Global Mala Project Manila: Nia Fuses Into Yoga Event

Nia is in its third year of participating in the Global Mala Project Manila – and continues to keep growing! Three of the four Filipino Nia teachers (the 4th was in Portland for the Black Belt!) combined their energies to bring a dynamic Nia class to a full class of participants.

What is the Global Mala Project?

Global Mala is an international movement started by Shiva Rea, an internationally recognized yoga teacher, to form a mala (sacred garland, set of beads) every Fall Equinox in an effort to unite the yoga community all around the world and raise funds for the organization of the community’s choice. This year the event took place on September 26, 2015, with 100% of the proceeds donated to Children International whose mandate is to fight and overcome poverty.

Global Mala was brought to Manila by Teresa Herrera, a yoga teacher, model and environmentalist, with initially only 20-30 local yogis coming together at a time when yoga was not popular there yet. Flash forward 8 years to 2015 and around one thousand yoga practitioners and healers united in Manila for 12 hours of continuous yoga, lectures, movement, workshops and drumming, all held in 4 rooms concurrently.

Nia has been part of this wonderful project for three years now. The first two years reached out to 30-40 participants, and this year it doubled to about 80 attendees!

Our exciting Nia class!

We were thrilled after fiddling with our three headsets and testing the sound system, to turn around and see this large airy room filled to capacity! Our new Nia banner peeked out over the heads of the participants. The music started… and failed… and started again. We talked a bit about Nia and saw a few of our students in the crowd, but most were new. We began with “you know what, let’s have a little FUN,” and were greeted with a loud cheer. That set the mood for the whole class.

It was heartwarming to see the participants embodying the movements, the sounding, the floorplay, the freedance, getting into their own bodies in their own way and in their own time. The positive vibes and energy stayed with us for days after and we are grateful Nia has been able to be apart of this wonderful project!

Written by: 
Lourdes Jimenez, Black Belt
Julie Ang, Green Belt
Cecilia Schrijver, Green Belt

Photo by Shutter Panda Photography