I got to know a lot about Finland through the Finnish-American diaspora living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a college student. When I went on a Bicentennial Tour of Finland with the NMU Arts Chorale in 1976, I got off the tour bus and stayed in Finland after after the last concert. That didn't seem like a "foreign" idea to me, although the rest of the choir was a little shocked. I ended up staying, studying, marrying and raising a family on a farm in Central Finland and working as an organist/choral director for more than 30 years.
When I was introduced to the Finnish health exercise Asahi about 10 years ago, I knew it would be the perfect warmup for my choirs. Soon it became my personal practice as well, because, as much as I still enjoy doing all kinds of yoga, there are many days a week that it just doesn't fit in the schedule. Asahi is so easy to take along anywhere when traveling, since it requires no special clothing, equipment, or mat. In 2012 I started training to become an Asahi teacher and in June 2021 became the first female and the first American head coach of Asahi. While serving for four years as an organist to the Finnish congregation in Rhodes, Greece, I introduced Asahi there and realized what a wonderful place Rhodes is, because it's possible to practice Asahi outdoors year round. Now groups of Finnish people come to Rhodes yearly to participate in Asahi health vacations.
Launching a retirement career as a free-lance Asahi coach with no previous business skills has been one of the biggest challenges in my life. I realized that if I want to reach people who have never heard of Asahi and don't even realize they might benefit from it, I was going to have to start doing "conscious marketing." Now I have the chance to come back to the States to offer Asahi workshops around the Midwest, including Marquette, MI, the home of my Alma Mater, NMU, so the circle is closing.
Asahi moves in spirals, and so does life, apparently!
(BA in Music ‘76 Northern Michigan University, MA in Music History 2000 Jyväskylä University, Asahi Nordic Certified A1 Instructor 2018, European Yoga League 4-year training completed 2018, Conscious Marketing (Sounds True) 2021, Asahi Nordic A2 Certification 2021.)