Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Thursday, July 3, 2014

A series of photos for working psoas and diaphragm

Starting point: place  2 black balls side by side just above pubic bone. Lie face down stretching arms and legs away from each other. Slowly work balls up to top of pelvis:


Balls reach to the top of the pelvis:

The 2nd part of the routine works from umbilicus, diaphragm origin at the spine out to ribs.
This is where you place the ball. As you breathe lying face down into the ball, you lowly begin to reach the diaphragm origin. As you pull the ribs wide and upward, you slowly work the ball out toward the fingers. With each breath the ribs can widen. The ball finally reaches the hand. The hand protects the ribs as the ball keeps unwinding the muscles and the fascia out toward the insertion of the diaphragm on the ribs. Do not exhale with deep contraction. Make breaths small and gentle:

The ball then reaches the hand holding the ribs:


(Correct body position with the balls placed just above pubic bone.):

Always do both sides. Place ball back at umbilicus and hold other side of ribs as you breathe and slowly move the ball up and out to ribs. Like so:





Tuesday, June 24, 2014

YAMUNA: Practitioner of the Month: June 2014: Satoshi Suzuki

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 June, our featured practitioner is Satoshi Suzuki. This newsletter is in both English and Japanese. Thank you, Satoshi, for all the translating work  that you did. I hope that I have copied/pasted all the Japanese characters without mishap!


I suffered from many athletic injuries when I was young. Right after I graduated from a high school in Japan, I decided to go to the US to become an athletic trainer, a professional in athletic injuries and their prevention. I graduated from San Diego State University and earned credentials from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. In 2004 I worked at San Diego Padres and a public high school in San Diego. Then I took a position at Honda Motor Company’s Rugby Football Club from 2005 to 2010 in Japan. From 2010 to 2013 I was an assistant at a rehab clinic in Tokyo that specialized in knee issues. During this time I also helped the all Japan rugby team (High School and Under 20 level) and the all Japan speed skating short track team as a registered member of the medical staff for the Japan Olympic Committee. Now I primarily work at a studio in Tokyo to provide group and private sessions for various clients.

1) What inspired you to become a certified YBR practitioner?
When I were treating and rehabilitating athletes as an athletic trainer for a rugby team in Japan, I had a hard time dealing with chronic injuries such as muscle strain, lower back pain, knee pain, and so on. (Muscle strain is known as an acute injury, but the cause is repetitive stress from bad alignment and movement). There are certain protocols to follow for treating acute injuries such as fracture, ligament sprain, contusion etc.
However, there are not many clear guidelines for preventing chronic problems even in the sports medicine world. We massage, stretch, e-stim, ultrasound, ice, and give exercises to strengthen the vulnerable area. One day I realized those things are meant to just treat body parts which are already stressed and known. 

In order to prevent chronic issues I found that people need to change bone alignment in order to improve movement which is energy efficient without any restrictions. In other words, people with bad alignment and movement keep putting extra physical stress on their bodies, leading to more injuries as they move. YBR can remove daily stress, correct alignment, and improve movement. I soon realized that this is the perfect program which regular people can do by themselves to manage orthopedic issues (internal, too!).

イメントを改善し、動作を良くすることが可能です。整形外科的な問題(もちろん内科的にも)を、自ら対処 法としては、最高のプログラムであることがすぐに分かりました。 

2) What are three tips for the YBR® practice that you think would be good to share with the YBR® community at large?
I am not sure whether this information will be helpful or not. Here is my general flow for the private session:

  • Evaluate the patient’s body. Take history from a client, assess the walking or any necessary movements and posture, suggest and share goals with clients from the findings, and then pick out routines, or decide whatever the person needs to do. I usually have a client walk or move in the middle of the session to make sure things are really appropriate, and the client also feels any change (or no change) and understands the necessity of the work. 
  • Reeducate movements. After releasing the body at a YBR session, it is the best time to reeducate bad movements. Correct old patterns of walking, standing up from a chair, squatting down, and bearing weight on one side. Evaluate vulnerable joints carefully and check the ROM and strength. If necessary, prescribe exercises to accomplish movements with enough endurance. YBR semi-automatically improves movements. However, clients need to repeatedly train and remember these correct patterns so improved endurance (strength) maintains good posture and movements. 
  • Record the session. I use SOAP note for each session to remind me what I need to do from the last session. Record-keeping cuts the time of unnecessary evaluation and routines, so you can use the limited session time effectively. Subjective: what a client says. Objective: what you do. Assessment: what you see from S & O. Plan: what you do next. It is very important to evaluate each session’s result, not just list the routines you did. I use “Evernote” free software for recording, which you can use online on different computers, phones, or iPads. It is also good for keeping movies and pictures in each client’s journal.

動いてもらうことで、内容が適切かどうかを逐次確認します。中間評価をすることで、クライアントが何か変化を感 じたり(感じなかったり)することで、内容の理解とその必要性を確認してもらいます。 

ます。Subjective: 主観的:クライアントが訴えた事、Objective: 客観的:自分が行ったこと、Assessment:

3) Which aspects of the YBR work and practice are particularly helpful for men?

The great part of YBR is the capability to let people recognize their own condition while treating problems. Understanding one’s own condition becomes the biggest motivator for doing the body sustainability work. There is a huge difference between someone telling you what is wrong and you discovering your condition. The former is just listening, but the latter is real understanding. Also, another good part is that the method is very organized from an anatomical standpoint. Due to its versatility, YBR can be applied to solve any problems as long as we follow the basic principles and anatomy. Lastly, by directly stimulating bone from all angles, changing bone quality seems to be the main factor of the work’s durability compared to other approaches like massage and stretch.


4) Would you share with us a quote that inspires you in relation to body sustainability?
"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem." - Albert Einstein
Of course, we as technicians need to improve our skills but I always remember that accomplishing our client’s goals is much more important.

5) What else can we share with the community in order to help promote your work and your studio?
I believe this work is ahead of its time by some decades, so some people do not easily get it. So in order to promote not only my work, but also that of every practitioner, one of our professional responsibilities is spreading our words to as many people as possible. In Japan I helped Yamuna and a publisher publish Yamuna’s kit with a pearl ball and pump so people can buy it through bookstores all over the country. I did a study comparing stretch and Yamuna® and wrote two professional articles in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 


As a member of the Japan Olympic Committee I am introducing our method to Olympic athletes. Without getting people to know what we do and to practice our work, the great method is useless. You can always start by spreading our words to people near you. Please take this responsibility to promote our work so we can reach out and help many people’s lives as one team. I believe the future of this work depends on our actions as practitioners, not just on her (Yamuna).

6) What part of the body is your favorite focus area?
I need to keep my ribcage lifted and chest opened, which removes upper body stress from doing private sessions.
The quality of the session is proportional to my condition.


7) What is one question that you’d like to ask Yamuna?
"What is your next newest invention, or just in your mind? Even if your thought is not possible right now, please share your ideas for future."

Yamuna responds:
My mind is always working on new and more efficient ways to help people be better in their bodies. My newest self- help tool in education is an edition to the foot savers, which will be created to work in 3 different heights. It works to elongate the space between the heel and the toes. It will help people activate the flexor and extensor tendons to the toes. This will bring greater tone and strength to the muscles of the calves and feet. Because this concept works to create greater length between the heel and toes, this translates to greater length between the ankles and the knees and the knees and hips. This creates greater mobility through all the joints from the hips to the toes. 

I plan to create different education applications for this product: for the elite athlete, the dancer, the average person, and for the woman who wants to wear stilettos.

This new foot tool will go along with the Yamuna Foot Fitness and Yamuna Save Your Feet as a more advanced tool. There will, of course, be a training for all the people certified in the foot work because there are many very powerful hands on applications to unwind each joint from the foot up to the hips and torso.

I am also working on launching my first product which goes under the Yamuna Beauty Blends. It is called Foot Ecstasy. It is a foot lotion that not only has healing properties, such as being anti fungal, viral, and bacterial, but it also reduces fluid retention, increases circulation and energetically opens the 5 meridians of the toes. You can
actually feel the toes opening and the energy moving up the legs through the meridians. You feel very light on your feet after it is rubbed in.

This is the first product and we plan to launch it as part of our entire foot product line. The Yamuna products heal both inside and out!

The next Yamuna Body Blends product will be the Yamuna Wellness booster full body lotion. It will be an immune enhancer that will both moisturize the skin and also act as an immune shield to ward off environmental toxins and help protect the body from flu strains and infections. It will be sold with the Total YBR Kit. 

Because my brain is always working on the next project, products, and education, I have others in the back of my mind, and they just seem to surface continuously. The moment I have a bit of time by myself, my mind and body begin to work on new things. This is one of the reasons why I love my life so much.

As soon as the projects I am working on are ready, I try to share them with all the Yamuna Family first.

新たなフットのツールは、Yamuna Foot FitnessやYamuna Save Your
また、新たな試みとして、Yamuna Beauty

Contact Information for Satoshi Suzuki:

Monday, June 9, 2014
Yamuna in Tarzan Magazine!

Yamuna in Tarzan Magazine!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

YAMUNA® Practitioner of the Month: May 2014: Bill Takahashi: California, USA

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 May, our featured practitioner is Bill Takahashi.

“I present a total of twenty five years of bodywork and spa management experience. As important as this is, my legacy will be the forty years of teaching either professionally or as a volunteer. Teaching and mentoring have always been my passion - a passion of love and communication! It is a path offered so many times and an opportunity that I humbly accepted and followed so many times. I take pride that one of my baby massage classes was filmed by The Learning Channel for their “Baby Talk” series. I take pride in teaching baby massage classes at a women’s shelter. I take pride in having protested the Vietnam War and marched for civil rights in the south of the 60’s & 70’s. More than anything else my bio is encapsulated by these experiences. This is my bio!

Among my credentials are California Massage Therapy License, Baby/Infant Massage Instructor and YBR Phase 1&2 Trainer.”

1. What inspired you to become a certified YBR practitioner?

My desire to understand the role bone plays in sustaining the physical body. As a trained massage therapist I was an expert on soft tissue (muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, fascia, etc.) but something valuable was missing. The missing link was bone work! In all of my training and practice bone work was marginalized. I always felt there was a huge void. In my search to fill this void I found the perfect complement in Yamuna® Body Rolling. We have been partners ever since. My needs as a massage therapist were fulfilled and the journey continued with teaching YBR.

I knew thirteen years ago when I first experienced Level 1 with Elizabeth Demmel that YBR would become a significant part of my spiritual and physical life in all ways that events contribute to one’s life. The work has been formative and continuous. Each addition by Yamuna to the YBR Library led to further discoveries and another epiphany about myself. As a lifelong teacher and mentor I had a deep desire to share this wonderful gift with others in my community. It has been my joy and pleasure to do so as a trainer!

“One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else,” Eleanor Roosevelt said. It has been thirteen years of one thing leading to something else. This is the genius of Yamuna - her growth and the growth of everyone whom she has come in contact with. I look forward to enjoying her newest offering “Breath Work Certification” in October.

2. What are three tips for the YBR® practice that you think would be good to share with the YBR® community at large?

Tip#1 – Take the time to fully experience the moment. “Go with the flow.” Don’t cheat yourself and your students by cutting it short. These moments if maximized offer valuable discoveries that will engage your students all the way to the end. I once hired an instructor for a Kindermusik class. She was extremely talented and knowledgeable which was perplexing when I received many complaints from parents. As I observed one of the classes I immediately understood what the parents were complaining about. The instructor felt that she had to follow exactly and in its’ entirety the day’s lesson as outlined in the manual. The result was that it didn’t matter if the children were experiencing the moment with wonderment and learning considerable information along the way. The journey had to stop and move on to the next part of the protocol. Allow the moment to blossom fully. Protocol is there for a foundation and you will always have an opportunity to complete everything that is outlined in your manual. We are all children who want to enjoy fully the moment!

“Information is pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience,”- Clarence Day, American Writer.

Tip #2 – Sustainability. Take the time to understand and consider how significant a philosophy underlies this word. Sustainability is all about nourishing. It is feeding our body, mind and spirit regular doses of “goodness” so that we can live the marathon and not just survive the sprints. It places value on the entire journey rather than highlights.

When Yamuna first introduced this word, I stored it somewhere in me and like all things stored at some point you have to respond. My response came when I met Blake Mykoskie, founder of Tom’s shoes at our annual ISPA (International Spa Directors) convention. Blake is a very successful entrepreneur with a very different business model that incorporates making money while giving back. For each Tom’s shoe that is sold he gives one back to the community that built the shoes - impoverished communities that are struggling day to day to survive. In his presentation at ISPA Blake discussed the importance of “sustain.” He talked about giving a pair of shoes to a 5 year old so that he could walk the many miles to school and not be embarrassed because everyone else in school had shoes and he didn’t. Then Blake asked the question “what happens eight months from now if this is the only pair of shoes he receives and it doesn’t fit? Does he stop going to school again?” Sustaining is about each time replacing the old shoes with new ones that fit so that the five year old would grow into a 17 year old graduating from high school. It’s about sustaining and nourishing throughout life and not just a quick fix. All of us must sustain and not just survive.
YBR has firmly embraced this philosophy and it is at the core of its mission. YBR is a continuum with no end.

Tip #3 – “You are unique.” Each student’s uniqueness begins the moment student and teacher meet the first day and is heightened with class introductions. I encourage you to place high value on introductions. Introductions allow the students to talk about themselves and “shine.” It is their moment! If they shine while talking about themselves they will shine throughout the training. Discover what their needs, expectations and requirements are, and keep this in mind throughout the training. Observe their ability to handle the routines as taught and if necessary make the modifications that work for them. By making it work for them you have helped build confidence and a heightened level of engagement. An important part of our job is to assist in overcoming that inner voice all of us hear that puts doubts in our minds. Constantly remind the students that they are unique and it is up to them to fulfill this uniqueness.

One of my students—not sure which student because evaluations are anonymous—in the April Phase 1 training stated “I was especially impressed with how he handled introductions. After each person introduced herself and their background, Bill would take from something they said and go into how Yamuna could be useful or related, or otherwise he would use it as a segway to a talking point. It was an effective way to bring up talking points - relating them to us on a personal level.”

“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”- Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer.

3. What aspects of the YBR work and practice are particularly helpful for men?

  •  Availability & Portability. The fact that the balls can be put into gym bags and carried easily from one place to another is very important. The result is a complete workout in a bag.
  •  Bone Work. Direct bone stimulation is easily felt and changes can be almost immediate. Men love immediacy.
  • Joint Work. The greatest area of impact on men is their joints – ankles, knees and shoulder. A focus
  • class/workshop on these joints can be very successful.
  •  Hands-On. Men love to feel that deep down to the bone pressure that comes from hands-on. It may be a better way to engage men in YBR than routines? It may be the starting point?
  • Golf Focus. A good sell are the hip, abdominal routines and hands-on.
  • Foot Work. Men love the foot work. It is a sensation they can feel immediately. It is a sensation that lift upwards from feet through the legs, pelvis, rib cage, neck and shoulders. Foot work is firm and uplifting!
  • Back Work. Calming, soothing and relaxing. All the requisites for men! It is a way of relaxing without exerting a lot of effort and thinking a lot. You can lean and sink into the paraspinals and gently let go of the days’ anxieties. It happens before men have the chance to think about it. Powerful yet benign.
  • Abdominal Work. Men love to beautify their abs by developing rocks. When you can get them to understand that they increase strength by lengthening they really connect with YBR. These are also the muscles that dramatically alter your sense of gravity and prevent you from having that confident upright lift and gait in your movements.
  • The spirituality of the work. It is much deeper than what lies on the surface. There are much greater treasures hidden in the depths of our bodies waiting to rise to the surface and blossom.
  • Flexibility creates greater strength.

4. Would you share with us a quote that inspires you in relation to body sustainability?

"Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out,"

- Robert Collier, American writer.

5. What else can we share with the community in order to help promote your work and your studio?

Promotion is the most challenging aspect of building a business. It is a required job. Without promotion there is no success. Assuming this as a given the question becomes how do I promote? What works best for me? Sometimes traditional ways work and at other times you have to be a maverick and non- traditional. How you promote depends on whether you own a studio or rent other studios. I don’t own a studio so I approach other studios to host trainings or workshops. I rely on their network to bring in the business. You may have to share a higher percentage with the host studio but it is well worth it - they promote to their base which you have no access to and they also handle the registrations. Why start from scratch. Scratching only touches the surface - the depth is in the network that already exists. Studios will be more than happy to assist you because they also benefit greatly from this partnership.

I’ve approached Pilates studios with the following proposals

  •  Introductory complimentary one hour group class for staff.
  • Introductory complimentary one hour hands-on class for staff.
  • The focus should be on staff. If you excite the staff of trainers they will bring in their clients. In this way you will build interest for future classes and workshops.
  • If there is a local Phase 1 trainer ask the owner of the studio if he/she would be interested in hosting a Phase 1. The national office can assist in packaging. Think out of the box! Studio owners may be hesitant to host either because they don’t have extra space or are not willing to relinquish revenue producing space. Offer the option of hosting trainings during their off hours – typically on Sundays. Instead of three consecutive days of training, Phase 1 can be offered three consecutive Sundays. In this way the studio doesn’t lose revenue, staff doesn’t lose income. The bottom line for all parties is not negatively impacted.

If you have your own studio, other studios may not want to partner out of fear of hurting their business because you are a competitor. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to attempt partnering - it could be beneficial for both. You could create many partnerships. It’s worth the try!

6. What part of the body is your favorite focus area?

Abdomen because it is not contained – there are no bones in the way to feel and experience the depth of the work. Because depth is easily accessible a greater amount of restraint and body control is required. It is in the abdomen that you learn the ability to melt, sink, listen and let go. The abdomen teaches you the softness and control required in YBR. It has become a very meditative and spiritual place. The abdomen is where you can feel a direct connection of front to back, one side to the other and an upward and downward lengthening. The abdomen is a complete circle that wraps around the body and provides releases and changes in all directions.

The abdomen is the only area of the body where three major systems have a working relationship: respiratory, digestive and sexual. It is a highly toxic and emotional part of our body that can generate significant changes to many other areas. It is powerful synergetic, systemic.

7. What is one question that you’d like to ask Yamuna?

What will be the legacy of Yamuna and YBR? Will it have the same endurance that Pilates and Rolfing has shown?

Yamuna responds:

From the time I was eleven years old, I always remember telling my father I was going to do something really important for the world that would continue for years after I am gone. He always supported me saying he knew I was here to do something big even though he did not know what. He 

certainly believed in me always.

When I was younger I thought I wanted to radically change the world of education. I thought it would be with

children, but it turns out that it is presently more for adults. I do still believe that we will get some of my work into the school systems eventually.

I now know that every bit of work that I create— from Yamuna® Body Logic and Yamuna® Body Rolling to the most recent In Bed With Yamuna® work—will continue to exist and help people for years to come. I know that I am an original creator of all the work just like Ida Rolf and Joseph Pilates because I have never really been influenced by other methods or theories presently accepted and available. I create all the work from my early beginnings as a yoga student. I create all my work for both the professional and the non-professional. My mission is to empower people to be able to self-heal and problem solve in their bodies. When you are a creator of a method, or products, or anything, you are completely obsessed with what you are doing. Your focus is always on improving and making your creations better and better. The luck of Ida and Joseph and myself included, is that there are people in the world who resonate with our philosophies and methodologies and want to help people with them. The more people who teach others a part of my work, the more the work grows and spreads throughout the world. With the help of all the practitioners we have, the work is growing stronger worldwide and more and more people are experiencing improvement in their bodies! All our practitioners support each other and recommend each other so that people visiting other countries actually seek out certified Yamuna instructors.

Since I am still alive I am still passionate about figuring out more and more about the human body and its healing potential. I look forward to what’s next and I hope there will be many more “nexts” in my learning about what the body needs as I enter each new decade.

I always tell people that I could die now and know that the work will continue to grow and flourish in so many more ways than now—even without me. People don’t like when I talk like this, but……… I thank all of you for making this possible and for all those who come in the future.

Contact Information for Bill Takahashi:

Training with Bill in 2014:
Phase 1 September 12-14, LA
Phase 2A July 10-13. LA
Phase 2B December 4-7, LA

Bill also offers workshops at Strong Body Pilates, 13033 Ventura Blvd., Ste. F
Studio City, Ca., 91604

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Hi Tumblr! We just hit 30,000 followers! We’re so excited that we wanted to do something special for you.
We recently launched our downloadables: which offer fantastic instruction and information in a quick and simple download. For our wonderful Tumblr following, we want to offer you a special saving of 20%. Just use code Tumblr20 at checkout when you buy In Bed, Total Body 2014, or any segments of the Save Your Body Series. Each video has a special preview option too :)
Visit http://bit.ly/1nqxVwa to explore.

Hi Tumblr! We just hit 30,000 followers! We’re so excited that we wanted to do something special for you.

We recently launched our downloadables: which offer fantastic instruction and information in a quick and simple download. For our wonderful Tumblr following, we want to offer you a special saving of 20%. Just use code Tumblr20 at checkout when you buy In Bed, Total Body 2014, or any segments of the Save Your Body Series. Each video has a special preview option too :)

Visit http://bit.ly/1nqxVwa to explore.


My cat decided he wanted to be a yogini as well whilst I was in a headstand. Thank god for my core strength or I would have crushed him! Getting stronger!


My cat decided he wanted to be a yogini as well whilst I was in a headstand. Thank god for my core strength or I would have crushed him! Getting stronger!


Surrounded by beautiful buildings


Surrounded by beautiful buildings