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Returnees Edition「THE WAY Australia ✖️ Japan」(EN)

Updated: Mar 6

THE WAY Returnees Edition introduces women who continue to shine and empower themselves even after returning to their home country by making use of their experiences abroad.

This time we meet yoga instructor and therapist, Ayaka Toshima. At 28, she left the apparel company she was working at due to health problems and decided to study in Australia. She is now back in Japan and is using what she learned at a yoga school in Sydney to offer yoga therapy online, focusing on the connection between the body and the mind.

Ayaka used yoga to save her mental and physical health. Here, she shares how she turned yoga into a career, including going to yoga school in Sydney, meeting classmates from diverse backgrounds, her perseverance with learning English and the lives of the people she met in Australia—a country of wellness according to Ayaka.

From hitting rock-bottom to making the move to Australia

After graduating from high school, Ayaka worked in sales and public relations for an apparel company. Overtime, she was burned out which eventually led to physical and mental health problems.

“When I was 26, I was diagnosed with panic disorder. I had to quit my job which I loved and I didn't see my friends as much as I used to. I hit rock-bottom."

Ayaka envisioned living in Tokyo, continuing to work at her apparel company, getting married and having kids. Due to the change in her health though, she inevitably had to change her life goals.

“It wasn’t until I left my job that had the