Bikram yoga enthusiast places 3rd in Ironman 70.3 Philippines

“She doesn’t stop until she gets where she wants to be,” says Bikram Yoga Alabang studio director Ginger Diaz, Celma’s yoga instructor. (Photo courtesy of Alex Amores)

Through regular Bikram yoga practice, triathlete Celma Hitalia manages to break her personal best

For some, yoga is a good practice to calm the mind or to shed the pounds but for Celma Hitalia, yoga is more than that. Celma, a proud member of Bikram Yoga Alabang (BYA) XTRM Triathlon team, ranked third in the F45-49 age category in the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines triathlon competition held in Cebu. She placed sixth in swimming, fifth in biking, and third in running with an overall time of 5:39:38.

Aside from working out and joining races, Celma is a regular Bikram yoga practitioner. Bikram yoga involves a series of 26 postures (asanas) and two breathing exercises(pranayamas) performed inside a heated studio, typically at 40 degrees Celsius.

Celma has been a consistent podium-finisher in her age category and every year, she comes back even more determined. “My guiding principle is never to compete with anybody except yourself. You are your own competition and becoming a better you should be the focus,” she shared.

Given her intense sports training, Celma usually experiences tight muscles, which can be overcome through improved muscle flexibility. The Bikram method involves stretching, which help her muscles recover from high-impact activities. The practice also helps her develop balance, coordination, and a stronger core. More than the physical benefits, Bikram yoga also taught her about mental control: freeing herself from negative thoughts and helping her become more focused on her goal.

“Being a yogini teaches you to be patient and to work hard each day one at a time,” Celma said. Drawing the connection between being a yogini and an athlete, Celma added, “As an athlete, it helps me keep grounded; to always trust in my training and work hard each day with what I have.”

Ginger Diaz, Celma’s yoga instructor and studio director of BYA, feels proud as one of her students topped the prestigious triathlon event with over 2,000 participants. “It is such an honor that we, in Bikram Yoga Alabang, have been a part of her success. She’s one of my most driven and hardworking students. She doesn’t stop until she gets where she wants to be,” said Ginger.

The Bikram Yoga Alabang (BYA) XTRM Triathlon team during their send-off party. (Photo courtesy of Carlisle Dizon)

Celma Hitalia (third from right), consistent podium finisher, placed third in her age category at the recently concluded IronMan triathlon competition. (Photo courtesy of Ritche Trinos)

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