Meet Lifestyle Ambassador
Tell us about yourself.
I am the owner of YonderYoga, a yoga studio located in Makuharihongo, Chiba. As a child I started gymnastics to improve my posture and eventually competed as a Japanese National Junior Gymnast. After I retired I continued my path as a training coach.
Gymnastics taught me a lot about the endless possibilities one can achieve both physically and mentally as well as the injuries that come with it. During my lowest point in life, I surfed out of desperation to bring balance back into my life. And through surf I eventually encountered yoga.
How do we get injured? How do we become ill? How do we lose emotional balance? These are the questions that lead me to the path of yoga.
At YonderYoga I currently teach regular yoga classes and also lead the RYT200 program to train new yoga instructors.
What influence has yoga had in your life?
Yoga has guided me to find balance by taking care of my health and reclaiming emotional stability. It has taught me self-acceptance by observing what I am experiencing within myself and what is actually happening around me. I realized that self-acceptance is also the greatest form of love.
Yoga has also been a great tool to shed light on my own ignorance as it is a practice of playing between stability vs. comfort and balance vs. control. It is also great for health maintenance, self-care and restoration. Through the practice of yoga one can evolve physically, while it sheds lights on the potential of your true and natural state.
The practice and discipline of yoga allows you to confront your tendencies, let go of what is no longer serving you and let the true SELF shine. Yoga is the practice of living with integrity.
What are you into now?
I am into photographing the beauty of daily scenery and mundane experiences.
Today, plastic pollution is a global problem. Do you witness this in the ocean near Chiba where you live?
Yes. I see a lot of plastic waste wash ashore and floating in the water while I am out surfing. The trash not only comes from Japan, but from neighboring countries as well. Not only is there trash on the beaches, but there is also a lot that gets stuck in between the tetrapods. A typhoon or a simple high tide could wash all the trash out to sea. When I would walk my dog on the beach, my dog would mistake plastic trash for a toy which is quite worrisome because it could cause suffocation and possibly death.
“Plastic-free”and “Say-not-to-plastic” are commonly preached these days. What are your thoughts on this?
To be honest I am hesitant to say that I am doing something concrete, just because we rely on plastic so much. However what is important right now is to realize how much plastic we use on a daily basis and the dire consequences of our choices. Acknowledgement is the first and most important step to making any change. If you have the choice to not use plastic, saying “NO” is already a contribution. Then doing your research to find alternatives to plastic is another step. These conscious choices and actions that seem small at first eventually add up to a greater contribution.
What is the ocean for you?
When my mother passed away, I lost my emotional balance and back then just trying to get by everyday was a struggle. That is when surfing saved me. I would go surfing twice a week on windy days and in the rain and snow. The ocean rekindled within me the joy of living again. The ocean also taught me its unforgiving nature. What may seem like calm waters can suddenly change temperament. I’ve endured injuries on my face and ribs, and I’ve almost drowned just because I believed in myself a little too much. Each time, the ocean showed me my own limitations, ignorance and ego.
I personally don’t think the ocean heals a human. Instead, you experience healing when you are in a situation where you have to face yourself. The ocean gives you the opportunity to evolve. It reflects your ignorance, guides you to learn on your own, educates you about self-care and instills within you the true meaning of love; just like a mother would.
I wasn’t able to save my mother from her illness, but by making an attempt to protect our oceans I feel as though I am paying respect to my late mother.
As lifestyle ambassador, what is your personal message to everyone?
You can contribute towards environmental protection by making better consumption choices. In order to make shifts at a planetary level, we must first work on ourselves. yoq makes this accessible for us by offering us an eco-friendly solution. There is no need to overwhelm ourselves with unrealistic goals.
Notice how dependent we are on plastic. Think about the consequences our choices have on the environment. I would like to spread awareness by sharing the choices we have today.
Which pieces from yoq are your personal favorites?
The Maxi Playa Shirts in both colors, all of the Reversible Yoga Shorts and High Rise Leggings.
Where would you wear these pieces?
During yoga practice, at the beach, when out camping and during any kind of outdoor activity. I’d totally wear them in town too!
Share us a favorite styling.
My favorite combination is wearing the Maxi Playa Shirt in Kaffir Lime with the Lava colored Anahata Bra Top and the High Rise Leggings.
Follow Junko（@infoyonder）on Instagram!
Visit Junko’ studio YonderYoga