One of the hardest parts about studying abroad is having to make a new set of friends and find a community that you can fit in with and one that helps you continue to pursue your passions from back home. At home I’m very involved in the fitness community and frequently go to the gym and take classes. When I came to my University in Tokyo and checked out the gym they offered, I found that it was very small, often overcrowded, and didn’t offer fitness classes.
After searching online I found free bootcamps offered in Yoyogi Park every Sunday by an international fitness community. I was too nervous to go at first and since it was the middle of winter when I found these events, I wasn’t too keen on running around in the cold for two hours. I instead, found a small branch group from that community that offered classes for something called Acro-yoga. I’ve always been interested in yoga and do it off-and-on and before college, I was taking acrobatic aerial silks classes. I decided to go to a class and right off the back I was able to do really cool tricks as a flyer.
Through this group they encouraged me to start going to the bootcamps in Yoyogi where I’ve been able to make so many friends with similar interests.
I’ve really developed a passion for acro-yoga in Tokyo and I’ve started focusing on doing for base work, where I can develop strength and control of my body movements.
Acro-yoga has become one of my new favorite hobbies in place of my interests that I cannot pursue in Tokyo either because of price, or resources, or (and usually) dorm life. I’ve been able to meet awesome friends who have helped me experience other new things like dance, hanami picnics, and bouldering.
Recently, I have also found language exchanges online as well where I can go to practice Japanese and teach English. I went to my first meeting just the other day and I was already able to make friends to meet up later with and practice Japanese with.
I’m only in Japan for 2 and a half more months so I’m trying to make the most out of it and fit in as much as possible. When I come home I’m hoping to be able to convince some friends to join acro-yoga with me and hopefully make my own community at home.