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Juan Gamboa in backbend

THE WELL Q&A: Juan Gamboa

Juan Gamboa in backbend

THE WELL Q&A: Juan Gamboa

THE WELL yoga teacher on how he maintains balance.

Q:

Tell us about your background. What brought you to wellness?

A:

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.

Q:

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

A:

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.

Q:

What does wellness mean to you?

A:

The balance of work, play and connection to self.

Q:

Name three non-negotiables in your life.

A:

New York. Travel. Sleep.

Q:

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

A:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Q:

Favorite quote?

A:

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

Q:

Snack you pack when you’re on the go?

A:

Is water a snack?

Q:

Instagram accounts that get the most likes?

Q:

Morning and/or bedtime rituals?

A:

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

Q:

Wellness travel essentials?

A:

Moisturizers. Sunscreen. Hand sani.

Q:

The key to a good night's sleep?

A:

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.

Q:

Instant mood lifter?

A:

Sex

Q:

Food philosophy?

A:

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.

Q:

Most used condiment?

A:

Fish sauce

Q:

Simple smoothie recipe?

A:

Almond milk and blueberries in a Magic Bullet.

Q:

In your salad?

A:

Kale

Q:

Go-to wellness gift?

A:

A service or self-care product from THE WELL.

Q:

Words to live by?

A:

"Be curious. Not judgmental." — Walt Whitman

Q:

How do you reboot?

A:

Travel

Q:

Preferred mode of movement?

A:

Yoga, dance and walking around the city

Q:

When you feel a cold coming on you...

A:

Sleep, vitamin C and lots of zinc

Q:

What's sacred to you?

A:

My family