Instructors


Kumiko Mack, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Kumiko Mack

Kumiko Mack is the owner of Be Yoga Japan, a yoga studio located in Tokyo’s Hiroo district. As the foremost teacher of ISHTA Yoga in Japan, she leads both 200 and 500 hour instructor training courses that are registered with the Yoga Alliance, in addition to giving a wide variety of workshops. A resident of New York since 1987, Kumiko continues to study Tantra under her teacher, Alan Finger, founder of ISHTA Yoga, and was bestowed the title of Yogiraj from Alan in 2011.


English Regular Class Instructors

The following teachers hold regular classes in English.

Kazuko Okuno, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Kazuko Okuno (Kaz)

Kaz was introduced to the wonderful world of yoga in high school – due to scoliosis, a curvature in her spine. At the time, long before yoga became popular, she took a class with senior citizens practicing postures to help her back. Soon, she noticed other benefits both physical and mental and since then has practiced Iyengar, Pre and Post Natal Yoga, Yoga for Scoliosis and other Hatha styles. Kaz has always enjoyed being physically active but really appreciates the mental calm and the physical energy that yoga practice provides Yoga remains the one constant in her life and she is so happy and eager to share this wonderful practice with you.

Danielle Millet, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Danielle Millet

Amid the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, it was on a yoga mat that Danielle found infinite peace to her surprise. Since then Yoga has been one of her burning passions. It gives her a sense of connection between mind and body that she had sought for so long. After several years of practicing yoga, she developed a strong desire to deepen her knowledge on yoga – its history, philosophy and how to teach it integrating the various postures into a course of lessons. This led her to become a trained teacher of yoga in 2007. – “Gently delve deep into yourself, become attuned and live in the moment that is what you are invited to experience.”

Laura Huizi, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Laura Huizi

Like so many others, Laura was introduced to yoga through an injury. However, she was surprised to find not only healing, but also grace and freedom on the mat, as well. Fueled by passion and curiosity, she studied a range of yogic traditions over the next 20 years, including Jivamukti, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and ISHTA yoga.

Ever a student, Laura decided to deepen and expand the scope of her practice by studying to be a teacher. As a teacher, her classes seek to cultivate a balance between breath, intention, and movement as inspired by the words of B.K.S. Iyengar: “Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” Let’s dance.

She is eternally grateful for the guidance and generosity of her teachers—Sharon Gannon, David Life, Kumiko Mack, and Meg McCreery—and the inspiration and patience of her family, friends, and students.

Emi Smith, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Emi Smith

Born and raised in Tokyo, Emi was first introduced to Yoga in early 90’s while studying at college in the United States. During this challenging period of cultural adjustment, it was Yoga that eased her anxiety and helped her find peace with her own identity. Yoga also restored and strengthened her body after giving birth to her two children and helped her cope with the stress of becoming a mother. Never a fan of exercise, she was able to stick with yoga at her own pace throughout the years, always loving the way yoga made her feel. Upon moving back to Japan in 2012 with her family, Emi decided to deepen her yoga practice and discovered Be Yoga Japan where she completed 200-hour teacher training under Kumiko Mack and is currently working towards 500-hour training. She feels that practicing ISHTA yoga made her a happier person, more resilient to stress, and has expanded her outlook and possibilities in life. She is grateful to share her love of yoga with others and to continue her yoga journey.

Anna, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Anna Helly

Anna was first introduced to yoga during her first pregnancy in 2009 to release her lower back pain. After giving birth she was more focused on practicing Pilates for several years.
In 2017, Anna experienced her 3rd expatriation and settled down in Tokyo.
She felt the need to slow down her pace and to relax and found the place to do so on a yoga mat again.
The practice of ISHTA yoga brought Anna so many concrete benefits (physical and mental) and she learned to follow her breath, moment to moment, which gets her used to focusing herself in the present.
She decided to deepen her knowledge, to challenge and learn more about herself and therefore focused on yoga during this year.
In 2018, she graduated the 200-hour teacher training program at Be Yoga under Kumiko Mack.
Anna is grateful to share her love for yoga with others, especially ISHTA yoga that values the difference in each individual and to continue her journey.

Kathrin, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Kathrin Joost

Kathrin got first introduced to yoga several years ago when she was recovering from an injury. However, at that time, she felt that she was not entirely ready to commit to it as she was searching for a different physical challenge in various other sports. After several attempts she realized though that the injury had taken its toll, forcing her to slow down.
Finding herself back on a yoga mat not only helped her with the process of accepting the need of letting go of her passion for gymnastics and other high intensity/physically demanding sports. It later on also helped her getting back energy, strength and balance after becoming a mom.
Moving to Tokyo in 2015 allowed her to practice yoga on a more regular basis, instilling a new passion by recognizing subtle, positive changes in her life, both physically and mentally. This made her decide to take up the personal challenge of deepening her knowledge in yoga.
Feeling inspired and motivated by some of Be Yoga’s wonderful teachers, Kathrin completed the 200-hour teacher training at Be Yoga in 2018 and is now excited to continue her yoga journey and share her passion for it.


Japanese Regular Class Instructors

The following teachers hold regular classes in Japanese.

Chiharu Ueyama, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Chiharu Ueyama

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (E-RYT500)
  • Stott Pilates Certified Instructor
  • Instructor Training Course Senior Teacher

In 1985, Chiharu got her start in the world of fitness as an aerobics instructor. While working as an instructor at a sports club in 1992, she broadened her knowledge of fitness by extensively studying a wide range of techniques and approaches. She is well versed in areas such as aerobic exercise, resistance training, water aerobics, stretching, yoga, reflexology, and PNF stretching. Using her knowledge and experience, she has worked in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya as a chief training instructor, and as part of a program development and planning group creating new exercise programs and training instructors. In 2002, she began working independently in Tokyo.

Chiharu says,
“While studying about the structure of the human body, working, and teaching, I realized I wanted to continue teaching and to continue expanding my knowledge. That desire is realized in yoga and pilates. Currently I teach private yoga and pilates lessons, yoga group lessons, and conduct yoga instructor training. Yoga’s biggest appeal for me is the breath control and meditation techniques. What I particularly like about ISHTA Yoga is the way it combines your physical body, breathing techniques, and meditation to allow you to experience your body, mind and spirituality in different ways. I think it is important to conduct classes using simple, easy-to-understand language. I am looking forward to meeting you!”

Junko Saegusa, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Junko Saegusa

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (E-RYT500)
  • Teacher Training Course Senior Instructor
  • Maternity Yoga Teacher Training Course Instructor

Drawn to the study of Psychology in college, Junko learned that there are all kinds of different people in this world. Although wanting to delve further into studying psychology, she found it hard to face her own inner world and feelings. Junko began to feel burdened by psychology. At this time, she took an aerobics class and really enjoyed moving her body, working up a sweat to clear her mind and decided to become an instructor. She also happened to take a yoga class at this time. Junko found much comfort in how yoga deals with and releases both the body and the mind.

Junko learned ISHTA Yoga’s individualized approach with Kumiko Mack. Through asana, pranayama and meditation, she started to face her innermost self, something she was unable to do before.

In her classes, Junko tries to bring her own experiences, both physical and mental, keeping within the ISHTA framework. Yoga has taught Junko that although she may feel a range of emotions, like anger and sadness, deep within her lies a calm and stable core. From yoga she learned that everything happens for a reason, to let nature take its course, and to savor whatever experiences life has to offer.

Junko become a mother in 2009. This brought many changes in her life both during pregnancy and after raising a young child. Now more than ever, she cherishes the offerings of yoga. She also enjoys teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga.

Blog: junkokokara.jugem.jp (in Japanese)

Kazue Watanabe, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Kazue Watanabe

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (E-RYT500)
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Maternity Yoga Instructor
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Restorative Yoga Instructor
  • Teacher Training Course: Senior Teacher
  • Mastered Level 1~4 Thai Massage at Chiengmai, Thailand
  • Completed Alchemy・Crystal Bowl Course

She always wanted to be a teacher of “something”. She even has an experience of working in Australia as a diving instructor in her twenties. She likes to visit places like Australia, Bali island, Hawai and Thai etc. where one can enjoy both yoga and the ocean.
She always feels grateful for being able to do yoga and teach yoga with relaxing music in a good environment.

Tomoko Kobayashi, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Tomoko Kobayashi

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (E-RYT500)
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Maternity Yoga Instructor
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Restorative Yoga Instructor
  • Teacher Training Course Senior Instructor

Tomoko worked as aerobics instructor for more than 15 years, and was a professional athlete for 10 years. She tried many sorts of trainings to improve her body strength and capability, one of them was yoga. She discovered a deep stillness inside her that she couldn’t find in any other trainings, and felt in love with the energy and deepness of yoga. Tomoko wants to share the teaching of ISHTA Yoga that takes care of the individual.

Saki Maruyama, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Saki Maruyama

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (E-RYT500)
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Maternity Yoga Instructor
  • Teacher Training Course Assistant Instructor
  • Outdoor Sports Academy Part-time Yoga Instructor

Saki started Yoga encountering ISHTA Yoga that respect one’s individuality, and she has been learning ISHTAYoga under Kumiko Mack. Now she teaches both at her hometown Nagano Iiyama where is surrounded beautiful scenery and be yoga in Tokyo. She appreciates to share the gift of grace in yoga with people.

Ryoko Hashimoto, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Ryoko Hashimoto

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (RYT500)
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Maternity Yoga Instructor
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Restorative Yoga Instructor

I came across yoga while working as an employee in an office environment. Not listening to my body, I became ill at times and did not know how to deal with my stresses sometimes becoming withdrawn. My mind and body were out of sync and doing yoga allowed me to address that disparity. I have tried various styles of yoga but currently enjoy ISHTA for addressing the individual’s unique needs. In my class, I try to keep in mind that yoga is for each unique individual while teaching pranayama and alignment. By emphasizing this, I hope that each person can appreciate something unique and special about themselves and their experience just as they are. I very much enjoy teaching yoga classes which addresses not only the body but the mind.

Ayumi Kera, a certified instructor at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Ayumi Kera

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor (E-RYT500)
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Maternity Yoga Instructor
  • Certified ISHTA Yoga Restorative Yoga Instructor

In 2009, Ayumi finished the 200 hour teacher training course and completed the 500 hour in 2011. Her favourite hobbies are surfing and playing golf. She enjoys riding the calming waves of the ocean and playing golf, but most importantly, loves to relax by floating on the rich ocean and listening to the calming sounds of the forest. When she started learning ISHTA Yoga, she felt the same sensation. When concentrating on her breathing while moving on the yoga mat or when calmingly sitting with eyes closed, she felt the very importance of openness, comfort and happiness that can be missing from our busy lives. She hopes to share this sensation of yoga to those living in the busy and stressful areas of the crowded city.


English Teacher Training Course – Guest Lecturers

We invite guest lecturers from around the world who are leaders in their respective fields to our yoga teacher training course held in English.

Dr Krishna UK Ayurveda teacher, a guest teacher at Be Yoga Japan, Hiroo, Tokyo

Dr. Krishna U.K. (Ayuruveda)

Present Positions:

  • Director, Japan Ayurveda School
  • Chief Consultant, Indus Valley Ayurvedic Center (IVAC), Mysore, India
  • Director, Visiting Professor, American University of Complimentary Medicine, LA, USA

Educational Qualifications:

  • BSAM Graduate Degree of Ayurveda, 1976
  • MD (Ay)
  • Postgraduate Degree of Ayurveda in Internal Medicine, 1980
  • PhD Medicine, Okayama University Medical School, Japan, 1991

Academic Experiences:

  • Lecturer and physician, Udupi Ayurveda College, India, 1980~1985
  • “Ayurveda in Modern Japan” Project, Misawa Homes (a Japanese company), Tokyo, 1991~1993
  • Yoga Teaching, Japan, 1986~1990