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The Yoga Podcast #8 – From Corporate World To Yoga Teacher: Jessica Blanchard

I met Jessica while daydreaming of leaving the corporate world around 2005/6.  She was a resident teacher at Yoga Thailand, a great place in Ko Samui led by Paul and Jutima Dallaghan. I was a stressed out worker who did not enjoy the cubicle life.

But Jessica had been in the corporate world too.  And that is what attracted me to read about her, because I thought if she could do it, maybe I could too…

[If you cannot see the big picture with the play button click here to listen to the episode] Or you can find it in I-Tunes, Stitcher or Podbay.fm

What Is Special About Jessica

It seems to me Yoga choose Jessica rather than the other way around.Jessica Blanchard

She had a great job in Paris in IT, she travelled all the time, and she was making money.

But a workshop with David Swenson and meeting Pattabhi Jois in London between 2000 and 2002 changed everything.

She could not believe how people would show up early in the morning to “sweat together”, and practice this dynamic form of hatha yoga. And she liked it.

So she started practicing and traveling to Mysore and meeting people and …

She  joined Yoga Thailand in its early stages as a teacher and by invitation! and met Tiwari who is one of the most serious and advanced practitioners of pranayama in the world today.

That, meeting Tiwari, is something I envy her for (in a good way of course) because she got to study under direct supervision from him… they still talk on the phone.

What We talked About

  1. Jessica’s life in the corporate world, working for IT and traveling most of the time
  2. How she started getting into yoga slowly
  3. Her workshop with David Swenson clarifies things for her
  4. Her visit to London to take Pattabhi Jois’s tour classes
  5. India
  6. An Invitation to Teach and “take over for a few months” Yoga Thailand!!! I mean. Wow.
  7. Her yoga sabbatical, and did she fear running out of money?
  8. What is it like to learn directly from Pranayama World Authority Tiwari?
  9. Opening her own studio in 2008 in New Orleans
  10. Getting married and having a baby
  11. The delivery story – It was painful but not as crazy as some videos women get to watch…
  12. How the studio is doing today
  13. What took Jessica a long time to understand.

Books Jessica Recommends on The Podcast

Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution (Your Ayurvedic Constitution Revised Enlarged Second Edition) Paperback – by Dr. Robert Svoboda.  Prakriti  means “nature” in Sanskrit. Dr. Svoboda, says Jessica, is a great writer, very entertaining, very clear and practical.  He is a teacher and a yogi.

Ayurveda The Science Of Self Healing by Vasan Lad.  Jessica says this one is for those of us interested in learning more about the pulse, and a good introduction.

Ayurvedic Nutrition – By Atreya Smith, one of Jessica’s teacher. This book is  clear on diet and the benefits of it.

ANOTHER BOOK WE MENTION IN THE PODCAST:

The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner

(Here is the interview James did with Buettner on living to 100)

About Jessica

Her Studio in New Orleans

Her book: Yoga Thailand’s Healthy Lifestyle Cooking  I’ve tried recipes from this book for the past five years, in between visits to Ko Samui, and they are delicious and packed with nutrition.

A Meal Plan to eat healthy she is offering for free

Twitter

Facebook

Instragram

Youtube

Samahita Retreat – or Yoga Thailand

Transcript

Claudia A. Altucher:   Hello and welcome to the Yoga Podcast. Today I have for my guest Jessica Blanchard. She is the founder of Balance Yoga and Wellness in New Orleans. She is a trained yogi for years, authorized by Pattabhi Jois in the Ashtanga yoga tradition. She has also studied at Yoga Thailand under Paul and Jutima Dallaghan, and also Master Tiwari, one of the most authoritative authorities in Pranayama in the world. And Jessica has an interest in Ayurveda. She is a member of NAMA, the national organization which governs and protects Ayurveda here in the United States, and she studied at the European Institute of Vedic Studies and Ayurveda as well. She’s a co-author of Yoga Thailand’s Healthy Lifestyle cookbook, which is in Amazon, and Jessica had the life I think I wish I had when I was in the corporate world. Jessica, welcome to the Yoga Podcast.

Jessica Blanchard:      [Laughter] Thank you, Claudia.

Claudia A. Altucher:   It’s great to have you. So I want to ask you – I’m insanely curious. You started practicing around ’99, 2000 – is that so?

Jessica Blanchard:      That’s right, yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And you had a job.

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yeah, yeah. I worked at Accenture, which is a big consulting firm, multinational. And at that time I was based in Europe

Claudia A. Altucher:   Where in Europe?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, in southern France. Officially my base was called Sophia Antipolis, which is close to Nice, so – but I was traveling a lot because most of the clients were in other places. It was kind of a pan-European office, so I would travel to, say, Dublin, Ireland – that’s actually where I was when I first started Ashtanga yoga, and…

Claudia A. Altucher:   Uh-huh. So do you speak French?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, I do.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So were you born in France, or –

Jessica Blanchard:      No, no, I was born in Louisiana, and there’s a strong connection between South Louisiana and France ’cause it was originally settled by the French. So I always had a fascination with France. My grandmother spoke French; she spoke Cajun French.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Oh.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, but I learned it in school, maybe starting when I was 13, and I did spend some time over in France when I was in university, in eastern France, in Noce, which is a small place not too many people go to, but it was great because I learned to speak really well ’cause there weren’t too many foreigners. I made very good friends there.

Claudia A. Altucher:   That’s great. But let me ask you – so did you live in Paris with your job because you were living there, or did they hire you, or how did that happen?

Jessica Blanchard:      That happened – they hired me in New York, and –

Claudia A. Altucher:   I see, and you spoke French. And your job was IT, right – IT related?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, it was. It was very different, and I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I started. I was a sociology and French major, in a small school outside of Philadelphia, an all-women’s college. And I managed to do well in the interviews – I don’t know how – ’cause I didn’t –

Claudia A. Altucher:   That’s great.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, and I –

Claudia A. Altucher:   But you know, the thing is, I also had a job in IT, so I remember reading your bio – it must’ve been 2006 or so – and going, “Oh, my God, she is like what I want to do.” It’s amazing. I mean, I think you were in Dublin one day and you take a workshop with – well, tell us. Who did you take a workshop with?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, this was actually – first it was just a yoga teacher. I am having trouble remembering her name, ’cause she doesn’t teach Ashtanga anymore. But my first Ashtanga classes were with her – her name was Paula; that’s right – and then soon after that I took a workshop with David Swenson. He was probably one of the first – the first ever yoga workshop I took, and that was in early 2000, I think January of 2000. I still remember it was very cold and dark –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah.

Jessica Blanchard:      ______ Dublin, and it was ______ gym. But there were all these people. I was surprised because it didn’t seem like many people did yoga. There were no yoga studios. All of the classes were in very cold church halls or gyms. We would push the equipment out of the way. The first time I met Paul was at this very funny gym; there was carpet on the floor and he was traveling and teaching there. But –

Claudia A. Altucher:   And David Swenson is like a huge – is like – within the Ashtanga yoga world, probably everyone has seen his book because he teaches both the primary and the intermediate series in that book with modifications. So for those of us who can’t get into the pretzel, he has sort of like side images so that you feel like, okay, yeah, I can do this, and it’s very reassuring.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, and he’s a very – yeah, he makes yoga very accessible, so it’s been – yeah – nice.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And something happened to you there, like you caught the Ashtanga bug. You liked it

Jessica Blanchard:      I loved it. I really did. I can’t exactly say why. I think it’s a constellation of factors about it: the moving, the breath, the fact that it does require – because it’s physical, you concentrate. It requires concentration. And there was less talk and fluffiness and I think –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yes. [Laughter]

Jessica Blanchard:      And it’s interesting ’cause in Europe I feel like yoga was less fluffy than it is in the US since – you know, now I moved back in 2007, but Ashtanga – to me it seems like it’s a little more popular in Europe than it is here in the US.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Interesting. Why do you think that is?

Jessica Blanchard:      Because it’s more traditional, and I think in Europe there’s a little more of an appreciation for history and tradition than in America where it’s like new. We like to change things and improve and – and I don’t think that’s everywhere in the US, but in some. And there’s a lot of newer styles that have been modified – Ashtanga’s been modified in so many different ways by different people, and not that that’s good or bad, but I like sticking with the way it came from India.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, I agree with you. I mean, I think there is a little bit – and this is what inspired me to start a yoga podcast. I think that a lot of people are not interested in yoga. It’s more like a lot of people are perhaps interested in asana or in fitness or – but yoga itself is something – like the asana can even drop out of the picture once you can somewhat control your mind a little bit more. It’s kind of like the training to be a Jedi master or – it’s more a mind thing, and a breathing and a concentration. And so that’s what inspired me to grab teachers like you who are definitely – who are in for the whole thing, not just parts of it. And so you took this workshop in Dublin, and then you went back to your job traveling all over the world, and you started practicing daily, every day? Is that what happened?

Jessica Blanchard:      It was – I wouldn’t say – it was a slow transition to practicing daily, because at first I didn’t know what – because there was no – there wasn’t a Mysore style class then, and Mysore style is where you practice kind of self-paced. Eventually there was, but no one went so a teacher – she stopped it. But after – actually I went to a workshop in Rome. I traveled to Rome to study with Lino Milie, and after that I was at Rome on a Saturday at like 6:30 in the morning, and there was a packed room of sweaty people, many Italians but people from other places in Europe, and I realized, “Wow, if people can get up early and do this in Rome on a Saturday, I can do this. I can get up a little bit earlier before week,” because before that I had always tried to practice in the evenings. And I did sometimes, but there was always socializing. People like to go out drinking and this and that, and it was kind of part of my job to join in these things often. So I found that if I could get up – maybe not every day, but often and do something before work, I felt much better, and I just had more control of that part of my day than I did the rest of the day.

Claudia A. Altucher:   That’s right. You know, I totally agree with that. I started a committed daily yoga practice of Ashtanga April 1st, 2007, and it happened of course in New York City before work. And it completely transformed my life because I felt that by 9:30 a.m. or whatever it was at my IT job, I had accomplished something and I was centered. My muscles had worked. I was breathing sort of, and it starts to kind of change your life. So do you think it was this Rome and seeing all of these people so committed to the practice that sort of like kicked you in to start practicing daily?

Jessica Blanchard:      It did in a way, because I realized anyone can do it. We can always make it excuses, but it just takes saying, “I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna get up a little bit early.” Maybe it’s not an hour – whatever you can do, but yeah, it did. And eventually I got much more committed so that I would – I would practice every day before doing all of what I was doing of the primary series, and sometimes even more. And I would talk to my employers and say, “You know, I do this stuff in the morning. I might be a little late, but I’m happy to stay later in the evening, and it makes me much” – and it made me more productive and I did good work, so they always agreed to it.

Claudia A. Altucher:   That’s really cool. That’s very interesting how it gets to you. I think that this particular practice, because you have to do it every day, no Mondays, no Saturdays – it’s a no-brainer. You wake up and you start learning what to do. And do you think maybe you start feeling these benefits, you were more productive, that sort of like gave you the incentive to continue?

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And then in 2002 you met – actually you met the man of Ashtanga yoga. You met Pattabhi Jois.

Jessica Blanchard:      That’s right. In 2002 I decided to enroll – he would travel. I wasn’t quite ready to quit my job yet, although I had thought of it, but he was traveling, doing a world tour, so I booked the world tour in London. So I went that time in London, and that was the first time I met him, and that was just really amazing.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Did you feel like going to India after you met him?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, I did. I did absolutely, and it took me another two years before I went to India. I went to another – he came the next year on the world tour and I went again and had another great experience and even more wanted to go. And –

Claudia A. Altucher:   And how did you do about – I mean, how did you – because it costs money and time to go to India, so were you scared with your job, like sort of planning? You know, you need to take like at least a month, right, to go to India.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, I was. I was, yeah. There was that. I had originally – I had taken about – the first sabbatical I took was to go and study with Paul, and that was in 2003, and that was –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Uh-huh, and this is Paul Dallaghan who runs Yoga Thailand, who’s one of my heroes. He and Jutima, they run – now it’s called Samahita Retreat, but I think if you Googled Yoga Thailand, it’s this paradise place where I’ve been as well. So you took a sabbatical. I guess that’s a European thing, that they let you take a sabbatical.

Jessica Blanchard:      They do. In France – and this wasn’t even – this was just five weeks off actually, the first time, but it’s great. They’re more open to that, and somehow I managed to fit it into – I was in Paris and it was in the middle of an IT project, but they still – they let me do it. I guess I had it planned before I was working with this particular client, so when I came on I said, “Look, I’m having five weeks off at this time,” and I just did the best to arrange my schedule and it was okay.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Wow. You know what happened to me in the United States when I asked to go to India for the first time? I said I wanted four weeks. I wanted to go to India the first time, and my boss sort of like looked at me and his heart skipped a beat. And then he said, “You know, Claudia, when people ask for two weeks here in the United States, they risk being fired, and you’re asking for four!”

Jessica Blanchard:      That’s crazy. The US is really different. Yeah, and so it was okay, and I was still at that job, and that was even before Yoga Thailand was there. It was – Paul and Jutima were traveling still and they just rented some bungalows, and that ended up being the future site of the original Yoga Thailand, the smaller one. So I was there when they also decided to do Yoga Thailand, so that’s –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right. I didn’t get to meet the old – in the island of Ko Samui, the old studio. Now they have the state-of-the-art facility that’s just amazing. And so you went there and then did you start going to India as well, or –

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, very soon after I was talk – I was also afraid of my job and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I didn’t necessarily plan on teaching yoga when I was done ’cause I didn’t think I was – I just didn’t know, you know? I wasn’t – so I did do a – planned a full sabbatical of 9 to 12 months, and in France there’s an interesting law that –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Oh, my God

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, after you’ve worked with a company for so many years, you can ask for this, and they can tell you no once but they have to let you do it eventually. So they –

Claudia A. Altucher:   So you can take a year off, nine months to a year? I mean, is that paid?

Jessica Blanchard:      No, it’s not paid but you’re still guaranteed your position when you come back.

Claudia A. Altucher:   I see. And so you decided – how long did you take?

Jessica Blanchard:      I took a year, yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Wow! And how did you save money? What did you do about money?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, I had been working in a corporate job where I was saving money and so I had some savings, because the thing about working in those jobs is you have – you get paid but you don’t have much time, so I wasn’t really spending the money. I didn’t have a car. I lived in simple apartment or I shared apartments with friends, so I had been saving money over the years. And I was also – part of my sabbatical was – so I talked to Paul and Jutima about helping – or I can’t remember exactly how it went, but they wanted me to come and help them. When they found out I was taking a sabbatical to go to India, they asked me to come and help manage the retreat center that they had just founded, and they were gonna pay me something. You know, and so that took care of –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Did you realize what a blessing that is? Like, it’s like a huge – sort of like I’m believing in karma again, and it’s like amazing that they invited you at the start of this place.

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yeah, it was amazing. I had really had a nice bond with both of them and we had stayed in touch, but it was – oh, yeah, it was definitely a blessing and certainly changed the course of my life. That’s certain, yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So what did you do? You went to India first? What did you do?

Jessica Blanchard:      I went to Thailand first for maybe one or two months ’cause they were gonna be in India and they needed someone to be at the retreat center. So I went there for a couple of months, and then in late December, early January – I went to India right after that.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So you were teaching, because you were a graduate from Yoga Thailand already, right?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So you were the teacher while they went to India.

Jessica Blanchard:      I was the teacher, yes. I was a new teacher, but I [laughter] had been practicing for some time. And I had done a little teaching in Paris when I went back. I just talked to one of the studios and she needed someone to teach some beginners’ classes, so I taught for a few months in French, which was very interesting to teach my first classes in a foreign language, but – yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah. I just want to clarify for anyone who’s listening what it means to teach at Yoga Thailand, because it’s not exactly what you would think. I mean, there is a wakeup call – I think it’s at 6:00 a.m. There is like a two-hour period of Pranayama that’s followed by like a – what feels like three to six hours of asana after that. Then there’s a little break where you maybe – you eat something delicious. There is always amazing food. And then there is lectures in the afternoon in the boiling heat of – I don’t know, 150 degrees. And then – so you were doing all of this? Like you were sort of thrown into the fire of –

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yeah, oh, yeah. And it was different. It was smaller, the old Yoga Thailand – or the original; I shouldn’t say the old – was smaller, but it – so I did a lot more, too. I answered e-mails. I helped with the Thai staff. It was quite an interesting experience ’cause really they were not onsite, and so I did whatever I needed to do to help, and help with managing, helping with guests. So it was a 24-hour job in that sense. It was – and we would get up and practice early. I would get up and practice before teaching.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Jesus!

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So clearly it’s a testament that eating well, being in a good place, and practicing can give you the energy to maintain that kind of a schedule. And you were like kind of chosen. It’s like yoga chose you at that point. It’s like no, you’re coming here and you’re doing this ________.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, it did – it felt that way. It’s felt that way all the way through my yoga career, I guess – I call it that. It’s been very interesting from that point of view.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Were you exhausted at some point during those days? Were you – like I’m exhausted when I go and I’m a student, so you know –

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, in some ways, but I think I got used to it. We could – I don’t know if I took naps in the afternoon; I don’t think so. But the yoga is energizing, eating a clean diet helped, and it wasn’t for – I would be there for about three or four months at a time, and then I would go to India where I could focus more on learning and being a student again. So sure, at some points I was, but on the other hand it’s quite a nice life if you – you know, it’s lovely being in that kind of environment, being by the sea, so yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yes, it’s beautiful. It really is a beautiful place, right on the ocean, on the Gulf of Thailand with transparent water, and it’s just – well, not it’s in the Gulf. I don’t know about the old retreat. So you stayed there for a couple of months and then you went back to India to continue with your sabbatical.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, that’s right.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And then when did you decide – then did you join them – because you were in Yoga Thailand for a couple of years.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, I was. I was there for three years. After I went to India that first time, I decided I knew I wasn’t going back to the corporate job, and I felt like I – although I could’ve waited until the end of the year to resign, I just thought, “Why am I waiting? Because I know I’m not going back,” and I wanted to fully – energetically there was something about fully committing to that path and to where it was gonna lead me. So in about February

Claudia A. Altucher:   This is in India during your sabbatical?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, towards kind of the middle. I had started the sabbatical inn maybe August, I believe, and then I just knew I wasn’t going back so I sent in my letter of resignation and I was gonna go and clean everything out when I went back later in the year.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Were they upset?

Jessica Blanchard:      I think they were – no, they were [laughter] – of course they were to lose an employee, and especially women in IT. I was a rare case so they were kind of saddened, but they were also amazed. I got much more shock and amazement and almost envy, ’cause people thought, “Oh, my gosh, you’re gonna go and live in Thailand.” They were –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah, live the life – I can picture it.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, and they were I think also – people thought it was really risky, but to me it didn’t feel risky. That wasn’t an emotion I felt at that time. It just felt right. I had a place I was going to. I had a very strong passion for yoga, so it wasn’t a risk to me.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And what about money, ’cause I mean, I imagine even though you had money saved this is a year later and there are trips to Thailand and trips to India. Did you just sort of trust?

Jessica Blanchard:      I did trust. I had to develop that trust, and I was not – even, again, in Thailand because my living was just – part of the payment is living there, and then we had some kind of monthly stipend, so I still managed to save. But I trusted that this was right, and I also – you know, you wouldn’t spend a lot. That’s one thing, when you’re on an island like that. It’s not like you can go to Saks Fifth Avenue and spend –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, there’s nothing around.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   There’s really and truly nothing to buy from anything, and the food is amazing, and, like, you feel you don’t need anything. It’s just –

Jessica Blanchard:      No. Our biggest outing was to go to a Starbucks. [Laughter]

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, and you have to, like, hire a car to do that. It’s like an adventure. “My God, we’re going to town” or something.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, exactly, so life was pretty simple there.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And how long did you end up staying then in Thailand?

Jessica Blanchard:      I was there for three years on and off, a little over three years, until late 2007.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And how did you get started into the Ayurveda side and the nutrition? Like you wrote the book that is in Yoga Thailand together with Paul, and the recipes are delicious, by the way. I’ve tried a couple of them – really, really good. I probably don’t cook as well as in Yoga Thailand, but –

Jessica Blanchard:      When that – well, yeah, and it makes a difference having – fresh coconut milk makes a huge difference and things like that. But I actually write – when I came back from the teacher training the first time, back in 2003, that was the first time I met Tiwari, Tiwari G., the Pranayama teacher you mentioned in the beginning.

Claudia A. Altucher:   He is the world authority in Pranayama – yes, yes, yes.

Jessica Blanchard:      And just amazing. And he actually –

Claudia A. Altucher:   That is, by the way, another amazing thing to have happen to someone in the world. Like, I haven’t met him. I think I was there the last day of my training and he was there, but I haven’t had the chance to meet him yet. And you had the opportunity to actually study with him. It’s amazing.

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yes, many years, and he’s still – I still see him whenever I can. And he actually piqued my interest in Ayurveda ’cause as part of our training one of the talks he gave was on Ayurveda, because he knows quite a bit. His grandfather was an Ayurvedic – I don’t know if he was a doctor, but he certainly knew a lot about Ayurveda and practiced it. So Tiwari G. knows so much about Ayurveda and he really got me interested, so when I went back to France I started looking for schools of Ayurveda. And there happened to be a teacher who would teach in southern France a few hours – about three or four hours from where I was living in the south. So I just decided to go for it. I didn’t know how good a school it would be; I didn’t have any basis for comparison. But he’s a phenomenal – the school I did was – I’d say it’s one of the best that exists because it really taught me Ayurveda but it also taught how to practice it, how to apply it, how to adapt it to the modern world –

Claudia A. Altucher:   And Ayurveda is sort of a medicine type of system?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, it’s actually the oldest medical system. And you can find parallels with Chinese medicine, and it’s all about your diet, your lifestyle, how everything you do impacts your health. And so you learn how to use food – and it uses different metaphors for looking at diets for different people, but your food, how you live, your environment, your stress, the climate you live in. So it really looks at how to adapt that to best suit you as an individual. It also takes into account what health problems you may or may not have had. Yeah, and I –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, right. So it’s just like yoga.

Jessica Blanchard:      In a way, yeah. They’re very much linked, so.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah. And I don’t know exactly how to ask this, but I’m insanely curious about this part. Whenever I go to Yogi Thailand, following on the tradition of Tiwari G. they measure your pulse. And I saw in your website that you also have this thing – there’s a photograph of you with a student and you’re feeling with three fingers the pulse right on the wrist. And from that – why do you do that? What is that?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, the pulse is part of the diagnosis in Ayurveda, and through – the pulse corresponds to what we call the nadis, which are kind of like channels of the nervous system in yogic anatomy, and how feeling the quality of the pulse you can figure out or get an idea of what’s happening with an individual. So is the pulse very fast? Is it slow? And then you start to get some more descriptive, like is it thin like a wire? Is it broad feeling? Does it feel more like water flowing or does it feel like oil flowing? So there are these subtle qualities you feel, and then different on each finger, and then you also – there are deeper pulses where you press a little bit more, and then the more superficial ones, and they correspond with different pathways in the body. You can even feel – when someone’s pregnant you can feel a double pulse. So my –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Wow, that’s amazing.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, and I’m not an expert at all. It’s something that in a way takes a lifetime to master, but I still use the pulse with the other information I get from my clients when I work with them, yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right. Now I know that Tiwari can actually tell whether a person – and I’m gonna use this term sort of qualified: enlightenment, as in someone who has transcended and is not affected by things in life. And that can be told by the pulse as well.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And so you’re saying you haven’t gotten to that level, you use it more –

Jessica Blanchard:      I haven’t gotten to that level, no.

Claudia A. Altucher:   I see, I see.

Jessica Blanchard:      I look I’d say more at a physical level, but I can feel when there’s – often physical and mental imbalances you can feel in the pulse, and they’re related. But Tiwari G. can feel very, very deeply at a Pranic level what’s happening, and I’d say the Prana affects what I feel, but I’m definitely not a master like he is.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, he’s incredible in that sense. And the Prana is sort of like the body energy. He can read your whole body energy as this point. So for example, one of the things I’m surprised with in this tradition that you teach is that you will give say a Pranayama or a breathing exercise – I suffer from depression, so – and I get – I’m okay, and then suddenly I will go down. You know, my mom was bipolar, and it’s horrible. And so based on that you guys can read this on the pulse and then give specific breathing exercises for that.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah. Yeah, to address that, ’cause that’s related to the body’s Prana, which when there’s something like depression, anxiety – the Prana – it’s not moving like it should in the body, so the Pranayama helps to get it to move in the right way, if that makes sense.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yes, that makes sense. So for example, what’s one thing that you would – if someone like me with depression comes in, what’s something that you would recommend, for example?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, do you –

Claudia A. Altucher:   I know it’s very broad, but just to give a taste.

Jessica Blanchard:      It’s broad, but it’s an example – and people might not know what these mean, but you mean from like a breathing exercise, or –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah, like a breathing, or diet, or yoga even.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, so usually I recommend more stimulating yoga practices, like something like Ashtanga usually –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, because it’s active and it gets you –

Jessica Blanchard:      ‘Cause it’s active, yeah, and Kapalabhati, Pranayama practice, and depending on other Pranayama it depends, but definitely things like that that are a bit more stimulating. And it depends sometimes on what else is going on. And I look at the diet and sometimes I use herbs with people that – especially in depression, I’ll tweak the diet. Often people might be eating a heavier diet than they realize, or like – and when you’re eating sort of heavy foods, maybe over-processed, that can dull the mind and can make things like depression more likely.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Like, for example, what kind?

Jessica Blanchard:      Like a lot of meat, dairy, stuff like that, yeah

Claudia A. Altucher:   I see, or fried foods, or –

Jessica Blanchard:      Junk foods, I was gonna say, like McDonald’s, food which is heavily processed and has like no life energy in it, foods which are high in sort of that pranic energy – and it sounds very New Agey, but there’s really something to it. Just fresh – and it makes sense because our DNA is programmed to eat foods in their state from nature, so whole foods, plants, beans, nuts, seeds, not that meat can’t be part of a healthy diet, but you want it to be very good quality. So if animals were suffering their whole lives, they have all these stress hormones in their meat, in their blood, so if you eat those kind of animals you’re taking all those hormones in. So of course it’s gonna have an effect on your mind.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, right. And yeah, you do say – I found something that Tiwari told you one day – you were asking him what you should be doing for food, and he would just laugh and say, “Remember, Jessica, that too much insistence on the rules is a hindrance to the yogi.”

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, he said that a lot [laughter], ’cause I was always asking him exactly what I should do, and – because I used to be very – you know, almost obsessed, but in the end I’ve learned it’s taking a step back and being able to observe. And Ayurveda gives – I like to think of now as guidelines, so it gives a general set of guidelines based on what’s going on with you, and you can apply those, but sometimes you might find that some things work and some don’t, and so also not to get too obsessed with following rules, because then the mind wants to rebel. And you also sometimes lose sight of what’s happening in your body and lose that power of awareness and observation, which is really important.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah. I think that’s exactly what happened to me. Like, when I started yoga and I got into the philosophy and non-violence and all of that, I decided on my mind level that I would go vegetarian. And that proved to be a disaster, ’cause I grew up in Argentina, which is a meat-eating country. And so making a transition like that abruptly just because I think I’ll be a better yogi, or anything pretty much guided by the mind planning on something, seems to misguide me, as opposed to, well, maybe I’ll reduce or try to eat more organic and do one little change at a time.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, I’m a big proponent of that now and I think it works better with most people. And Tiwari also always said there’s no – you know, you should never impose on yourself that you should be a vegetarian or this, that it should be really natural. And in the end that’s how it’s been for me. Like I originally stopped eating meat some time back, and then I ate fish for a long time on and off, and then at some point I just stopped having – no desire to eat fish so now I don’t anymore. But it’s very, very natural. I never feel deprived, and I think that’s really important, so making small changes ________.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, that’s very interesting, ’cause I don’t know what happened to me, but about a year ago I started – of course I got sick, and then I started eating meat again. And about a year ago I finally, with practice and all of that, I started to feel like I don’t really need red meat anymore. Like, it doesn’t tempt me at all. But it happens naturally, and I find there is no difference, like getting into a new pose. It happens naturally at some point with practice every day.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, exactly.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yeah, it’s like you can’t force the process. It’s just –

Jessica Blanchard:      No, no.

Claudia A. Altucher:   It happens little by little. And you have some really good recipes in your website. Like there is a mac and cheese –

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, yes, yes.

Claudia A. Altucher:   How do you do that so that it’s not unhealthy?

Jessica Blanchard:      That I use cashews, which nuts, although they have fat in them, people who eat nuts don’t seem to gain weight when it’s part of a healthy diet. So – and I use cashews, some white wine that’s cooked down with some onion, and what else?

Claudia A. Altucher:   I think it has turmeric, right?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, yes, yes, turmeric, and that makes it yellow as well, and then I ground that up. But turmeric’s really amazing. It’s an anti-inflammatory, has many – it works better than some drugs for inflammation. And they also think it’s one of the reasons that in India there are very low rates of Alzheimer’s, because of this constant intake of turmeric in the curries ’cause it helps to kind of clean out – it helps to clean out plaque, arterial and also – which is part of the problem in the brain with Alzheimer’s and dementia. So yeah, I use turmeric in that recipe to make it a little –

Claudia A. Altucher:   And it sounds yummy. I’m gonna try that one and people can find it in your website, BalanceYogaWellness.com. You know, there is something really interesting – recently my husband interviewed Dan Buettner who wrote The Blue Zone Solution. I don’t remember his name –

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yeah, I’m reading that book now. It’s great.

Claudia A. Altucher:   It’s very interesting, who – they sort of identified areas of the world where people live to be 100 but with all their faculties, and turmeric is definitely in all of them. It’s like it’s one of those herbs that – and apparently if you add pepper to it, he was saying, then it’s like potentiated.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, it’s more bioavailable – yeah, exactly.

Claudia A. Altucher:   What’s bioavailable mean?

Jessica Blanchard:      It just means it’s easier for the body to absorb it that way, ’cause I think pepper is a digestive stimulant. That’s why we put pepper on so much, because it helps us to digest. It helps to secrete the enzymes of digestion. And so when you have turmeric with black pepper, our body takes it in much more easily.

Claudia A. Altucher:   That’s very interesting. So –

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, it is. Yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So I’m gonna do a little gossip here, and I wonder if you can tell me an interesting story about Tiwari, him being this sort of like incredibly – he’s an old man now, but very healthy, and he runs this institute in India that actually does research. So they’re not BS. They really measure everything they do to see that Pranayama is not woo-woo, so that they see that it actually works. So I wonder if you have any story that you may want to share with me, please.

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, about Tiwari. Hmm.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yes

Jessica Blanchard:      Let me think for a second.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Because he’s like a legend.

Jessica Blanchard:      He is.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And people sort of like admire him from a distance, and you know, somebody who can tell whether you’re enlightened or not with the taking of the pulse [laughter] has my attention.

Jessica Blanchard:      But I – just from a simple – so he – a couple of years ago they started worrying about him having – he had some heart trouble and they found out that his arteries – there was a lot of blockage. I don’t remember the exact amount, but a lot. And he has this incredible lifestyle. I mean, he’s still traveling all over the place teaching. He goes to China and teaches large groups. But anyway, he just did not want to do heart surgery, and he just said, “No, I can do this with yoga, with Pranayama,” and so the doctor said okay. And they just told him he had to be a little more careful with his travel but he didn’t stop his travel. And as it turns out he went back a few months later and he had grown collateral arteries in his heart. So the heart –

Claudia A. Altucher:   You’re kidding me.

Jessica Blanchard:      No, I’m not. So he’s –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Grown?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, and the heart can do that, but it doesn’t always happen. But – so the arteries around the heart, they sprout new ones when they can get block, and so he did. He totally treated himself and now he’s fine, travels still – you know, I saw him in February when we went to India and he was just incredibly lucid. On the phone he sounds like a young – I thought it was his son who answered when I called him, but then he just said, “No, Jessica, I’ve been thinking of you,” and he’s amazing. He loves children. He loves my son Dylan, so it’s always a pleasure to take him to visit with him ’cause he’s got this joyful presence that children also love. And that’s just – he’s got such an inner joy that – and that’s one of the things he says about yoga, is it makes you content regardless of your time or place or what’s happening, and you can see that in him. He’s always so happy and joyful and energetic.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, and I guess as a child – ’cause it seems to be that being a real yogi is about being like a child again: completely curious, aware of your body at all times, with your spine straight no matter what you’re doing. And so I guess your son Dylan probably recognizes that energy in him and he’s like – or it’s like when a dog is around and they’re so happy and they pick up on your happy energy or something like that.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And speaking of Dylan, congratulations on Dylan.

Jessica Blanchard:      Thank you.

Claudia A. Altucher:   He’s not that old, right? He’s –

Jessica Blanchard:      Nineteen months.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Nineteen months. You had a really intense article that you wrote about you giving birth.

Jessica Blanchard:      [Laughter]

Claudia A. Altucher:   I don’t know if this is embarrassing to you or not, but it –

Jessica Blanchard:      No, it’s not at all. In fact it’s nice because I had a really positive experience with pregnancy –

Claudia A. Altucher:   But not so much at the onset because you said they showed you a video of a woman in complete pain and you were like petrified.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, well, what happened was – so I had this really great pregnancy. I practiced Ashtanga the whole time. I knew how to modify but I also kept practicing. I was doing inversions and second series postures and Kapotasana.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Wow. Kapotasana is a really intense back bend, yes.

Jessica Blanchard:      Intense back bend, yeah. And so – and I used midwives. I chose midwives for my partum care, pre and postpartum. And anyway, as part of it they want you to take this class where you learn about birth and how it’s gonna be and with other parents, so my husband and I did this. It was kind of at the last minute. It was in July; my date was towards the end of August. So we did this, and as part of it they show you these videos of women giving birth. And they were just – all of them were screaming, and they looked – they looked like they were filmed in the ’80s with a very bad camera, so. [Laughter]

Claudia A. Altucher:   Oh, yeah, I’ve seen some and they’re really scary. Like, I got petrified.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, they make you – because they just look like – and even after they didn’t really necessarily – they were happy with their babies but it didn’t really seem like – I don’t know. So –

Claudia A. Altucher:   “Oh, yeah, I want to do that.” It doesn’t feel that way, right? Yeah.

Jessica Blanchard:      I know, yeah. And my husband – it was nice ’cause he said, “This is ridiculous. They shouldn’t show these videos.” And he went and Googled – I don’t know how he knew about this, but he Googled hypnobirthing. I had a book about hypnobirthing but I hadn’t seen any videos. And it was this video of this woman – very, very calm. She was like walking around in nature. She was in Britain. And she was in labor but she was still calm, and then she goes into a beautiful candlelit room, and her husband’s there. And so it was –

Claudia A. Altucher:   And that’s  a little better.

Jessica Blanchard:      And then she eventually gives birth in water, but she doesn’t scream at all. She just, you know, has a very nice birth. And so we saw that and I thought, okay, not necessarily that it’s gonna be like this, but it doesn’t have to be such a crazy experience.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right.

Jessica Blanchard:      And I think showing videos of women in pain is not helpful, ’cause already women have a lot of fear of giving birth, ’cause I teach prenatal and it’s the biggest thing, is the fear of pain, but –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Well, no kidding, yeah. I mean, yes. I can relate.

Jessica Blanchard:      And it’s – yeah, but pain is a part of it, but it’s also – it’s temporary. It can be quick and your body is releasing all these endorphins which are natural painkillers. And my experience was really the Pranayama was the most useful thing for giving birth, just knowing how to exhale, how to relax, and I also was – there’s a certain mantra I used that I’ve chanted a lot with Tiwari and at Yoga Thailand, the Gayatri mantra. And I would say that in my head as I was exhaling, and it really just helped – well, I didn’t even know – because it was my first child I didn’t know how long the labor was gonna take. But what happened was that they originally checked me and they said, “Okay, it could be another 12 hours, so just take walks, do what you need to do to make the baby come quicker.” And then about two hours later I had been doing all of that but I started to have really intense contractions and I started to feel this pressure. It was like a bowling ball pressure on my pelvis, and I was thinking, “I think he might be coming sooner, ’cause I think I feel his head.” So then they said, “Well, okay, we’ll check you,” ’cause they wanted to wait until the midwife got there, but then the nurses said they would check me. And then when they checked they were like, “Oh, my gosh, you’re fully dilated.”

Claudia A. Altucher:   You’re having the baby. Oh, my God.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah. And my water broke. So then they were like, “Run the tub; we need to get you in the water,” and then the midwife wasn’t there yet. I was at the hospital. But then she got there, and about ten minutes later out came Dylan. So I had a lovely water birth, but it – but I think because I was relaxed they didn’t realize I was as far along in labor as I was.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right. Did you scream at all?

Jessica Blanchard:      A little bit maybe, but not a lot, just like when – I don’t think I – I have to ask my husband ’cause I don’t remember.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, right –

Jessica Blanchard:      I don’t think I was screaming very much.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And you definitely would say the breathing, the putting yourself in the zone of chanting with the Gayatri mantra, and sort of like –

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yeah

Claudia A. Altucher:   You said also that you didn’t talk too much other than to let other people know when you were having a contraction. So you went totally within and –

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And you moved as well, and then –

Jessica Blanchard:      A little bit, yeah. I would walk around, especially in the beginning, and just – we had one of those big balls, those balance balls, and I was sitting on that a little bit, walking, so just doing different things to move. And I did rest some. I was actually just gonna start resting I think, falling asleep, and then the contractions got more, and then that’s – he came like 30 minutes after that, so.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Wow, okay. So that’s a nice – that was a nice thing to know. And I know I’m going totally out of order, but –

Jessica Blanchard:      That’s okay.

Claudia A. Altucher:   How did you meet your husband? Because he sounds like a wonderful partner.

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, he’s from India, but we didn’t meet in India. That’s what’s funny. We met at a party in a part of New Orleans called the Ninth Ward, which was one of the areas that was flooded, and it was a fundraiser for a musician. I think it was in 2009 we met.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So you had opened your studio already, ’cause you opened the studio in 2008.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, I had opened the studio, and I was at a party. I remember that it was a full moon. It was a party I wasn’t gonna go to but a friend of mine kind of dragged me to go with her. And then he was kind of obnoxious. He came up to me and was saying things like, “Oh, look, there’s like – the red beans and sausage over there is really good,” [laughter] and I was a vegetarian –

Claudia A. Altucher:   Oh, dear.

Jessica Blanchard:      And then later on we chatted, and I said, “Oh, you must be from India,” and I told him I’d been many times and I was going in December to see Tiwari at that time. And he – and when I was leaving he gave me his engineer card – he’s an engineer – and I gave him my yoga card. And he e-mailed me, and then we had coffee, and it was a slow start. But sometimes slow and steady is very good.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Oh, yeah, I think that’s the best way. Where in India is he from?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, he grew up in Mumbai, Bombay, but his heritage is from Goa, so his parents are from Goa and that’s where they – they consider themselves Goan. They’re from a Catholic heritage so it’s a little different than what you typically think of

Claudia A. Altucher:   I see. And when did he move to the United States?

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, he moved here many – probably 25 years back. He came for graduate school. He did his

Claudia A. Altucher:   I see. So he was sort of assimilated into the American culture –

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   So he didn’t have the Indian sort of mother or – did you have an Indian wedding, or –

Jessica Blanchard:      We had a wedding in India but it was in a Catholic church in a small village in Goa.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Wow – that’s strange!

Jessica Blanchard:      It was very odd. It was very – still chaotic and crazy as you expect with India, but it was different. But it was very sweet, a nice memory. We had it in the village where his father is from, in the church there, so.

Claudia A. Altucher:   That’s nice. And so that’s sweet. He sounds like a very supporting kind of husband –

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And then – so you opened the institute and you met your husband, you got married, and then how is it going with the institute?

Jessica Blanchard:      Oh, it’s going well. It’s busy. The studio I have is now – well, I originally opened in one location, and a couple of years after for various reasons decided to move to a different part of the city and buy the building. And I had a business partner at that time, and we bought the building together, renovated it, and opened the studio. So it became more than just Ashtanga. I originally only had Ashtanga and smaller teacher. Then it became bigger. And about a year after we opened she decided she wanted to get out for various reasons. She was thinking of moving, but then she didn’t end up moving, and – you know, for whatever – running a studio is a lot of work, and I don’t think it’s necessarily for everyone.

Claudia A. Altucher:   I think a lot of people don’t know this amount of work that goes behind it, and like having to manage yoga teachers and having to manage schedules and making payroll and paying rent or mortgage – it’s an enormous amount of pressure. But I guess Yoga Thailand sort of prepared you for that. Like, they left you in charge.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, and I understood how much work there is. And it was different at Yoga Thailand ’cause at Yoga Thailand it was more about retreats and planning those, but here it’s a schedule and teachers and all that kind of stuff, promotion and marketing and stuff I didn’t really bargain on getting into, but you become a jack of all trades when you own a business. As much as I’d love to just say, “I just want to teach yoga,” I can’t really – with a small business you can’t hire ten people to do all the stuff you don’t want to do unfortunately. So I do a lot – most everything. Luckily my husband likes the financial side, which I hate, so he does all of the payroll and the accounting, and that’s a godsend, so yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, that’s great. And I would say – I mean, I definitely want to come to you when I visit New Orleans, and I tell anyone who’s listening, go visit Jessica because she definitely has the full story of yoga, you know, with the Pranayama, the Ayurveda. You’re like a miracle, really, to have all of these influences come through you and to be able to pass them along. So I can’t wait to visit.

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, I’d love to have you sometime and meet in person. Thank you; that’s a big compliment. I feel – I’m blushing. [Laughter ]

Claudia A. Altucher:   Let me ask you, for people who are listening, say that someone gets curious about Ayurveda. Do you have like a book that you could recommend?

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah. Well, there’s a couple of different books that I think are good. One of my favorites is called Prakriti, P-R-A-K-R-I-T-I, which means your nature. It means nature in Sanskrit, and it’s by Dr. Robert Svoboda, and he’s a great writer, very entertaining, but also very clear and practical and a great master. He actually did the whole program in India, in Pune years back, and he’s a wonderful teacher, also a yogi, and so that’s one of my favorite books.

Another one which is a bit more – goes into some information about the tongue and pulse is – it’s called Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing, and that’s by Vasant Lad. And then there’s one more, which is by my teacher, Atreya, and it’s spelled – well, his name is A-T-R-E-Y-A, and he has one called Ayurvedic Nutrition, which is just very good, clear about – more about the diet and how to follow an Ayurvedic diet. So those are three very good books, by very different authors, but all very qualified.

Claudia A. Altucher:   And I’ll put them in the post so that people can also refer to them. That’s wonderful. I’m very interested. I think I already have Prakriti, but I don’t have the second one on the pulse, and I think I’m gonna start there ’cause I’m really curious about all of that.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, yeah.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Now I want to go – before we close the interview, Jessica, I want to go kind of deep on you, if you’ll allow me, and ask you sort of one of those questions. Like in your travels and in your studies of yoga and meeting all of these great teachers and all of your – what would you say is one thing that took you a long time to understand?

Jessica Blanchard:      Hmm. Well, it took me a long time to go from – I’m a lifelong student and studier [phone ringing]

Claudia A. Altucher:   Maybe it’s Tiwari calling. [Laughter ]

Jessica Blanchard:      Right at the right moment, yeah. But I’m a lifelong student, and so I love to read and learn and – book learning and even experiential learning. But in yoga it took me a long time to really find my own voice, to take all of these wonderful influences like Paul, like Tiwari, like Pattabhi Jois, and to not – ’cause for a while I thought I needed to be a teacher like Paul in order to be a good teacher. But Paul’s a completely different personality to me. So to really learn – you can learn from people and take the best of what they have, but you still have to digest it and find your own voice. And in yoga it took me a really long time to get there because I feel like yoga is such a vast subject, and Ayurveda, and it’s so – it’s humbling in a way.

Claudia A. Altucher:   I totally agree. That’s like – it’s so true. Like for years I’ve practiced thinking, “How would Kino do this, or how would Pattabhi Jois adjust me, or what would Paul say to this?” And it takes a long time to really get it that you absorb from everywhere, but it has to run through your own nervous system for you to get what is it for you personally. So that’s a very good point that you’re making there. I really like how you put that.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yeah, and so it – and it’s taken a long time to really – and that’s my voice, is a teacher, and to feel confident and not always question, not – ’cause if you’re always thinking, “What would Paul do, or Kino, or David Swenson?” then you’re not as present, too, which I’ve learned, so that’s part of it, is being, and letting – you said be a channel, so to be more of a channel and be more present and let them speak through you in all these ways, but not necessarily doubting and questioning.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Right, that’s so true. Thank you so much for that insight, Jessica. So I guess we can find you in BalanceYogaWellness.com. That’s your website.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yes, yes.

Claudia A. Altucher:   You also have something very interesting. If people go to StopFeelingCrappy.com, you have – what do you have there?

Jessica Blanchard:      Well, there is a newer, sort of broader blog that I’m building right now. It’s a pre-launch, and it’s basically to take a lot of the best of yoga, of Ayurveda, of Western nutrition, and to make it accessible. We talked about making small changes so that people don’t feel like they have to necessarily adopt the vegan diet to be healthy. But there are so many practices like gratitude and deep breathing, very simple – so many small things, so it’s about giving people that – easy diet and recipe tips. So right now I’m giving a seven-day plan which has each day a different practice you can do starting with some simple breakfast recipes and some breathing and meditation, and very simple yoga moves. So I basically took some pictures, and you’ll see if you download it. And then I also have – there’s a seven-day meal plan as part of that with a couple of recipes, but it’s to start ________.

Claudia A. Altucher:   I have, I have, and it’s amazing because you also put at the bottom of Monday – say, okay, you’re gonna use leftovers from today and this is what you’re gonna shop for the next couple of days. So it’s completely planned and anyone can try it, and maybe you can start with one of the recipes. And you have two bonus recipes right there, the one for porridge that I want to try, and there is one more, a Thai dish that sound really delicious.

Jessica Blanchard:      Yep, a Thai curry, influence from Yoga Thailand.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Yes. So I’m gonna put also in the post your Twitter handle ’cause you’re on Twitter. You have a YouTube channel with some Pranayama exercises which are amazing. Is there anything else that you would like the audience to know?

Jessica Blanchard:      No, I think that you’ve covered it. Thank you.

Claudia A. Altucher:   I’m very grateful that you came on the podcast, Jessica, and it will come out next week.

Jessica Blanchard:      Okay, thank you, Claudia.

Claudia A. Altucher:   Okay, nice to meet you. Bye-bye

Jessica Blanchard:      Bye-bye.

 

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