Akiko M.

Akiko M.


This has been a rough season with a rotator cuff injury, jumping into Mind, and then an emergency surgical procedure last week!
I ended up sticking to my usual meditation practice- and worked out when I could but something felt off. It's not always easy to listen to our bodies but I heeded the signs I picked up and erred on the side of caution.
I think Mind is actually more challenging- it's less structured and less strenuous- the exertion level is less and our brain sometimes wants to interpret that as "not doing much".
The Vipassana practice I started this year has taught me to observe. I'm continually learning that the active action of observing is a powerful one and while it may not feel as physically engaging- that and breath are so central to what we do as humans.
I will rest over the holidays- keep observing- and see where I land in the New Year.
Have a great holidays and see you on the other side!


I like to set intentions when I start a new program. We'll be working with flexibility in the body for 8 - 7 weeks, now.

My intention is to welcome resilience as a friend to flexibility. When we are resilient, we are no longer brittle. We are no longer so prone to breakage. In resilience, there are a million invisible joints that take any force or impact and disperse it through the body of the receiving object. It flows through us, rather than it breaking us.

I welcome this flexibility program as a resilience practice.

I'd like to reflect on the following as I work through the program:
- How will this help my stress levels?
- What will I learn in the practice of building physical flexibility and resilience that I can apply to managing challenges in life?
- How will this practice help me to reacquaint myself with the slow and sometimes tedious-feeling work of building incremental change?
- How will this practice help me to work with something less showy - and to sense into the importance of the framework we put in place for us for whole health- even if the immediate engagement is not as visible as the other programs (muscle tone, fat loss)

It makes me think of people who come into yoga class and say- "But I'm not flexible. "
It's not something we are or have. It's what we build.

Here's to a great 7 weeks!

Done and Dusted 2 

The blog post was written when I graduated- but for some reason didn't load on the graduation page... here it is again, as promised, dating and Kenzai!

Pre-program, I'd written Ward asking for bonus exercises, saying when I looked at my back, I felt ... matronly.
Well, now. Let me throw in a new photo, for kicks. Got this one taken after completion of a program and feeling good about life in general. Seeing how commitment to myself has brought me unexpected things that make my life better. More rich. Full.

I've struck "Matronly" from my list of adjectives to describe myself. Don't get me wrong, I love aging into my wisdom and the lines and creases my body has from experience. But"Matronly" I am not.

I'm really excited- I've been invited to teach in Bali next spring on Desire and Big Life Changes! It's all connected- how much you want it and commitment to the small things.

Whatever your "It" is.

On to Reach now- see you there!

Literal- taking the workout, looking at each one granularly- and doing everything in a literal way. Literal about grammage, no more eyeballing. Whoa. THAT feels like a different workout. Noticing unbeknownst to myself, I was getting lazy.

Extras- an extra 4 minutes to skipping rope and skipping like the last days of KB- consecutively. An extra 8 minutes on 8 minute abs. Extra attention to how I'm holding the rope. Extra care in taking what I've learned from my private pilates lessons when I take to the resistance bands- core engaged, being aware of where my ribcage and my pelvic tilt.

These actions have totally ramped up what I used to think was an easy workout. It's not as hard as KB, still not as long- but I see the extra focus, awareness, and attention on being very literal about range of motion- how it all contributes to a better workout.

I feel great- I don't know if I've felt this good so early in the program.

Have a great week everyone!

Reboot 3: Day 7

Hello Fellow Gards!

I'm Akiko- I'm kind of a serial Rebooter. I find it works much better for me than maintenance- probably for the accountability factor :)

Getting ready for a 15 day trip where I'll be talking about Wholeness and Wellness - so I'm feeling the pressure to look good. Or, to look WELL, rather.

The thing about looking well is just like Kenzai- looking what is our own personal best.
I say nothing like Reboot to flush toxins out in a quick but no-short cuts kind of way. Nothing like Reboot to boost energy level and get skin glowing. Nothing like Reboot to give me enough physical activity to feel "good tiredness" at the end of each day.

I joined day 3- and really feeling the benefits of recent past workouts.
Let's do it- looking forward to the next 3 weeks with you guys! (sure beats doing Maintenance solo... at least for me!)


It's been a hard month. Two.
I lost my father-in-law. Ex. Well, he remains a father-in-law. His son is my ex-husband.

I've been thinking a lot about family. What is it? The ways we define family has changed so much in the last say, even fifty years, and it continues to change, on social and personal levels. With mobility and a wider acceptance of different ways of living, it makes for more room to define for ourselves what family means.

What does family mean? With mobility and lives being lived far away from the places of origin, many of us start to create our extended chosen families. Being expatriated in long stretches, partnering and sharing lives with people who have grown up in the places we now come home create for near to similar levels of complexity that we see in our blood families. The same kinds of comfort and the challenges from comfort arise during gatherings, much like they do when we go "home" for the holidays.

Most often, when I strip away the bloodlines or lineage, or how we own property together and who inherits- the historical meaning behind family- the thing that defines family for me is support. How am I supported? How do I want to be supported? Who are the people I can come back to? Who are the people I can leave, knowing I can come back? Who are the people I can rely on? Who are the people, despite the small stuff, who we know we can call at any time of day or night?

I just completed a restorative yoga teacher training. The instructor, talking about the body and the props that support it- creating a safe, weightless feeling cocoon for the body- said in demonstration,

"When we are supported, we can let go...."

As she continued to adjust and fill spaces with cushions and blankets, I found myself completing that sentence with
"...and just be."

So when we are supported, we can let go and be. Be the person we are. Become the best versions of ourselves.
Sweat . Not look good, downright awkward in the process. Laugh about it. Not be judeged. Struggle. Learn in ways that may not make sense to no one but us. When we are truly supported, we're allowed our own path and timefram to get to where we need to be. Our family is just there, as a resource, as a reserve of support when we need it. Of shared knowledge when we ask for it. And whenever we're ready, a whole gang to share in the joy of whatever we discover along the way.

This is what made the first Kenzai Body (then called PCP) so effective for me.
I would post, "This is too hard."
My teammates would comment, "Your're doing great!"
I would post, "I am not sure I can do this."
My teammates: "You've got this. Actually, look at how far you've come! Keep it up!"

No one knew I wasn't talking about the food prep. The increasing duration of the ropes. The egg white dinners. I felt so much shame I hand't spoken to anyone about my marriage falling apart, so this was the most cathartic sharing I'd done. Unexpectedly, I got exactly the feedback I needed. For both the divorce and the feedback: I've got this. I can do it. I'm going an amazing job.

I like Kenzai's maintenance program- it's good. But I find that it's nothing like being in a program. Being in a program- even though I joined late- has been so good for me. I feel compelled to show up and log in a workout.

Reminder to self: There's another family I can call on. Whenever there is something hard on the heart or the head, get into the body. It carries so much knowledge and can literally help me move through a lot of it. My mind goes from the endless chatter, gets still and focuses on the beat of the rope hitting the floor, keeping beat with the djembe music I have going. My heart - I don't know what it does, but something lifts and shifts as the endorphins kick in. It's like... a body in motion will call out to the head and the heart and say, "Hey yo, let's huddle. Listen up. I need to kick ass on this workout so I need you to focus with me. Can I count on you guys?" We huddle and break out, we focus. Afterward, I'm so glad we did it. Together.

Remembering Louis today.


Is the gateway to champagne. Who knew?

Cheated. Had a bite. Two. Eight. Of organic coconut cake. Butter. Egg yolk. Organic sugar. (It’s organic. And still sugar. I know) Flour. Baking soda. Coconut milk. YAAAAAA.

Then skipping rope today I had this unbearable craving for CHAMPAGNE.

So yeah. Cake is dangerous, y’all.
Now sipping on San Pell with Apple Cider vinegar after workout + Eight Minute Abs.


I nearly fell out of my seat when I saw this. In a nutshell, this is Kenzai:

What makes you feel pretty, strong, rad, hot, powerful? Your awesomest, badass self?

Me? Owning it.
Like Ward said, #ownyourgi

Music gets me into my zone and helps me access who I really am.

What’s going to get you in the zone and make you see yourself as the radiant, powerful person you truly are-? What’s your “Pretty” and what’s the thing that helps you to see it? Guys? Gals?

On to Week 3! Let’s do it!

Week 2 Challenge: Dinner

So hungry and lightheaded I tore in. So here’s what I ate.

Day 7 Oxygen Mask

I coach others on creating a life they want for themselves.
I really believe in if you can imagine it, you can do it/become it.

One of the reasons I love Kenzai is that getting into our bodies and physically transforming ourselves gets us in a great mental state for other kinds of change.

In weekly posts, I've decided to jot down some of these changes, and how it helps me to make the changes I want in my life.

Workout: A combo of two things happened- I didn't do the workouts everyday, but on the days I did, I didn't click I DID IT! for some reason.

Diet: Cutting out alcohol is great. I am still having fun with friends and feeling stronger, lighter, clearer. Getting home on foot is a breeze and I feel great in the morning.

Golden Nugget, Week 1:
Since my first two gos with PCP/Kenzai, I've been meditating more regularly. The most recent one is a meditation practice in noticing, and seeing things as they are.

Observations first week:
I am more aware of what I need. Whether sleep, more time to prep food, more space and time for myself.
With that awareness, I'm able to get clear on my needs and it's easier to communicate them to the people in my life.
With all that- I feel more in control of my wellbeing, all around- body, mind, emotions.

I've had a weekend of uninterrupted me time. No kids, no obligations, no dates, just free time to use my time however the hell I want. I gardened, I slept, I read, I rearranged the apartment, I took out spring clothes and visioned what from now to summer will be for me.

To do next week:
Further to this, give myself pure me time, at least once every 2 months.
Communicate to my ex in advance re visitation days- the days I need off.
Change an old pattern of prioritizing others before myself - notice what I need, and communicate that need. Stop with overaccomodating to my own detriment, communicate my dates rather than wait to hear re his availability.

What it will give me:
I gives me the serenity of knowing I am taking care of myself, and this creative time to recharge.
It gives me better clarity on schedule and priorities- that gives me space in my brain. That means less stress.
It gives me positive power in knowing I can do this for myself.

Reminder to self- place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping children and other passengers.

Passing Out

Passed out last night- skipped workout and meal, with work clothes on and everything. Just out of exhaustion- no alcohol or anything. Back on track today!

I'm back!

Let's do this!

Eighty percent

Diet at about 80-85%- no indulgences, but the 15% is all in the timing. I'm getting a late start, throwing off my meal plan times, and having to eat until like 10:30-11:00. Doesn't make much sense.
Am enjoying the 5 a week workout. It's much more sustainable for me.
Yoga sessions are much more intense is meditation when it follows a workout- the 2 days that I'm off from working out, I can't seem to go as deep into the practice. I feel like the endorphins flowing might have to do with it... Starting to feel the addictive side of this again!

What day is it?

Cruising through the food bit- especially the fruit. Incredible to see my six year old's level of muscle and strength. All the ones I can't do or can barely do- she demonstates them like in the little photos of Patrick. I love the support!

Day 10

Done. Now cooling off w a short yoga practice and getting centered before the day w meditation. An amazing, amazing combo. Prob like in Patrick's note from this AM from the endorphins coming off of the workout, and finishing w high levels of seratonin from meditation. A total natural high.

Oct 22nd, 2018





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