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Nao Saeki

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Nao studied classical ballet from an early age. Blessed with supportive and understanding parents, she enjoyed a broad range of after-school activities. Her love of classical ballet and of calligraphy have stayed with Nao for long, becoming an inseparable part of her personality.

Nao’s experience has been that there needs to be a strong, underlying attraction in something that allows her to fully incorporate it into her life. Especially in dance, she challenged herself across all dancing genres, turning a hobby interest into a serious profession by the time she reached university. The pure craving for dance that she had she discovered as a child has remained a key factor in her passage through life.

Her contact with yoga started nine years ago, as a part of Nao’s training to perform with Japan’s Gekidan Shiki musical theatre company. It began as a very physical learning process. Being a professional performer with Gekidan Shiki, she was in the midst of a life of continual exhaustion from her performing work, constantly demanded to refine her technique, unable to take any time off at all.

With overly demanding physical training and theatre performances that continued for days without a break, Nao eventually found herself unable to hear her own mind or heart. Helpless and constantly overstressed, Nao began destroying her own body through overexertion, suffering multiple injuries ranging from a cervical sprain to ankle ligament damage. To compensate, she danced with tape wrapping all her joints, constantly having to take powerful painkillers and antibiotics.

In the midst of combining multiple prescription medicines due to low immune system, yoga supported Nao as a method of healing. Nao was amazed to find herself rapidly recovering, despite having no prior knowledge of yoga. Although at that time, it was still limited to an external physical recovery.

Eventually deciding to leave the life of a Gekidan Shiki performer, Nao chose instead to walk the path of the very same experience that had healed her. In the end, yoga has given Nao her first real chance to meet and face her own inner self.

As part of her journey of enquiry, Nao sought to learn the deeper aspects of the changes that yoga had brought to her life, dedicating herself to expanding her knowledge of all aspects of yoga. She went on to formally train as a yoga teacher and has been teaching for several years. It was that search for deeper fulfillment of yoga that drove Nao to discover YogaJaya and to set herself on the path she follows to this day. Nao has completed the YogaJaya International Teacher Training at the YJA300 level, and is now a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance.