Leza Lowitz

Leza Lowitz is a native Californian who lives in Tokyo, where she writes and runs a yoga studio. She's been bringing together the worlds of writing and spirituality for over two decades, charting her quest in 18 books across genres--Young Adult fiction, memoir, poetry, fiction, and co-translation. (Her book, "Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By" is an evergreen best-seller). She was a regular columnist for the Asahi Evening News, and has written for the Japan Times, the New York Times online, the Huffington Post, NPR's "Sound of Writing," NHK Radio Japan, KQED Radio's "Pacific Time," Asahi Weekly, Shambhala Sun, Yoga Journal, Yoga Journal Japan, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and many more. In the early 1990s, she taught writing and literature at the University of Tokyo.

Her awards include the APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, the PEN Josephine Miles Award for Poetry, grants from the NEA, NEH, and the California Arts Council, the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission Award from Columbia University for the Translation of Japanese Literature, and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Editorial Excellence. She often writes with her husband, the Middle Grade novelist Shogo Oketani.

Building a bridge from East to West, they've collaborated on a book about kanji for tattoos, a collection of poetry by a pacifist Japanese soldier, and a Young Adult trilogy about a young female ninja's quest to save her ancestral land. Other couples finish each other's sentences. They finish each other's books.


  • "Any student of yoga will find treasures to cherish within these pages."
    Yoga Journal
  • "Poetry, like yoga, is food for our soul. What a gracious feast Leza has prepared for us. She guides us inward with her beautiful, poetic meditations and inspires us to move outward with her artful expressions of love. It is an honor to hear her thoughts and speak her words. I will treasure sharing these poems with my students."
    Tracey Rich, White Lotus Yoga Foundation
  • "Leza's poems are pure gems of wisdom that will wake you up, inspire you, challenge you, move you, and call you to action to live your yoga more fully. Yoga Heart rocks the heart of yoga, which is the desire to live not just to better ourselves, but to help better the world."
    MC Yogi