THE WELL Q&A: Juan Gamboa

 THE WELL yoga teacher on how he maintains balance.

Juan Gamboa in backbend
Tell us about your background. What brought you to wellness?

I started my personal yoga practice in the nineties because I suffered from anxiety and probably a stress disorder that I was “too busy” to identify. When I lost my job as financial research manager right before the Great Recession a decade ago, I decided to become a full-time yoga teacher.

Yoga reminded me to rest and reflect — to get off the hamster wheel and start living life. As a teacher, I want to spread the learnings, philosophy and joy of the practice.

One lesson you’ll take away from the COVID-19 pandemic?

My community has been the biggest part of my immunity. I have (digitally) gathered the best of my people around me every day — my teachers, mentors, family and students. I am alive and awakened because of them all.

What does wellness mean to you?

The balance of work, play and connection to self.

Name three non-negotiables in your life.

New York. Travel. Sleep.

The book you own that is the most dog-eared?

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Favorite quote?

“Be kind. It shakes the world.” — Cleo Wade

Snack you pack when you’re on the go?

Is water a snack?

Instagram accounts that get the most likes?
Morning and/or bedtime rituals?

Morning coffee. No “in-boxing” an hour before sleep.

Wellness travel essentials?

Moisturizers. Sunscreen. Hand sani.

The key to a good night's sleep?

Live with deep compassion. Work the heart, the mind and every muscle throughout the day. It sets the entire body up for a night of rebuilding.

Instant mood lifter?

Sex

Food philosophy?

I eat hearty meals (like stews, rice, soups) that remind me of my childhood in Manila. Back home in the Philippines, we usually eat with our hands (pre-COVID), and sometimes we use banana leaves as plates. We are such people of the Earth. To me, this is true comfort personified.

Most used condiment?

Fish sauce

Simple smoothie recipe?

Almond milk and blueberries in a Magic Bullet.

In your salad?

Kale

Go-to wellness gift?

A service or self-care product from THE WELL.

Words to live by?

"Be curious. Not judgmental." — Walt Whitman

How do you reboot?

Travel

Preferred mode of movement?

Yoga, dance and walking around the city

When you feel a cold coming on you...

Sleep, vitamin C and lots of zinc

What's sacred to you?

My family

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