Why I decided to open YogaJaya
When I opened Yogajaya studio in Tokyo in 2003, I had been practicing yoga for over 10 years. But alongside of it, I was doing various different things. I was practicing martial arts, doing hypertrophy training, cycling, swimming, and winter sports, as well as producing and performing music and a bunch of other stuff.
And throughout this time, I was also trying to develop my understanding of contemplative practice, including meditation and mindfulness practices.
Being in Japan, I also experienced the direct influence of Buddhism and Japanese aesthetics and their nuances that transferred into the social aspects of the culture, as well as a variety of Japanese cultivation practices.
So it came to a point where I wanted to open my own studio, predominantly to share my holistic experience in all these things I just talked about.
And….. I chose to call my studio “YogaJaya.”
I want to stress here that the original model for the studio was intended to be an interdisciplinary learning space and not whatever it is that these days, 20 years later, people imagine when they hear the words “yoga studio.”
The two meanings of “yoga”
Even though I was very interested in yoga philosophy, I chose to call the studio “Yoga Jaya” for its meaning on a broader level. And I hoped people could see the meaning beyond the narrow sense unique to the “yoga philosophy” proper. And this meaning, on a more general level, was based on how I interpreted the meaning of these two Sanskrit words.
The word “yoga” derives from the Sanskrit root YUJ which means to unite or to yoke but throughout history, the word yoga came to refer to either uniting or tearing apart (separation). And this tearing apart in my interpretation also meant deconstructing, relearning, or even better ….unlearning.
The word “jaya” derives from the Sanskrit root JI, which translates to “conquer.”
The meaning of YogaJaya
So the compound meaning of YogaJaya focuses on the idea that we can unite ourselves and our thoughts to the experience of life by first understanding, deconstructing, and then overcoming or conquering our personal limitations.