Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lessons in Ayurveda

Attended a week of Mysore classes with Jessica Blanchard in Yoga Manila's beautiful Ortigas studio (so far, the best smelling studio I've been to :)) It was an immense learning experience for me. Jessica caught a couple of my bad habits (Oops! Not binding properly, feet not aligned) but was supportive and constructive throughout. I truly appreciated her mentoring.

Jessica adjusting in Supta Kurmasana
Image from neworleansashtanga.com
And despite my tardiness in booking an appointment, I had the good luck to catch a spot and have a private consultation with Jessica. Some things I learned:

Vata - Pitta
She asked questions about my diet, my practice and my daily routine. She checked my pulse, looked at my hands and nails and asked me to stick out my tongue. My constitution was declared to be Vata - Pitta. From this, a couple of recommendations were given:

  • Moisturize skin, even if humid. Vata skin tends to be dry
  • Use Coconut Oil on dry heels and peeling toes (aka Ashtanga feet) 
  • Remove green bell peppers from my vegetable juice. The peppers aggravate Pitta
When you oil your feet at night, you can dream of being in the beach...

Prior to meeting Jessica, I listed down my meals for the past 3 days. The practice of itemizing what I ate and drank was enlightening in itself. Jessica added a few more suggestions for me to chew on: 
(with a bit of embellishment, for comedic effect)
  • Jessica: Try to have one vegetarian meal a day
    Thought bubble: I will try, try, try :)

  • Jessica: If you have meat in your meal, stick to that one meat. For example: if you have chicken for lunch, only eat chicken and do not have additional bites of pork or beef. If you have seafood, only eat seafood for that meal.
    Thought bubble: You mean malulugi na ako sa buffet?! *

  • Jessica: Add vegetables to every meal. You don't need to have dessert after every meal.
    Thought bubble: Waaahhhhh!!!
Bye bye, desserts!
  • Jessica: And no more midnight snacks
    Thought bubble: Double waaahhhh!!!

  • Jessica: Due to your constitution, it is better to have hearty comforting meals like soup, stew, porridge, etc. Minimize fried food.
    Thought bubble: I can do this!! Take out from Tao Yuan, Gloria Maris and Summer Palace!

And guess what, I was able to teach Jessica a couple of things as well. O-ha!

Lesson 1Use Coconut Oil from Day 1 of pregnancy to avoid or minimize stretch marks
Lesson 2: Atis = Custard Apple
Lesson 3: Pork floss. A yummy bread topping. Well... it's technically pork-based. But it's worth a try!

As you can see, the exchange of knowledge was not proportional...

Yummy pork floss. Image from creatingwithmymind.blogspot.com

To end, let me just say that this post does not do justice to the lessons I've learned from Jessica. The knowledge, warmth and energy she has shared cannot be captured with written words. Thank you Jessica for your presence. I hope you come back to Manila soon. 

* Translated: I won't get my money's worth in a buffet anymore?!


  1. Hello,

    I stumbled upon your blog online and though this post was hilarious! I also recognize you from Pulse (Greenhills) when I used to practice there :)

    I'll link you up on my blog, hope its alright.


  2. I also stumbled by looking for photos, nice to meet you. I looove Jessica :-) Will add you to the blogroll to stay in touch! p s I am also vata pitta this is helpful!


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