I originally come from Tokyo, Japan, but I have lived in Torrance since 2002. I came to the US to study English so I could have more job opportunities in Japan. However, I met my husband here and got married, so I am still in the US.
I love beaches, yoga, and dogs—these make me happy. I also like drinking occasionally and enjoy eating meat and fish (yup, I am not a vegetarian—sorry!), so if anyone throws a party with nice drinks and food, let me know!
When I was in college, I realized I did not have any hobbies and invited my friends to find a hobby together. At first, we played tennis but did not like it very much, so we next attended a yoga class at Bikram Yoga. I honestly did not like it because I felt it was too tough for me. My friend told me, “We have to go at least 2 or 3 times more because we paid $20 for a one-week intro,” and I thought, “Damn!” Nevertheless, I went 3 times during the intro period and started feeling, “This is good for me even though I feel like hell during class.” After that, I started taking Bikram classes regularly, and from this experience, I learned the lesson of DO NOT TRUST YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION.
I started liking Bikram because all of my teachers were wonderful. They corrected, encouraged, and motivated me. Through my practice of Bikram yoga, I had the thought to be like them in order to help other students. If I were to become a Bikram teacher, I could help students improve their postures and their health, and this would lead to their enjoyment of yoga. I wanted to make more students happy and healthy, and that’s why I decided to go to the teacher training.
Teaching and practicing are all connected for me. I learn about different kinds of bodies from teaching, and I also learn how to teach from my practice. I want to practice what I preach. I don’t mind if students look at me while I take classes because I want to be a better model for my students. Of course I am not perfect and my poses are not the best, but I want to try hard in every single class I take. I believe the best students are the best teachers.
I also know that everyone is different in terms of flexibility, strength, and conditions they have (including injuries). I cannot ask too much of students who have severe injuries, so I do my best to help them not to injure themselves further and, at the same time, reduce their pain through yoga.
The greatest change I have experienced from yoga is that I trust myself more than before. At the beginning, I did not think Bikram Yoga was for me. Before I started doing Bikram Yoga, I was never an athlete and didn’t like sports. I did not think I could even balance or lift my leg above my head at all. Through yoga practice, slowly but surely, I saw my body improve, and I could see my postures were getting better, so I started believing in myself. That’s why I always believe that some students think the same way I did. Some students think they can’t do it, so I sometimes tell them how horrible I was at the beginning and ask them to trust themselves: they will have more balance and get more flexibility in the future through their practice.
I can’t find only one favorite. I love standing head to knee, standing bow, balancing stick, triangle, tree and toe stand, and savasana (of course).
I also don’t have any poses that frustrate me or are non-favorites. I tell students not to have a non-favorite, so I don’t have any non-favorites, but my rabbit pose is not very good, if you really want to know.