Yoga on YouTube, Fil-Am style
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — If you’ve ever wanted to try yoga but wished for a more private way of doing it, you could always watch one of Maris Dimayuga Aylward’s instructional videos on YouTube.
Some of the entry-level styles or sessions she teaches include gentle/beginners yoga and hands-free or wrist-free sequences. Some are only 15 minutes long. Though longtime practitioners can also tune in for her full-hour power yoga sessions.
“I wanted to provide high quality online yoga videos for free,” she says of the “Yoga Upload” channel she created in 2015.
“My intention was to help people who had limited resources to go to classes, those who lived in an area without easy access to yoga, and students who preferred to practice in the privacy of their own home.”
When she was still living in the Philippines, she acted for the major TV stations and movie studio Star Cinema, as well as theater companies such as Tanghalang Pilipino. In addition, Aylward loved working out and going to fitness classes.
She started practicing yoga in 2003. “I was just curious in the beginning. I tried it and I was hooked!”
Yoga transformed her life in many unexpected ways. “Starting a yoga practice and radically changing my diet and habits were among the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
“As I practiced over the years, I learned how to nurture myself, to listen to my body, and to be simply grateful for whatever the present moment brings.
“Yoga started out as a physical activity and slowly evolved into a deeper practice that supports my psychological and spiritual growth.”
Aylward moved to Kansas in 2010. “My husband, Dave, is from here. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines when we met in 2007. We got married in Manila in 2008.”
Upon arriving in the US, she studied to become a certified yoga instructor and started teaching in different studios.
“It felt natural to transition into becoming a yoga teacher. I have a teaching background, having taught high school at St. Paul College (Pasig City, Metro Manila), and corporate training background.”
She also currently co-hosts “Arts Upload,” a weekly TV show on KCPT-PBS (Kansas City Public Television). The show features local artists and arts events.
“Aside from hosting the local TV show here, I also do acting for commercials and modeling for print ads.”
Eventually, she started producing and uploading videos on YouTube. “Again, it felt like a natural transition to merge my yoga life with my background in TV, film and theater.”
There are now over a hundred videos on the channel and more are added every month. Aside from the instructional videos, she also posts Q&A sessions where she talks about diet, yoga equipment and other related topics.
On her website, she’s already created an option for users to download her videos onto their devices so they can watch even if they aren’t connected to the Internet.