To provide an uplifting, healing space where people from all over the world can unfold themselves through the study and practice of yoga in a nurturing community. We seek to provide an intimate, safe place for students to explore self-transformation through yoga, meditation and pranayama. We are not interested in yoga or the yoga studio as a commodity, brand, or competition. That’s why our studio will ALWAYS be grass-roots, community-based, non-commercial, liberal and organic. We love to share the beauty and magic of yoga. Come join us!
As Donna Farhi noted, the world doesn’t really need more people who can bend their bodies into amazing positions. What it needs are kinder, more compassionate, generous people with open minds and hearts. Yoga helps us to become those kinds of people, encouraging forth the essence of who we really are. Our motto is what Gandhi said, “BE the change you wish to see in the world.” We hope to offer a place where people can discover and share their gifts through the ancient practice of yoga.
Sun & Moon classes are Hatha Yoga, inspired by Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Sivananda, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoist Yoga and many other yoga styles, and grounded in a deep awareness of yoga history, philosophy, breath, alignment, chakras, bandhas, and the subtle energy body. Yoga is a tool for wellness, and we incorporate many healing and meditation traditions into the practice to this end. Our classes seek to help you explore your full potential on this planet–physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. That’s why we embrace more than asana. In any given class we will explore meditation, breathing, kirtan, poetry, and yoga texts both classical and contemporary…When you open your body, you free your heart. That is why we invite you to “Come Move and Be Moved.” Discover your potential to change yourself, and change the world.
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means “yoke” or “union.” Yoga unifies the body and mind through the breath, opening channels of energy that send the life force– prana or ki–through the body. Yoga offers us a way of Being rather than Doing. It’s a powerful gateway into the soul, which is why it’s called “the science of conscious awareness.” Yoga allows us to slow down, quiet the mind, listen to and trust our own natural abilities. It affords us a tremendous opportunity to explore our potential for physical and spiritual growth.
The physical benefits of yoga are manifold–reduce stress, release toxins, revitalize the systems of the body, tone, strengthen, and increase flexibility. The non-physical invitation is to let go of the constructs we create on the ego level and open to deeper self-discovery, healing and transformation–finding our innate vitality, balance, calm, joy and unity through the moving meditation of yoga. The practice continues when we take these gifts off the mat into daily life in community (kula) with others.
Leza Lowitz was born in San Francisco and grew up in Berkeley, California and later, New York City. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley and getting an M.A. in Creative Writing/Japanese Literature, Lowitz lived in Tokyo in the early 1990s, drawn by an early interest in Buddhism, which she first studied as a teenager at Berkeley High School. In Tokyo, she worked as a freelance journalist and university lecturer. She taught writing at Tokyo University and wrote for The Japan Times, The Asahi Evening News, NHK and others. When she returned to her native California, she was still reeling from the pace of Tokyo and found she was an expat in her very own skin. In 1989, she took her first yoga class. In 1994, she began to study seriously with Veera Wibaux, an Iyengar-trained French mime, and in 1996, she began to study intensively with Jill Minye, a powerful Kripalu teacher in Sebastopol, California.
In 2000, Lowitz became certified to teach yoga at the White Lotus Foundation. Among her main influences are Ganga White and Tracey Rich, who pioneered the art of Yoga Vinyasa flow in the 1970s, Jill Minye, Max Thomas, Steve North, Simone Simon, Gaye Abbott, Shiva Rea, Georg Feuerstein and Dharma teacher Amy Skezas of Roselight. She has also completed teacher trainings with Shiva Rea and Srivatsa Ramaswami in Vinyasa Krama, and Paul and Suzee Grilley in Yin Yoga. She also has completed several teacher trainings in Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga with Ted Lafferty of the Yoga Studies Institute in the Gelukpa Tradition of the Dalai Lamas. In the 1990s, Lowitz was Director of the Dillon Beach Yoga Circle and Manager of the Yoga Research and Education Center and studied yoga philosophy, history and scripture with scholar Georg Feuerstein. She also taught at Asana Yoga and wrote for Yoga Journal. She has published twenty books, including the best-selling book, Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By and Sacred Sanskrit Words (with Reema Datta), Jet Black & the Ninja Wind, Here Comes the Sun (her yoga memoir), and Up from the Sea (A YA novel about the 3-11-11 disaster in Japan).
Lowitz has received the APALA Asia Pacific Award for Youth Literature, the PEN Josephine Miles Poetry Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, NEA/NEH grants, The Benjamin Franklin Award for Editorial Excellence, The Bay Area Book Reviewer’s Award, Foreword Magazine Award, and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Translation Award.
Her essays have appeared in The New York Times Motherlode Blog, Yoga Journal, Yoga Journal Japan, Yoga International, Elephant Journal, Shambhala Sun, The Best Buddhist Writing 2011, The Huffington Post, Wanderlust.com, Origin, Mantra, the Japan Times, Art in America, and many others.
Lowitz sees creativity and yoga as interlinked—all life is yoga. She began meditation and the study of Buddhism as a teenager. She maintains her decades-long interest in Buddhism and continues to study and practice yoga and meditation daily. Her interest in self-healing and serving others led her to study more about the subtle energetic body. To this end, she took many Master courses with Roselight and graduated from the Light Body Training to learn to work with the subtle energies of the body. Lowitz is also a certified Level II Reiki practitioner and studied Qi Gong with Master Xi Jing Li. In 2003 and over the subsequent years, she brought Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Acro Yoga, Partner Yoga, and Charity Yoga to Japan for the first time ever. She leads teacher trainings in Restorative Yoga and directs Sun and Moon’s 100-hour Teacher Training Program.
She is continually seeking to grow, learn and expand from her practice, as well as from the practice of teaching, which is a yoga itself. She has taught yoga privately to Academy-award winning actors, Grammy-award winning musicians, corporate executives, artists, salarymen, office ladies, kids, octogenarians, and everyone in between.
When Lowitz relocated to Japan in 2003, she wanted to bring a California sense of relaxation to Tokyo. She opened her yoga studio, Sun and Moon Yoga, in December of 2003. Sun and Moon is honored to have a great team of dedicated, experienced, kind, creative and mindful teachers from all over the world. (Please see “Teachers Bios” for more information). The studio’s name is taken from the Sanskrit word hatha, which is the type of yoga we practice, and which means “Sun/Moon.” Through the practice of yoga postures, breathing, meditation and awareness, we balance the opposite energies of the body/mind (sun and moon, male and female, light and dark, left and right, heaven and earth) and create a sanctuary for the soul.
Live. Love. Serve.
SUN AND MOON YOGA STUDIO of Tokyo was designed by Hashimoto Yuji of Design-Synthesis-Organization Architecture (Tokyo) and built by the craftsmen of Kinoshita Construction. This website was designed by Amanda Merrill of http://www.yogatoesstudio.com/.