leza2017LEZA LOWITZ is the director of Sun and Moon Yoga, which she founded in 2003. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley and receiving an M.A. in Creative Writing/Japanese Literature, Lowitz moved to Tokyo in the early 1990s, drawn by an early interest in Buddhism, which she studied as a teenager at Berkeley High School. She taught writing at Tokyo University and wrote for the Japan Times, the Asahi Evening News, NHK and others. After decades as a successful freelance writer, editor, and university instructor, she came to the realization that her hectic lifestyle was burning her out, and that she wanted a more spiritual relationship to the world. Was there a way to “do” less and “be” more? Was there a way to heal oneself and re-connect with herself and others in the world? Looking for answers, she returned to California and took her first yoga class in 1989 with Veera Wibaux, an Iyengar-trained French mime, and in 1996, she began intensive study with Jill Minye, a powerful Kripalu teacher.

Lowitz became certified to teach at the White Lotus Foundation in 2000. Since then, she has studied with many amazing teachers. Among her main influences are Ganga White and Tracey Rich, who pioneered the art of Yoga Vinyasa flow, Jill Minye, Max Thomas, Steve North, Simone Simon, Gaye Abbott, Shiva Rea, Georg Feuerstein, Ted Lafferty, Yvonne Jacques,  Gina Sala. She has completed teacher trainings with Shiva Rea and Srivatsa Ramaswami in Vinyasa Krama, and Paul Grilley in Yin Yoga. Lowitz has been to India twice to deepen her yoga studies. In the 1990s, Lowitz was Manager of the Yoga Research and Education Center (YREC) and studied with scholar Georg Feuerstein, YREC’s founder. She taught at Asana Yoga and wrote for Yoga Journal and other publications. Through Yoga, Leza rekindled her long-standing interest in Buddhism, meditation and Eastern philosophy, which she first encountered as a teenager in Berkeley, California, and which she maintains to this day. Her interest in healing and serving others (SEVA) led her to study more about the subtle energetic body and to open her studio when she moved back to Tokyo in 2003 with her Japanese husband.

Leza runs Sun and Moon yoga studio as an extension of yoga practice.  Her desire has always been to help make yoga accessible and available to as many people as possible, building community and trying to do good in the world. Her yoga classes are inspired by many schools and influences, delighting in a non-dogmatic, healing and creative approach that is deeply rooted in Advaita (non-dualism). This interplay of the physical, spiritual, devotional, intuitive and creative is a reflection of her belief that life is a work of art that is always expanding and evolving, and that our birthright is freedom, bliss, and union with the divine. She encourages students to open to life and to devote themselves to helping others.

Lowitz has continued her writing, seeing the creative path as one of healing, teaching, evolution, and divine inspiration, much like yoga. 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). Leza’s writing has been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the California Arts Council, PEN, and the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature from the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture and Columbia University. Her breakout book, published over two decades ago, Yoga Poems: Lines To Unfold By, married her twin passions of yoga and poetry, and received the 2001 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. The companion book, Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections, is an exploration of the buddha’s six gifts for a meaningful life. Lowitz considers yoga and writing to be life-saving tonics that offer amazing experiences of self-discovery, love, joy, creativity and community.

She has also written many articles about yoga, self-transformation, and cross-cultural living for the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Yoga Journal, Yoga Journal Japan, Yogini, Yoga International, Elephant Journal, Shambhala Sun, wanderlust.com, Asana, the Manifest-Station, Origin, Mantra, Glomad, and the Japan Times. She writes a regular column on bicultural life in Wingspan (ANA Airlines in-flight magazine). She has been in invited speaker at the Sharjah International Book Festival (UAE), the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, the Bali Spirit Festival, and the Hong Kong Literary Festival. Lowitz has offered retreats and workshops throughout Japan, the U.S., Bali, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. She is the proud mother of a teenage boy and two rescued wolf-dogs.

To read an interview with Leza, please visit WOW!

SHOGO OKETANI (Self-Defense/Ki Energy Healing and Power) was born in Tokyo and graduated from Keio University with a degree in Philosophy and Literature. He studied Judo and Kendo from childhood, and began studying Karate as a teenager. Later, he received his black belt from the Gensei School of Karate in Tokyo, where he also taught Karate. (He is a third degree black belt). He also studied North Shaolinquan Martial Arts from the Japanese master Ryu Meiko who was born and grew up in Taiwan.

In 1995, Oketani moved to Northern California, where he worked as a freelance translator, poet and fiction writer. He worked in the high-tech field and taught translation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. With Lowitz, he received a fellowship in translation from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature from the Donald Keene Center at Columbia University for their translations of the poetry of Ayukawa Nobuo (Kaya Press, 2006). His deep understanding of Buddhism and martial arts philosophy, combined with his love of language and words led him to write Designing with Kanji: For Surface, Skin, and Spirit (Stone Bridge Press), co-authored with Lowitz. He moved back to Tokyo in 2003, when he and Leza opened Sun and Moon Yoga.
He recently collaborated with Leza on a young adult novel, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind (Tuttle, 2013,) which has been optioned for featured film production.

HATSUMI ISHIKAWA (StudioManager) was born in Nagasaki. After working as a florist in Fukuoka for a decade, she moved to Tokyo. In 2003, she traveled throughout America for several months. A long-time ballet practitioner and exercise buff, Hatsumi discovered yoga at Sun & Moon in 2005 and quickly fell in love with it! She became the Studio Manager in the fall of 2006 and appeared as a yoga model in the ACO YOGA DVD. She has been to Mysore, India where she studied Ashtanga yoga with Sri Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, Sharath. She continues her daily yoga practice and is also currently studying English.

Em has always been fascinated by the body and movement, and exploring how far the body can go.
She studied contemporary dance at The Laban Centre for Movement and Dance and Middlesex University, gaining a B.A (Hons) in Dance Performance. It was while studying dance that she was introduced to yoga. Em returned to yoga when she hit a dark period in her life, and wanted to make positive changes. She walked through the door at Sun and Moon and knew she had found her sanctuary. She humbly bows to Leza Lowitz for guiding her over the years.

She has been a dedicated practitioner for several years and has immersed herself in the study of yoga with frequent trips to study with her primary teacher Paul Dallaghan, Centered Yoga. She is a graduate of the Centered Yoga foundation training and having attended advance trainings is 500hr Yoga Alliance certified. She is currently working towards her 1100 hour advanced training. She feels blessed to have studied with Paul’s teacher Sri O P Tiwari, delving into the teachings of pranayama as taught at the Kaivaldhama Yoga Institute.

She is a graduate of the Sun and Moon’s restorative teacher training and 100-hour teacher training courses. She also graduated from David Swenson’s 40-hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Course and has studied Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley. She is also trained to teach pre-natal yoga.

Her own practice draws on Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and dance. Em would like students to explore, release, experience inner and outer transformation–and have fun.

Her second passion is nutrition, for yogis and non-yogis. She follows a high raw-vegan diet and has recently trained as a Holistic health Counsellor and runs nutritional courses in Tokyo.

For more information please check em-yoga.com

Satomi enjoyed her longtime career as an office worker, even though it was often stressful. A strong desire to lead an authentic life led her to leave her career and embark on a new life. She was surprised to discover that even after she’d quit her job, her stress remained. Physical and mental discomforts plagued her for years–until she discovered yoga, which helped her to understand the mind-body connection and led to her recovery. Yoga helped her to find balance, so she decided to become a yoga teacher to help others discover the happiness and well-being she had felt. She feels it is her life mission to support people leading an authentic life. Besides teaching yoga, she works as a life coach and operates a consulting/event business for well-being called “Growth & Wellness.” Satomi has completed a 200-Hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training Course, and is a graduate of 20-Hour Yoga Therapy and Restorative Yoga Teacher Training courses at Sun and Moon Yoga. She is also a graduate of the Yoga Therapy Training at The Yoga Room with Judy Crupp, Trauma Approach Yoga (TAY) Teacher Training at UTL, and the Medical Yoga/Senior Yoga and Menopause Support Teacher Trainings at Luna Works. In 2009, she completed CTI Japan Coaching Training.
You can find her on FB at: Growth & Wellness

hisakaHISAKA was born in Osaka. She began practicing Shaolin Kung Fu with her father, a Shingon Buddhist monk, at the age of three–practicing Sun Salutations as the warm-up at their Dojo. As a child, she practiced yoga and the martial arts before she even knew they had names.
At the age of 18-24 she studied TA (Transactional Analysis) which became the basis of her self-development and self-transformation. Later, she worked at Amanamana, a Tibetan Art Gallery in Hiroo, where she deepened her knowledge of Tibetan singing bowls. She went on to guide many yoga instructors and spiritual healers in the use of Tibetan singing bowls.
Through close observation of her students, her goal as a teacher is to help the student to be deeply at ease in the mind and body and enjoy yoga.
She has practiced yoga at Sun and Moon with Leza Lowitz, Ted Lafferty and Masaaki Nakajima.

RYT200 certified yoga teacher (completed Ashtanga Vinyasa TTC with Rupali Embry & Tania jo Ingraham)
Completed Yoga Studies Institute Tibet Heart Yoga Teacher Training, Series 1-4 (total 80 hours)
Completed Yoga Studies Institute 20-Hour Yoga Sutra Course
Completed Yoga Studies Institute Professional Adjustment Course
Completed 40-Hour Full Practice Series with Masaaki Nakajima
Completed Sun and Moon 20-Hour Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Course with Leza Lowitz
Completed Mantra Yoga TTC (Level 1) with Anandra George
Completed Motoyama Method Meridian Exercise Intensive Seminar
TA Psychologist (studied at Osaka TA Educational Institute, completed TA101, TA Advance (70-hour), TA ad ad (126 hour))

Kitty, a former international flight attendant, started to practice Yoga after being introduced by friends. She has attended classes and workshops in Japan and overseas, which has had a great influence on her. Kitty has been teaching Yoga for the past 11 years and translating for 5 years. Kitty looks at Yoga as an essential part of her life and she continues to explore to deepen her experience and knowledge.
Kitty incorporates the essence of Yoga into her daily life and appreciates the little things that bring happiness to everyday life, while maintaining the balance between her work and being the mother of two young children.
Kitty takes a holistic approach to yoga, and incorporates the lesson learnt through her experience translating for, and practicing with numerous magnificent teachers.

mayumi_fMAYUMI FUJITA was born in Tokyo. She began to practice yoga to improve her health while working as a display designer at an interior decorating shop. She realised she was overworking and placing stress on herself, and that yoga practice combined with breath and movement brought a more balanced state of mind. She appreciates the beauty of yoga, its gentleness to the mind and body, and its message to “just be yourself.” She chose to become a yoga instructor to share the beauty of yoga.

IHTA certified Yoga Instructor
JPAS certified Aromatherapy practitioner
Completed 20-Hour Restorative Yoga TTC with Leza Lowitz

Mayumi Blog tous les jours (In Japanese)

yukoYUKO GOTO studied Yoga and Ayurvedic Therapy in Boulder, Colorado from 2008-2011. Upon returning to Japan, she came to the realization that her own personal practice had suffered due to prioritising teaching yoga and raising a family. She wanted more balance, so she decided to visit Sun and Moon Yoga in Meguro to start her own yoga practice in Japan. From the first moment she opened the door, she felt a warm and peaceful atmosphere. She was immediately drawn to the lively international community at the studio, and practicing at Sun and Moon became her passion. Yuko attended many TTCs and workshops with owner Leza Lowitz. She also studied with many talented teachers such as Em Bettinger, Ted Lafferty, Yvonne Jaques, Mira Shani, Jarret Levine and Lauren Peterson. In 2009 Yuko completed the Sun and Moon Restorative Yoga TTC with Leza Lowitz (and re-took the course in 2016 to refreshand is a Yoga Alliance Certified, Rasayana Yoga School E-RYT200 Yoga Instructor as well as a Yoga Alliance Certified YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider), training yoga teachers in Japan.

Even when she couldn’t make it to the studio, Sun and Moon Yoga was her “ home studio.” Yuko was inspired by Leza’s generosity and insight and was intrigued to learn more about the subjects Leza had studied for long time like Buddhism, meditation and Tibetan Buddhist teachings. This led her to attend a 10-day Vipassana Meditation Retreat and to study Tibetan traditional medicine. Currently Yuko teaches yoga and also works as an Ayurvedic counselor and a practitioner of Tibetan cranial work, after having completed three years of study abroad.

“Teaching at Sun and Moon Yoga is like a dream come true for me and I’m honored by Leza’s generosity. Sun and Moon Yoga is a place everyone is warmly welcomed and can feel peace of mind and ease of heart. There are always wonderful classes and workshops, so please come join us! I’m so grateful to be able to support you in your yoga journey.”

Please visit Yuko’s Blog

elizabeth_pappaELIZABETH PAPPA (BETIA), a Floridian, was first introduced to yoga in 2009 by her aunt. She quickly fell in love with the practice. After moving to Japan in 2014 as an English teacher, daily yoga helped her deal with the challenges of living in a completely new culture. She decided to pursue her 200hr yoga teacher training in Ashtanga with David Lertsin in Thailand. After completing her training, Elizabeth has been teaching weekly Vinyasa flow classes in Tokyo. She loves: spending time with her family, traveling, dogs, and laughter.

naoNAO started practicing yoga in 2001 when she was a student in the US and immediately fell in love with it. Originally from Niigata, she has lived in Japan, US and the UK and Yoga has been a big part of her life wherever she goes. It teaches her to be comfortable in her own skin, to live with love and compassion.

After graduating from University of London with Master’s degree in Development Studies, she’s been working as an office worker and constantly suffered from headaches, stiff shoulders and lower back pain. After an injury on her lower back which was due to stress and over work, she sought a yogic path to change her life, seriously started taking various trainings of yoga, meditation, anatomy and Ayurveda in Tokyo which eventually led to discover an amazing healing power of Restorative Yoga.

Graduating from Leza Lowitz Restorative yoga teacher’s training as well as Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax & Renew in San Francisco, she is passionate sharing Restorative Yoga and beauty of “doing nothing”.

Yoga Alliance 200-H Teacher Training
Leza Lowitz Restorative Yoga 20-H Teacher Training
Judith Hanson Lasater Relax & Renew Level 1 Teacher Training

As an office worker, Kumiko Fukumoto discovered the powerful effects of yoga, which helped her heal stiff shoulders, eye strain, and counter work pressure and stress. While working full-time, she began to teach yoga.
Her Iyengar-yoga inspired classes feature deepening awareness of subtle body sensations through basic asana and sometimes partner work. With the smooth transition from asana to asana, students can comfortably practice asana, using props if needed.
Kumiko practices with and assists Dominica Serigano and Keiko Okuno. Also she studies Yoga Therapy with Keishin Kimura and has completed trainings with many teachers from abroad such as Marla Apt, Lisa Walford, Gabriella Giubilaro, Ramanand Patel, etc..
Kumiko will be teaching in Japanese with minimal English.

- Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana/Japan Yoga Therapy Society certified Yoga Therapist
- RYT200 registered teacher
- RYT500 (in progress)
- 20-Hour Restorative Yoga TTC with Leza Lowitz, Sun and Moon
- Restorative Yoga TT Level 2 at Under The Light Yoga School
- Injury Management TTC with Lisa Walford (Intermediate Senior Iyengar teacher)

Kumiko’s blog (in Japanese)

yukiYuki began yoga in 2004 at Sun & Moon and other studios. At that time, she worked as an office worker at IBM and was suffering from the effects of stress and overwork.

When she met Sara Shivani, the founder of Venus Yoga, it was a transformative experience. Up until then, Yuki’s attitude was to “do as many asanas as possible.” Instead, she realized the importance of connection among women who tend to feel lonely and isolated in modern society. She understood that the feeling of being connected with each other could be a way of healing. This changed her approach to yoga as well as life. She is a certified Venus Yoga instructor.

Yuki visits Australia regularly to study with Shivani. She is Shivani’s assistant in workshops and TTC when Shivani comes to Japan, and has helped Shivani to organize Venus Yoga TTC in Okinawa as well. Yuki taught Venus Yoga academy class at Yoga Fest Yokohama 2016. Currently, she teaches yoga at several yoga studios in Tokyo and offers a “Mommy Yoga” Community Yoga class in Yokohama.

miyokoMIYOKO NOMA is a half-American and half-Japanese yoga instructor based in Tokyo. She was born in New York City and raised in both New York and Japan. She first started yoga in Japan at Sun and Moon in 2012. She fell in love with yoga and felt reborn after taking a yoga class.

In 2014, she completed her first 200-hour teacher training at a school in Rishikesh, India. She studied Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa there, and is also trained to teach kid’s yoga with Yoga Ed.

Miyoko is also a current trainee at the Yoga Teacher’s College in Barcelona, Spain. At the Yoga Teacher’s College, she is learning the YOGABODY method of teaching vinyasa-flow classes. It is a 200-hour course that takes 500 hours to complete. She is expected to graduate in June of 2018.

Miyoko believes that yoga is something that people can use to heal their lives physically and mentally. Her favorite styles of yoga to practice are vinyasa flow and ashtanga vinyasa.

200-Hour Degree Program (in vinyasa flow) from the Yoga Teacher’s College – Barcelona, Spain (in progress, estimated graduation - Jun. 2018)
32-Hour Teaching Children’s Yoga (Age 3-12) from Yoga Ed. – Tokyo, Japan (2016)
20-Hour Yoga Therapy Certification from Sun and Moon – Tokyo, Japan (2015)
30-Hour Thai Yoga Massage Certification from Sun and Moon – Tokyo, Japan (2014)
200-Hour Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa Certification at Rishikul Yogshala in Rishikesh, India (2014)

kiyomi_bioKIYOMI KATORI works as a system engineer in Tokyo. In 2002, she suffered from stiff shoulders and back pain due to long hours behind a desk, and became interested in Ki energy work and Tai Chi to alleviate these symptoms. In 2009, she discovered yoga and to began to study Ayurveda. Inspired by the power of Ayurveda, she attained her Ayurveda Yoga Instructor and Life Style Consultant license.

Then, opportunities to offer yoga and counselling at a community center arose, and she began to search for a teacher. She met Miles Maeda at Sun and Moon Yoga and began a decade-long practice with Miles, Leza and Em.

In 2016, one day Em made a comment about her love of bolsters, and suggested she take the Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Course with Leza. Kiyomi immediately signed up for a coming training. There, she deepened her understanding of the secrets of Restorative Yoga, igniting her passion to study yoga further.

In 2017, she attended the Anatomy Course for Yoga Instructors with Yvonne Jaques at Sun and Moon, and went to a Yoga and Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka with Tomo Kobori. Her experience of traditional Ayurvedic treatment and ashram life ignited her passion further. Returning to Tokyo, she enrolled in Indian philosophy classes, and began a regular home yoga practice. She also took the Heart of Yoga Teacher Training Course. In 2018, she attended the “Yoga Life Magic” Yoga Philosophy Immersion with Leza Lowitz. She now follows “The Book,” keeping track of her daily activities, and has a strong sense of direction in her life.

She is also a Reiki practitioner, graduating from the Reiki Level 1 Training with Miles Maeda in January 2012 and completing the Level 2 & 3 in the same year. A “Master Student” who practiced Reiki healing every day, she began to offer it to others. In October 2014, she completed the Reiki 1000-day Practice. She started to teach Reiki in 2017. Through her experience with Tai Chi, Reiki and various style of yoga and Ayurveda, she thinks that “there are 100 different yogis and 100 different ways” to reach samadhi.

In her classes, she is excited to share what she has learned and practiced over the past decade, such as how to find a favorite meditation or a method which works for you personally. She hopes to support you in finding your own way the way her teachers have guided her in finding her unique, individual path.

carla_bioCARLA HERZENBERG has been transformed by beautiful and challenging life experiences and the different styles of yoga that she has practiced over the last 20 years. Carla brings a sense of empowerment and fun, both physical and energetic, to every class. Utilizing intention, humor, asana and pranayama her goal is to have every student leave class feeling longer, leaner, refreshed and renewed. Carla’s style of teaching focuses on precise instruction that underscores the important relationship between alignment, breath, fluid movement and strength building. She is 300 RYT Yoga Alliance certified, receiving certification through YogaWorks, CA, USA, combining Ashtanga, Iyengar, Yin, Hatha, Power & Vinyasa. Training includes in-depth anatomy, adjustments, restorative, Sutra study, as well as asana intensive training (100 RYS) in Jivamukti and Bikram. She puts an emphasis on thoughtful sequencing and pace, giving students a vigorous physical practice and a deeper internal connection. Her classes are physically and mentally challenging, however she always works to meet the students where they are each day. She delivers each class in English and Sanskrit with a an original play list of music ranging from hip-hop, pop and deep house to jazz, alt and chanting. Carla works to create a space for expression, enthusiasm, fun, sweat, reflection & renewal. Carla is a California native and new transplant to Tokyo. Carla’s Website.

patrick_bioPATRICK MITCHELL, M.A. Contemplative Education, Mindfulness/Stress Management Instructor, CFM Qualified MBSR Teacher

Patrick began practicing vipassana meditation in 2001 with a series of SN Goenka retreats and has since participated in many insight meditation retreats in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, and Canada. He is strongly committed to the discipline and joys of daily meditation practice.

Patrick’s mindfulness training includes Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine: A 7-Day Professional Training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli at Omega Institute, New York, 2005. In 2008, he spent two months in Worcester, Massachusetts for the eight-week Practicum in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Stress Reduction Clinic (University of Massachusetts Medical School). In 2017, he returned to the Center for Mindfulness at UMass and completed the MBSR Practice Teaching Intensive.

Patrick began teaching mindfulness meditation in Japan in 2009 and has since delivered workshops at American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, British Embassy in Tokyo, British Consulate-General Osaka, Bentley Motors Japan, Credit Agricole Securities Asia, Hilton Worldwide (Legal Department), Tokyo English Lifeline (TELL), Sun and Moon Yoga, M Yoga Kanazawa, and more. As an affiliate trainer for Human Dynamic Asia Pacific, he teaches corporate wellness workshops at major international companies.

From a young age, Jesse was attracted to the Taoist Healing Arts - his study and experience has continued for well over 30 years and began in 1985, at his father’s studio ‘Third Coast Center for the Healing Arts’ - in Austin, Texas. Jesse went on to continue his study in the Taoist Internal Arts, Meditation, Martial Arts and the Healing Arts, through a long journey and adventure that took him to many rare and beautiful places throughout China, Taiwan and Japan.
Jesse follows the Way of the Dragon Gate Taoist, having undergone extensive training in the Taoist Mountains of China, and is empowered to teach a complete system of Taoist Practice. Jesse is also certified as an instructor in Qigong under the Kong Ran Healing Qigong Institute, and licensed as a TuiNa Massage Therapist and Qigong Healer under the Taoist Traditional Therapy Association.
Jesse has discovered many profound secrets in regards to the Awakening of Inner Energy and the Self Healing process through his study, self practice in the mountains of China, and the journey to recovery from a severe spinal cord injury. These discoveries have influenced the aim and guiding principles of the founding of the TaoYoga Arts™ System - a modern style of Taoist Yoga, influenced by the ancient principles of Taoist Alchemy and Philosophy, yet arranged for modern people living in these complex times.

haruka2HARUKA TAKAHASHI (Staff Interpreter/Translator/Teacher)
Haruka was first introduced to bodywork through osteopathy. She started practicing yoga on her own, and further cultivated her practice after the March 2011 Earthquake with a RYT200 TTC. Having learned literary translation from an honorable translator, she then began professional yoga interpretation. Haruka sees translation as an integral yoga practice and is passionate about serving as an energy channel and transmitter between teacher/author and class/reader.

・ITM Thai Yoga Bodywork Level4
・Leza Lowitz Restorative Yoga 20-Hour TTC

It is always a pleasure to work with translator Haruka Takahashi. Beyond the technical skill of accurate, intelligent and engaging translation, Haruka has a positive attitude and a caring quality that she brings to the work. Haruka understands that translation is a yoga in itself, and this shows in her work. From her meticulous research and preparation before even beginning translation to her focus and mindfulness in the moment of interpretation, she exhibits true yogic discipline and presence of mind. We always have a lot of fun together as well. For these reasons, I can recommend Haruka Takahashi as a yoga translator without reservation.
―Leza Lowitz

Eriko was born in Yokohama. She attended a strict girl’s high school, but always liked cars and mechanical things typically popular with boys. She attended Keio University for mechanical engineering, and joined the Automotive club there. After graduation, she worked as an engineer for a vending machine manufacturer. Later, got married and gave up her career to become a housewife. The intense pressure to be a good mother and wife was stressful, which led to panic attacks and anxiety. Not wanting to take medicine, she decided to go to yoga class. Her first teacher was Tomo Kobori, a Senior Teacher at Sun and Moon. At her first yoga class, she was too scared to close her eyes during Savasana. But as she practiced yoga more, she could feel the sensation of “RELAXATION” and her panic attacks gradually subsided. The more Eriko practiced yoga, the more she realized the importance of avoiding negative thinking, changing unhealthy eating habits, and releasing stress.

In 2011, Eriko completed her 200-hour RYT with Yoga Alliance at UTL. That same year, she began teaching. Interested in the scientific and medical approach to yoga, she went on to study yoga therapy and became a Yoga Therapist through Yoga Niketan Japan. Later, she completed the Yoga Instructor’s “Course For Beauty” at IYC and taught private and small group classes in Roppongi at Cuore Studio. She became a teacher trainer at RC Yoga Training School for Instructors in Kawasaki, a Senior Yoga Instructor and Maternity Yoga Instructor at Luna Works, and taught Trauma Approach Yoga (TAY) at UTL. In 2014, she opened her own studio, Serene Yoga Studio Omotesando, offering Hatha yoga and yoga therapy classes and private lessons.

Eriko is fully bilingual and conducts classes for students in Japanese and English, as well as offering bilingual training courses for yoga instructors. After graduating from university, she moved to Miami, Florida where she enrolled in English language school from 1995-1996. She is a graduate of the Sakura Yoga Translation Training course in Tokyo, and completed cross-cultural training at Richard Lewis Communications in England in 2015.

Eriko is looking forward to teaching at Sun and Moon because Sun and Moon has been her ideal since she started yoga. Her first yoga teacher Tomo Kobori, also teaches bilingually. “Tomo inspired me a lot and led me to the way of teaching yoga in an international environment.” Eriko says.
” When we have students from various countries in our class, we see many differences in ways of thinking, bodies, and values. I believe that these differences opens our mind and shatters stereotypes. This makes our body and mind even more flexible!”


KAREN KIM specializes in yoga, barre, and Pilates mat. Karen has a Bachelors Of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Education from Towson University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Before teaching fitness, Karen performed professionally on cruise ships, regional theatre, at Tokyo Disney Sea, and starred in several magic shows around the globe. Following her 500 hour certification at YogaWorks NYC under Jeanmarie Paolillo, Karen went on to receive certifications in BarreWorks under Pilates rockstar Holly Jean Cosner and Lisa Greenblatt (creator of Nice Pipes Apparel), as well as 40 hours restorative yoga teacher training under guru Jillian Pransky. Karen most recently taught at Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone (SLT), The Wright Fit, Pure Yoga, and YogaWorks in NYC.

img_2441After graduating from art school, Mayo began a career working in the fashion industry for an apparel company. Later, in pursuit of a more creative career, she became a product planner/designer and PR representative for a bicycle manufacturer. Eventually, stress from personal issues and overwork led her to yoga, which helped her transform her life both physically and mentally. She hoped to one day share the amazing power of yoga with others, and began to study yoga seriously after getting divorced and starting a new chapter in her life.
“Teaching is learning. I see my students as my teachers,” her teacher once said. This idea impressed Mayo, and made up decide to start on the path of teaching and sharing yoga. Currently she teaches at several yoga studios and fitness clubs in Tokyo. She is grateful for the support of her teachers, yoga friends and the yoga community.
She remains deeply committed to her yoga practice and to deepening her learning. In her classes, she hopes to share the beauty of yoga that she has experienced and the importance of finding one’s own authentic path in life.
- 2015 Studio Lotus 8 certified Yoga instructor
- 2015 Completed Rolling Restorative Yoga TTC with Sara Shivani
- 2015 Completed 32-hour Ashtanga Yoga TTC Basic level with Ken Harakuma
- 2015 Completed 20-hour Restorative Yoga TTC with Leza Lowitz
- 2016 Completed Venus Yoga TTC with Sara Shivani
- 2017 Completed 20-hour Maternity Yoga TTC with Kitty Thompson

tamaIn her twenties, Tama began working at a major electronics manufacturer, but was soon diagnosed with a chronic disease due to stress. The effects of the medication she was put on led to depression and to an eating disorder. It was during this crisis that she took her first yoga class.

The effects were dramatic. She experienced a refreshing and peaceful feeling, and decided to deepen her practice. She explored a lot of yoga styles and studied in Maui, Ubud, and the holy place of yoga, Rishikesh, where she refreshed her body and spirit. She continued to seek yoga outside herself, then gradually realized yoga was inside herself. There was no need to compare yourself to anyone–just face yourself honestly and listen to your inner voice. Tama found that was her yoga. Through yoga, she healed herself and returned to a happy and authentic self. She continued to study with her teacher Akira Watamoto, and developed the aspiration to be a yoga teacher in order to study the essence of yoga and share it with people who need it.

At the same time, she studied Restorative Yoga with her special teacher, Leza Lowitz. Currently, she shares Restorative yoga proactively. She also customizes her class to the student’s special needs and offersRestorative Therapeutics class.
Tama completed the Japan Yoga Meditation Association TTC with Akira Watamoto, the Restorative Yoga TTC with Leza Lowitz at Sun and Moon Yoga, the Restorative Yoga TTC and the Restorative Yoga Therapeutics TTC with Tianne Allan.

Tama says: “My yoga study continues. I am blessed to meet beautiful people through yoga and have wonderful experiences. I am looking forward to seeing you at Sun and Moon!”


aco_tACO was born in Nagoya, and graduated from Aichi University with a degree in Economics. She also has a degree in Psychology from Portland State University. After studying Hatha Yoga at a yoga studio in Japan, ACO studied Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Power Yoga, Raja Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga and various types of bodywork at many studios and workshops throughout Japan and internationally. In addition to teaching yoga in bilingual, she supervises TV, magazine and Yoga websites, and she is committed to teach asana, yoga philosophy and dietary education
She is recognized as a leading Vinyasa Yoga instructor in Japan and many yoga instructors are inspired by her teaching and her flow sequence creativity. In recent years, she focuses energy on spreading Yin Yoga and ageing care yoga.
After over 20 years experience in teaching yoga, she has created her original method “Tensegrity Yoga.” Interweaving various knowledge in her body work experience, she has been developing the approach to unlock one’s potential stability and make more balanced state of “ki”. She also lead the Tensegrity Yoga TTC in various cities in Japan.
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* Tensegrity Yoga is her registered trademark.

Lauren Peterson is a nationally recognized yoga practitioner, yoga model, and teacher living in Malibu, Calif. She is one of the few advanced (Fourth Series) Ashtanga yoga practitioners in the U.S. Lauren had the privilege of studying with and assisting Chuck Miller for over 10 years. In addition to her open asana classes, she also started a yoga program designed for women struggling with eating disorders. She has been featured in many magazines such as Yoga Journal and Cosmopolitan, and on television in the PBS series “Healing Quest.” Lauren is the creator of “The Yogi’s Companion,” a yoga practice CD, which was chosen “Editor’s Choice” by Yoga Journal. She is honored to have modeled for a Yoga asana book including Rodney Yee, Richard Freeman and Patricia Walden, as well as in and on the covers of yoga calendars and magazines. Her client base includes many entertainers and athletes. She sees yoga as a lifelong journey with incalculable benefits.

catherine_bioCatherine Harper-Tee has been practising yoga for nearly fifteen years and teaching since 2006. She gave up a very different and hectic life as a corporate lawyer to explore her passion for yoga. With a background as a runner and triathlete, Catherine was naturally drawn initially towards the more dynamic forms of vinyasa flow yoga and the traditional practice of Ashtanga, which still shapes her personal practice today. She has been fortunate to study with and be mentored by some wonderful teachers over the years including Leza Lowitz, Tarik Thami, David Swenson, Richard Freeman, Eileen Hall, Natalia Paisano, Simon Bourg Olivier, Clive Sheriden, Kino MacGregor, Shiva Rea, Kathryn Budig, Tiffany Cruikshank, Ed Clarke and Louisa Sear. Graeme Northfield, one of the first Ashtanga teachers to be certified by Sri K Patthabi Jois in Mysore, India, has been her main teacher since 2007. Catherine became Yoga Alliance 200 hour certified in 2006 with Louisa Sear and the Yoga Arts team in Australia. While teaching, she also studied at North Sydney Yoga undertaking a traditional three year Ashtanga apprenticeship with Angelika Knoerzer. Catherine then studied with Sri K Patthabi Jois and Sharath Rangaswamy in Mysore, India, and completed David Swenson’s Ashtanga Intensive Training for Teachers. She currently holds Yoga Alliance EYRT 200 hrs and 500 hours certifications and is a UK certified Advanced Personal Trainer. Catherine’s classes contain a mixture of all her influences, but are mostly playful and fun. She encourages her students to explore their perceived limitations and to laugh, to try, to experiment and to enjoy each of those precious moments.
Since 2010 Catherine has travelled around the world teaching yoga and meditation, nutrition and personal training. Her time is currently divided between the UK, Isle of Man, Japan, the US, South Africa and Europe.