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Tzu Chi partners with yoga group, debuts yoga class

July 03, 2018 | Erika Zamora

The first session of “Yoga Now!” focuses on the theme “Stand Tall,” requiring everyone to stretch their spine. 【Photo by Erika Zamora】

Story Highlights

  • In partnership with YOGA Is For Everyone, Tzu Chi on July 3 holds the first session of “Yoga Now!” at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The program aims to introduce its participants to the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of yoga.


Tzu Chi Philippines and local yoga group YOGA Is For Everyone (YIFE) on July 3 joined hands as they held the first yoga class at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus. 

The program entitled “Yoga Now!” aims to educate participants aspects of yoga usually left out in typical classes held in gyms and studios, namely history and values. Classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday and last an hour and a half.

The debut class on the third floor of the Eye Center within the campus attracted around 30 participants. Organizers expect the number to rise as the program carries on.

After 15 sessions, organizers and instructors expect the participants to reap not only the physical but also mental benefits of yoga, applying them to their day-to-day lives, especially in managing stress.

Adapting a more generic form of yoga, the class opens its doors to even beginners. The ages of participants range between 30 and 82 years old, all eager to learn.

The lead instructor for the opening session, Menchi Castro, shares that YIFE started a partnership with Tzu Chi over the shared idea of promoting vegetarianism. After learning that both share a common goal of working toward the welfare of others, the partnership grew until “Yoga Now!” was launched.

One of the students, Ellen Ang, shared that she needs help dealing with stress. Every day, she feels the rigors of working as a sales agent and caring for five children and three grandchildren.

“For me, doing yoga now at this time of my life, it will really bring me to a calmer pace, a calmer phase even in my life,” she said.

Another reason for Ang joining the class is Tzu Chi’s volunteer program. She’s no stranger to helping others, as in the past she helped the students of her former Wushu club in more than just training.

“I’m happy that something like that happened and so I thought: ’Maybe this is the path for me.’ I’d like to get into helping people. If Tzu Chi is an avenue where I can, if Tzu Chi will accept me as a volunteer, I would really love to be able to do something for our people,” she added.

Tzu Chi volunteer, Woon Ng, shares that she hopes that her fellow volunteers would benefit greatly from these classes, especially with the stress that they feel juggling volunteering and other parts of their everyday lives.

“Because of the class, I’ve become really keen on listening to instructions. As a volunteer, I think, in order to lead people we have to first and foremost learn how to listen,” said Ng.

But she also hopes that “Yoga Now!” can introduce people to Tzu Chi as there are plans to launch more classes in the future that even outsiders may participate in.

“We’re having fun. We’re all learning together. People can come and join Tzu Chi and get to know us better in a really fun and relaxed way,” Ng added.

Other details are posted on YIFE’s Facebook page ( and the “Yoga Now!” event page (


  • Students of the class, mostly Tzu Chi volunteers, perform the poses after the lecture on the benefits of yoga. 【Photo by Erika Zamora】

  • “Yoga Now!” instructors roam around the class to assist the students with their forms, offering advice to those having difficulty. 【Photo by Erika Zamora】