When we married in 1989, we were already committed to living a lifestyle that brings healing to ourselves and peace to the world. In those early years, we used descriptive business names – Reiki Acupressure Massage, Health Etc. – to bring our message to the community.
Opening our studio in Pleasant Hill in October 2002, started us on a new phase of our journey. While choosing a new name for Ofer’s unique style of yoga, we decided to rename the studio as well. Reflecting on the Erez kanji from so long ago, we chose Sugi – Japanese for cedar tree. Thus Sugi Yoga was born and our studio was renamed Sugi Studios. At the studio we offered Sugi Yoga and Tai Chi Gong classes that reflected a new perspective on these traditional arts.
Our program offerings expanded with the introduction of the Sugi Training Programs and it is fitting that the name “Sugi” encompasses all we do today. As Sugi Health, our services have become richer and created solely for your benefit.
- First, create a place of safety, holding the current pattern.
- Honoring, watching and providing space for new movement to reveal itself from within.
- No matter how small at first, support the trickle of newness as it finds its way into the pattern.
- With each new piece the pattern changes, and over time, balance and health are restored.
The Meaning of Sugi
We seek to spread an attitude and value system of holiness, eternity and peace. Our vision is expressed in the Sugi name. More than 25 years ago, as newlyweds, we both became Reiki Masters. While designing a Reiki certificate for our students, we traveled to San Francisco’s Chinatown to buy a kanji stamp for our last name. The artisan translated the kanji for Erez, which is cedar tree in Hebrew, as “holiness, eternity and peace”.
- By honoring ourselves and all life on earth, we express holiness in the world and stimulate profound change.
- Eternity reflects the idea that when respect and honor are primary intentions for all stages of life, positive reverberations are felt not only in one own’s life but future generations as well.
- Peace is a way of being in the world that fully incorporates holiness and eternity as spiritual attitudes that bring peace into everyday life. Everything we do in Sugi embodies these beliefs.
Amy Erez creates a personalized program of practical tools that nurture and support the fulfillment of balanced wellness in everyday life. Amy’s inspiration to explore healing came through her own health challenges during childhood. She became determined to find an approach to living that would provide wellness in all parts of life.
Sessions with Amy are a combination of hands-on healing, self-awareness counseling, and recommendations for creating a healthy lifestyle. Committed use of Amy’s Tools for Healthy Living® (through classes and private consultations) brings about peace of mind, clarity of purpose and a return to optimal health. Amy’s work is equally accessible to teens and adults.
For 30 years, Amy has been providing support for others to integrate these valuable tools and attitudes into their lives for profound, transformational change. The emphasis of her work is in helping people to understand the body’s messages, connect those messages with the emotional/ spiritual experience and find solutions that reestablish balance.
A fortuitous introduction to A Course in Miracles (a series of lessons that teaches how to choose peace over conflict) and the world of Asian practices and therapies in 1980 dramatically changed her life. These practical, effective tools gave Amy the required elements for the foundation of the Tools for Healthy Living she offers in her practice.
Passion about organic gardening has given Amy a practical understanding of the seasonal cycles. These same seasonal cycles have a strong influence on our health. Amy’s unique understanding of this idea, combined with her extensive training in whole person health care, provides her clients with an in-depth experience of healthy living throughout the year.
The Sugi Way, developed with her husband, Ofer Erez, offers an approach that is motivated by self-love and acceptance. The Sugi Way perspective increases well being through inner listening, movement skills and simple, healthy habits.
Amy holds a B.A. in Psychology/Oriental Studies, received her certificate in Acupressure and Shiatsu in 1984, and was initiated as a Reiki Master in 1991. In 2007, Amy received her SugiTouch™ Movement Specialist certificate. She has been working with Flower Essence Therapy for over 25 years. Amy has been practicing Tai Chi Ch’uan and Chi Gong since 1976, has practiced yoga since 1989 and received her Sugi Yoga teaching certificate in 2001. She has worked extensively with people with a large variety of issues, beginning at an outpatient mental health clinic in 1980.
Amy founded Diablo Valley School, a Sudbury-model school for ages 5 –19, with her husband, Ofer, in Concord, CA in January, 1997.
Ofer Erez has dedicated his life to learning about and teaching health, fitness and movement in the wisest, safest, most natural, and most useful ways possible. He believes that anyone, regardless of age can become more fit and healthy if they learn to replace effort with skill and take the time to learn those skills.
For more than 25 years, Ofer has taught his students how to gain strength and balance and increase flexibility and mobility without resorting to pain and discomfort. His approach is the Sugi Way, developed with his wife, Amy Erez. The Sugi Way perspective increases well being through inner listening, movement skills and simple, healthy habits.
Ofer approaches the human body as one system, comprised of many sub-systems – all of which must be in good balance with each other to attain the best possible health. The integration of his studies in movement and healing with a practical understanding of anatomy, physiology and the relationships between the body’s systems, enables Ofer to create effective health plans.
Ofer created Sugi Yoga in 1997. He received his teacher certificate in Sivananda-style yoga in 1987 and has taught continuously for 20 years. He discovered during yoga classes that when he applied his knowledge of movement physiology to his teaching methods students improved more quickly. They also avoided injury and healed past injuries and restrictions along the way. Ofer went on to develop a large variety of teaching techniques, Sugi concepts and posture variations. He began training Sugi Yoga® teachers in 2003.
In 2005, Ofer began teaching a movement specialty called SugiTouch™. SugiTouch was developed as an adjunct to the Sugi Yoga training to help student teachers develop the ability to do valuable corrections on yoga students. SugiTouch Trainings began shortly thereafter offering certification as a Movement Specialist for graduates.
After serving in the military (1982 – 1986), Ofer devised a system of exercises to maintain his own fitness. He found that in only 16 minutes, 3 times a week he improved his strength significantly. He combined this early understanding of fitness with the concepts of Sugi Yoga and expanded the application to all forms of fitness. Trainings in Sugi Fitness began in 2006. His first book on Sugi Fitness™, “Complete Fitness Without Effort”, came out in 2006.
Ofer’s inspiration came from many years of experience in a variety of healing modalities, yoga, and martial arts. The work of Moshe Feldenkrais, Wilhelm Reich, William Glasser and other great thinkers strongly influenced his understanding of health and movement.