COUNTRY: JAPAN, TOKYO
OCCUPATION: ASHTANGA YOGA AUTHORIZED LEVEL 1 TEACHER
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: YOGA CLOTH DESINGER, BRAND NAME: AFROMASTER
YUKI: We hear that you like to follow a specific daily routine. Can you tell us why?
HIDEKI: What do you value most in a limited time we have, 24 hours a day and 365 days in a year? It is important for me to keep myself purified inside out by staying away from overloaded information. When I wake up, I brush my teeth and take a shower. Then I meditate for about 20 to 30 minutes. Chanting comes after that, and I drink coffee or hot water (depending on the season and condition). This is my fixed routine before asana practice and it never changes whether in Mysore or Japan. The sun rises at its perfect timing every day, although there is a time gap depending on where you are right now, so I try to get on the same energy flow as the sun. This way, I can receive good energy and beautiful tips of life. That’s why I keep doing my daily routine. I believe that life is creative and we are made to create something. This is given and it is a golden rule of the nature. Asana practice is a time for energy and a gift from energy. That’s why I follow my daily routine and keep asana practice to have space for positive intuition and good energy from nature.
YUKI: Did you start your daily routine unconsciously or consciously?
HIDEKI: It’s been 10 years since I started practicing Ashtanga yoga and it’s been about 6 years since I took up my daily routine unconsciously. We, human beings, have education. For example, in Japan, parents teach their children to brush their teeth when they wake up. At school, we are taught to follow rules like “All rise, Attention, and Bow” as a group, which is a culture we have. I was practicing Kendo when I was young and we chanted Dojokun (道場訓) before class. My point is, that it is essential to bring our attention to one point before practice. Our mind is always busy and confused, and the world is chaotic all the time likewise. To clear this up, I follow my daily routine.
It seems like that you do not get influenced so much by your surrounding conditions.
YUKI: Is this because your daily routine keeps your mind calm?
HIDEKI: The biggest realization I had on this trip (Mysore, India/March 2017) is that yoga practice is all about building foundation to become a big tree. It is vital to have good roots underneath the ground, in other words, to make yourself grounded firmly, and this process takes a long time. What makes yoga practice, Ashtanga yoga practice, special is that we can learn about ourselves through daily practice. I did not like the phrase “Patience is a virtue” but I understand it now. Persistence is important in practice and it helps our mind stay calm and steady. Then we can build good foundation in ourselves. Everyone is good at chasing or achieving further as much as they want. However, making yourself grounded is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. We just focus on what we see with our eyes. We have monkey minds and we often judge others because we do not really pay attention to the roots they have. In the same way, we do not try to see what we have inside or go inward. It is through mediation, chanting, asana practice, Yama Niyama from Eight Limbs as Sharathji repeatedly tells us, that we become to realize what’s deep in there within ourselves.
YUKI: We create and receive positive energy from asana practice and share it with others in a variety of ways. Can you explain this cycle of energy?
HIDEKI: I admire this simple fact that trees and flowers never complain if they do not get water. They get healthier or weaker, even go bad depending on the circumstances. This may only apply to indoor flowers, but outdoor plants also survive in a natural flow of energy. Nature like this gives us good energy in our lives endlessly, like as they grow faster when it rains. What I can do, in this cycle of natural energy, is to teach yoga, sharing how precious this teaching is. The scale of energy the nature gives us is beyond measure. Not so many people understand it yet. Therefore, it may take time as well as it needs a lot of efforts to share and get good understanding of it from people. I am not ready to pass on this fact fully. The Sun and the Moon are always ready and full of energy. I would like to be like them, to be able to share such amount of energy or have a sense like that. When I fully understand and ready to share it, people who agree come along and start sharing what they understand. This is a cycle of energy and I just want to follow simple way of life and share it with others.
YUKI: What does Parampara mean to you?
HIDEKI: Guru-Parampara means education, knowledge, and wisdom, all of which we keep learning at different situations since our childhood. Our first Guru-Parampara is through our parents. At schools, it is through teachers. At club activities, it is through coaches. When you graduate from school and start working, it becomes through senior workers/presidents at a company you work. But in a true Guru-Parampara, you are guided towards right direction, only by its presence, not through a word. It is the same education system we have from our parents. Guru-Parampara is not technical at all. Our Guru in this world, in the universe, is the Sun. As Sharathji told us in the conference, that our earth survives in this Guru(the Sun)-Parampara thanks to the harmony our galaxy creates. In this Ashtanga practice, when we talk about Guru-Parampara, it refers to Sharathji. However, he does not overly teach us. He is just there, and we are just here to learn from his presence. The Sun does not speak a word, in the same way our Guru is just there. Realizing this fact is part of our practice. To get there, we need a space in our body and mind. My daily routine helps me to create a space for it and I can live my life simply. Guru-Parampara exists everywhere in every city and every country. It depends on how much you are aware of your consciousness if you realize this fact or not. I believe that our Guru-Parampara in a bigger scale is to live in a harmony with the great energy of the Sun.
YUKI: Please leave a message to students in Almaty.
HIDEKI: It appears to me that students in Almaty practice yoga from pure heart. What I am trying to do is to do my best for all the opportunities I am given, for everyone I meet. I feel that it is important to have passion while I am walking on my path. I teach in the same way I practice. Nothing special. If I leave a message to you all, I hope you keep practicing in the same way peaceful moments always come to you throughout your life. You can find your most suitable way of practice. Yoga is not just asana. It is 24 hours and 365 days. I hope you keep this idea in your mind. I am sure that there is a lot to learn from this. As Sharathji tells us, if you are ready, all is coming. So, keep practice and have space in your body and mind. Asana practice is a practice for it.
Interview: 13/March/2017 in Myosre, India.
Interviewer: Yuki Sakuma