I was introduced to Leny Strobel and the Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS) in 2010 and found that the activities, events and material they exposed me to gave me new purpose in life. In 2011, Tita ("Auntie") Leny welcomed a few of us in the community, who were newly exploring the indigenous wisdom traditions through CfBS and I became a regular volunteer. Even after I moved away from the Bay Area, I have maintained my relationships with several founding members and consider them to be important mentors in my journey.
Since 2014, I have been slowly and mindfully developing an approach to yoga inspired by Filipino indigenous wisdom and the concept of "kapwa". "Kapwa", which means "the self in the other" is a core term that derives from Sikolohiyang Pilipino, which was a system developed by Virgilio Enriquez as a way to distinguish the Filipino character*. Kapwa Yoga seeks to carefully and lovingly integrate the spirit of Kapwa, the indigenous wisdom teachings of the Philippines and the deep traditions of yoga philosophy.
The use of "kapwa" (when referring to community, unity, interconnectedness, brotherhood/sisterhood) has become increasingly popular in the Millennium and has inspired several community organizations and efforts including Kapwa Care Mixtape, Kapwa Collective, Kapwa Gardens, Kapwa Kirtan, Kapwa Konversations, Kultivating Kapwa, Our Kapwa and the 4 groups of Kapwa Yoga. While there is much to celebrate in these efforts, there is still much to do to bring Filipino/a/x conscious practitioners/instructors together and engage in the deep work to raise global consciousness.
It is common understanding amongst Kapwa groups that it is vitally important to honor our elders and learn responsibly. Through prayer and outreach, Christine hopes to inspire an ethos of collective learning and growth, sharing, collaboration and compassion as the spirit of kapwa grows.
If you are interested in co-developing the Kapwa Yoga teachings or being involved in future workshops/trainings (or you are already and would like to work together to be more fully "in kapwa"), please send Christine a message and we can begin the "kapwa konversation". Peace & Blessings. Namaste. Maha Mahal. Bahala Na.
KAPWA YOGA KONNEKTIONS
There are 4 known Kapwa Yoga groups:
A school founded in April of 2014 by Christine Jugueta, Archimedes Miranda De Leon, Natalie Macam and Amy Valdez encouraging awareness of kapwa teachings and indigenous wisdom as a tool for understanding yogic philosophy and authenticity in yoga practice.
A studio in the Philippines from 2015-2016 by Arch De Leon.
A corporation established in July of 2020 by Paul Jochico encouraging interconnectedness and the teachings of kapwa as a lens for developing meditation and yoga practice.
An Instagram collaborative formed in August of 2020 celebrating mostly female-identified Filipinx yoga instructors and encouraging yoga practice in the Filipino/a/x community.
The following teachers/groups offer "kapwa yoga" classes currently:
PJ in Motion, owner of Kapwa.Yoga
Jessy Zapanta, who teaches Kapwa Flow through the East Bay Meditation Center
Inspiration and guidance also comes from the following organizations:
* From Kapwa: The Self in the Other by Katrin de Guia
Logo by Nicanor Evangelista