The Yogini from Manila

Wellness in mind, body and spirit

CUCA yoga mats

December 7, 2014
by jane
2 Comments

Meet the CUCA Eco-Care yoga mat

I have several yoga mats at home. To be honest, I began with a generic, cheap mat since I did not know then, back in 2006, if I’d love it. When I began practicing on a regular basis, I transitioned to branded yoga mats. But each mat had its pros and cons.

One mat I own is a very popular brand. It’s one that will last me for many, many years. But it’s not a mat I can carry anywhere with me. In fact, when rolled up, it’s as heavy as a suitcase. It’s just good for home practice. I also have branded mats that are of normal mat thickness (4mm) and they just don’t work for kneeling asanas. I end up using 2 mats stacked one on top of the other. Then, there is the stickiness factor. I’ve tried mats that are so aesthetically appealing but when doing downward dogs my hands start slipping. Not. Safe. Such mats can be dangerous for those who need enough stickiness especially when doing inversions. And, here’s one more — length. Most mats have a standard length of 68 inches. Well, guess what happens when a tall person uses normal-sized mats! Not a problem though, haha.

Really, just think about the mats you own. What do you like and don’t like about them? I’m sure there are a few things you wish your mat had.

Well, I recently met Priscilla Aliwarga, “CEO on fire” of CUCA, who says she set out to create what is the closest to the perfect yoga mat.

As a Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher, Priscilla Aliwarga has also tried different kinds and brands of yoga mats. She said that the market had only two kinds of mats: the generic, cheap kind or, on the other end of the spectrum, the very expensive branded ones. She also felt that some of the mats she had been using did not have all the features she would have wanted. She wanted to create the ideal yoga mat — slip-proof, made from aseptic materials that were still completely biodegradable, beautiful, and affordable. So she set out to do just that and came up with the CUCA Eco-care yoga mat.

It’s interesting where the name CUCA comes from. Kuka is the Incan Goddess of Happiness and Well-Being. Priscilla told us this embodied what she wanted her company to be — a company “infused with the passion of people who strive for high performance, affordable, eco-friendly products, to empower you to get in touch with your inner self”.

 

Priscilla Aliwarga, CUCA's CEO on fire!

Priscilla Aliwarga, CUCA’s CEO on fire!

 

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Small, 7cm x 19cm, PhP 100

October 26, 2014
by jane
1 Comment

Pain relief with Kimochi Aroma Pillows

I’ve been bothered by pain in my right shoulder for some time now. Being a blogger and social media person sure has its disadvantages. Typing on a keyboard for hours is not always ergonomic. I’ve tried yin yoga poses and they help. I do counterposes to stretch out the inner arms and move wrists in the opposite direction. I try to remember to angle my laptop with screen lower than my waist to lessen wrist pressure. But the pain comes and goes. Then a great item came for me recently – a whole set of Kimochi Aroma Pillows! Even with the courier package still well-sealed, I could already smell the strong lavender scent coming out of the pillows. Wow, they sure placed a lot of aromatherapy into these things! Kimochi aroma pillows sealed
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Ayurveda

October 7, 2014
by jane
9 Comments

Book review: Ayurveda by Kim Inglis (plus a book giveaway!)

I will preface this book review by saying that I am nowhere near an expert on Ayurveda, an ancient Indian holistic healing modality that considers a person’s basic (dosha) constitution based on vatha (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (water). In fact, I consider myself a newbie in this healing realm.

So when I was asked if I wanted to do a book review on an upcoming Ayurveda book by Kim Inglis, I took it as an opportunity to learn more about this holistic therapeutic approach as added knowledge beside my learnings about Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Ayurveda by Kim Inglis

Ayurveda by Kim Inglis

The book is beautifully laid out in easy-to-read style with generous illustrated photos of each Ayurvedic treatment in every chapter. The book is divided into 3 major categories after an introductory chapter: Wellness, Beauty and Balance.

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Mercury retrograde

October 4, 2014
by jane
0 comments

How to deal with Mercury retrograde (Oct. 4-25, 2014)

If you believe in Mercury retrograde, then be more mindful and patient these next three weeks (Oct. 4-25, 2014) as Earth goes into Mercury Retrograde again. This is actually the third (and last) one this year. Mercury retrograde happened last Feb. 26-28 and June 7-July 1 of this year. This time we have 3 full weeks of it.

Mercury retrograde

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Jertie and Jaq

September 22, 2014
by jane
0 comments

Catch Jertie’s Kitchen’s The Green Guide to Eating Right healthy workshops

Sugarleaf events are always great opportunities for people looking to having a healthier lifestyle despite the stress of urban living. It’s been about 2 years now that I’ve been attending events at Sugarleaf whenever I can and there is always something new to learn and apply. I’m giving you a heads-up because here is another one you’d want to calendar.

I recently met sisters Jertie and Jaclyn Abergas, who happen to be vegan and gluten-sensitive resource speakers. I was attending a media preview at Sugarleaf to gain a sneak peek into their upcoming series of workshops over the next several months dubbed The Green Guide to Eating Right.

Jertie and Jaq

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Body of Matstone juicer with motor

June 16, 2014
by jane
0 comments

Matstone Slow Juicer: Preserving Precious Enzymes While Juicing

I always thought a juicer was a juicer was a juicer.

But when i attended my first vegan workshop at Sugarleaf with raw food chef Mona Lisa Neuboeck, they were using a different kind of juicer — a slow Matstone juicer.

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June 15, 2014
by jane
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Toe power – you won’t ignore it after reading this

Let me first tell you a short story.

I took ballet lessons as a young girl under my tita and her daughter in the province. For many years, I wore flat ballet shoes in class as I moved from the beginners to the intermediate class. I’d often look at the advance class pirouette around in toe shoes and long for the day that I would graduate to being a toe dancer. Every summer, tita would sit her intermediate students down to check their feet. She’d examine their ankles and toes. You could not get your toe shoes until she gave the thumbs up. One summer, I was one of those students lined up for the check. I did not pass. She told me to wait another year. I was so disappointed! It took another year of dancing, practicing and working my feet before I finally got her nod of approval. Receiving my Capezio toe shoes all the way from New York was probably one of the happiest moments in my life.

Fast forward to the present.

I’ve long noticed how yin yoga classes put great emphasis on the strength of the toes. In a recent yin yoga workshop with Singapore-based Jo Phee, she began our class on the floor with toe rotations. Taking each toe in turn, we slowly turned them clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Those used to the active and dynamic styles of yoga would probably find this very odd for a yoga class. And in Victor Chng’s yin yoga intensives, he’d have us doing “high-heeled shoes” (his description for poses that have you on your toes, bearing the weight of your body). And fair warning — holding those poses for 3 to 5 minutes was not a walk in the park.

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Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi

May 30, 2014
by jane
0 comments

Book Review: Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi by Brian Leaf

The first time I encountered Brian Leaf’s humorous, candid writing style was when I reviewed his first book, Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi. So when I was asked if I wanted to do one on his second book, Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi, I did not hesitate one second, knowing that I’d be treated to another round of humor and entertaining stories from a not-so-typical yogi.

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