In this series, we follow around various creatives and industry personalities through their daily routine, learning more about the habits, beliefs, and eccentricities that fill up their hours.
This conversation has been edited for clarity.
“I’ve just been taking it day by day, to be honest. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was experiencing a lot of fear and anxiety but eventually learned how to deal with it through constant prayer and meditation.
“Now, I focus my time and energy on doing inner work like practicing yoga and meditation everyday as well as taking care of my physical body by exercising at the gym and eating a purely plant-based diet.
“I’ve been using this time to focus on my personal growth and hopefully become more resilient so that I will be prepared for whatever challenges that may arise.
“My husband Rob and I wake up at 4 a.m. every morning to be able to practice yoga and meditation for a couple of hours to start our day.
“Personally, it’s my quiet time when I can check in with myself and see how I’m doing on the inside, while at the same time take care of my physical body.
“This is also the time when I pray and talk to God. I thank Him for the gift of life, for always guiding me in my journey and for giving me peace in my heart. I also ask Him for protection for my husband and our families in the Philippines as well as healing for all living beings who need it during this global pandemic.
“After I finish my morning practice, I read some of my favorite books such as ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle and ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda.
“I have brunch at around 11 a.m., get some work done online and then head to the gym with Rob for a short workout at 1 p.m. After that, we have lunch at our place and have some coffee and tea after.
“In the afternoon, we run some errands like have our laundry done or get groceries. At around 4-5 p.m., we practice some more yoga and meditation to be able to check in with ourselves again.
“We then have a light dinner at around 6 p.m. and then afterwards do some more reading, go on social media and/or watch some of our favorite TV shows! I’ve been enjoying K-Drama shows during this lockdown. I am currently watching Reply 1988 after finishing Reply 1997 and Reply 1994.
“By 8 p.m., we are both ready for bed as we go to sleep at 9 p.m. every night. I make sure to say a prayer to God before I fall asleep.
“That’s our daily schedule on weekdays. On weekends, we like to wake up a little later than usual, give our bodies some much needed rest and also treat ourselves to some delicious vegan food and desserts at our favorite restaurants here.
Everything I do now is with more reverence and devotion for God
“We really believe in the importance of having a balanced and healthy lifestyle especially during these difficult times, so that we can be stronger not only physically but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
“Although I had already started waking up at 4 a.m. since late last year as part of my personal practice, this time, I do it with more focus and intention.
“Everything I do now is with more reverence and devotion for God. This pandemic has definitely opened my eyes and heart to the importance of turning inward and connecting with myself on a soul level as this is what truly brings me closer to God.
“I fully understand that my spirit comes from Him and that none of this would be possible without Him, so I choose to live with love and devotion for our Creator.
“I pray more often and when I meditate and listen to my breath, I know that I am listening to Him as He is the One who makes me breathe.
“This is why my practice is so important to me because without it, I wouldn’t be able to fill my soul with nourishment and cultivate the vital energy that my physical body needs to be able to go about my daily life.
“I know that I won’t be able to perform my earthly duties without connecting to God first and foremost.
“It’s important to start your day with a prayer of gratitude as soon as you open your eyes. Thank God for waking you up to another beautiful day in this amazing world.
“Things may be overwhelming right now with so much going on in the world but just pray and trust that God will bring you through it all. Honor your emotions by really feeling what you’re feeling.
“Cry if you need to and release whatever emotions you’re experiencing so that they won’t get stuck lingering inside your body.
“Try your best to understand that you are only human and that whatever you’re feeling is just a part of your human experience.
“Connect with your heart and soul —that is the infinite part of you where God resides. You can do this. You can help yourself. You are a strong human being whose soul is made of pure love. You just have to believe in yourself. Just believe and be love.
We hope to inspire others to open their eyes, minds and hearts to the things that truly matter in life
“Daily yoga, meditation and prayer have helped me overcome challenges. Yoga asanas help strengthen my physical body and calm my nervous system. Meditation clears my mind of useless mental chatter which gives me space to come up with creative solutions for challenging situations. Prayer brings peace to my heart and soul as I trust the process knowing that God is in control.
“My morning yoga and meditation practice is a non-negotiable for me. I practice yoga asana at 5 a.m. for a good 45 minutes to an hour to prepare my physical body to be able to sit in meditation for at least an hour beginning at 6 a.m.
“It’s really something that I must do in order for me to tune in with myself, keep my emotions in check, catch my triggers, and just be a witness to my human experience.
“It helps me practice non-reactivity so that I can respond to situations more calmly instead of impulsively and emotionally like how I used to in the past. This sacred practice is what prepares me to face the day not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
“Practicing gentle yoga makes me feel so grounded and calm. Also, eating my favorite desserts like raw vegan donuts and cakes immediately makes me feel so giddy inside.
“Listening to some of my favorite music always raises my vibration. My current favorite album is ‘Chilombo’ by Jhene Aiko. I can listen to it all day!
“When I seem to be stuck in a rut, I have a clear and honest conversation with myself about what I need to do to dust myself off and just keep moving forward.
“No one else is going to motivate me or do any of this hard work for me —just me. So I just need to be real with myself about what I want to do and how I want to do it. It’s easier said than done but with consistent practice, it is possible.
“Rob and I recently launched our online yoga space called Mulat Manila wherein we give online yoga and meditation classes to those who would like to practice with us.
“We are currently holding donation-based classes wherein we ask the students to donate any amount to charity and send us proof of their donation through email so that we can give them the login details for the classes via Zoom.
“For our first week we partnered with Adopt A Family Bali which is a non-profit organization that raises funds for underprivileged Balinese families that were affected by Covid-19.
“Now, we’ve been holding classes for the benefit of Feed Philippines which is also a non-profit organization that raises funds to feed Filipino children in need during this pandemic.
“For beginner and regular yoga practitioners who want to experience our classes, we will also be offering yoga and meditation classes with drop-in and package rates soon.
“We will still include donation-based ones as we really want to use our social media channel to spread awareness and raise funds for those in need.
“Mulat means to open one’s eyes and awaken and this is what we hope to do with our fellow Filipinos through this project. We hope to inspire others to open their eyes, minds and hearts to the things that truly matter in life.” — Maxene Magalona-Mananquil as told to Carmencita S. Sioson