Hanae Kakegawa

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Born in Tokyo, Hanae remembers playing in her neighborhood. She has a lasting connection to her community and to adults by helping out at a shop run by her family.

In high school, inspired by films and music, she got interested in human rights and joined Amnesty International. She moved to the U.S. to study film, but her interest shifted to photography and she majored in fine arts. The whole photographic process fascinated her, especially as she saw her concentration and creativity reflected in the results.

After getting her bachelor’s degree, Hanae returned to Japan, working in photo-related fields. Hanae also trained to work as a teacher of the Japanese language.

Hanae has traveled extensively, learning the old rules about being humble and about passing on any kindness received to the next person in line. She especially noticed a change in her thinking when she came into contact with nature and with people living alternative lifestyles. She found herself gradually freeing herself from restrictive rules and limits that she had previously accepted without any question.

In 2003, after going through some emotional challenges, she took a friend’s advice to attend a 10-day meditation retreat at a Thai monastery. Hanae came out of the event frustrated, thinking it had not gone well, but after getting back to Tokyo, she started seeing positive results appearing in her daily life.

After a few years Hanae did the retreat again and during the morning Yoga sessions, Hanae started to realize that the Yoga itself was bringing her something that had been missing in her life — a calmness, as well as sense of mental and physical focus. The empowering effects of Yoga made her recognize it as something she simply needed to do and she began practicing Yoga on a continuous basis.

Hanae later went to a Yoga studio in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, for a few months to further develop her practice. Upon returning to Japan, she attended regular classes and workshops at YogaJaya, practicing mainly Hatha yoga, concentrating on asana, meditation, and pranayama. She was also attended workshops with Clive Sheridan, Simon Borg-Olivier, Emil Wendel, and Glenn Ceresoli. Intrigued by anatomy through Yoga, Hanae also studied traditional Thai massage called Nuad Bo-Rarn.

Deciding that she should share her appreciation of Yoga with others, Hanae attended and completed the YogaJaya International Teacher Training. She is certified as a YogaJaya Accredited Teacher (YJAT) and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance.

Hanae aspires to share all of the changes that Yoga brings to our lives as we walk on the ‘path of Yoga’ together.


Physically, my body was changing. I felt physically and mentally stable, and I felt my feet firmly on the ground. I was able to concentrate and pay attention to the details of my body and my mind.


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