July Calendar of Events

ashtanga-vinyasa-with-kino-macgregorStudio Closures:
Friday, July 1: Close Early 3p (Red, White & Boom)
Saturday, July 2: Normal Schedule
Sunday, July 3: Close Early 3p
Monday, July 4: Studio Closed

July 11 – September 12 Reiki Level 1 Training with Bernie McKnight and Angela Lamonte
July 15 – 17 Kino Macgregor 2016 Workshops
July 16-17 From 55-105: Teaching Older Students with Marcia Miller, Angela Lamonte & Mary Sinclair
July 22-24 Reiki Level 1 & 2 Intensive Training & Attunement with Jodi Patton
July 23 The Four Agreements: How to Incorporate Them into your Practice with Lara Falberg

Reiki Shares:
July 11 & 18

Series Classes:
July 9 – September 10 Saturday 12p to 1:30p MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
July 11 – August 15 Monday 9:15a to 10:00a Mommy and Baby with Janet Braden (SBS Westerville)
July 11 -- September 12 Monday 4:00p to 5:00p MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
July 12 – September 13 Tuesday 10:30a to 12:00p Prenatal Yoga with Jen Gebhart (TTI)
July 13 – September 14 Wednesday 5:45p to 7:15p Basic Beginner Hatha with Angela Lamonte FULL
July 14 – September 15 Thursday 5:45p to 7:15p Prenatal Yoga with Mary Sinclair
July 17 – September 18 Sunday 3:00p to 4:30p Gentle Yoga with Sharon Collaros
July 25 – August 19 Monday 7:30p to 8:45p 6 Week Advanced Vinyasa with Anne Weidinger (TTI)
August 2 – September 6 Tuesday 7:30p to 9:00p 6 Week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith (TTI)
August 3 – September 7 Wednesday 7:30p to 9:00p 6 Week Advanced Ashtanga with Tom Griffith (TTI)
August 7 – September 11 Sunday 10:30a to 11:30a 6 Week Kids Yoga (Ages 6-11) with July Standish
August 10 – September 14 Wednesday 6:00p to 7:00p iRest Yoga Nidra Series with Michele Vinbury (TTI)
August 15 – September 12 Monday 5:45p to 7:15p Inversions from the Ground Up with Marcia Miller (TTI)
September 12 – November 14 Monday 6:00p to 7:00p Prenatal with Julie Carpenter (SBS Westerville)

Click here to pre-registration for Series Classes

Yoga on High Schedule Updates:
Saturday 8:30a Sekoia with Karine Wascher
**Many Classes have come off the schedule for the summer and will return in the fall. Please check online for most up to date class schedule.

Grow Yoga Schedule Updates:
Monday 6:15p Sekoia with Meredith Bury
Satudays 8:30a Hot Flow Level 1 & 2 with Kirsten Brademeyer

Teacher Trainings:
Meditation Teacher Training -- Begins August 20, 2016
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training  -- Begins September 9, 2016
Clinical Ayurvedic Theory (C.A.T) – Begins September 24, 2016
Urban Zen Integrative Therapy – Begins October 27, 2016
Ayurvedic Health Counselor (A.H.C.) – Begins November 5, 2016
300-HR Yoga Teacher Training -- Rolling enrollment

200 Hour Teacher Training Info Sessions:
Friday, July 8 from 4:00p to 5:00p at the Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, July 17 from 1:00p to 2:00p at Yoga on High

Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Info Session:
Tuesday, July 12 from 7:00p to 8:00p ET -- Conference call


A Poem for Summertime

Peaches_Full BloomFrom blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee

Pride in a Difficult Time

shutterstock_426023218by Daniel Sernicola

As the Arch City prepares for its 35th Annual Pride, bulbs in a hue of rainbow colors shine brightly from the arches on High Street and rainbow flags flutter in the wind. June is a month when we celebrate inclusiveness, love, and LGBTA+ pride. However, many of us are feeling spiritually wounded. The events in Orlando leave us with feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion. How could this happen? Why did it happen? How can we have pride when faced with such tragedy?
As a LGBTA+ community, we’ve spent most of our lives living in fear and aware that we are at risk. The Orlando shootings demonstrate that this fear is valid and very real. Many of us are reminded that the shooting could have taken place at any gathering or event. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been out or how far down the road of self-acceptance and love we’ve traveled, we are always aware of the fear within.

Over the last few years, things started to change. The fear started to fade making room for the hope of our lives getting better. Public opinion started shifting about LGBTA+ rights and equality. Things were getting better and we felt like we could breathe again. However, our hearts sank and we could barely breathe through the tears as the news of the Orlando shootings began to spread. Our community aches and comes together in mourning.

We yearn for a more peaceful world, filled with loving families, safe neighborhoods, and resilient communities. We continue on as we come together hoping for the change we have longed for to establish a peaceful presence. Psychologist, Viktor Frankl states, “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.” We won’t let them take this away from us. We know that change is possible and hope exists.

In 1969 we had the Stonewall Riots where police raided the Stonewall Inn and arrested many, sparking the LGBTA+ rights movement. Police raids on gay establishments were common in the 1960s. Today, in the aftermath of what transpired in Orlando and Los Angeles, police in cities across the country are increasing security at Pride festivals and coming together to protect us and ensure our safety.

In 2004, Ohio voters told us that gay marriage is not welcomed in their state. 11 years later, the month of June became especially meaningful as the Supreme Court struck down state bans on gay marriage. Today, we can marry the one we love and have our marriages legally recognized across the US.

Personally, I’m reminded of the football player who was one of my main tormentors when I came out as a 17-year-old in a small Ohio town in 1996. I’d see his face and my heart would sink, knowing I was about to get bullied by being called names, pushed into the wall, and then left to pick up books and papers that he scattered over the entire school hallway. A few years ago, he contacted me on social media and memories of his abuse came to surface. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say, but something within told me to listen. He told me a beautiful story of how his heart opened after he met a girl who later became his wife. When faced with being on the streets, a gay couple invited this girl into their home, parenting her through her teenage years. He stated that if it weren’t for their generosity, he probably wouldn’t be married to her today. He went on to apologize for how he treated me and shared that memories of regret still haunt him. His heart changed.

In the book, Upside, Jim Rendon shows how the suffering caused by traumatic events can become a force for dramatic life change, moving people to find deeper meaning in their lives and driving them to help themselves and others. This is evident in much of the work of The Yoga on High Foundation, specifically the work in our own community with the Kaleidoscope Youth Center.

The Kaleidoscope yoga program began by community coming together to create a safe environment where the youth can experience freedom in their bodies and minds. Through support from The Yoga on High Foundation and the Columbus community, we’ve created a trauma-informed yoga program for LGBTA+ youth, targeting positive body image, self-acceptance, and anti-bullying. The program started coming to life when members of the Columbus Coyotes, an inclusive rugby team in Columbus, came together on Wednesday evenings at the studio for yoga classes and all proceeds were set aside specifically for the program. Several members of the yoga community came forward with donations and performers, Virginia West and Nina West, along with their audiences, added to the funds.

Michelle Jordan, Center Program Coordinator for KYC states, “More than anything, our young people need and deserve a safe space to feel comfortable in their bodies, something they are denied in so many other spaces.” Over the course of our yoga sessions, we saw tremendous growth in our youth. They grew in strength and flexibility, sure, but most importantly, they expressed using yoga as a coping skill and to reduce stress. In fact, many youth expressed that their weekly yoga class was the “highlight of my week” and “when I felt calmest.”

She continues, “Many youth who were initially very body conscious and anxious became more confident and comfortable over the weeks, and most beautifully, perhaps, was seeing our youth meditate quietly together, encourage one another, and laugh hysterically together– which is encouraged by Daniel and Jake. They have skillfully created a warm and affirming environment that our youth look forward to each week.”

Teaching Kaleidoscope yoga is an honor and privilege for us. We are encouraged by the hope and love we see in the eyes of each youth. Often times, as we are teaching, we look out at the group and see a reflection of our younger selves in them. It’s the difficulties we faced as youth ourselves, from coming out to bullying, that fuel our passion for the program.
The day after the Orlando shootings, we were faced with teaching yoga to the youth and offering space for them to share what they were thinking and feeling. Some expressed fear and uncertainty, while a few offered hope for change. They reminded us how the end of each of our classes together ends by saying, “Namaste: The light, love, and energy inside of me bows to, and honors, the light, love, and energy inside of you.” When asked how we can take this off our mats and into the world, they simplified the statement by saying, “Just be kind and treat everyone how you want to be treated.” We discussed how one gunman changed the lives of thousands of people with evil and one person can change the lives of thousands with compassion. This is a powerful truth often forgotten in times of tragedy and there’s a great amount of hope in our youth. They are the future of our humanity.

In the words of Buddha, “Teach this simple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

Practice empathy towards others. See the beauty in others, see their divine energy, see the life that’s alive in them and connect with it.

Be a peacemaker. We can be united or divided. It’s a choice and humanity’s duty to use our intellect in combination with our heart to bring peace. Through our speech, we can heal or hurt, create joy or suffering, and open or close doors. As the song goes, “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”

Be generous with your gifts and talents. What is your gift and what are you willing to offer of yourself to a world that is hurting? Find what makes you come alive, and then do that. The world needs more people who have come alive and share their strengths.

daniel_sekoia_bwThe LGBTA+ culture has come a long way, but we have a way to travel on our journey towards peace. Change is possible and it starts with you. Know that you maintain within you the power and gifts to bring about change. Start the radical change you want to see in the world by sharing your Pride.

Pride is empathy. Pride is being a peacekeeper. Pride is sharing your gifts. Pride begins with you.

Daniel Sernicola, along with his partner, Jake Hays, co-teaches yoga classes through the Kaleidoscope Youth Center. To support that program financially, please click here. You can earmark your funds specifically for their project. They also teach Sekoia for Men at Grow Yoga; click here for more information on those classes.


Why Yoga Teachers Read Poetry

red-love-heart-typographyA year and a half ago, I moved to Seattle where I don’t know many people, formed a book group at my condo with my one good friend in the building, and the nine of us met to pick the books we would read in the coming months. I suggested a non-fiction book, What the Stones Remember by Patrick Lane, and a work of fiction, Gillead by Marilynne Robinson, and on a whim I included a book of poetry, The Way It Is by William Stafford. In the discussion about which to pick, several people mentioned that they don’t know how to or don’t like to read poetry, but a couple people were really interested and their enthusiasm carried the day. I was stuck leading a club meeting on poetry for people who don’t like to read poetry.

I asked everybody to bring one poem that spoke to them to read to the group, it didn’t have to be by William Stafford, and everyone did and all of us had something personal and important to say and to have others hear during our time together. Poetry opened doors in that brief hour and a half as it has reliably in other times in my life.

Because I was speaking to this particular group of the poetry-adverse, I asked myself “why poetry,” and one of several answers that came to me was, because it says what we all think and feel but can’t adequately express. Poets grapple with the limits of language and transcend them, making universal what is personal, forging links between us. They speak of the hard to face—loss, time, death—and praise lavishly–God, nature, life, love. What in my mouth would be platitudinous becomes incisive in the poet’s. So we borrow their gift.

Case in point. Our best friend and life-sister, Martha Marcom, was ill. When a group of us convened with her to accept various assignments that would help her during early diagnosis and treatment, Claudia Cummins, who lives an hour from Columbus and cannot bring meals to Martha’s house or show up for Reiki sessions in the hospital, offered to be the poetry master. She sent a poem a day and then gathered them together in a book and gave us all a copy. Here’s one.

Enter Into Your Own Body

I said to the wanting creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?

There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind.
Do you believe that there is some place that will make the soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.
Be strong then, and enter into your body:
There you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully.
Don’t go off somewhere else!
Kabir says this: just throw away all thought of imaginary things,
And stand firm in that which you are.


Among the profundities addressed in this poem is the yoga teacher’s refrain, “Be strong then, and enter into your body: There you have a solid place for your feet,” right along with, “There is no body, and no mind.” Ah, thanks to the poet.

linda-3829_0_0Thanks to Claudia Cummins, too. She posts a poem a day her on blog for everyone. If you are interested, here’s the link.

Linda Oshins is one of the founders of Yoga on High and still comes back regularly to be a part of the community that she loves. Her next workshop is Teaching Breathing to Beginners, which should be of interest to yoga teachers, but is open to anyone who would like to do some beginning breathing explorations. For more information, please click here.


June Schedule

Yoga on High

June 3 Ayurveda: Igniting Shakti and Reconnecting with Your Feminine Self with Jasmine Grace
June 5 Introduction to Yoga for Beginners with Marcy Freed at All Life Center (Powell)
June 10 Sekoia Hike with Michele Vinbury
June 10 – 12 Doug Keller: Shoulders and Asana
June 11 Doug Keller Master Asana Class
June 17 Ayurveda, Asana and Pranayama: Cooling and Calming with Joanna Arnason & Marisa Barsotti
June 18 The Four Agreements: How to Incorporate Them Into Your Practice with Lara Falberg
June 22 – 26 iRest Yoga Nidra Training Level 1 with Stephanie Lopez
June 25 The Natural Breath and Beginning Pranayama with Linda Oshins

Jasmine-1511eSchedule Updates:
5p Sundays Vinyasa Beginner Drop-in with Cara
6p Fridays Deep Release with Jacquie
8a Saturdays Sekoia Pre-Meditation – cancelled
8:30a Saturdays Sekoia with Sarah

Grow Yoga
Grow Yoga Series and Workshops:
June 7 – 28 Tuesdays, iRest Yoga Nidra Series with Katie Whitsett / $40
June 11 Melt Introduction with Crystal Fauber
June 25 Roll into Summer: Full Body with Crystal Fauber

Grow Yoga Schedule Updates:
6:15p Mondays Sekoia with Joanna

Summer Schedule All Life Center – Powell

Michele-1872eDrop – In:
Wednesdays 9:30a Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 with Kelli Joyce

Introduction to Yoga for Beginners with Marcy Freed
Sunday, June 5 from 4:00p to 5:45p / Upstairs studio / Cost: $20

6 -- Week Foundations of Hatha Yoga with Melanie Miller
Tuesdays from 4:00p to 5:30p / May 31 -- July 5 / Upstairs Studio / Cost: $75

6 -- Week Hatha Level 1-2 Series with Melanie Miller
Thursdays from 9:00a to 10:30a / June 2 -- July 7 / Atrium / Cost: $75

Sunrise Series: Sun Salutations for Beginners with Marcy Freed
Tuesdays from 6:00a to 7:00a / June 7 – June 28 / East Patio / Cost: $50

Sunset Series: Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1-2 with Marcy Freed
Thursdays from 7:45 p to 8:45p / June 2 – June 30 / West Lawn / Cost: $60

Marcia_Ohio-3783eUpcoming Teacher Trainings:
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica July 1 – 23, 2016
Meditation Teacher training -- Begins August 20, 2016
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training  -- Begins September 9, 2016
Urban Zen Integrative Therapy – Begins October 27, 2016
300-HR Yoga Teacher Training -- Rolling enrollment

For questions regarding Teacher Trainings, contact Breanna@yogaonhigh.com

Free Information Sessions:
UZIT: Tuesday, June 7 from 5:30p to 6:30p ET -- Conference call
UZIT: Wednesday, June 8 from 4:15p to 5:15p at Yoga on High
Ayurveda: Friday, June 17 from 4:00p to 5:00p at TTI


Yogi of the Month: Marissa

MarrisaNickname: Auntie M (to my niece and surrogate nephews)

Occupation: CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist)

Fun fact:  I’m fascinated by public transportation.

Favorite instructor(s):  I’m in constant awe of all the Mysore and Led Primary teachers who amaze and inspire me.  I’m also wonderstruck by Michael Murphy’s Hot Flow classes, which make me forget time exists.

What inspires me:  traveling, language, humor, my family.

Where can you find me when I’m not on the mat:  working, running, spinning, reading, cooking.

Favorite Short North hangout:  I love running through the neighborhoods of Victorian and Italian Villages.  I’m fascinated by the old homes and their porches, windows, doors, slate roofs, and gutter systems.  The homes here are true works of art.

Favorite yoga pose:  My heart has been captured by all the poses with which I struggle — Shirshasana would be the favorite and most difficult for me.

Song on every yoga playlist:  I’d love to hear more Pink Floyd, Queen and most songs from the 70’s on a yoga playlist.  I’ll settle for Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root.

Intention for yoga practice:  Peace (for myself and the universe).

How long practicing yoga:  I’ve been practicing yoga since 2007 and started because of pain from years of running and insomnia from working night shift. Yoga has brought balance to my body physically and calmness and wonder to my spirit.

Why YoHi?  Mysore at 5:00am and the variety of classes and workshops offered. The YoHi Teacher Training program and both the guest and local workshops have truly been transformative for me and for that I am forever grateful.



Meditation in Motion

flower-floral-blossom-natureWe sit down to meditate, or we go to yoga class. We reach a state of bliss and ecstasy…OK, maybe not. Maybe there is an experience of bliss, maybe deep peace or at least a sense of relaxation. Maybe we feel renewed, and we hope that nothing can touch the way we feel, because it is too good. And when that happens we may think that this time we have things figured out. Instead we stand up, go into the next room and get in a fight with our partner. Or we yell at the kids. Or we’re driving home from the yoga studio, and we get angry at the driver next to us. Why does this happen? Isn’t the whole point of mind-body practices so that we can be done with unsavory feelings? Well, maybe you didn’t read the fine print when you signed up…

It is a misunderstanding to think that meditation is about disconnecting from ourselves or our uncomfortable feelings. It certainly is possible to disconnect. The many people who do may have been on a path of disconnection for years in an effort to avoid one type of experienced pain or another, such as physical pain or emotional trauma, and for very good reasons at the time. What we as teachers are asking you to do, in meditation sessions or yoga classes, is to approach these patterns of disconnection in a new way: we ask you to be with whatever sensations you’re experiencing in your body, with whatever emotions may be arising, with whatever multitude of thoughts may be striving for your attention, and to practice observing those sensations, emotions, and thoughts from a more neutral perspective. Read More…


Look again

nature-sunny-red-flowersYesterday was one of those days for me … not awful, not dramatic, just slightly off-kilter. I felt like a skipping record. I’d play, but only with a great deal of picking up and finding another groove. You know?

One of the day’s ‘symptoms’ was losing things, and then, not; that is, frantically searching for and then finding keys/papers/Altoids exactly where they should be, and where I had looked just minutes before. GAH.

So the day’s very practical practice was “Pause. Look again.” It was helpful for finding the ‘missing’ iPhone, but so much more meaningful in other ways.   Read More…


May Upcoming Events

IMG_4752Schedule Updates:
Tuesdays 6:30a Gentle Level 1 with Michael
Thursdays 7:30p Half Primary with Stella
Fridays 6:00a Full Primary with Linda

Series Classes:
Prenatal Yoga at Step by Step -- Westerville with Julie Carpenter Mondays 6:00p May 9 – July 25 / 10 week $149
6 Week Advanced Vinyasa with Lara Falbert Mondays 7:30p May 9 – June 13 / 6 week $75
Advanced Ashtanga at TTI with Tom Griffith Wednesdays 5:45p May 25 – June 29 / 6 week $75

May 1 – 31 May Commitment Challenge -- 21 or 30 Class and Team options!
May 6 Prema Hara Kirtan with Kamaniya and Keshavacharya Das
May 7 Mother & Daughter Yoga Event with Jennifer Gebhart and Julie Standish
May 8 Sekoia Mother’s Day Mini Retreat with Karine Wascher
May 14 Reiki: Natural Unfolding of a Deeper Healership with Jodi Patton
May 21 Art of Teaching: Arm Balances with Marcia Miller and Tom Griffith
May 22 Art of Teachign: Advanced Sequencing with Marcia Miller and Tom Griffith
May 20 Glowing Goddess Ayurveda: Beauty Rituals to Feel Healthy, Confident and Sexy with Jasmine Grace
May 22 Yoga for Pelotonia Fundraiser with Susan Cunningham
May 27 Glowing Goddess Ayurveda: The Beauty of Digestion with Jasmine Grace Read More…

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