I met him more than 20 years ago on one of the Yoga Festivals in Melbourne, where all different schools of yoga are gathered in one place.
At that time, I was a student of a classical Hatha yoga school run by an Indian Yoga guru, Vijadev Yogendra.
Back in the USSR, in my student days, I studied yoga from books written by his father, Shri Yogendra. When I arrived in Australia and Melbourne,
I was thrilled to discover that the son of my spiritual teacher was running yoga classes in Melbourne and I could join.
I joined this school but Vijadev did not run classes anymore. Only his students and I saw him only occasionally as the principal
of the school giving some monthly lectures.
His students were good people and good teachers, but something was missing for me. Perhaps it was the ‘Guru to student’ relationship.
Meeting with Takao changed all that. I recognized him as my teacher the first time I met him. He was doing demonstrations of Oki-Do Yoga,
a style his was teaching, and I fell in love with this type of yoga.
Oki-Do Yoga is based on Yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese healing system, more details you can find on my website.
Takao was incredibly talented. He was a Yoga Teacher, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner, Educator, Actor, Playwriter and Producer.
He created his ‘Momo’ theatre, where all actor were his yoga students. He taught them how to perform in a meditation state and to be spontaneous and creative.
The first time when I saw his play, I did not know how to react. I had nothing in my memory to compare it with. It did not have a story, actors making up a story as they went along, interacting with the audience and improvised.
But what, really stuck in my memory of this experience, was the appearance of Takao on stage. He came out with a bunch of beautiful flowers and threw
them to the public and started to laugh. His laughter was so contagious that soon, the hall was shaking from laughter. Takao called it ‘Breaking the Ice’.
It took me years to master Takao’s laughter, but I am still not as good as he was.
After a few visits to his ‘Momo’ theatre, I start loving and understanding his plays and what his intentions were. The actors became better and better, their
expression of inner feeling become deeper and the interaction with the audience more original.
My stepfather was 93 when his energy level become weaker and weaker and he was slowly slipping away. I asked Takao for help. He was a good
acupuncturist and treated many celebrities.
‘Every person is a puzzle and you have to find a key. Your stepfather is very ‘Yin’ and acupuncture method of treatment is also ‘Yin’, so we need to
combine it with moxa and cupping, the ‘Yang’ methods of treatment’’.
In ten days, my stepfather was back to normal and lived another 4 years.
I do not know how many people he treated, but I do know that he saved many lives.
I finished Oki-DO yoga teacher training with Takao, and I have been teaching this yoga for 20 years and still remember his saying when numbers of
students began to drop - ‘I need to study more!’.