nik brings an athletic, fitness-based approach towards his AGY classes that are sure to get you happier and healthier. Expect Nik’s classes to make your heart race and sweep you off your feet.
Her positive disposition, free spirit, and energy are what draw people to ANNA CARBONELL. As one of the founders of Beyond Yoga, Cradle Media and Aloha Hula NYC, Anna keeps her days busy and is constantly interacting with different groups, yet she always manages to stand tall and welcome those around her with a smile on her face. What also draws people to Anna is her zest for life and her willingness to share all that she is passionate about.
Anna was practically born into the practice of yoga. She learned her first shoulder stand when she was four years old from her father, Rolando “Swami Deva Leelananda” Carbonell, who helped pioneer yoga in the Philippines. Her first experience of deep yoga practice came when she attended Ananda Marga ashram as a little girl.
Years later, after pursuing other interests which include modeling, acting, and working full-time as a supervisor for the IT department for a financial company in New York City, Anna reconnected with yoga at the Jivamukti Yoga Center in Manhattan. Since then, Anna has completed numerous teacher training programs, including an 800-hour Jivamukti Yoga Advanced Teacher Training, a 200-hour Vinyasa certification at Sankalpah College of Yoga in NYC, Yin Yoga certification with Sarah Powers, and Lady Niguma Yoga Series with Geshe Michael Roach. This September, Anna will add to this list a training certification for Anti-Gravity Yoga, which is becoming the latest craze, with all poses performed in a suspended woven silk hammock.
Anna also loves to travel and learn about different cultures. Before venturing to a new destination, she is quick to Google yoga studios in the area. She also enjoys playing tennis and dancing, and finds happiness and solitude in all the activities she pursues. Her favorite sutra best describes her attitude towards life. With great conviction, she recites: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”
It was in 2003 when AL GALANG tried his first yoga class while studying in UCLA. Much to his surprise, it was a humbling experience to find that among the others who were older, heavier, and more injured than he was, that he was the only one who struggled in class. It was in this moment that he first realised that this yoga was powerful enough to save anybody. Along this path he discovered a brand new existence - healthier, and with an abundance of happiness and peace that he had not been able to find anywhere else.
His path was laid out clearly when he took his 700-Hour Bikram training in 2006 and immediately taught at studios around Southern California. Lucky for us, Al was eventually drawn to Manila to be able to share his practice.
In 2007 and at only 24 years old, Al created a tremendous impact on the yoga community by opening a Bikram Yoga studio during a time when yoga was not known to most people in the Philippines. It became a breeding ground for many students who then became teachers or studio owners themselves. Clad in his shorts and dripping in sweat, Al has proven himself to be a dynamic and inspiring teacher. He has provided infallible results for thousands of practitioners over the years, which also includes a lengthy list of A-list celebrities.
This yoga daddy believes the potential of growth in the Philippines’ hot yoga community and, truth be told, it couldn’t be in better hands. It is without a doubt that this trailblazer has amazing things in store for all of us. Over a decade of experience has proven only one thing to be true for Al - his yoga journey has just begun.
Joseph Pilates once said, "Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavour." For CESS, this couldn't be more true. When she moved back to Manila in 2012 after a two-year stint working for a multinational company in Singapore, Cess was in search for something more. Enter AntiGravity, and the rest was history.
What started as a fitness regimen turned out to be a career path that she was meant to find, as she later trained for AntiGravity Yoga and AnitGravity Pilates under Jill Carnegie. With a certification in mat pilates, Cess is the first Antigravity Pilates instructor in the Philippines. With the passion for learning, Cess is currently undergoing more intensive training to further her studies in Pilates.
Cess says that it is because of AntiGravity that she healed her chronic back pain. It is for this very reason that she is determined to give students the benefits of a healthy spine. She believes it is never too late to start reaping the benefits of this practice, and we truly feel that her class gives you nothing less. Expect to have fun, be motivated and challenged in her classes! Cess is surely going to take you to new heights.
Beyond is the biggest full-service yoga studio chain in the Philippines. We offer daily yoga, AntiGravity®, and fitness classes in five studios in Metro Manila.