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Everyone is welcome


A few years ago, at one of the coffee joints in London, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about my dream of setting up a yoga studio in Japan.

We talked about what sort of studio I had in my vision and what my concept would be.

I always had an image in my head that my studio would be an old Japanese house and, well, I originally wanted a “machiya”.

Machiya is a traditional Japanese style house you would see a lot in an old town like Kyoto.

It is full of characteristics such as a tiny entrance called “sarudo” that even an average height Japanese needs to duck his/her head to enter.

Latticed doors and windows are another distinctive feature.

Anyhow, I ended up with an old Japanese house for sure (perhaps, “old” is euphemism and “run down” is a more accurate description…), not quite “machiya”, but it has a quirky charm nonetheless :)

But that is only a trapping, and the concept for the studio is more important, right?

Back to my conversation with my friend, when she asked me what my concept would be, the first thing popped into my mind was that “shikii ga hikui” in Japanese – its literal translation for English is that “the entrance threshold is low.”

This saying originated from the time when doorsills of most of the houses were set well above the ground level so that the legs needed to be lifted higher to cross over the entrance.

The higher the doorsills were, the more forbidding and awkward to enter.

If they are set low, it’s obviously easier to enter – so “shikii ga hikui” means that no one feels awkward or unwelcome.

I wanted to create a studio where everyone feels welcome – whether you are old or young, whether you have a flexible body or stiff body, whether you are male or female, whether you are Japanese or non Japanese, whether you are posh or down to earth.

Hence the name “daredemoyoga” – yoga for everyone.

The place racks in sophistication, but it is welcoming and peaceful.

I hope all my students agree with me :)