|English | 日本語|
Yoko Fujiwara started her Ashtanga yoga practice in 2003 while in the IT industry in her hometown of Tokyo, Japan. She has been teaching Ashtanga yoga since 2006 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her ongoing daily study is with Cathy Louise Broda of Purple Yoga Hawaii. Yoko underwent a sixteen-month Mysore apprenticeship as well as a nine-month pregnancy yoga apprenticeship with Cathy Louise. Yoko has gone through many life changes since she started practicing yoga, and she is continuing to develop an understanding of who she really is. Yoko affirms that her practice has evolved primarily due to the process of deep self-reflection and actively changing patterns rooted in fear, anger and insecurity.
Her first trip to Mysore, India was in 2008. She spent three months practicing with R. Sharath Jois and Saraswathi Rangaswamy. During that time, she also studied Sanskrit and Yoga Sutra chanting under Dr. M. A. Jayashree. Yoko's practice extends to annual visits to Maui to see Manju Jois and Nancy Gilgoff.
Yoko is also a Shiatsu therapist. She has studied Shiatsu at Aisen Shiatsu School and has started her own practice since 2009. License No. 11603. This training, along with her Ashtanga practice and teaching, allows her
to see how the energetic body moves within the physical body.
Having been attending Yoko's classes 2-3 times a week for several years and having practiced yoga on and off for some 30 years, including two years in Los Angeles with nationally known teachers, I can say without qualification that Yoko is one of the best teachers with whom I've practiced. She has the background and training that enable her to understand the practice and the skills to teach—some instructors can teach but don't have the background and some with the background aren't as skilled in teaching—and she conveys the underlying concepts through understandable explanations and by example. Yoko brings tremendous enthusiasm and energy to classes and encourages and adjusts as steps that are part of an overall Ashtanga practice. As a result, her focus provides a class grounded on the flow of energy and breath rather than a class based on mere physical postures as found in many yoga classes these days. - Randy Slaton
Yoko is an awesome instructor! Until I met Yoko, I thought I hated Ashtanga yoga, and yes, I told her that in pretty much those words. LOL! Now I can't imagine my life without Ashtanga and practicing with Yoko is the highlight of my week. She creates a non-judgmental environment of non-attachment, ease, and support that allows everyone to flourish in their own practice. She starts out each class with a short lesson, sharing insight from her own practice, demonstrating poses or techniques, or explaining yogic principles. Throughout the practice Yoko gives mindful adjustments, encouraging students to take their practice to their own edge. Yoko finishes class with a few parting thoughts. No matter how I feel when I enter the class, I always leave centered and with a heart full of gratitude. Yoko is amazing – if you've ever thought you couldn't do Ashtanga or you don't like Ashtanga, try Yoko's class. She will help you see the beauty and peace that is Ashtanga. I'm living proof! - Marlene Lowe