Maxene Magalona used to run a lot. But if you asked the Eerie star whether she’s had a regular fitness routine prior to yoga, she’d be the first to admit that it was pretty much non-existent. Her first experience with yoga happened in her college years, when it first became uso in the Philippines. But it was never something she took seriously; she didn’t think much of it after just one class.
It’s a far cry from the yogi Maxene is now. The actress starts her day with an at-home practice, waking up as early as 5 AM for it. It’s her way of squeezing in some morning exercise, and perfecting the poses that she learns at Yoga Hive, her go-to studio. As much as she enjoys doing yoga alone, she also likes the energy of a classroom setting. She practices as much as twice as day, making yoga not just a habit, but a lifestyle.
Maxene doesn’t limit herself to one type of yoga, either. While she and her musician husband Rob Mananquil are big fans of Vinyasa, or what she calls the athletic-type yoga, she’s also tried the gentler, basic Hatha as well as the physically demanding Ashtanga.
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She’s often credited yoga for helping her plan her nuptials to Rob in 2017. But yoga’s changed her life in so many other ways. She recently talked to ABS-CBN Lifestyle about just how influential it's become to her being.
1. It gave her life a little more direction. "I know it sounds cheesy but I guess that’s what I really needed. Before, I was really lost. It’s so easy to get distracted and I didn’t have much drive. But because of yoga, I started taking control of my life more. Yoga helped me find that push. Yoga taught me, that there will be something to pull you back to your true self. For other people, maybe it’s church, their family, or their support group—but there will always be something. Also, when you find the fitness routine that’s perfect for you, I think it’ll flow. As a person you know what you want."
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2. It taught her to be kind to herself. "What I love about yoga is how it will make you go at your own pace; it doesn’t pressure you. If it’s telling you you can’t reach your toes yet, it’s okay! You will soon. Kumbaga, it’s telling you to be gentle with your journey because everyone’s journey is not the same. If someone is already buff, don’t compare! And what I’ve noticed with yoga is that even if you’re so many in the classroom, you won’t even look at them. With yoga you will really focus on yourself."
3. It’s one of many activities she and her husband can do together. "Rob has been practicing since 2009. So definitely nainspire nya ako. Before, I would be lying down at home, and he’d be like, “Can you come with me to the gym?” And I’d make excuses not to, until finally, because of yoga…siguro nakita niya ah baka nga yoga ang fitness routine na bagay sa akin. My husband was the one who really made me see that fitness is gonna be your foundation. If you start by making your body strong, and your core strong, everything else will follow."
[related: ABS-CBN Lifestyle Asks: Maxene Magalona, Robby Mananquil, Etc. On Building Muscle Fast]
4. It influences what she consumes. "I completely cut out my sweets and my junk on weekends. I got so into yoga that even my body is telling me what food to take and that you don’t need to eat much. It’s proven that the best diet for a yogi is a vegan diet. I’m not a vegan, and I don’t plan to be. But that’s why I have to eat light. In order to do the pose the best way I can, I have to be as light as possible."
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Photographs taken from Maxene Magalona's Instagram account