When In Manila, enhance your senses, reignite your passion and be one with nature! Join the Flow Weekends!
Flow is a boutique retreat offered to everyone who wants to freshen up their minds, heart, body and soul. The recent Flow retreat was different from the original series of Flow: Surf Yoga Samba weekends. This time, the setting was on a farm – a very enchanted farm of Gawad Kalinga.
Flow participants got to learn Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga and dance the samba with Escola de Samba de Manila. This all happened at the wonderful Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm where raw, organic and healthy food is abundant! It was a perfect place to start for people who want to switch to a healthy lifestyle. Participants got served with delicious meals and raw food snacks to nourish the body with rich nutrients.
The view was relaxing and refreshing! We definitely took a break from the daily city life and repetitive patterns of our mind.
Watch the video:
The People Behind FLOW
There are three beauties behind the Flow retreats: Monica, Noelle and Denise. These three ladies have different forte when it comes to health and fitness and they decided to bring their different talents together to come up with a fulfilling event: FLOW.
Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga with Monica
Surf with Noelle
Shake it with Denise of Escola de Samba de Manila
The Setting: Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm
The farm is named after its place of origin – Bulacan’s Barangay Encanto. The Enchanted Farm is the canvas for Gawad Kalingga’s second face of their 2024 road map to end poverty in the Philippines. It is a very ambitious dream but one that is now coming to reality right in front of us! Know more about Gawad Kalinga’s efforts here.
Enchanting indeed because according to our tour guide Frank of Gawad Kalinga, the once idle and unproductive land is now transformed into a landscape of vast potential that will sustain communities for generations to come.
The Enchanted Farm is actually the first of 24 sites being developed for this community in the Philippines and it follows the following concepts:
- Village University for sustainable community where classrooms are connected to the communities. Ideal for students and residents of the GK village to be exposed to social enterprises and communities.
- A Silicon Valley for social entrepreneurship. Young entrepreneurs are provided a supportive buisness ecosystem where they are free to study and launch concepts to help Filipino brands.
- Disneyland for social tourism. The dream that the GK villages and the magical stories of the Enchanted Farm will bring visitors from different parts of the Philippines and abroad to get a first-hand experience of the GK community and gain insight to social problems that face millions of Filipinos.
Sunrise and Sunset Yoga
The Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga classes were held at the beautiful Bamboo Grass Palace. The place was very serene and relaxing. The breath of fresh air was invigorating! It was a break from the daily pollution of the city. It was refreshing to do yoga on an open-air environment. In the city, yoga classes are usually conducted on closed spaces, but being one with nature was definitely a genuine experience!
Monica explained that the different poses benefit the different parts of the body. The downward dog position is nuetral and aligns your body organs properly. Some poses enhance you liver and kidney function while the other poses help your back.
The only thing about being close to nature is that nature becomes close to you too. So when you participate in open-nature yoga sessions like this, Flow highly recommends you to bring natural insect repellents.
Human Nature is actually a product of Gawad Kalinga social enterprise
Theo and Philo Chocolate-Making Workshop
Everybody loves chocolates but not everyone knows how to make one! The FLOW participants were in for a treat as Philo of Theo and Philo Artisan Chocolates showed us how it was done.
Crushed Cocoa Beans
Process of Crushing beans and separating the cover
Heavy duty juicer to release the chocolate’s natural oil
Raw Snacks and Healthy Meals
Personally, my favorite part of the trip was learning how to prepare nutritious meals! It is one thing to eat, but preparing your own food gives you a better understanding of what’s in your food. Are you feeding toxins to your body? Or are you feeding the right nutrition it deserves?
I think that most people eat unhealthy because they are not aware of what they feed their body. The key is to become educated and to rid yourself of ignorance when it comes to food which in turn, you feed to your family as well.
Like I said, FLOW was a great start to know the basics of healthy living. It doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian all the way, it just teaches you how you can get the maximum nutrition out of the food you eat.
Pesto pasta with tofu, dried anchovies and free range organic chicken
Vegetable Burger. The pattie is made of Puso ng Saging (Banana Bud)
RAW is AWESOME
Raw food maintains all the nutrition you can get out of your food. Once you cook or process it, it already changes.
“Breakie” or “Brekie” – short for breakfast
After we made chocolate, we incorporated it into our raw snacks in the afternoon.
We mixed it with fruits, your choice of cow’s milk or coconut milk (for the vegan), honey and granola.
Green Smoothie Workshop
Fruits before anything else! We grew up thinking fruits belong to the “desserts” section. It actually belongs to the “appetizer” section. When you eat fruits first, your digestive enzymes become more effective so that you can process better the junk that you eat!
They said, really hunger comes from the stomach and not from your mouth. When it comes from your mouth, you are only craving for the “taste.” This smoothie is actually great to start your day. You should drink this before anything else.
It’s a mixture of greens (healthy leaves), water and fruits. I usually don’t put honey anymore because the fruits are already sweet.
Green Smoothie with Toni
Samba with Escola de Samba de Manila
Shake the stress out and have fun with Samba! Dancing, like music, is a universal thing. Wherever in the world you are, no matter how bad you think are with dancing, you would still tap your toes, and nod your head up and down when you hear music! Samba music is very magnetic and guess what – we were also the ones creating the rhythm!
They taught us how to make the beat and dance to it as well!
Note: You must feel the heartbeat of the music before you dance!
The Enchanted Farm offers bunks and cottages for you to stay. It was part of the FLOW package but if you want to visit GK Enchanted Farm on your own, click here to know more.
Our room at the Farm Terraces
View outside our room at dawn before sunrise Yoga.
Overall, it was another successful FLOW retreat. To know more about the next FLOW: Surf Yoga Samba activities, visit FLOW’s official website and follow their Twitter and Facebook accounts listed below for updates!
When In Manila, join the next FLOW weekend!
FLOW Farm Yoga Samba
More photos of FLOW Farm Yoga Samba