Yoga with Jogas

What would a yogi and a yogini, both enjoying their freedom from work, do when they get together? No-brainer, huh? I am privileged to have done yoga with Jon Cagas or Jogas (see its etymology here =D) this week at the comfort of the house of his cousin and my good friend for two decades (yeah, we met when we were two years old, =p).  A one-on-one, teacher-student session is a rare opportunity, more so with Jon who has been out of the country for more than two years and is now back in Manila for a brief break. Lucky me!



Jon Cagas in Action


Whatever mental barriers I had regarding yoga and yoga teaching, Jon broke them all. First, my statement in the previous blog was proven wrong: that there are some things that a female teacher can do freely that her male counterpart cannot. Second, I realized that female teachers do not have the monopoly of skills of giving instructions in a gentle yet authoritative manner (and voice). Third, ujjayi breathing is not about creating Darth Vader’s signature sound. Finally, ashtanga is not only for the strong…and the young. Let me elaborate on the first statement, as for the rest you can easily figure out what I mean.


Jon did to me what female teachers would have normally done, and even more, without any qualms yet within the bounds of professionalism and politesse. I have never been pulled and pushed and twisted here and there as I was during my session with him. His adjustment techniques were totally new to me…well, they “felt” new to me because most of the time I could not see what he was doing—just concentrate on your breathing, he would instruct me—and voila! I was able to bind, or reach my toes, or simply move into the pose (or into something that at least resembles the pose, which is often the case). I wished someone were there to take our pictures, as I want to see how Jon did his trick. In fact, I would have entitled this piece “my magic, yogic moments” but, hey, this is not about me.


Being a teacher at heart, Jon was also able to spot my potential and help me realize it (hmmm, sounds like a line in an infant formula commercial). At times he’d say “I think you can do this…” and true enough, even without his assistance, I’d be able to do so—something I would not have discovered on my own. As well, he was able to spot my weaknesses, such as pulling my shoulders up when I raise my arms, hyper extending my knees and elbows, among others (I guess unless your eyes are trained in anatomy, you won’t be able to see these flaws). And at the end of the session, teacher that he is, Jon gave me an assessment of what I can do and what to further develop. This is one good thing about one-on-one’s—you get all the teacher’s attention, which would not have been possible in a group setting.


But the trouble with one-on-one’s is that you get all the teacher’s attention! Jon often checked my breathing, putting his ear close to my nose. Chona’s thought bubble: ngayon ko lang nalaman nakaka-tense palang huminga! At one point he asked me to “use my hands to move my flesh up in my abdominal area to deepen my twist.” Chona’s thought bubble: Galing mo naman, Jon, napaka ma-diplomasya mo. Chona, itaas mo daw yung bilbil mo para maka-twist ka ng tama!


And to top the session off, Jon prepared a vegetarian dish for dinner—squash, tofu, and string beans sautéed in garlic and onions. Healthy and certainly yummy!



Thank you, Jon! Looking forward to my next yogic moment with you! (Hmmm, I just remember, wala pala tayong savasana at closing…so kelangan talaga maulit ito! =D)







8 thoughts on “Yoga with Jogas

  1. Chona nakakainis ka ha! While about 15 of us in Jon’s class are competing for his attention and assistance, you get personalised service. Pinakain ka pa pagkatapos! Unfair!!! 🙂

    Anyways, it was really nice to see you again last Saturday. If you need the he

  2. Ooops, I hit the submit button early 🙂
    As I was saying if you need the “heads” to build an Ashtanga class at VYC just contact me, OK? Baka naman Trin can teach it na lang?

  3. Oo nga, iba nga ang ujjayi ni Jon! Hindi lang ma-capture sa still camera ko yun. Have to check kung sa video ni Neil eh nakuha yon. Neil says naka-wide screen setting siya sa Jon & Trin yoga shoot…masarap panoorin sa LCD yon. Hmm…our next weekend group date?

    Saka, I agree. Di ko man pa naging teacher si Jon but based on what I saw at yesterday’s shoot, Jon has a gentle spirit. He must handle others well. Sayang, wala pa ako sa ashtanga mode.

  4. “Chona’s thought bubble: Galing mo naman, Jon, napaka ma-diplomasya mo. Chona, itaas mo daw yung bilbil mo para maka-twist ka ng tama!”

    — Haha! This is so funny! Though tinataas ko rin ang bilbil ko para makapag twist ng matino : )

  5. Am so looking forward to Jon’s next return in December. Talagang talaga mag aabsent na ako from work para umatend! I had a hard time uploading pics Chon (bagal dsl ko at night) so only posted tonight. Haay!

  6. Hi all! Thanks for visiting!

    @Melanie – sometimes it’s really not what you know but whom you know ;-D Swerte ko na friend ko si Ate Rose ni Jon, he he. Yes, nice to see you last Saturday. Looking forward to practising with you, vinyasa or ashtanga.

    @Crissy – am so excited to see your pix and video! Musta si Neil after the veggie lunch? Next time talaga ipagbabaon ko siya ng quarter pounder, ha ha!

    @Ben – practice tayo pag-uwi mo. Let’s do the twist together, ha ha!

    @Jane – Saw the post already. Thanks Jane! Naku, I tell you, session with Jon is worth missing a day’s work.

    @Jon – THANK YOU so much for your time and patience! For letting me go through the entire series kahit bagsak ako sa madaming poses, bagsak literally and figuratively, he he. So while you’re on your journey in India, I’ll be on my own in ashtanga. Till next time!

  7. Freedom from work = joblessness

    Yesterday, while buying dessert at Cheesecake Melissa, I bumped into an ex-officemate who has also resigned from my former workplace recently…without back-up job/employment. Just like me, he just resigned from work. Period. He was with his mom who was surprised to know that his son and I were in the same situation. She said, “at this time when everyone is holding on to their dear jobs, you, two, quit just like that.” “Opo, ang tatapang po namin, ano?” I answered, with a tone of shame in my voice. “Oh, no!” the gracious lady said. “It only means you are so sure of yourself, of who you are. What confidence!”

    What faith, I must say.

    Dignity is not only in labor.

    As we parted ways, my ex-officemate said, “Oh, by the way, my mom’s name is Melissa. Salamat sa suporta.”

    Whoa! Ha ha! 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s