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2018.12.2 | Yumi Tanaka

The Beginning

The other day, I attended the 4-year anniversary pooja of this yoga studio I practiced at. Coincidently, it’s also my 4thyear practicing yoga. Over the years, I came to realized that I strongly cherish my yoga community. My yoga teachings are mainly based on my daily practices, and I receive tremendous support from this yoga community of mine.

 

That One Friend

It all started with my one friend who pulled me into practicing yoga in the morning before work. The moment I met this friend at a beer garden in Roppongi, I knew she and I had something in common. I wasn’t a morning person and it was extremely difficult for me to get into the habit of going to my morning yoga practice, but this friend always kept me on my toes. We would practice yoga in the morning before work. After work, we would reunite again to go to our favorite Thai restaurant. On the weekends, we would practice yoga together, followed by our favorite smoothie stand visits. It was a constant repetition of this, but this repetition was a very memorable and valuable time.

 

From Routine and Beyond

As our individual practice continued, our community also grew deeper and stronger. We would always meet at the same time, at the same place, with the same people. That atmosphere was extremely peaceful and helped us concentrate. I practiced my inversions over and over and over again with the encouragement of my peers and teachers. I was having the time of my life!

 

As I expanded my studies abroad, I felt like a child exploring the real world. The more I had exposure outside, the more gratitude I had for my teachers and community back home. NYC, Singapore, and India have all been inspirational. I wouldn’t have been there growing my understandings if I hadn’t had my experience back home, with my teachers, with my go-to place, and with my peers.

 

At Nami Yoga Studio

It’s been two years since I’ve joined the Nami yoga studio community, and I love it!

 

I was speaking to one of our students the other day. This student has been coming to our studio for 1.5 years now. He said he likes our atmosphere and the people. I couldn’t be happier to hear that. “See you next week at 8:30,” he said to his yoga buddy as he left the studio. The sense of community is definitely growing here!

 

Many of our fellow students are persistently practicing yoga while balancing their work and family life. That attitude and energy is remarkably inspiring.

 

My role as a teacher is to help everyone have a good relationship with yoga. I enjoy every moment, including out chai sessions at the end of class and our little chats we have.

She started practicing Jazz and Hiphop dance at teenager. In 2007, she moved to Tokyo to enter university. After graduating from university, she experienced physical changes while she was working in sales and started looking for a new healthier lifestyle. Her focus changed from dancing to yoga. Through her continuous practice, she learned that yoga could be applied to daily life, thinking habits and discipline. In 2016 she was qualified as a yoga instructor.
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OM
2018.10.14 | Namita Kurokawa

OM and my childhood

My father always chanted OM in the sauna. When I was little, he would tell me to chant with him. It felt funny and weird at the same time. It was a surreal scene where my father was sitting in sukasana with gyan mudra, sweating from his head and chanting OM continuously. I sometimes chanted with him. But most times, I was just listening because I didn’t understand what it meant or why we were chanting in the first place. He never explained the meaning of this chant. All he said was, “Just try it, it’s good for you.” Or something along those lines.

 

After many years, I started practicing yoga. In class, we would chant OM, and it came so naturally to me while others in class felt reluctant to chant. The whole sound and vibration actually felt good. It made me calm and refreshed. Then, it reminded me of my father in the sauna and I finally understood what he meant by “Just try it.”

 

 

OM is the entire alphabet

Om is broken down into three sounds. “A”, “U”, and “M”. The A-U makes the O sound. Thus, shortened to OM.

 

A (Ahhh) is the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet; the waking state.

U (Ohhh) is the middle letter of the Sanskirt alphabet; the dreaming state.

M (Mmm) is the last letter of the Sanskirt alphabet; the dreamless state.

Silence is the last part of the AUM chant. It is the vibration which is beyond verbal pronunciation. It is said to be the pure consciousness of the self.

 

“A” is an open sound with open lips resonating at the front of the mouth, “U” moving midway, and “M” ending at the back of the throat with the vibration traveling throughout the head. Lead by silence, contemplating on the vibration. By chanting OM or AUM, we vocalize all the sounds the voice can produce (meaning everything in the Sanskrit alphabet), representing the universal consciousness.

 

 

What does OM mean?

OM has a lot of meanings. It is usually defined to replicate the sound of the universe. It is said that even on NASA’s website, earth itself sounds like OM.

As mentioned above, the three sounds “A”, “U”, “M” in itself have meanings. It is the waking state, dreaming state and the dreamless state. It can also mean the past, present and the future. It can also represent the Hindu gods Brahma (creator god), Vishnu (sustainer god), and Shiva (destroyer god).

 

From the Mandukya Upanishad, “OM is the imperishable word. OM is the universe, and this is the exposition of OM. The past, the present, and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be is OM. Likewise, all else that may exist beyond the bounds of time, that too is OM.” So, basically, it’s deep, and it’s everything.

 

 

Now What?

Reading this blog is not going to do much.

You now have to experience OM yourself.

Chant “AhhhOhhhMmmm” followed by silence to notice the vibration, and repeat it 3 times.

You will notice calmness, stillness and quietness within.

 

I understand now that my father was experiencing this in his safe space, the sauna. His saying, “Just try it” really makes sense now. I believe the true benefit of OM comes from personal experience, just like practicing yoga.

 

And recently, I starting making it a night time routine for my kids to practice 5 yoga asanas and to chant OM before and after these poses. Today, one of my daughters had a breakdown during the day so I told her, “Breath in. Breath out. Wanna do OM?” and without any hesitation, she said, “Yes.” I was happy that my kids are experiencing this benefit at an early age.

Manager and yoga instructor at Nami Yoga Studio.
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To Be Stress-Free
2018.9.16 | Rinan

What stresses you out?

Relationships? Work-life?

 

You have probably encountered different types of stress: physical Stress, phycological stress, emotional stress, behavioral stress, to mention a few.

 

We have to deal with stress coming from all angles.

 

That being said, there are good stress and bad stress. Good stress usually comes when you’re trying to achieve a goal, and works as a stimulus to achieve that goal. Bad stress is when you face stressors that take a heavy toll and feel inescapable. Stress all depends on how you feel and interpret it.

 

It’ll be amazing if all stress can be good stress, but there are ways to switch your mentality to interpret bad stress as good.

 

There are four steps to go about this.

  1. Notice what is causing the stress.
  2. Don’t let it accumulate.
  3. Make it a habit to always look on the bright side.
  4. Practice to forgive yourself.

 

It’s easier said than done. This is going to take a lot of practice, and through yoga we can exercise these four steps. Yoga not only stimulates the physical, but also the mental.

 

We tend to desire a stress-free life and look outward to hope that our environment changes. Let’s say that the environment did change for this particular stressful problem and you feel less stressed. It’s good, but it didn’t target the fundamental problem. If another undesirable event occurs, you will most likely feel stressed again. Ultimately, we would have to work within ourselves. It all depends on how you perceive the situation. If we have foggy glasses, we’ll always see things unclear. If we have clean glasses, we will be able to capture the truth. Let’s aim to have clear glasses (or heart) together through practice.

 

Starting this month on Fridays, we have a class called Restorative Stretch. Restorative means to repair or renovate to its original condition. In other words, we want to bring our balance back from a chronic stressful state. Join us for a relaxation class.

 

Started classic ballet at age 3, gymnastics at age 7 and studied performing arts at university for 4 years. Yoga was first introduced to Rinan as a beauty method, but after practicing Jivamukti Yoga, she came to realize the importance of asanas with the combination of philosophy. Countless hints of happiness are hidden behind the philosophy of yoga. If we can bring the yoga practice off the mat and spread the love and peace, we would be living in a wonderful world!
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Jivamukti Yoga FOTM Sep 2018

It’s not that easy being green

 

Hari bol Hari bol, Hari Hari bol, mukunda madhava Govinda bol Hari bol Hari bol, Hari Hari bol, Kheshava madhava Govinda bol

 

Yeah! To the one who grants liberation by removing all suffering, to that sweet-faced child of the divine ancestors,
the one with the long flowing hair who thrills his devotees with delight, yeah!

 

Haribol means, “chant the name of the Lord.” Bol means to chant or speak. Hari means, “He who steals away the distresses of his devotees and ultimately steals their heart/minds by His excellent transcendental qualities.” Hari is a name for Vishnu-Krishna, Narayana, It is found in Vishnu sahasranama.

 

In the context of Vaishnavism, Hari has found an identity as the remover of troubles blockages, pain, and bondage. Monier-Williams Sanskrit/English Dictionary defines हरिhari in over two pages, beginning with meanings like yellow or golden, green, fawn colored, reddish brown, brown tawny, pale green, and greenish. Krishna is blue/black while Hari can be green or red or yellow or gold and Hari seems to find it difficult being just one color. The brown of Hari is like the brown of the deer, the green of Hari represents growth and abundance, while the golden Hari represents the effulgent light of the sun and the Cosmic Self.

 

It’s not easy bein’ green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

 

It’s not easy bein’ green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over because you’re
Not standing out like flashing sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

 

But green’s the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean or important
Like a mountain, or tall like a tree

 

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be1

 

This song is associated with identity and the important journey of finding self worth. We could also associate it with racial inequality based on skin color. By the end of the song Kermit the Frog embraces his greenness. This is a struggle that each of us endures—to understand the circumstances of our birth, the family that we have joined, the culture that we call our own, and the time we live.

 

Hari can also mean green frog, as well as many other species and things; sun, moon, monkey, horse, lion, jackal, parrot, peacock, goose, snake, wind, and fire.Hari’s desire is to be all things to all people, and His identity should be defined as unlimited. We discover Hari in all living beings and things, and not just the murti or statue in the temple. aham uccāvacair drvyāih kriyayotpannayānaghe naiva tusye ‘rcito ‘rcāyām bhūta-grāmāvamānina.3 “My dear Mother, even if they worship with proper rituals and paraphernalia, a person who is ignorant of My presence in all living entities never pleases Me by the worship of My Deities in the temple.” Although this verse from the Bhagavatam seems quite egalitarian in its assertion of the presence of Hari in all beings, it is followed by many verses constructing an argument for “all are equal, but some are more equal” based on ridiculous comparisons of number of legs and senses between species.

 

Human beings have extended this tradition and constructed equally absurd hierarchies based on species, religion, ancestry, gender, and skin color. We find second, third, and fourth-class members in all cultures. These beings suffer economic, educational, and other deficiencies based on arbitrary delineations. In India, the darker the shade of skin has a direct relationship to caste. In the States, African Americans and Hispanics comprise approximately 32% of the total population but a disproportionate 56% of incarcerated people.4 Every country has its lower class members, and worldwide women and children are victimized with alacrity. We could cite many more examples: Albinos, Indians and Pakistanis in Sub-Saharan Africa; Muslims in China; Catholics, African Americans and Native Americans in the U.S; Kurds in Turkey and Iraq; Jewish people in Muslim countries; Palestinians in Israel (and elsewhere); Women and girls in Muslim countries; Handicapped/crippled/disabled people everywhere; But at the very bottom of these completely arbitrary discriminations live the insects, animals, and fish.

 

The animals that have been segregated to become food for human beings suffer the worst indignities and deprivation of all. Their suffering is ignored or classified as a necessary evil. Dogs and cats are loved as family members and sometimes quickly abandoned when the family moves. People who fish say that fish do not have sensation around their mouths and do not feel pain. Of course this is ignorance, but it is the same kind of insidious, intentional denial that accuses races of human beings as functionally incapable of literacy, or compassion.

 

When I step on a bug I do not feel like I am killing a person. But why don’t I feel that way? These feelings are confusing to me. Some decisions are clear, like black and white. But most of our ethical decisions are multi colored. Vegans take the lives of plants to support their living, but cause less suffering than meat eaters. By “less suffering” I am drawing a line between those plants and beings with a nervous system and their ability to feel pain. But is this an arbitrary line? Other people draw their lines in different places than me, according to different criteria. Are those people wrong, ignorant, or unconscious, or are these divisions ingrown over millennia by humans who try to scramble to the top of the heap by any means possible? To come to right decisions and proper actions we have to ask what is our desired result.

 

If our desired result is to create a world where the green ones can live as free as the yellow ones and the red ones, we need to proceed carefully—one step at a time to untangle the confusion and ignorance that underlies much of the life we share on this Earth with infinite beings, who are all holy temples of an infinite Hari. Eventually, we can come to the knowledge that “otherness” itself, is avidya –misknowing. We will become aware of the ways to sift through the important ethical decisions we make every day and be sure that we do not act unconsciously with biases wired invisibly and arbitrarily into our nervous system by each other, and the larger culture. As we make the important decisions that each of us need to make, we must pray for the grace to make the right decision, the conscious choice: to be kind and compassionate.

 

Written by David Life

From Jivamukti yoga official site: https://jivamuktiyoga.com

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Jivamukti Yoga FOTM 2018 Aug

H2OM

patraṁ  puṣpaṁ  phalaṁ   toyaṁ  yo  me  bhaktyā  prayacchati  tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam  aśnāmi  prayatātmanaḥ

 

Whatever is offered to Me with a pure loving heart, no matter if it is as small as a leaf, a flower, a piece of fruit, or sip of water, I will accept it from one who’s mind is restrained.

BG IX.26d

 

I turned the faucet and filled a small glass with water just as I had daily for a month. The water was still brown, not brownish like weak tea, but thick and brown, like a puddle of water on the ground when it is disturbed. Today, Cape Town’s reservoir is almost empty, California has its usual drought, and the crisis of drinking water is hitting home. At our home in Woodstock, we have our own water well and I have taken the clear, untreated water for granted for many years. Panic stricken—with the vision of the heat system and water tanks filling with mud, I wondered: Will Krishna accept my offering of mud?

 

This verse from Bhagavad Gita says that the substance of the offering is less important than the sincerity with which it is offered, but I can’t help but wonder, if by “sip” of water, drinkable is implied. I rushed to the grocery store to buy big plastic containers of “spring” water. They cost 3 dollars each, and I wondered if that was just the cost of the fancy plastic container with built-in handle and spout, or if it is the cost of the water inside. Many of the cities that we have visited to teach yoga over the years are threatened with imminent drinking water shortages: Bangalore, Beijing, Cairo, Moscow, Istanbul, Mexico City, London, Tokyo, and Miami. In each of these places we were offered plastic bottles of “drinkable” water.

 

Each city has different stressors and it is not really possible to conceive of a universal cure. Surely, changing the underlying water usage patterns of human beings is called for. These patterns are deeply ingrained and propelled by a tendency to take clean water for granted, as we flush it down the toilet or run it from the tap. Although the Earth is 70% H2O, only 2.5% of it is drinkable, and only 1% is accessible. More than a billion people live without enough clean, safe water.

 

The use of water in animal agriculture is probably the single most profoundly wasteful use of water resources. It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef 1, compared to potatoes at 60 gallons, or wheat at 108 gallons per pound. But it is not just water usage that we need to look at in order to preserve safe drinking water. For the bulk of human history we have regarded elements like water and air as inexhaustible and infinite, as well as always replenishing, free, and unpollutable. As we see our resources dwindling or spoiling, the door opens for the corrupt elite acquisition and privatization of the vital elements that are necessary to sustain life and that should be freely available to all.

 

A few years ago there appeared on New York City streets some amazing guerilla art posters depicting a popular brand of bottled water containing air rather than water. The point of the poster was that unless we safeguard our precious natural resources and protect them from privatization we will lose them in an ocean of plastic. In California, scarce water resources irrigate pomegranate and almond fields–exotic foods for a privileged class.

 

This is economic based scarcity. In sub-Saharan Africa, people’s true potential is lost gathering water and suffering water-born diseases, especially women and children. When many demonstrate on Wall Street for the re-distribution of the wealth of a hoarding, privileged 1%, how many of those demonstrators see themselves as the ones with unlimited access to 1% of the available clean drinking water? How many of them drink that water from expensive plastic bottles?

 

We travel to India often, and lately we have been traveling to China, and there are some interesting perspectives to be gained. For one thing, it is very apparent what happens when the human population grows beyond the carrying capacity of the Earth. All around us there are people eager to take from each other in order to survive another minute, day or week.

 

The Earth is running out of water that will support human existence. “Family living can be existing and everyone can come to be a dead one, and not anyone then, is remembering any such thing.” 2According to some Hindu scriptures, the Kali Yuga (the current age) will end in a fast and fiery way, wiping out all forms of life as we know it. It is our job as yogis to maintain the innate serenity of mind throughout, and to carry on with the righteous activities devoted to dharma. The destruction of this world is followed with the creation of a new one. The Satya Yuga (Golden Age), is followed by Treta Yuga (less virtuous, the advent of agriculture), then Dwapara Yuga (Tamasic, discontent, disease), then our present Kali Yuga (with some 427,000 years to go of liars, hypocrites, pollution, and scarce water). During Kali Yuga, rulers become unreasonable and no longer promote spirituality or protect their subjects; they become dangerous. People will migrate, seeking countries with water and food; people will have thoughts of avarice, wrath and murder; acquisition of material wealth, lust, addiction to food and drugs, treating living things as objects (animals, people) becomes the central facet of life. Only the lucky few will respect teachers and teachings.

 

The good news is that for the first 10,000 years of the Kali Yuga there will exist a Golden Age in which yoga practices will still be present on Earth. Today, 5,000 years of the Kali Yuga have passed and we have 5,000 years remaining where we will be blessed with the knowledge of the yoga traditions. We still have time to bring peace to this place, calming the muddy waters of distress.

 

Written by David Life
From Jivamukti yoga official site: https://jivamuktiyoga.com
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Betia’s Very Tasty and Very Green Protein Smoothie
2018.8.6 | Betia Pappa

This green protein smoothie is super easy and great for any time of day. Especially in the morning after your yoga practice or workout. The ingredients might surprise you but blend them together and you get a very very tasty and healthy drink.

 

I hope you enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of Almond milk (depends on how thick you like your smoothies)

1 banana (frozen is nice, but not necessary)

A hand full of spinach or Kale

A tbs spoon of peanut butter

 

Directions:

  1. Pour the almond milk first into the blender. Then add all the rest of the ingredients. If you have a very small blender I highly recommend cutting banana into small pieces and add the spinach or kale at the end.
  2. Blend it all together!

 

Enjoy!

Elizabeth (aka Betia) is an avid traveler and lover of life. She considers herself a student of the world and has gained a deep respect and admiration for many people, cultures, and places she has had the privilege to visit. Betia currently teaches yoga and English in Tokyo.
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Summer Aroma
2018.7.31 | Mari Sudo

Mid-summer days can get really exciting with all the sun. However, we have to be cautious of intense heat waves and heat strokes!! (Especially in Japan now) these words are making headlines in the daily news. Just hearing these words can make you exhausted. We have a tendency to stay inside under the AC, but this will make your internal organs cold and your whole body to weaken, resulting in summer heat fatigue.

 

The other day, I heard wind chimes at a café I walked into. The sound of the bells gave a pleasant feeling in this hot weather. It’s very important to use your five senses to truly experience the coolness during the sizzling summer. As a continuance of previous blog post of aroma during the rainy season, I’d like to introduce the aromas for the summer season.

 

Summer Aroma Recommendations

  1. Peppermint

This exhilarating aroma known to be used in gum and candy gives a sensation of freshness resulting in a cooling effect. It relieves any fever and swelling of the muscles. It works on the central nervous system and stimulates inspiration, concentration and memory. Thus, during this hot season when you’re feeling drowsy with the heat, this is the perfect aroma.

 

  1. Lemongrass

It’s scented like lemon and is used in herbal tea. It’s just the smell that is very similar and the actual lemongrass has nothing to do with the lemon family or citrus family for that matter. It’s part of the grass family known as gramineae. It works to stimulate better blood circulation and digestive system. It’s usually used in my favorite food, Thai food, such as Tom Yam Kung. Bugs dislike this scent, which works perfect for outdoors this season!

 

  1. Lavender

A very gentle floral scent. It is said to have over 150 different positive effects. Even when you mix it with other aromas, it doesn’t diminish the effects. We can call it the aroma all-star. It has relaxation effects, regulates the autonomic nervous system, relieves muscle and nerve pain, has antibacterial effects, and is good for your skin. It can help your skin after being damaged from UV rays this summer.

 

Aroma Bath

It’s so easy to skip bath and just stick with shower during the summer. I’ve always liked taking a bath so it’s become my ritual throughout the year. Let me add that summer baths are the best and highly recommend it!

You’re always under the AC, drinking cold drinks, eating cool food. Although your outer skin layer may seem heated, the inside is usually chilled. By relaxing in the bath tub, it will not only warm up your body but also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which will help with your sleep.

 

If hot bath is not your thing, you can lower the temperature or do a half body bath. Another suggestion is to add refreshing aroma. You can mix the 3 aromas mentioned above.

 

If putting the aroma directly in the tub gives skin irritation, you can either blend it with carry oil (mentioned in the previous blog post), or mix it with your bath salt. You can also put warm water in a container and drop the aroma oils in there to enjoy the scent!

 

Sweat out your fatigue and enjoy the aroma scent, feeling refreshed this summer!

 

Mari was born in Tokyo. In her childhood, she learned classical ballet and got interested in the physical training. She started Yoga to compliment her dance practice. After graduating from college she worked for a financial institution in Tokyo. While continuing her busy work, yoga stimulated her. Since 2011 she has been working as a yoga instructor.
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To Experience
2018.7.26 | Tsubaki

The internet has become such a convenient tool as the digital market has grown at a rapid pace. My daily routine is to check social networking system (SNS) to gather information. I use Instagram to search things. Not Google search, but Instagram through hashtags!

 

In this digital era, it’s still important to actually go out and experience things on your own. Today I want to share the beauty of real life experiences.

 

Where’s your dream location that you want to check off your bucket list? Within your own country? Abroad? Or maybe outer space?! It’s exciting to grow your imagination.

 

As for me, I’ve always wanted to visit Horseshoe Bend located in Arizona, USA. Of course, I’ve gone back again and again on my Instagram to check #horseshoebend lol. FYI, on my “saved” on Instagram are tons of photos solely of nature and yoga.

 

Finally, my dream come true. I visited Horseshoe Bend this year!! I went on a tour of Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope.

 

The expansive power of the Colorado River has done magnificent things through its canyons. I was finally able to visit the Colorado River’s twisting natural wonder, Horseshoe Bend. The moment I arrived, my heart started skipping and lost my words by the spectacular landscape.

 

Then, just one word, “…YABAI!” (A Japanese expression meaning awesome or incredible.)

 

It was completely different from I’ve seen on my Instagram hashtags!! The panoramic view was vaster than I imagined. The color impressions were more than what photos could capture.

 

No matter how convenient life gets with the internet, real life experiences are still important and helps stimulate your five senses. It may sound obvious, but it’s always important to re-realize it.

 

It’s the same with yoga. I’m sure you’ve come across many yoga poses on Instagram to just stare at it thinking, “I’m not flexible enough. I probably can’t do this.” Don’t limit yourself! The point is not take beautiful poses. It’s to realize how you feel in your yoga practice. I love practicing yoga to reflect on the mind and body balance. During the lesson, I always look forward to Savasana at the end of the practice.

 

Of course, gathering information is always important, but going out and ‘doing stuff’ is also as important.

 

 

 

After graduating from university, she started her career experiencing various professions in PR, Media, and IT.
As she became passionate about the effect of yoga both on the body and soul, she decided to deepen her understanding through teacher training at UTL. She began to provide her own yoga training as an instructor to help people discover an overall sense of well-being.
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Before Visiting Rishikesh
2018.7.22 | Sami Araki

In the Beginning…

I visited Rishikesh last March. It was my second visit. My main purpose of this visit was International Yoga Festival (IYF) Rishikesh 2018 because my guru and founders of Jivamukti Yoga, Sharon ji and Jules ji were going to join this Festival. They were going to teach Jivamukuti yoga almost every day. I started planning this trip at the end of 2017 as I came to know my yoga friends are also in Rishikesh and Mari sensei (also teaching at Nami Yoga Studio) agreed to join me.

 

I sometime hear people say “You go to India when India calls you.” I wasn’t sure what this really meant, but I decided to go to India again anyway. When I travel abroad alone, I get really nervous about my safety. With my bravery and charm, I overcame the difficulties and worries. Smile is a universal language. Also, saying “Thank you” with gratitude and “I’m sorry” when I did something wrong are also universal. Especially when I can’t communicate with language, these helped me to understand one another.

 

Our Journey to Rishikesh, India

We arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport in the morning, the flight was delayed about an hour and a half. Our taxi driver was waiting for us patiently and we felt at ease when we found him. Now our long road trip to Rishikesh started. It took about 7 hours including 1 hour break for the lunch. If you are not a road-trip-type-of-person, I strongly recommend you to take the domestic flight from New Delhi. If you can enjoy the sight from car window or chatting with the local driver, you will probably enjoy this long drive.

 

Cars, Cows, and People

The sun was setting when we arrived in Rishikesh. We soon walked to Ganga river to see the sun sets as soon as we dropped our luggage at the hotel. The Ganga River flows through Rishikesh. We use one of the two bridges that crosses over the Ganga. Ramjura Bridge is the closest one to our hotel so we passed that one every day. A lot of people walk or ride a bike over the bridge. Riding a boat is another option. There are a lot of shops near the bridge. Restaurants, cafés along with stores that sell clothes, fruits, drugstore, several goods, books, yoga, mala, jewelry and so on. They sell in stores, on the streets with a simple table, rug, or cart. The streets get really busy with cars, rickshaws cows, pigs, and horses. We often meet monkeys, dogs and other animals when we’re strolling along. Cows, who are considered gods in India, are sitting alongside people. They usually come along when you’re munching on food.

 

International Yoga Festival

Our main purpose at Rishikesh was joining the IYF between March 1st to 7th. The event was held at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. We stayed on the opposite side of the Ganga from Parmarth Niketan Ashram, but many people including teachers were staying at Parmarth Niketan Ashram as it has accommodation service in expansive grounds. The yoga class started from 4am all the way up to 9pm. You have to manage your own schedule as the choices are countless. There were also multiple events going on at the same time, including speeches, workshops, and concerts. There were only two types of tickets: 1-day pass and 7-day pass.

 

Happy Holi

Rishikesh becomes more vibrant during the festival as many people gather from all over the world. During the event, we were able to experience another festival called Happy Holi, which took place on March 2nd. On March 1st, people in Rishikesh started gathering and start the festivity a day early. One guy was making big fire to pray for Happy Holi and we sat near the fire to keep us warm. More people joined us to give their prayers. The climate was almost as same as that of Tokyo but when the sun is strong we can be with T-shirt and the air in the morning and night was chilly. You hear music when you get up early in the morning, most of those are sanskrit mantra, singing voices and other voices of prayer. In day time, you hear more sounds of bike and horn.

 

Rikshaw

If you get tired to walk or want to go where that’s too far to walk, it’s good idea to ride a rickshaw. You can get on a rickshaw from rickshaw parking near the bridge or catch one on the street. Personally, I recommend to catch one on the street because you can get on for cheaper. Usually, you share the rickshaw with other people. Now you’re on, how do you get off? The best way is to tell them a major landmark. People ride on and off at the point where they want. Just note that it you get on from Rickshaw parking with small number of people, you have to pay more. 7 to 8 people can ride on at once.

 

More about International Yoga Festival

The highlight of this year’s IYF was to meet Dalai Lama and vice president of India. Unfortunately, Dalai Lama didn’t show up in front of people, but a lot of people gathered to pay respect. I heard he was not in good condition. On a different day, a person from Shinto Japan was introduced to people. Night time was usually very energetic with live music and dancing. There are enough events to keep you busy at the ashram, but you can also walk around town or join other yoga studios in the area.

 

In the Ashram, there was buffet throughout the day. It’s only available for people who purchased the festival ticket. There are also cafes and restaurants in town that you can visit. There are all sorts of variety from Indian to Western food including fruit bowls, porridge, and snacks.

I hope you get an image of what Rishikesh is like!

Sami was born in Tokyo, Japan. As a child, she was naturally drawn into yoga as she imitated her mother’s yoga practice. After graduating University and working at various companies, she started to practice yoga. In 2013, she received her yoga teaching certification by the Government of India. In 2015, she became a certified jivamukti yoga instructor.
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Four-Day Cleanse
2018.7.15 | Yumi Tanaka

Juice Cleanse

The other day, I conducted a four-day juice cleanse. The purpose of the cleanse was not to lose weight, but to rest my digestive system. I tried out one of my favorite juice bar, Trueberry’s cold pressed juice.

 

We replace our meals with 5 bottles of cold pressed juice a day. (We can drink water, warm water and herb tea throughout this cleanse.)

 

I felt drowsy throughout the 4 days. Depending on the person, some may experience headaches, lightheadedness and dizziness, but for me it was sleepiness. Nevertheless, my body felt extremely light and didn’t have any trouble with my yoga practice.

 

During the cleanse, I didn’t have to worry about what to eat next, my groceries, cooking time, eating time or cleaning time. I felt that I had a lot of time on hand. Generally, we spend a lot of our day thinking about our meals and activities around it.

 

Recovery Meal

From day 5, I started my recovery meal.

We have to keep in mind that recovery meal period should last as long as your cleanse days.

We slowly start off with porridge or plain miso soup. I had the most difficult time during this stage. At the end of my recovery meal phase, I found myself being very picky about my food. I was being sensitive about the things I consumed.

 

Things I want to keep in mind about my future cleanse!

 

1. It’s important to set up your schedule before and after your cleanse.
As mentioned above, recovery meal is part of your cleanse so it’s important to keep in mind the recovery days as well. Before you start your cleanse, it’ll be better to reduce the volume of your meals. In my case, I avoided eating out and had a vegetarian based diet.

 

2. Keep your options open.
Since it was my first time, I added in Almond Milk (not necessarily juice) as one of my juice choice. Almond Milk gives a sense of fullness, which was a good choice on the first day.

 

3. Allow some leeway in your schedule.
It’s possible to conduct the cleanse whether it be your days off or not. However, we have to keep in mind that every movement becomes very slow throughout this time. For example, I would get on the escalator at the train stations instead of walking up the stairs, or my walking pace would be very slow. It’ll be better to schedule your appointments with plenty of time before and after.

 

Everything written here are my own thoughts through my personal experiences.

 

We are made up of what we eat.
“Eat not for your tongue, but for your mind and body.”
Notice what makes up your body, how your body consumes energy, and how we spend our time eating.

Just like we choose our clothes, we also have the choice of food we consume.

With this in mind, I wish for your lovely dietary habit.

 

She started practicing Jazz and Hiphop dance at teenager. In 2007, she moved to Tokyo to enter university. After graduating from university, she experienced physical changes while she was working in sales and started looking for a new healthier lifestyle. Her focus changed from dancing to yoga. Through her continuous practice, she learned that yoga could be applied to daily life, thinking habits and discipline. In 2016 she was qualified as a yoga instructor.
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・Cleansing・Inspiration・Jivamukti Yoga・Maternity Yoga・Philosophy・Recipe・Training / Traveling
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