YAMUNA: Practitioner of the Month: April 2014: Suzen Murakoshi
Each month we will be featuring a profile and interview with one of our practitioners who inspire and motivate others by their work, professional practice, and personality. For the month of April, our featured practitioner is Suzen Murakoshi.
Suzen Murakoshi received her Actors Equity card from the Theatre of the Open Eye with Joseph Campbell and Jean Erdman. She earned a BA in Drama and Theatre from the University of Hawaii, and an MFA in Acting and Playwriting from the New School for Social Research in NYC. Since 2005, Suzen has been training and teaching at Yamuna’s Flagship Studio in NYC. She has also assisted Yamuna at Canyon Ranch, and in bed at the NYC Coco-Mat store. Suzen has appeared on the Broadway stage in two musicals, A CHORUS LINE and THE KING & I, as well as off-Broadway, internationally and across the United States. As an accomplished actor and writer, Suzen has had plays produced in Scotland, the US and Canada. Grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Yamuna family, Suzen is following her bliss.
1) What inspired you to become a certified YBR practitioner?
My life changed the moment I first sat on the ball with Yamuna. I live three short blocks south of the NYC studio, so there was no excuse not to walk over, study, and be mentored by Yamuna, herself. Having been paid to perform on Broadway as a professional dancer, singer and actor, maintaining my ‘personal best’ was tied into my paycheck, eight shows a week, one day off. If I couldn’t perform, I didn’t get paid. As performers, we are always on the lookout to improve our instruments, which is ourselves.
2) What are three tips for the YBR® practice that you think would be good to share with the YBR® community at large?
1. Exploring our inner landscape through the balls is a way to connect our conscious physical lives to the energetic.
2. Live a clean lifestyle to increase your receptivity to your clients. With low vibrational foods, thoughts or environments, there are more obstructions to the flow between you and your students.
3. From your students, you are taught. Listen.
3) What aspects of the YBR work and practice are particularly helpful for men?
YBR is an aging-well solution for the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of all men, including the libido. Tight hips and pelvis are chronic for all men unless they’re dancers, gymnasts or acrobats, and even they can benefit from Yamuna’s work. Releasing locked up energy in the pelvis allows the juices to flow through a man’s entire being.
YBR work can improve movement, awareness and performance for all physical activities whether it be golf, running, snowboarding, tennis, or surfing. Better awareness, more movement and improved performance lead to more confidence, which is hot.
Partnering for deeper connections with a significant other; practicing on the balls with a partner can improve relationships on all levels.
Working on bone is more intense, detailed and focused than any foam roller, ball or other modality can hope to be. YBR balls are portable for travel and more effective than anything else out there. Mental flexibility, acuity and openness are improved through the face ball, TMJ and Logic work by lessening tension throughout the skull. And, ultimately, the brain is the sexiest organ of all, isn’t it? Creating relaxation within the cells of the skull, brain and face also frees thought patterns, obstructions and limitations we place on ourselves. A relaxed jaw is sexy, a tight jaw is not.
4) Would you share with us a quote that inspires you in relation to body sustainability?
“Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Security is a having a ball to lean on.”
“The mind is the sexiest part of the human body.”
—-Unknown Movie Ad
5) What else can we share with the community in order to help promote your work and your studio?
I go back and forth between the islands of Manhattan and O’ahu to connect with nature, breath and Yamuna. The vibrancy of both cultures, the support and aloha is particularly conducive to going deeper with YBR. Both communities are holiday vacation destinations that could include YBR, Body Logic or taking a class with me or Yamuna. Enrolling in a training or receiving a Body Logic session from Yamuna is a must in order to truly understand the work. YBR is our life’s spiritual work for maintaining wellness, beauty, and quality of life as we age.
6) What part of the body is your favorite focus area?
Ultimately, it’s the mind. Freeing the mind from inner restrictions, the limitations we impose on ourselves, through YBR, Logic, and In Bed work allows us to become the best selves we can be. When we are on the ball, we are exploring our inner space. And, the exploration is profound. The jaw, neck and head are my favorite places to work with because the mind is housed in the skull.
Also, our cruel modern lifestyle contorts the upper torso, even for the very young. Our attachment to electronic devices (mobile phones, computers, cars) distorts everyone. Perhaps only the Luddites, the Amish, and tribal peoples are free from the tyranny of the forward lean of the skull. Yamuna’s solutions to the jaw, neck and head are the perfect antidote to modern living just to get back to center. Body Logic, TMJ and Face Ball work will return our bodies, minds and spirits to a youthful state, and allow us to be the fountains of light that we are.
7) What is one question that you’d like to ask Yamuna?
Hey Yamuna, the late Lou Reed said “You’re the best thing out there.” How do you feel you improved his quality of life during his last years in the West Village through Body Logic, YBR and other therapies you provided for him? And, what protocols can you share with us?
Lou Reed at Yamuna’s
When we first opened the studio on Perry Street, Lou Reed and Lori Andersen, both living in the neighborhood, walked into the studio to see what YAMUNA was all about. They both booked sessions immediately. They attended both group and private classes in the beginning, but quickly Lou wanted only private sessions. He was a very devout Tai Chi student and worked daily with Master Wren. We often argued about all and everything; one of the things was that he would do an intense session with me and then go work with Master Wren for 2 hours! He just couldn’t understand why he needed to rest after a session until he began taking strong medications and having horrible side effects. I worked with him through 2 different unsuccessful strong drug treatments to minimize the side effects and keep him walking and functioning. I pushed him to do his TaiChi daily throughout this period. After these treatments failed and the liver specialist told him there was nothing more he could do, I brought him to try some alternative treatments. I worked with him whenever I was in town and we always texted from wherever he or I were traveling. For months I was away and kept feeling bad things around him and worrying. I reached out and he answered that he had just undergone a liver transplant. I worried if his body could recover given all it had already broken down from all the prior failed toxic medications.
Lou was a huge fan of the Yamuna work. He always told me how to market and he always recommended his friends to our work. He always had balls and foot products with him wherever he went. He gifted them to everyone he thought would use them. He always said I was the person who could get him out of pain and get him functioning the best apart from his Tai Chi. He always believed that Yamuna® Body Rolling should be used by everyone. I did many of his recommendations. When I went to a series of memorial events at their home, the Yamuna® balls were positioned in several places so that they were seen by everyone attending.
We all miss Lou’s presence in the West Village.
Classes & contact information for Suzen Murakoshi:
Schedule on O’ahu:
Saturdays: 10 am - 11:15 am Workshops (Check Schedule) Healing Arts Center
98-030 Hekaha Street, #27
Aiea, HI 96701
Phone: Susan Suzuki 808.484.4881
Yamuna Studio NYC
132 Perry Street. NY, NY 10014
YBR Yoga Wed., 9 am - 10:15 am (Check Schedule)
And, by appointment! Body Logic, Table Treatment, Face Ball, YBR Yoga, Foot Fitness, and YBR.