285 Visionary Yoga: Beyond Fitness to Conscious Evolution With Mariko Hirakawa

January 8, 2018

Mariko Hirakawa is an internationally known Yoga-Ayurveda Expert with over 26 years of teaching experience. She is the founder of Visionary Yoga, a personal development company dedicated to accelerating the growth of motivated individuals and companies. A former professional ballet dancer as well as an Ayurvedic physician trained in India, she is dedicated to positioning Yoga as something far beyond fitness – a technology for human consciousness evolution.

Contact Info

Most Influential Person

  • My spiritual teacher

Effect on Emotions

  • Mindfulness really stabalized my inner world. With that came much greater confidence. It gives you self-control when you have control of your inner state.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • I'm amazed that more dance techniques don't encorporate the breathing. Breath has it's own innate energy. Inhilation is actually called inspiration. Inhiliation is literally receiving new energy from the universe. Exhilation, I call it the liberating breath, the cleansing breath, the releasing breath and for me it's a very under used resource that we all have. It's so close, and yet, because it's always there, we tend to be blind to it. Ancient systems like Yoga, and all of the mystical traditions really, use the breath as a doorway. The more we can be aware of it, moment by moment, I think the more it's enhances our quality of life and the way we show up into life.

Suggested Resources

Bullying Story

  • Yes, I have several stories about bullying. When I first came to this country I was nine and a half years old and we were in upstate New York where at that time there were very few ethnic people.
  • I think my sister and I were the only Asian kids in an entire elementary school. It was actually a boom because we got so much attention from the teachers. I think that made a few of the other kids jealous.
  • In the beginning, every morning we had to put our hand on our heart and recite the Pledge of Allegience to the United States of America. Those are some advance words like 'individual', I couldn't pronounce. I phonetically memorized it after a few months.
  • I was just mouthing it and these two kids were sitting across from the table. They were sneering at me and started to push the table towards me saying, 'you don't know what it means, you can't say it'. They started to push me and at that moment I felt so humiliated and helpless.
  • I didn't know how to counter that because ... the teacher was oblivious and so I let it get to me. I just sat there holding my tears back. If it were me now, I probably see that these kids were just acting out of jealousy. Kids can be quite cruel and it's really tough because when you're a child you're not equipped with the level of self awareness and self-confidence that allows you to fight back or to say something. I didn't have the words. I didn't know the language well enough to fight back like that. It was the first experience of being bullied and I was older than these kids because I was demoted two grades because I couldn't speak any English. It was a tough time. I think life gives us experience and it made me more determined to learn English and to work really hard to master the language.

Guest Quote

  • "Everyone's on a different level of evolution." - Mariko Hirakawa
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