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Ryuta Nagasawa

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Ryuta is from Ichikawa, Chiba, east of Tokyo, but grew up in Morioka Iwate. As a youth, he made a bit of a reputation as a local rebel, regularly spending time in teacher’s offices and visiting the police. His parents loved outdoor sports, introducing him to skiing, camping, outdoor activities, and sharing their stories of experiences overseas. The foreign exposure gave Ryuta a lifelong interest in new experiences.

Starting with baseball in elementary school and then basketball in junior high school, Ryuta evolved toward non-team sports, developing an individual style in skateboarding and snowboarding. Starting in university, Ryuta spent the winter snowboarding at sky resorts. In second year, he transferred to a university in Canada, where he got even deeper into snowboarding, but ended up having a serious accident that taught him the limits of the body… especially when it is being used without adequate awareness and without first properly conquering fear.

Seriously injured, he gave up on snowboarding in a state of mental and physical disequilibrium. Ryuta then had to go through repeated hospitalizations to recover. The whole experience exposed him to the essential nature of the mind-body connection.

Soon after, Ryuta got into the rave party scene and began working to raise money mainly for travel. The alternative lifestyle of the party people and travelers exposed Ryuta to humble hospitality wherever and whenever he traveled. As he began to free his mind and body in nature, through dancing, and by living out the encounters of his travels, Ryuta also gradually began to experience a physical recovery.

When a friend introduced Ryuta to Vippasana meditation during a journey in the spring of 2008, he found it to be an unforgettable experience that attracted him toward India, the home of Vippasana. Ryuta’s arrival at YogaJaya then came quickly, through the pages of Spectator magazine, where he read about the studio.

Ryuta’s very first class with YogaJaya Director Patrick Oancia immediately connected the yoga state of body and mind with that of dancing in nature, traveling and his old love of snowboarding. At YogaJaya, Ryuta discovered that the thing that he had been seeking had always been within him, rediscovering it on a yoga mat in the middle of the megalopolis of Tokyo.

Since that revelation, Ryuta has been practicing at YogaJaya on a daily basis, attending workshops by teachers including Josi Valicherri, Clive Sheridan, Emil Wendel and Simon Borg-Olivier. His continued practice has also gradually led Ryuta toward a lifestyle that is more true to his own needs and desires, finally putting him back on a snowboard after the realization that his yoga sessions in downtown Tokyo had reconnected him to the mountains.

As part of his deepening involvement in yoga, Ryuta completed the 2009 YogaJaya International Teacher Training, followed by a trip to India for further study. Ryuta is a YogaJaya Accredited Teacher (YJAT) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance.

Ryuta has developed a deep personal respect for yoga for helping him to discover his unknown self and for serving as a tool to expand his potential regardless of the situation. Ryuta now aims to share these empowering experiences while continuing to explore the sensation of traveling while merely doing yoga in the same room as others who are also on their own very personal journeys.