Beautiful Rituals Yoga

Yoga Therapist vs. Yoga Instructor …

It’s not that all yoga instructors are yoga therapists but the reverse tend to be the case… All yoga therapists are yoga instructors because of the more extensive training required for the therapist certifications.

Yoga instructor certifications start at minimum level of 200 hours – it’s a start -some lucky ones may just do such an immersion over a vacation in Bali, Costa Rica, Hawaii … it’s a great learn and vacay option, I always envied but did not have the time or the means to do. So, for some, it may just stop there – 200 hrs. and realize that it’s enough. Then the more serious will go onto 500 hours certification to delve deeper because …she/he’s …hooked.

Then, there are the yoga nerds, lol, those who get a bit nutty into it and still go deeper – okay, yoga geeky was me, that’s right, 500 hours was not enough for my curiosity so I went further to become a yoga therapist then … Covid struck, what a stroke of luck in timing:

Yoga Therapist certification is at the minimum … 800 hours. Why the difference? I can go over that through a lesson we set up that focuses on you. Often, it’s where yoga instructors who seek more in the healthcare arena to seek out the more advanced training. The training will encompass more than the physical and go deeper in the layers – “Koshas” to find the distilled yoga practice that’s individualized to meet your unique needs. Mini-group, semi-privates are lovely way to start with trusted instructor/therapist who will provide customized “just for you” instructions over time that you can do at home for privacy but then join the group for connections, comraderie and community.

For example, what I feel called to specialize in are:

  • Pre-post and during menopausal symptoms
  • Prenatal and post natal recovery
  • MS
  • Exessive anxieties & negative thought patterns
  • Burn-outs, stress management
  • Nervous system haywires – shingles, sun&all strokes, surgery recovery
  • Trauma & Grief recovery

Why did I get into it when I already taught just fine for 10 years at private and corporate gyms as a yoga instructor ? Why not remain that way? It’s fun to hold space – really enjoyed the lesson plan, the playlist making, the props placements … just lovely time. But why walk away? (You can do both – yes, many do – I’m just an idiot)

It’s because the students you meet in your class – students who showed up without any marketing on your part – those souls are lit with luminous light – and those souls are your ultimate Teacher in the collective.

Gratitude for the teachers in your life. They are the students. And if you are a parent, you get it. Your child is your ultimate Master Teacher.

Whatever the numbers and advance degrees/certifications, in the end, what ultimately matters is:


reflected by the efforts and genuine care that the teacher has. In the end, it does not matter if you have thousand hours or few hundreds … it’s the passion that matters most. And that passion may have flows and ebbs like ocean waves. Currently mine is ebbing in order to really care for others. But, surprised myself that I still have that “passion” only on low setting – when I’m ready to turn up the heat:

I will be back !

Beautiful People Beautiful Places Beautiful Rituals Healthy Food

Happy Birthday!

It’s just the Cafe not THE restaurant- yes? And still ? Could not get a reservation at all – been trying since pre-reopening – Until a slot opens up unexpectedly:) Lucky!

Recalling back in the day we didn’t need a reservation and we just casually walked in – those days are over … Still the same Mesirow’s signature copper lighting enveloped us in its warm golden glow … The lighting in this special space is … magical. We felt as though we were welcomed back into an old friends hug – it’s lovely.

The place still continues to be down to earth and authentic… like the birthday guest we were celebrating. In this day and age of eliteism and egoism, fakeness, nothing is as comforting and healing to our souls as real fresh comfort foods with unpretentious sophistication.

Happy Birthday Riki !

May you be safe

May you be well

May you be at ease

May you be happy

May we be safe

May we be well

May we be at ease

May we be happy

Gratitude for this small gathering to happen at all on this special day when a special soul graced this earth to spend some time with us … each on our destined journey to that wonderous mysterious yonder.

May we all live in peace and health with joy and compassion in our hearts.

Beautiful People Beautiful Rituals

Noriko Ibaragi

April is a poetry month in the US, and perhaps in other parts of the world. For some, I am sure, every month is a poetry month, if not, everyday.

I thought to share few of my favorite poets throughout this month, for lack of anything creative on my part – actually, I have been trying my hand at poetry so if there’s any worth putting in print, I may even be brave enough… but I prefer to just translate what’s put out by Japanese poets already famous and … not:

When I was the prettiest

My head was empty and

My heart was jaded hardened

Only my hands and legs shone bright chestnut color

When I was the prettiest

My country lost the war

How rediculous could it be

Rolling up my sleeves I took heavy strides in the obsequious town

(translated by K. Tsuyama)

From Ibaragi Noriko Poetry Collection










When I was the prettiest

It’s not easy to translate a poem. Thus, I suggest learning Japanse and reading it the original BUT here it is … a poem probably in Japanse school textbooks, teaching todays students about war and peace. I was lucky to grow up in peacetime but now … with the Ukranian situation, none of us in this world could feel at peace.

This poem is probably what my mother had experienced when she too felt her youthful beauty was at her peak. (my mother used repeatedly mention when she was young and most beautiful, there were no handsome young men around her to date as they all died in the war and thus, she would joke, she ended up with my father, hahaha?! Yet sometimes this joke is flipped and she would say that she was the lucky girl to even find a guy to marry as there were so few elibible young men those days – the ratio was so against the pretty young girls… men does not return from battlefields and so my father was a very lucky rare find.)

We all have those feelings of reminiscing our younger days – when we were bolder fearless adventurous and … yes, most beautiful. We radiated vibrancy … energy! Where did that go?

The author/poet is conveying the sense of “missing out” on her best times of her life, when her beauty was at her peak (I realize we’d like to think a woman is beautiful at any age but … there’s something about age 16- 20’s where we do have youth and nature on our sides. When one is at the best times of their lives, she experianced the ravages of war torn country and defeat. It was a very tough, gut wrenching time where young men did not come back from battlefields and beautiful young women were left in the rubbles … as she says, rolling up their sleeves, getting to work to rebuilt the shambles.

I acutally like her other poems more BUT I thought to shine a light on this famous poem as it feels like we have not learned from our history. Violence, destruction from wars are intolerable. Why can’t men communicate, negotiate and settle matters with pens not swords. Diplomacy diplomacy diplomacy over violence to settle matters because what’s won with violence is never a true victory.