Mark Shveima

Co-owner and Yoga Director of Studio Bindu.

Yoga Story

Mark began his practice and study of Haṭha Yoga on his own, to complement his martial arts studies. Three years later, he took his first live yoga class. After that class, the teacher asked him, “Have you ever thought about teaching?” Those six words became the catalyst for an extraordinary journey that has taken him from Philadelphia, to San Francisco, to Kyoto where he has been living and teaching Yoga since 2008.

Current Interests & Studies

Japanese language and culture. Neuroscience as related to emotional response and meditation, and the science of how to absorb and retain information at a more rapid and increased capacity.







Satsuki Nakamura


Yoga Story

Since Elementary school, I have immersed myself into dance. One day while attending a dance show, I was greatly moved by the audiences’ reaction. It seemed as if smiles were overflowing from each person`s entire body. From that experience I became determined to become a dancer and went to dance college. As soon as I finished college, I moved to Tokyo. Every day became the same routine of traveling back and forth between dance classes and a part time job. At the same time, I did work as a background dancer in different musicals, review shows, other artist’s shows, and stage shows. It was during that time that questions and frustrations towards myself began to develop, and an uncomfortable feeling between the relationship of myself in the dance business and dance environment started to become more prominent. 

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Days passed by without being able to find any answers to those questions. The uncomfortable feeling remained and I felt as if my body-mind was gradually losing its stability.

When I didn’t feel well in my body, I began to replace my dance classes with yoga classes. I left my dance career, and decided to take up a full time job at the restaurant I had been working at part time for a long time. On everyday off I went to yoga classes to have some quiet time. I would always feel refreshed afterwards. While on leave from the restaurant, I decided to join a Teacher Training course for the reason of purely wanting to know more about yoga. By being in the training, my feelings about myself improved and I made a new set of friends. Because of these things, I felt that my usual perception of the world began to expand more and more.

In the training, I was introduced to Mark Shveima, who was then teaching the philosophy part. When I joined the first hatha yoga class with Mark, I was impressed by how he led us to do delicate actions of the body, and how his philosophical teachings were woven into the whole practice. At the same time, I noticed that there was a vibrant feeling springing forth from inside myself, and causing my heart to dance!

Ever since then, I have been practicing hatha yoga and meditation, and studying the world from a philosophical point of view with my teacher Mark. I am confident in these practices and teachings, as they are helping me in understanding and experiencing other people, and have become a powerful support for me to observe and explore my relationship with myself and my surrounding environment. As I go through a repetitive process of trying to understand what has been tangled and congealed inside of me, and releasing that by dissolving it away, I have learned that there is a connection between what I used to strive to realize in dance and yoga practice.

I wish from my heart that each being has the opportunity to experience one’s own lively state of being and are able to have a better relationship to one’s self. I devote myself to serve others by sharing what I have gained from yoga practice so it may benefit others in practical ways.




Mayumi Ota


Yoga Story

In my teen’s, stress led to excessive eating, which caused a weight gain of 9 kg in a matter of three months. I experienced a repetitive cycle of dieting and gaining back the weight. This cycle aggravated my inherited atopic dermatitis and allergy condition. The combination of these conditions caused me to develop an inferiority complex. This is when I started yoga on my own by reading books. My instinct was telling me that yoga would be beneficial not only for my physical body but for my mind and heart too. Since then, more than 30 years have passed, and I am grateful every day for the changes I have experienced though yoga, not only in my body-mind, but in my soul as well.

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I wish to keep growing into the person I am meant to be. I also want to keep studying and receiving the teachings that the ancient yoga practitioners have left us. My intention is to hand them down to the next generation in order to serve those who need the benefits that yoga can offer us. This intention will support my continued studies and learning.

I love to help women take care of themselves during major life transitions such as pregnancy, postnatal recovery, and menopause. I also wish to offer assistance to body-minds of all ages in learning how to adjust in each season to make their experience of day-to-day life even more lively and bright.

Current Interests/Study

Pursuing therapeutic aspects of the yoga practice. I feel many of us can benefit from yoga to treat various difficult body conditions. Yoga has been proven to be very helpful in overcoming psychosomatic disorder and traumas caused by stress. I am also interested in deepening my knowledge of how to skillfully go through different life transitions specific to women, such as pre and post natal and menopause, and in the later stages of life how to live fully and be fulfilled.











Makoto Higashikawa


Yoga Story: The Path That Led Me to Yoga Practice

My optimistic Mom is a poet with artistic sensibilities. She raised my sister and I with much love while moving between her real life commitments and artistic endeavors. I was affected strongly by her unique life philosophy, but what I appreciate the most out of her influence are her values which have created a foundation for me. Those values have become like the shoot of a plant. This shoot has grown and split into branches to form who I am today. In my teen’s, I immersed myself in athletic sports. Even after graduating computer science school, I kept self-studying about muscles and body mechanics. I was totally focused on the process of self-quest. 

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So much so, that I left no space for others to come in to bother me. Nevertheless, Eriko, my wife, a vegetarian cook, suddenly invaded my space. She already had a fiancé then, so it was a big shake up for the values of support I had at that time. I found it was a hard lesson to accommodate a different angle.

Soon after we married, we were granted a child, and I was in need of creating financial support. I fully committed to whatever work I could get. Fortunately, I was introduced to real estate work through what I now feel was a sequence of karmic connections of people. At this work, again I experienced a shake up of my values. In order to maintain top sales in Kyoto area, my values had to be opened up violently to a new perspective, and I could not turn away from what was being placed in front of me. As a result of that, my mind and body started to cry out for help, but I did not notice I was drifting into a life threatening condition. I developed panic disorder. Because of this condition, I had to leave work. I felt as if my heart was torn up. At that time, my wife very firmly encouraged me to try yoga.

Japan has a sensitive subtle beauty to its culture. However, I have no doubt that people here sometimes struggle in finding the right way to release their stress that they receive from this modern society.  

I was fascinated by yoga philosophy and its teaching of being aware of individual potential. This concept is a completely different kind of practice than sports or exercise where one gets competitive against others. In yoga I discovered a true value that I could finally trust. As I dedicated myself to a daily practice, the distance between my body and spirit began to become more integrated little by little and this brought healing to myself.

As my commitment to daily practice deepened, I came to notice that all processes in life are a sequence dependent on every moment and that this is beautiful. This brought me to a feeling as if entering a spring of gratitude. Yoga opened up this door of insight for me. Since then, I have been led to respectful and great teachers. The culmination of all of these different experiences have made my yoga practice what it is now.

I feel I am fortunate that I live as a yoga teacher now. In my yoga classes I always try to offer students time to reflect upon body-mind from a place of gratitude. By doing this, I feel one will become aware of the importance and worth of one’s being, and enjoy deeper feelings for loved ones.

I hope to spend time with you to deepen experience in yoga practice!















































Life Experience / Training

  • 3 years study of Kenpo. 3 years study of Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, Kung Fu, and Pa'qua.
  • 10 years in the music business as a professional vocalist, fronting various rock and metal bands. Released CDs with two of them, and toured America twice.
  • Over 18 years of practice and study and 15 years of teaching of Hatha Yoga in a variety of forms, including lyengar, ashtanga-vinyasa influenced methods, and Anusara in which he accumulated over 1000 hours of training and received certification.
  • 500 E-RYT Yoga Alliance certification.
  • 2007 to present: Continual immersive study and practice in an initiatory lineage of non-dual Shaiva Tantra, Indian philosophy and meditation with Paul Muller-Ortega.







Training History

  • RYT 200 hour training at Spirit Yoga Osaka
  • Anusara Immersion “Mandala of Light” with Mark Shveima
  • Yoga for Senior & Restorative Yoga Intensive short course, Advanced Restorative Yoga at Luna Works
  • Yoga for Menopause Intensive short course at Luna Works


Current Interests/Study

I have been interested in the human body and mind connection since I was younger. I am fascinated by the simple gestures people make and the psychology and culture behind them.












Training History

  • 200 RYT Teacher Training, Teacher’s Intensive, Basic Teaching Course, MIC, Restorative yoga, Self-care, Yoga Anatomy, Therapeutics,  Anusara Immersion (with Yasushi Tanaka) at Studio Yoggy
  • Teaching Intensive, Anusara Immersion “Mandala of Light” with Mark Shveima
  • Pre and Post-natal yoga, Asana Intensive, Yoga Nidra
  • Japan Yoga Niketan YIC Teacher Training


Studio Yoggy official instructor

Yoga Alliance RYT200

Beauty Pelvis® official instructor 

Kaiki-Hou Method* Trainer

A type of body-work based on the Noguchi Seitai Method. By moving the body along involuntary movement patterns such as when we stretch and yawn, this method attempts to wake up the natural sensation of comfort and ease that our body already knows. We cannot only regain our flexibility in body, but also works on changing our limiting preconceptions and healing from traumatic experience. This leads to a gradual release of ourselves into a more free state.













Training & Life Experience


Physical Training: Three years of Kendo practice, seven years of sprinter training in track and field, and four years of weight training.


Work Experience: Two years of newspaper delivery in teens, two years as a masseuse, another two years of working at a wholesale company specialized in dry ingredients for traditional Kyoto cuisine. Last work before entering into teaching was five years at real estate agency. Also involved in managing a cafe.


Other Experiences: Panic disorder, nursing care for grandmother, marriage, being a Dad, staying in India and Indonesia for few weeks each, and Vegan and macrobiotics practice.

yoga experiences & more

Yoga Training
Mainly trained in Anusara and Iyengar practice.
Pre- Anusara Training at studio yoggy
Basic Training Course at studio yoggy
Anusara Immersion with Mark Shveima
Anusara Teacher Training with John Friend 

Current Interest/Study
Yoga is a great presence in our life that offers us insights into other ways of practice as well. I am interested in different ways of how to navigate our body and mind than what yoga teaches us, such as the Four Stance Method by Souichi Hiroto, Alexander Technique, Macrobiotic diet, and vegan cooking.

 76-11 Tenno-cho Okazaki, Sakyo-ku Kyoto 606-8335


tel. (+81) 080.5373.8136


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Main photographs of this page are by Yuri Ueno. All rights reserved.