Category Archives: YogaBody and mind

There is nothing you cannot do〜できないことなんて何もない

Last Sunday,  we had the good fortune of taking a yoga class with Ms. Tao Porchon- Lynch, world’s oldest yoga teacher. She is a 97-year-old yoga teacher and as she put it, an eternal student herself. I had heard about her a while ago , but quite honestly, I did not expect her class to be anything more than a bunch of relaxing seated poses.  Bill and I felt we needed to go to her class  because we desperately needed some inspiration. Facing our parents and relatives constant passing, aging or deteriorating is making us realize our own mortality. Aging is about preparing for our last moment and we don’t have a choice in that matter. I have seen both of my parents struggle before they passed in recent years. I am hoping our spiritual practice would support us in a course, but still, we cannot really choose what will happen to our body and mind. But, is that true?


When we walked into Tao’s class today, and went up to say hello to her, immediately we forgot about her age and were drawn into her vibrant and welcoming energy. She began her class with a beautiful double Lotus which I struggled even to think about getting into. Let me tell you, her class was not an easy class….  We did Visvamitrasana, we did handstand, and Sirsasana… We did not even sit down. It was a hard core class with many challenging elements as well as some beautifully creative twist. I really appreciated the influence from Iyengar yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and the energy and dance elements in her class. ( That is pretty much what I’ve studied all my life as well). She is from Pondicherry India, and is half Indian and half French. She had 3 hip replacements and that did not stop her from competing in a dance competition with her dance partner who is 70 years her junior. She lives alone and does everything herself. Throughout her class she urged us to keep moving, never to stop… After the class, she put on her high heels and demonstrated a dance move playfully. As she drove away in her little smart car, we just stood there in awe…Well, ladies and gentleman, I am now convinced that we do have a choice in the matter. Whether to keep moving or stop moving. Whether to keep spreading the light or to stop and rot… It is all up to you.







The Script of my life〜人生の台本

Next year will count my 30th anniversary of living in New York. That is more than half of my life, so I can safely call myself a New Yorker now. Technically, once you have lived in New York for 10 years you are officially a New Yorker. But after all these years, I hesitate to call myself with that honorable title. Part of me is New Yorker-like, yet part of me is deeply rooted in my Japanese heritage, and part of me strongly resists of being identified as any particular type of race or culture. I prefer to call myself an Earthling.


 I have lived most of my life in New York City with a man – my husband. The life with him was pretty much all I knew. I was a young girl from Japan who knew very little about how things worked. Everything my husband taught me became my reality. Though I began traveling and met people all over the world through my career, still the world with him remained the core of my existence.


 We stayed together for 27 years and had a daughter together. We faced numerous obstacles each day as a couple. Some of which we overcame together, and some of which never been addressed and resolved. Even still, I don’t think I really imagined a life without him. The time we spent together, his influence over me was far greater than my own family. He was my best friend. And more importantly, he was a big part of the script I had been writing. In my life, I always wrote a script in my mind as to how my life should be, and pretty much lived the way I wrote in my play.


 The union with my husband ended last year…. It was quite dramatic and unexpected. Who would have thought you can go through a major identity crisis after age 50? Breaking loose so abruptly from the universally recognized system called MARRIAGE? After our separation a year and half ago in May of 2013, I spent most of my life self-loathing and blaming others. I was crippled with a sense of failing…. I literally fell apart. I was making myself sick.


 “I never completed the script I have been writing for 27 years.”


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“27年間書き続けて来た台本を完成させる事が出来なかった” やるせなさ。




Women’s true happiness 女性の本当の幸せって

Today would have been my Mom’s 83rd birthday. She left her body rather suddenly on August 2014. When I received the e-mail from my sister I was in New York City in the middle of teaching my Yoga Teacher Training course. I remember being completely dumbstruck to learn the news and couldn’t even feel the loss until the end of the day.


My mother was someone who didn’t know how to show love. I had a rough time growing up with her constant criticism and abuse towards me. I began to lie to her just to stay out of trouble. Then I wanted to stay furthest away from her. I left home at an early age. Then eventually moved away from the country I grow up in.


She never talked much about herself –She grew up during the 2nd World war. She was badly burnt on her hands from the bombings and she always wore gloves in public. She thought she may not be able to marry because of it. But she eventually met my dad and they got married.


 When I see her picture when she was younger, she has this bright smile like a thousand Suns. She must have been on top of the world- She was married to a successful business man- had two healthy daughters- She had nothing to worry about. But ….. My mom was not happy. She was always angry. I think she was chronically depressed.


 Once upon a time women were told our happiness depends on who we marry.  We fall in love and get married, then that is the end of the fairy tale. Nobody ever told us there is more to the story after the happy ending. If my mother and thousands of other women left everything behind to become a wife, that is because nobody ever told them not to give up themselves- their aspiration- and their own lives. For thousands of years, women did this. And many still continue to live this way. Maybe some women in some cultures don’t have the privilege to choose….. All I can say is that I am so lucky to have a choice. I am so lucky to live the way I want, pursuing my dreams and to be on the path of self discovery.


 Happy birthday Mama, Thank you for giving me life. ….. and continuing to inspire me to have self-awareness …… It is the most amazing gift I have ever gotten in life. And I do know you loved me even if you didn’t always know how to show it.






 きょうは亡き母が未だ生きていたら83歳の誕生日。母は2014 年の8月に突然この世を離れて行った。姉からメールでニュースが届いたとき、私はニューヨークでヨガの指導者養成コースを教えていた。急な訃報に驚き、その日の終わりまで悲しみも感じることが出来なかったのを覚えている。













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Shiva, the Destroyer ~ シヴァ、破壊の神

Shiva, the lord of Yoga is known as a “destroyer”.


Destruction sounds bad. But we know sometimes it is necessary to destroy, change, or end things. Especially when you know that the situation you are in is not serving you. But way too often, we don’t know what is truly good for us…. Because we become too numb to feel things.  Particularly if you have been living a lukewarm life without too many challenges.

 The Lord Shiva destroys “ignorance”. Ignorance can be translated into many different things.

 How about habits?

 Humans are a creature of habits. We find such comfort staying in one place. We want to sit at the same desk or the same park bench. We want to celebrate holidays the same way.….. year after year.

I’ve seen it happen to people. So many people have trouble moving on even when they know their jobs are not working out for them, or they may be in a wrong industry all together and complain that they have not been able to realize their full potential. Nowadays with the rapid change of technology, we need to look at our situations often and consider making some changes.


I understand cockroaches are one of these very advanced creatures that are able to morph into another being. They modify their cell structure to survive against their biggest predator- Bug spray. You may be able to kill a roach with a particular kind of bug spray today, but the same spray may not kill them next week. I am not a big fan of cockroach, but have always wanted to live my life that way.


First, “recognize the need to change”- this could a tough one.


Then, “having the courage to change”- this is nearly impossible for a lot of us.


As a Yogi, we know anything is possible with practice. But while the practice takes years of discipline, only thing we need may be one powerful life changing occurrence which totally awakens us.


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Photography by Ritsu Takada All right reserved©


「破壊」というとなんだか聞こえは悪いですが 時にはものごとを壊し、変え、終わらせる事も必要です。特にその状況が自分にとって良くない、ということがわかったときには。でも本当に自分にとって何が良いのかわからなくなってしまのが人の常。特に生温い暮らしに慣れてしまい、チャレンジもあまりないとね。











次に「変わる事の出来る勇気を持つ」・・・・ 不可能に感じるかもしれません。


ヨガを練習していると、たゆみない練習によってあらゆることが可能であることがわかってきます。その練習は何10年もかかるかもしれないのです。しかし、私たちに必要なのはひょっとしたら、一瞬にして私たちを目覚めさせ 生き方をかえてしまうような、力強いひとつの出来事なのかもしれません。


Two Wolves2匹のオオカミ

As the autumn arrives, our surroundings and everything about us begin to contract. This subtle energy shift we experience is called “Spanda” in Sanskrit. Though it is a necessary part of our lives, you may experience some uncomfortable emotional stirring. Old wounds and sense of resentment may suddenly take us over and sweep us way. As the long winter approaches,  what can we do to keep our hearts open?  Here is a very simply Indian tale my friend Bill shared with me.

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside all of us. One is evil. It is anger, jealous, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.”
The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandpa, which wolf will win?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

~Thank you Bill for sharing this wonderful story.

It truly nourished my heart.~

秋の到来によって、私たちのまわりの環境全て、そして私たちもが収縮を始めます。このような微細なエネルギーのシフトはサンスクリット語で”スパンダ”と呼ばれています。このようなシフトは生きて行く上で必要なこととはいえ、時にとても嫌な気分を味わうこともあります。過去に負った傷や怒りの感情に突然襲われ、勢い良く流されそうになるかもしれません。これからの長い冬の到来に向け、どのように閉じそうになる心を開いて行ったら良いのでしょうか? ここに友人のビルがシェアしてくれた、とてもシンプルなインディアンのお話をご紹介します。