In the first week of September, last month, Desi Springer and I presented a 5-day Bowspring training in Tokyo. It was our fifth year in a row to teach the Bowspring method in Japan under the sponsorship of Mr. Kenta Nakano, who has been practicing Bowspring since taking a Sridaiva yoga workshop with us in San Francisco in 2013. Kenta-san has taken trainings with us every few months for the last 5 years, and is now bringing the Bowspring method into an increasing number of his 22 yoga studios in Japan! It is also news worthy that Kenta-san is close to completing his testing to become our first global certified Bowspring teacher!
This year’s training in Tokyo was very special because Kenta-san and over 70 students of our Japanese Bowspring community welcomed 15 visiting Chinese Bowspring teachers including teacher Yali from Xi’an, China. This was the first time that the Chinese and the Japanese Bowspring communities have met in person to practice and learn together. Thankfully, we had two outstanding translators for Japanese and Mandarin and – Akiko Sano and Vicky Zhang, who have worked with us in the past and who have a good understanding of our alignment and philosophy.
The Japanese and Chinese students could not understand the other’s language, so their minds would tune out the other translator’s sounds and would only focus on the words that they knew. Although, both translators could be heard speaking full voice to the 85+ students in the room, there were no complaints of poor acoustics or problems with the simultaneous translation from English into two different languages. Remarkably, both groups of students were completely synced in the rhythm of movement of their katas. They would breath together and flow as a singular murmuration of arms, legs and torsos moving in the Seed Kata, the basic postural sequence that we primarily focused on in the training.
Despite not understanding each other’s language, Chinese and Japanese students were able to effectively teach each other Bowspring poses and sequences with only using sign language and body language. This is good evidence that the consistency of our method in terms of the set sequence of detailed alignment actions in any pose allows the Bowspring method to be shared at a high level of integrity throughout our global community.
For many Chinese and Japanese today there is still a lasting animo