Fumiko Takatsu, creator of the Face Yoga Method. As an innovator of anti-aging techniques. She has dedicated her life to bringing you top-notch knowledge plus in-the-trenches experience about how to look young again.
Face Yoga Method uses conventional approaches, muscle exercises, stretching and visualisation to naturally tighten, tone and brighten your face in a whole new way! Her methods have revitalised thousands of faces, even those with stroke-paralysis or severe injury. Over the past thirteen years, Fumiko has successfully built her female-led brand and created several highly-regarded FaceYoga Method programs online.
Additionally, Fumiko has published four books, two E-books, a skincare line, blog, and multiple online programs. Most recently she launched a new comprehensive 6-Week Face Toning Bootcamp, as well as her new “Insider’s Club” for all the Face Yogis! With the fourth round of the FYM Teacher Certification Course and an exclusive retreat abroad around the corner, FYM is becoming a culture of beauty which has no limit!
Hey Fumiko, can you introduce yourself to us?
Thank you so much for having me alongside so many other amazing women! I am a creator, mother, author, business owner, wife, daughter, friend, yogi, face yogi, teacher, mentor, wonder-woman. But you may know me as the founder of the Face Yoga Method. I have been teaching women facial yoga for over 15 years, and have enjoyed every moment! I developed the Face Yoga Method to help make you feel proud of yourself and walk with confidence in the world.
I started Face Yoga Method in Japan where I am from, for a few years before taking it to the US for the last decade. I am very excited to be turning 50 this October and really feel in my heart that it will be my best year yet! I love that my business has touched so many lives worldwide, and has allowed me to live the life of my dreams.
Can you take us through your journey as to how you arrived at where you are now?
Face Yoga Method uses conventional approaches – muscle exercises, stretching and visualization – to naturally tighten, tone and brighten your face. I know from personal experience, as I survived what could’ve been a fatal car crash that significantly altered and aged my face. I developed Face Yoga as my own “medicine,” never imagined at the time that I’d bring it to the public.
Since I introduced Face Yoga in Japan, my home country, I’ve become a best-selling book author, graced almost 100 Japanese magazines, been featured on multiple TV shows, worked as a corporate sponsor for several major brands, and trained over 100 Face Yoga-certified teachers.
I am committed to bringing you top-notch knowledge plus in-the-trenches experience about how to look young again. My thousands of clients and followers will tell you that Face Yoga changed their lives. But let’s rewind about a decade, to the serendipitous event that started it all. I was an American-educated academic living in Japan, teaching English. At 36, I still looked pretty great and was convinced my youthfulness was invincible. Then, one day while vacationing in California, I was riding in the passenger’s seat of a car and we got hit at high speed. The impact caused my hip, shoulder, and head to be thrown off-kilter. I’m lucky to be alive now.
I remember experiencing the shock of a lifetime when I got my driver’s license photo taken after the crash and observed my asymmetrical face. It was difficult to look at myself. I panicked. I started to buy expensive facial creams, lotions, and treatments, but none were helping me look young again.
Then one day, I was standing in front of the mirror and realised that if I exercise my body muscles, I should be able to do the same for my face. That’s when the the Face Yoga Method was born. After practicing facial exercises for several weeks, people started commenting on my results. They said I looked younger and more aligned, and wanted to learn how to tone their faces too.
That’s why I do what I do – to share with you the practices that restored my confidence. Eventually, I wrote a book, which became a national bestseller in Japan. I realized there’s a great need for Face Yoga, because people really deserve to be youthful both in heart and appearance. Now living in the US again, I’m excited to bring Face Yoga to you.
What is a typical 24 hours like for you?
I wake up early, between 4:30 to 4:45 am to get my day started and have some time to focus on myself. I start with a hot cup of water and then do my morning routine and a morning meditation and/or yoga. (I start working at 5:30 to 7:00. )Then I start (preparing) breakfast for my family (my Husband and Daughter, Nina) and I also prepare Nina’s lunch (most of the time, Japanese Bento). We have breakfast together. When Nina leaves for school with my husband, I take my dog for a walk.
Next is my meetings with the FYM team online followed by lunch with my husband and then we go to the gym or swimming in the afternoon.
Back to work a little then my husband and I prepare dinner together (My husband retired early last year to be a stay home dad and house husband to support me and my business). After dinner, the 3 of us do some studying together for 15 minutes or so (my husband studies Japanese, my daughter studies spelling, and I usually read some self-development books). I try not to work once my daughter gets home from school so that I can be fully present with her when she is at home. We take our dog for a walk, get ready for bed. My husband reads a book for our daughter while I do yoga before going to bed.
Can you tell us how you launched the Face Yoga Method?
I have to give credit where credit is due, my sister-in-law Maria came up with the idea to take my in-person Face Yoga Method, to the online world! I started creating my video tutorials on Youtube which eventually led to faceyogamethod.com and the numerous different programs I now offer. We have since grown to hundreds of thousands of followers and practitioners! I also have personally certified over 200 teachers in FYM worldwide. Most recently, I launched my 6-Week Face Toning Bootcamp, which is where everything really comes together – face, mind and body! I love it!
What was the incentive behind it?
Maria and I wanted to touch as many lives as possible with these methods, so we figured what better than the internet. We now have members from over 44 countries worldwide,
At what point did you realise that you were able to turn the Face Yoga Method into a profitable venture?
Honestly, almost right away. I realized there was a huge gap in the skin care and beauty industry. Women and men were paying thousands of dollars for creams and products that didn’t give results, and may even have resorted to surgery and fillers to correct their appearance. With consciousness shifting to a more natural lifestyle, people naturally gravitated towards my method. And the results speak for themselves! Sure, you look silly while you do the poses- but people are loving it and hey, if you can laugh at yourself while doing it, all the better.
Who does the team involve at the Face Yoga Method?
I am so lucky to have my team of women to help me make Face Yoga Method what it is. I have 8 women on my team, who all work remotely world wide, (Argentina, Brazil, England, Portugal, Qatar and USA) and then Maria and myself as co-founders. From tech, to marketing, social media to customer care, I have the best team in the world.
What does your company structure look like?
One of the great things about having freelance workers, is that I could search the globe, literally, for the perfect woman for the job! Everyone on my team has a particular talent that makes this company so special. Most of us are in different countries and time zones, so we communicate online and by video conference and have weekly meetings with the entire team to assess goals and brainstorm. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
As you continue to grow, what important factors did you consider when looking at the scalability of your business model?
Time management is becoming very paramount for me these days! As I get busier and FYM grows, I feel like there is less and less time in my day. Prioritising has been the key for me lately and my team and I continue to improve on this skill.
I know the importance of continuing to focus on the things I love to do and which give me energy, so I need to rely on my team to help me with the tasks that drain me.
Team cohesion and team culture are so important to me! Just because we are apart, does not mean it feels that way.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I want to continue to support women by offering the tools to help them find more self-awareness, appreciation, and celebration of the way they are! Moving forward, everything I create will focus on the mind, body and face equally. I have so many ideas in my head and I can’t wait to share them with you.
How are you planning to expand the Face Yoga Method?
I love that the Face Yoga Method has endless room to grow and is open to new possibilities. I am expanding my programs, teacher certification course, and more!
In the near future, we are launching an App, which we are all so excited about! And this fall I am holding my first exclusive FYM retreat in Croatia for four days! (I cannot wait to meet my students in person.) Certainly adding on to my skincare and eCommerce Products is on the list as well! In short, anything and everything that can help take my student’s experience to the next level.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
As I am originally from Japan and got most of my education in Japan, (except my master’s degree) putting myself out there in the world through social media videos such as Youtube was very hard at first. I have had to practice so many times to explain what I really want to share with people in English. Everything I create takes so much more time to do than doing it in my native language, Japanese. This has been my biggest hurdle, but I am so grateful that my message is still heard and that my followers appreciate my heart-centered voice.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
Well, this is a little bit hard to answer because I have had a lot of mentors throughout my life. But If I had to pick, I would like to mention two mentors in particular:
Dr. Joe Dispenza has been one of my greatest mentors. I have read his books, participated in his workshops, and even attended several retreats. I love his work because he talks about the mind and body connection. Mind over matter!
Another mentor is Carol Adrienne, who wrote the best selling book, ‘The Purpose Of Your Life.’ I found this book when I hit the lowest point in my life. I have learned so much from her; how to listen to intuition, understanding the meaning of synchronicity, and the meaning of my life!
Although social media has had such a snowball effect, what outlets do use to market Face Yoga Method?
Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Google Plus. I also have some pins on Pinterest and see those spreading like wildfire lately!
Which methods are you using to build your own network?
Along with any ideas my team has, we use ClickFunnels, Tony Robbins, and many other leaders in the industry.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions of being in the wellness industry?
One of the common misconceptions is that beauty is only on the outside. I truly believe that beauty comes from the inside out, and it just takes practice and a certain level of consciousness to see that. I love helping my students reach their highest potential!
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I think millennials have a fantastic work ethic! At least on my team! About ¼ of my team is in their late 20’s and 30’s and let me tell you, they work hard!
The one thing I do see is a shift towards freelance work – I think this is great and gives both employer and employee flexibility, but the line between work and personal life can get blurred sometimes.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Live your life, forget your age.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Don’t set limits and stay true to myself. I am constantly amazed at where myself and my company is today! I know that it is so important to just be me, and the rest will fall into place. It seems the sky’s the limit for FYM these days.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
As my business grows, this is something that I am constantly having to put more effort into. It’s funny, because I thought starting my own business would create freedom, but I learned that freedom only comes when the mind is peaceful. So I am constantly working on clearing my mind, and being sure to get my tasks done efficiently so that I can turn off “work Fumiko” and be there for my family and still maintain my sense of self.
Each day, I take multiple moments to check in with myself. I know I am the foundation and fully responsible for my happiness. If I stop caring for myself and don’t check in, everything else will start to wilt.
The highlight of your career so far?
This one is tough, but I have to say that certifying Face Yoga Method teachers online is a major highlight.
Now, more than 44 different countries have amazing Face Yoga teachers spreading the word and teaching with confidence. When I see their transformation, not only physically but mentally and spiritually, it gives me so much excitement, satisfaction and gratification. So, that is the highlight of my career!
Oh and I cannot say enough about my amazing FYM team. Having them and knowing that they have my back gives me more passion and energy. I am so grateful!
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Hearing about the success of my Certified Teachers and also all the FYM practitioners. It truly humbles me to hear their stories and their letters are always so heartfelt. They feel like family to me, and I care about them all so much. When I hear of how FYM has changed someone’s life, like just the other day someone with Bell’s Palsy sent me a letter about how she has regained so much control of her face and how this has changed her life- This is what keeps me going through the hard days.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I have always loved Tony Robbins. I love his energy, his passion and commitment he has been sharing with the people around the world. In fact, by just listening to his very strong, powerful and unique voice gives me an energy whenever I need it. My 8 year old daughter, Nina loves to listen to him too!
How would you say you are intending to use your voice to educate others in the wellness industry?
By staying true to myself and changing the narrative from anti-aging to pro-aging, I hope to inspire others in this industry to do the same. There is no shame in aging, we need to own it! Aging is beautiful, it is gaining wisdom, experience, stories and love. The beauty industry puts so much emphasis on youth and outward appearance, but I know that we all have beauty within us, just some need to learn that for themselves. I would love for others in this industry to help me spread the pro-aging message!
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘You are the placebo’ by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
A lot of self-empowering/improvement/help books. And a lot of meditation programs/music.
How do you measure your own terms of success?
I judge everything I do by the heart. Not only my own, but the spirit of others too. So I really listen to and appreciate the feedback I get from my followers and students. Their success helps motivate me to create and share my knowledge. Finding confidence in my voice, feeling good about who I am, having time to dedicate to my family and still running a flourishing business is a success in my eye!
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Our greatest strengths come from being ourselves. Being true to yourself, and your heart is your superpower, and you should never be afraid of being unique or standing out from a crowd. To #BEYOUROWN is to demand respect, exude confidence and stand strong in your beliefs.
Lastly, what is next for you and Face Yoga Method?
Now, with my 6-Week Face Toning Boot Camp launched, I am ready to launch the next round of my Teacher Certification Course and teach other confident women entrepreneurs how to spread the beauty of Face Yoga Method. I also cannot wait to deepen my connection with my Face Yogi’s in my Insider’s Club this year! After that, well my mind is my only limit! I sure hope you follow my journey to find out!