Sharing yoga’s riches: Junko Maria Furugori
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
London instructor Junko Maria Furugori first encountered yoga in the form of Okido, a holistic, dynamic and meditative form of yoga developed by Japanese master Masahiro Oki. After yoga helped Furugori grapple with health challenges in her 20s, she decided she didn’t want to keep this precious knowledge to herself. She completed a four-year training course and started leading classes in 2011. “Teaching is about sharing the riches of what I’ve learned,” she says. And share she does. Furugori teaches four or five classes a week: one-on-ones, two-on-ones and small groups of about four students. Her main turfs are Ealing, Chiswick and Richmond. Even in cosmopolitan west London, many veteran teachers struggle to build clientele. Aspiring yogis may be unaware that an experienced, accredited teacher lives in the same road. And teachers who must move the venue of a class for whatever reason may see students drift away.
Furugori has leafletted at supermarkets and health-food stores but says, “I don’t have any proof that that’s actually effective.” Mainstream social media also yielded scant results, though some localised websites did work better. In the end, a strong reputation has served her best. She explains humbly, “I’ve always been lucky to get people through word of mouth.”
That’s little wonder: Furugori’s sense of purpose shines through—for instance when describing the joy of helping a teenage boy improve his posture through yoga. “I’m so encouraged by how he’s stuck to it,” she says, adding, “I see each class as a mini journey, with a beginning, middle and end. And I’m there to lead that journey.”
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