Monthly Archives: November 2012

Featured Teacher: Jodi Patton

Why do you practice?
To bring balance to my life and to allow for a greater sense of relaxation and peace of mind.

Why do you teach?
To inspire in others those many and various gifts that I receive from daily practice.

Inspirations?
I am inspired by many of the great saints, masters and teachers; Patanjali, Hafiz, Rumi, Christ, Buddha, Mother Theresa, Ramana Marharshi, and many many others …. and also by children who innocently share simple Truths with me.

Who have you trained with?
Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman, Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten, Erich Schiffman, Judith Lasater, Gangaji, Hayakuten Inamoto, Tim Miller, Snatam Kaur, Tom Myers, Arthur Kilmurray, Doug Keller, Tara brach, Cindy lee, maryLou weprin. Trijang rinpoche, pema Chodron, wayne Dyer, louise Hay and rosalyn Breyere.

What style do you teach?
Hatha Yoga

What’s your favorite food?
Greens, pizza, tart cherry pie

Do you own any animals?
Yes, Tigger -- yellow tabby cat, 16 years old; Dickens -- American Water Spaniel, 10 years old; Peanut -- Yorkie-Poo, 3 years; Luci-Lu -- Morkie, 1 year old; and various fresh water fish

What’s on your playlist right now?
Adele, Beatles, Bob Marley, Colbie Caillat, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eva Cassidy, Ingid Michaelson, Inner Voice, Krishna Das, Lorie Line, Matt Nathanson, Nancy Griffith, Ramsey Lewis, Snatam Kaur, Janis Joplin

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
Eye pillow

What style influences your teaching?
It may not be a style…but the poetry of Hafiz and Rumi influences my teaching…also, just moving the body in an open-minded and open-hearted way with breath inspires my teaching and my own practice

Favorite yoga pose?
Right at this moment, my favorite category of poses are inversions….going upside down is proving to serve me in my life right now. Though, my favorite poses change as my life changes.

Favorite quote?
“It is what it is.” and “I am That I am”

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
I don’t watch TV all that often. I suppose it could be Dark Shadows or Gilmore Girls or NCIS…..I really like the Food Network station too.

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
Hmmmmm…..never really gave this much thought…..perhaps Lynnie or Evie

Your favorite item of clothing?
Skirts and dresses

What did you want to be when you were little?
A singer or a teacher

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be?
A puppy….they’re always happy!

What word describes you best?
Spiritual

What drives you every day?
Truth…love for life

Who do you admire?
My daughter

What is your mission?
To leave everyone I come in contact with…. a little lighter, with a bit or a lot of happiness….knowing that they are special.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
Helped me realize that I am special.

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Thanks

By Linda Oshins

It falls to me to write a blog on Thanksgiving day, the first day I’ve had to myself in months. I’m not a natural blogger as those of you who have followed the YOHI blogs may have surmised already, and I need some time without interruption to write. So I’ve turned down all the offers of hearty family meals and good fellowship to spend the day looking and listening in quiet before I fly to Seattle tomorrow to visit my grandchildren, where “loud” is the natural decibel of exuberance, and exuberance is constant. (Thankfully.)

I sit before my window, the one that opens onto my back yard where I saw a fox on Wednesday! Right in the middle of the city! (Thankfully.) He or she was keeping well away from the deer but standing solidly and looking me right in the eye. I didn’t move, hoping to prolong the visual interview. The beauty out that window is a perpetual gift. (Thankfully.)

I’m sipping my favorite tea, Sencha, purchased from my neighborhood co-op where checking out can be a prolonged affair since everybody knows one another and the person at the cash register and the customer at the counter can lapse into a long discussion about the purveyance of a certain cheese. But it’s nice to shop where you run into friends or make friends. (Thankfully.)

It’s easy to be thankful for what pleases me. But I’ve just hosted an iRest Yoga Nidra training at YOHI during which we practiced welcoming everything that arises, the pleasurable and the sort of emotions, memories, thoughts and sensations we usually dread and avoid. Paradoxically, honestly welcoming everything brings with it a ground of well-being that has no opposite and is a constant background to the fluctuations of life. (Thankfully.)

At the last silent retreat I attended, led by Richard Miller, I came across a book by Roger Housden who chooses 10 poems on a theme and writes about them (Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Ten Poems to Set You Free, etc.). My thought for this blog was to find the perfect poem giving thanks and write about it, inspired by Roger Housden. So I’m sitting here leafing through my poetry library. Imagine, this is my job! (Thankfully.)

Here is my poetic offering. It may not be your perfect Thanksgiving poem but I hope it strikes a chord.

Welcome Morning
by Anne Sexton

There is joy
in all,
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, the laughter or the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard
dies young.

In special gratitude to my business partners and the teachers and practitioners at Yoga on High.

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Featured Teacher: Mary Sinclair

Why do you practice?
I have to! I had woeful posture my whole life so I started experiencing pain early on, especially when I began doing massage therapy. I was all bunched up so yoga began to open me up and greatly helped me develop body awareness. Now it’s just a lifestyle choice.

Why do you teach?
Because I see the need! So many people have pain, some admit it and some don’t. I am not only motivated by pain but by aesthetics. I love beauty, especially natural beauty…especially the beauty of someone who is relaxed in themselves. It is a compelling quality! The human body is often presented in magazines, especially fashion mags in a very distorted, unnatural and rather grotesque way. This is not how we really look. I find it appalling and it has an impact on us, we unconsciously immitate it unless we are aware and make another choice.

Inspirations?
Well, the partners at Yoga on High have all been wonderful mentors and leaders to me for the past 11 years! And Jean Couch, one of my favorite teachers of all time. Jean dealt with a lot of difficult class time with her teachers to develop the lessons I learned from her. My Dad was a great teacher and my Mom is great with people. My parents always encouraged us to follow our own path. My siblings do their own thing as well.They all have been great influences on me. And my dear husband who is great with people and a real pro at his work in sales and marketing!

Who have you trained with?
Well, early on and locally it was Racquel Graham who most inspired my path with Iyengar yoga. That led me to come to work with Linda, Marcia and Martha. Once I got on with Yoga on High a whole world of wonderful teachers was opened up to me!! I think the first year of yoga on high was a whirlwind of study. I loved working with Rodney Yee, Cyndi Lee, Barbara Benagh and Mary Paffard, Angela and Viktor, and of course my beloved Jean Couch! Also with Noelle Perez in Paris and her teachers at the Balance center in Palo Alto. I studied prenatal yoga in Seattle with Colette Crawford and in NYC with Mary Barnes. More recently I love Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine for meditation and I also really enjoyed the workshop I did a couple of years ago with Richard Miller and yoga nidra.

What style do you teach?
Balance/Aplomb and Prenatal- Iyengar influenced

What’s your favorite food?
I tend to crave Spanish and Mexican flavors. I think for a whole food it’s hard to beat the Avocado!
Do you own any animals?YES!!! I have a 7 year old Chihuahua, a 22 year old cat, a 7 year old cat and a 2 year old cat.

What’s on your playlist right now?
No playlist. But on satellite radio I tend to have it on 40’s on 4, Chill and NPR.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
A block!

Favorite yoga pose?
Savasana!

Favorite quote?
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, Live the life you’ve imagined! Thoreau

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
The Carol Burnett Show

Your favorite item of clothing?
Currently my Lucky jeans make me pretty happy!

What did you want to be when you were little?
a Vet.

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be?
a LION!!

What word describes you best?
Playful

What drives you every day?
Growth, transformation, evolution

Who do you admire?
Anyone who is willing to look at themselves and learn and grow.

What is your mission?
To help people slow down to both know themselves and their own best rhythm.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
Accept me

Fun fact about you?
I can do a killer mouth trumpet!

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Republicans are People Too

By Marcia Miller

Those of you who know me would not be surprised to hear that I voted for President Obama in the election and that I was thrilled with his re-election last Tuesday. As I sat in front of my TV I cheered with the revelers in Chicago and around the country as we waited to hear the President’s acceptance speech.

This year however I had other emotions very close to the surface that surprised me in their intensity and their proximity to my joyfulness—they were sadness and fear. Despite “my” win I saw others that night who were deeply disappointed by the outcome and are likely afraid for the future of our country. We saw the shock and disappointment of their loss on their faces and in their demeanor as they waited for Romney to offer his concession speech. I’ve been where Romney’s crowd was last Tuesday night after most of the elections in my life; I know what that sorrow feels like. What saddens and scares me now is that the conversation is not about how we can work together serve the needs of our country; it’s about who is right and who is wrong, who is chosen by God, or even who is evil. At this point in my life I am tired of winners and losers and the fight we endure to be on top for awhile until the tide turns and the other group gets their way. And, I don’t want to make enemies of the people who disagree with me although I am encouraged to do so by many elements in our culture. I know what that feels like, and it is the antithesis of what I want running through my body, mind and heart. I’m sad and worried that those of us who disagree politically can’t talk to each other anymore—sometimes even to the people in our own families.

As I have stayed with this sadness it is shifting into inspiration and commitment to action. To start, I am writing down my ideas because it feels as though I must. I’m in the middle of an intense, 5-day training as I write this and I’m getting up early and staying up later than I would normally would because I want to be true to something inside myself. Based on the teachings of yoga and what I have learned from studying nonviolent communication (NVC) for many years, we all share the same deep human needs and values including (but not limited to) safety, nourishment of all kinds, love, connection, belonging and to matter to those around us. These needs connect us to each other even though the individual strategies we use to meet and fulfill these needs may differ widely. What if our political conversations began with investigating what we can agree on? What if we started from a position of respect and appreciation for each other? What if we all committed to listen just a little more to each other? What if we were really curious about each other, especially people with whom we disagree? What if we trained ourselves in the skills that would help us do that?

People who voted for Romney are not evil and they are not crazy as some on the left would have us think. Likely they knew exactly what they were doing and what they wanted when they voted as they did. What are the details of their lives that made this the best choice for them? What are their stories? Why aren’t we more curious instead of being furious? Why aren’t they?

This year I am committed to helping to create a forum where people of differing views can come together and learn skills that will promote better listening and sharing. Perhaps we could call ourselves “Citizens Connecting.” Do you remember the citizen diplomacy movement in the 70s and 80s? When the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union were not speaking to each other and continuously threatened war against each other, individual citizens decided to start traveling between our two countries to meet people, to learn about each other’s lives and to share the commonalties we all have. Their motto, “When the citizens lead, the leaders will eventually follow,” makes even more sense today.

Stay tuned for more information, or help me create our first event.

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Featured Teacher: Taylor Hunt

Why do you practice?
My life with yoga is better than my life before it.

Why do you teach?
Teaching helps me be a better student.

Who have you trained with?
Sharath Jois, Tim Miller, Matthew Darling, Rolf Naujokat, Laruga Glaser

What style do you teach?
Traditional Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois

What’s your favorite food?
Sushi

Do you own any animals?
Yes, a doberman.

What style influences your teaching?
My daily practice influences my teaching.

Favorite yoga pose?
The pose I am currently working on, Kapotasana. I’m trying to befriend it right now.

Favorite quote?
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
-- Rumi

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
Taylor seems to fit.

Your favorite item of clothing?
My Northface jacket

Backpacking or a luxury hotel?
Neither… Mysore, India. It’s sort of luxury compared to the rest of India; Kind of like backpacking compared to the U.S.

What word describes you best?
disciplined

Who do you admire?
Anyone who has kids.

What is your mission?
This is my mission…..

“Living beings are without number;
I vow to row them to the other shore.

Defilements are without number;
I vow to remove them from myself.

The teachings are immeasurable;
I vow to study and practice them.

The way is very long;
I vow to arrive at the end.”

-vow of the bodhi sattva

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
For my birthday, my wife had our spare bedroom converted into a room for me to practice yoga. It was equipped with new wood floors and a picture of Pattabhi Jois on the wall.

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The Wheat is Over

By Martha Marcom

Food seems to be a recurring topic for my blogs! Food and diet—and I use the word diet in its original meaning (from Greek via Latin) “way of life”. How many people on this earth have the means to ponder the question of which foods to eat among a banquet of choices? But here in the US, we no longer have a traditional, time-tested way of eating, and so must muddle through a variety of opinions for what makes a healthy, sustaining diet.

I have come to understand that USDA guidelines, such as the Food Pyramid, are highly influenced by various food and agricultural lobbyists, and could well be steering us in an unhealthy direction. But to balance that, I have found that there is much wisdom to be gleaned from traditional diets such as one might find in rural areas all over the world, though not necessarily here in the US, where our diets have changed radically over the last four or so generations.

Recently, I experienced a long series of allergic rashes. Outbreaks on the skin can be a message of distress from the digestive system. So I was easily inspired by a blog I began receiving when we went to the Ashtanga Confluence last year. The Confluence Countdown referenced a book, The Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD and sung the praises of being wheat-free; I decided to give it a go and to eliminate wheat from my diet.

I’ve been mostly successful in the elimination process, with the exception of beer, though I do avoid pure wheat beer--no Shocktop! Eating at home is not a problem if I am willing to shift my paradigm a bit--I cook grains with rice being the main standby, but also corn, spelt, buckwheat groats, millet and quinoa. Not eating wheat is most difficult when eating out, especially when brushetta or crusty bread with butter is usually served. The usual fare in our culture, the SAD (Standard American Diet) becomes challenging as it is heavy on wheat products and also has wheat as a component in such foods as sauces and coatings. Creativity, flexibility and a good attitude are helpful in navigating a huge dietary shift!

In my opinion the gluten-free baked goods that are widely available in grocery stores have too much sugar. And they are so white! In my case, it’s strictly wheat that I’m avoiding, not gluten, so I eat pure rye bread and spelt and other old untampered-with grains. Both of our local co-ops, The Bexley Natural Market and the Clintonville Community Market have lovely selections of alternatives to wheat.

It seems that when you venture off the beaten path of food, you get to explore some new avenues. Years ago we discovered the North Market when we decided to add a bit of chicken to our diets, and this year we discovered wonderful spelt products at the Athens Farmers Market. The spelt donuts alone are what draws Jerry all of that way, and sometimes spelt loaves can be had. These are dense loaves that must be sliced and then toasted before eating, so you could look at this dark, heavy loaf and see why wheat bread could be more convenient and appealing.

Here are some of the basic precepts from the Wheat Belly book that inspired me to undergo a “wheatectomy”. The genetics of modern wheat have been extensively manipulated in the last 50 years. And what was the intent of this manipulation? If you guessed to increase the nutritive value of this food staple, you were sadly mistaken. The genetic material of our daily bread was changed to increase production yields including the shape of the plant for compact planting and ease of harvesting. Other manipulations were to make wheat less susceptible to environmental factors, and to change the properties of dough, making it more elastic, for example. And if you imagined that resultant hybrids were tested for safety, you would be mistaken again

Of concern to Dr. Davis is that wheat proteins undergo significant structural change in genetic manipulation and 5% of the proteins found in the hybrid grain are unique and new, found in neither parent. We don’t know how these will affect us long-term, but Dr. Davis, who practices preventative cardiology, sees remarkable changes in his patients who forgo wheat. He describes reversals of diabetes, arthritis, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and long-term rashes among other ills. His patients also reported significant weight loss, feeling more energetic and having clearer thinking. This is a well-documented book and the information it holds could be life-changing for someone with health challenges—most of us!

I am wishing you radiant health as we head into Autumn and Winter!

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Featured Teacher: Jennifer Gebhart (aka “Bubbles”)

Why do you practice? To calm my mind and feel great physically.

Why do you teach? To help people physically, mentally and spiritually.

Inspirations? Nature, people, books, my students.

Who have you trained with? Rodney Yee, Cindy Lee, Doug Kellor.

What style do you teach? Hatha, therapeutic, Vinyasa and Power Yoga.

What’s your favorite food? Anything from Figlio.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory? my mat, it is thick and comfy.

Favorite yoga pose? Trikonasana.

Favorite quote? “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” I think Henry Ford said this.

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name? Bubbles.

What did you want to be when you were little? A world traveler. Funny thing is, since having children, traveling makes me anxious.

Backpacking or a luxury hotel? Backpack and then a luxury hotel.

What word describes you best? compassionate

What drives you every day? Finding and fulfilling my purpose in life, and helping people.

Who do you admire? Teresa Dowd, one of the founders of Homeless Families Foundation. She never took no for an answer.

What is your mission? To help people to feel at ease in their bodies, to share a laugh or two or more and to help my children find their purpose in life and love them unconditionally.

Fun fact about you? I love to dance!

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things:Props of an Ashtangi

By Jasmine Grace

To practice yoga you really just need any old mat and a space big enough to fit your extended limbs. Not even this, really, if you are doing pranayama or any of the other limbs of yoga. However, I do find myself having some preferences about my yogic props. Not to mean I have attachment to these material things but sometimes it is the little “things” that bring me ritualistic joy.
These are a few of my favorite things [breakout in The Sound of Music song]:

 
Manduka Black Mat PRO:
The Black Mat PRO (formerly known as the Black Mat) is what Manduka would call a “soul mat”. When you first get this mat it requires consistent practice to wear it in and create the sticky and amazing surface that supports your practice for a lifetime. In fact, this mat does come with a lifetime warranty. Pretty cool! For me my Black Mat PRO has the grooves of consistent practice over time. Stepping on this mat is part of the ritual that takes me to the place that allows me to strengthen, relax and grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

 
Mysore Rug
I have a couple of different Mysore rugs. A Mysore rug is a weaved, throw-like covering the same size as a yoga mat. I often place it on top of my yoga mat when I begin the seated poses. Personally, I love that I can easily wash the rugs, and they are a nice addition to my practice in the early mornings when the room is hot and my body is sweaty.

 
Colorful Hand Towels
I love Manduka and Yogi Toes hand towels. They come in great colors and styles and can double as a grip for the days when your hands are extra slippery. I also use a clean hand towel as a dry-off after yoga practice; they are super absorbent and help me go from practice, to teaching, and to the office!

 
David Swenson’s Ashtanga Practice Manual and Practice Card
I am currently memorizing the Ashtanga Second Series. I could not do it without this book and the practice cards by David Swenson. The detailed pictures and precise language is a must for any Ashtangi looking to learn and advance their practice. Love David Swenson! Check out his workshops at Yoga on High in 2013.

 
Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa Agarbatti Incense
Ahh, the sweet smell of my meditation ritual! This particular brand of incense is the only type that doesn’t bother me. The smell just transmits me to a relaxed and open place, although, I am sure it is the meditation practice that keeps me coming back. The ritual of lighting the incense stick is like stepping on my mat.

 
Sesame Oil & Coconut Oil
When you have an intense daily practice, or you are working on a specific pose or action your muscles can become a little sore and tired. I find that having a self-care regimen is a must to be able to maintain such rigor and to bring in an element of ahimsa (non-harming). I highly recommend using an oil such as sesame or coconut. I like to use either of these, depending on the season or how my body is feeling. There are also many different type of therapeutic Aruyvedic oils available. Castor oil is a good choice for injuries. Oils truly make you feel good inside and out. Pair one with a warm bath and you are golden!

 
Young Living Essential Oils
Inhale lavender and feel a little more calm, put a couple of drops of peppermint on your tongue and freshen your breath, use Thieves for a sore throat, and the list goes on. I have been using aromatherapy oils for years as a wellness enhancer. I particularly love the therapeutic grade oils from Young Living. In fact if you want to learn more about integrating aromatherapy into your life we have a workshop this December with Tracy Griffiths.

 
My Lululemon Yoga Pants
This may sound cheesy but I love the quality of my “Lulu” yoga pants. They are thick, strong and like my favorite pair of jeans! I have purchased cheaper yoga pants but they rarely last and I never feel as good in them as I do my Lululemon clothing.

 
Malabeads
Chanting and malabeads have me intrigued. A meditation “thumb” of my mala beads can clear my head and help me center myself. A perfect pick me up during a busy day, before a yoga practice or at bedtime. There are numerous chants that can be chanted with these beads. Sometimes I combine chanting with a pranayama practice.

 
Again, I don’t need any of these “things” but I have found that they help me in my daily practice rituals. They also may spark some gift giving ideas for the holidays. Many of these products are in our gift shop. This holiday buy local!