MEET MAI IZUMITANI
The Ceramicist and Yoga teacher you need on you inspiration board.
It’s fair to say Mai Izumitani’s 2020 hasn’t worked out exactly as she’d expect. In April, Mai was set to host a Ceramic and Yoga flow with SILOU x Psycle - instead she’s been no further afield than her living room, like many of us. Over the last few months we’ve been tapping into the expertise and style of Mai via Instagram. Known to some as @m_a_i_z_u, Mai has the calm and charisma of someone caught dancing when they thought no one was looking. She has enthusiastically embraced her Arabella SILOU-ette, whilst inspiring and reminding us how to be present in the world right now.
Today, Mai is in Seaford, modelling our next collection and chatting about moving her SILOU-ette.
HOW HAS YOGA SHAPED YOUR LIFE - PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY?
Ever since I began practising yoga, I perceived it as an open door to self-discovery and constant self-improvement. I kick started this year by receiving my RYT 200hr certificate and more recently began to teach. I am fully aware that being able to practise yoga both in my personal time and professionally is a huge asset to my well-being and for this I am forever grateful.
WHY DID YOU SIGN UP TO YOGA TRAINING AND WHAT DID YOUR TRAINING INVOLVE?
MENTAL DISCIPLINE AND DAILY MEDITATIONS
I knew I wanted to advance my knowledge and grow my confidence and was lucky enough to be sponsored by Empowered Yoga School in London/Bordeaux last year. The training took us through full days of asana, lectures, discussions as well as daily meditation. It was the most mental discipline I have ever experienced and though most days were challenging, I met the most special souls during it and it was a transformational experience for me that I will forever hold close to my heart.
HOW HAS PRACTISING YOGA SHAPED YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BODY AND MIND?
THERAPY WITHOUT THE THERAPIST
Living in a big city like London can make you feel mentally and physically disconnected to yourself through constant comparison with others. Yoga for me, is like ‘therapy without the therapist’ – a moving meditation. It gives me the opportunity to take time out of my day to really connect my mind and body through connecting to the breath. It helps me organise myself internally and I come off the mat having a better knowledge of who I am as a person.
HOW ARE THESE IMPORTANT IS BREATH WORK IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE?
Yoga really is fascinating in the way it stems so far back in history with all its’ various elements behind the modern-day practice we see today. Breath work is a vital aspect in particular, if not the key component in my personal practice. I believe that focusing on the breath is the fundamental way we are able to focus on the present moment and can be transformational in the sense that it can train our minds to apply this in our day-to-day lives to lead a better way of life.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NIYAMA OR YAMA AND HOW DO YOU APPLY THAT TO YOUR LIFE?
There is an urgency for the entire world to grasp a sense of oneness now more than ever. Ahimsa (non-violence) speaks to the conscience of humanity and we must apply this to everyday life through cultivating more compassion not only towards ourselves but to others. I am taking my time to pause, listen and empathise with others around me the best I can. By recognising that thoughts lead to action, we must understand that in order to remove violence from our world we have to consciously try to remove violence from the core of it that is our minds.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE THAT IS APPREHENSIVE TO START YOGA?
LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS
It takes patience and it’s hard to let go of certain expectations you have for yourself for sure, but one thing I would say is that there is no such thing as being ‘good at yoga’. It’s a no-fail journey that is entirely personal to you and remember, as long as you’re breathing, you’re doing yoga!
We pressed pause with Yoga instructor Goni Jung and discussed her constant hunger to expand her knowledge of yoga.