Monthly Archives: June 2015

Yoga & Trauma

My first experience with EMBER Yoga was over a year ago. I asked the Ember yoga instructor, Michele, kind of tongue and cheek, if she would teach me how to do a headstand. It was at that time that my whole life had changed. I know, I know, this sounds too cliché. My life now is learning to embrace being present through yoga movements. With this presence, I am also learning to cope with past traumas, and I am now looking forward to a future. I never thought I could live a life that I would enjoy.

With the EMBER series and Ashtanga Beginner class, I noticed that I felt included. Michele always ask us if we had any questions, comments, or concerns. Well, yeah. We’re doing yoga, right? I would practice what I learned in class, but couldn’t do it like I did just a couple hours beforehand. I was told patience, everybody is overwhelmed, and learning yoga can take lifetimes. My questions weren’t ignored or not heard. Different. Like, I mattered.

Okay, now the tough part. The triggers. I remembered specifically that Michele said that yoga is sometimes weird. I think at that particular time she was talking about the Ujjayi breathing technique. I admitted to her that I felt I was not able to stay present hearing this breathing. She said that voicing my concern was appropriate and she would help me stay present and would give me some reminders on how I could do this on my own.

During my struggles to stay present, I noticed that within these classes I felt safe. This took some time. At the end of each class, when we would do the Savasana, I am not sure why, but in both of these classes, sometimes, tears would roll down my cheeks. This was a pretty new experience for me. Didn’t understand how this was to be, the absorption of what I just learned had turned to tears.

As in other parts of my life, I started to make goals, challenges, for a yoga future beyond the six weeks series. I really did want to learn to stand on my head. Michele sent me an article on how to build up strength by doing the dolphin pose after teaching it in class one day. I read the article and looked at the pictures and got on my mat. I got my butt up in the air and I immediately broke down and started to cry. It was at this very time I learned about acceptance. I finally accepted the sexual assault. I accepted that I was not strong enough to do a headstand NOW, but I would work on this endeavor so maybe in a month or so, I could be closer to having my feet up in the air.

I can now talk about what happened to me. I don’t have to be strong enough. I don’t have to be anything enough. I just…be present.

Laurie R.

Michele Vinbury, lead instructor in the Ember program, in headstand.

Michele Vinbury, lead instructor and co-creator of the EMBER program, in headstand.

The EMBER classes are sponsored by the Yoga on High Foundation. For more information on the Foundation, please click here.

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Yogi of the Month: Paula

Paula truly takes advantage of so much of what YOHI has to offer.  We regularly see her in hot flow and sekoia classes, in hatha and ashtanga classes and in restorative and pranayama classes too.  She can do it all!  We are inspired by her dedication to showing up on the mat, by her adventurous navigation of our schedule and by her ability to see the “yoga” in all of these varied practices and paths -- that is true flexibility 🙂  We are thrilled to recognize Paula as our Manduka Yogi of the Month.   Read More…

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And the Journey Continues

yohigh_152By Gail Larned

I had been studying and practicing Hatha yoga for about 10 years before I started practicing Ashtanga, in 1998. When I first saw people practicing Ashtanga, I was hooked: “I want to do what they’re doing!” I taught a yoga class at Grant Hospital at the same time as the Primary Series class at Yoga on High and couldn’t attend it. I’d arrive at YoHi to see all of those sweaty, jubilant Ashtangis, and wish I could be in the room with them. So I quit my gig at Grant and joined in the fun. I began to study with my friend and colleague Martha Marcom, learning the sequence of the Primary Series. And it has always been that for me: challenging, rewarding and fun.

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Congratulations to Marianne O’Neil

yohigh_011Congratulations to Marianne O’Neil

Graduate of the Yoga on High 300-hour (Advanced) Teacher Training Program, completed June, 2015

My interests in yoga are as varied as yoga itself! I began as a young adult practicing breath work and poses in the Hatha style, but now I often find myself wanting a more vigorous Ashtanga-styled practice paired with pranayama and yoga nidra. In the last several years I have worked closely with Mary Sinclair, our local expert on Balance®, which teaches postural training. The Kundalini teachings of Yogi Bajan are also part of my regular practice. I find that all of the seemingly disparate practices mysteriously work together as a reflection of the universe itself. Richard Freeman calls it The Jeweled Net of Indra, where all practices are jewels connected by the net that leads to all other jewels, and to the heart of yoga that is the intimate relationship with the inner Self. My hope is that I can bring that understanding of the various practices to the students who I teach as well.

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EMBER Series – A Survivor’s Experience

Alana Becker Photography

Alana Becker Photography

Looking back, I don’t think there was anyway I could have known how powerful the EMBER series would be for me. The freeing emotional release I experienced moved me in ways traditional therapy hasn’t in years. I was amazed to begin a process of re-discovering my body, and what it means to be really in it. After spending so much time zoned out from my body and my life, the power of the restorative poses has healed me in ways words cannot adequately describe. To engage with the idea that I can create feelings of safety and comfort for my own body speaks to a level of self-empowerment I have only dreamed of before. Michele has an innate capacity to create a safe place from which healing grows. Read More…

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Urban Zen in the Schools

SharonSharon Collaros, an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, teaches multiple Urban Zen classes a week to the teachers and administrative staff in public schools in Columbus, Ohio. Urban Zen was originally designed to support patients, their family members and their medical care givers in hospital settings. But it is finding its way into various other high-stress settings, in this case supporting the important work of caring for and educating children. Urban Zen classes include gentle yoga movements, restorative yoga poses, breathing exercises, body awareness meditations, aromatherapy and Reiki.

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2015 Awards

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Yoga on High is in the news! When voting for best Columbus yoga studio or fitness studio, readers of Columbus Alive and 614 Columbus gave YOHI a big thumbs up! Thank you to those who voted, and to all the students who come to the studio and make it the vibrant learning community it is. Read More…

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