Introducing, John Koon, an Ashtanga Mysore student and our August Manduka Yogi of the Month! John is hard working, respectful, dedicated, and so gracious. He says thank you after every single class and approaches each day with equanimity and humor. Congrats John!
Every Sunday morning from around mid-April to early November, I pop on old brown pants, a raggedy white shirt that proclaims “I Walked the Bourbon Trail” and a black hat with RF on the front that I am pretty sure stands for Roger Federer, and head out to work in the Anahata garden. This garden is the source of produce for the Anahata Food Project, a community service project of Yoga on High that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to a local food pantry. Read More…
The owners (current and former) of Yoga on High sat together one day and drafted this Mission Statement. We reread it before every board meeting and center the work done at Yoga on High squarely on the intentions set forth in its message.
While it is posted on the YOHI website and hangs in the studio, we wanted to send it out to you in hopes that you will take a moment and review it. We are all part of one big community, and share in its purpose.
At Yoga on High, we want to ensure yoga is accessible to everyone. We offer various practices and forms of asana, meditation, Reiki, teacher training, ayurveda and other healing modalities.
- We aspire
- • To be an inclusive community of teachers and students, practicing and studying together for the purpose of self-awareness, health and fitness, well-being, and spiritual awakening.
- • To have well trained, experienced teachers that meet each student where they are, supporting the student’s intention for practicing yoga.
- • To do this within an environment that welcomes diversity with a joyous spirit.
Yoga on High is committed to the highest quality in all we do—from our staff, our teachers, all our programs, customer service and communication with our students, and the Yoga on High studio environment. We have highly trained, experienced and responsible teachers and staff who are caring and concerned about the goals of the students.
We ensure that everyone who enters Yoga on High is welcomed into an open-minded, non-judgmental and compassionate environment. Our goal is to provide yoga programs that offer something of value to everyone. We encourage students to come as they are, and we will meet them there! Can’t touch your toes? No worries, you don’t need to!
Yoga on High staff commit to being honest and authentic with each other and with students. Simply put, to being real. We strive to be ethical on every level—in our business dealings and our personal relationships. In our relationships, we strive to be fully present and committed to living our yogic values and practices.
We are committed to facilitating profound, transformational self-acceptance. We provide teachers, programs and an environment that sustains on-going, holistic approaches to all eight limbs of yoga and that represent and welcome different points of view. Our approach provides students multi-layered, multi-directional courses of study that support a clear, logical progression toward personal development and mastery at each student’s own pace.
Our community is a family that offers inclusive programs for everyone, including people who are not able to pay for it. We offer scholarships to Yoga on High programs as well as funding for specially designed programs through the Yoga on High Foundation. We also support numerous local charities.
Our family community involves other yoga studios, local businesses with goals in line with ours, and we strive to establish relationships that are fair and mutually beneficial to all of us.
In addition to our local community, we are a part of a larger yoga community that extends beyond Ohio. Every year we bring nationally and internationally recognized teachers to Yoga on High and into our lives and the lives of our students.
From the moment you enter Yoga on High, you are in sacred space, embracing peace, comfort and refuge. You can put down artifice and defenses and embrace and welcome all aspects of yourself whether you feel joyous and celebratory or are coping with difficult challenges. At Yoga on High, we are dedicated to supporting one another along the path.
At Yoga on High, our programs promote fitness, resilience, well-being, self knowledge, self-acceptance, family, healing, growth, beauty and balance. Yoga on High is a place to be who you are!
-- See more at: http://yogaonhigh.com/new-students/about-us#sthash.jZezKaQJ.dpuf
Working for a number of years in the mental health field with those who have experienced trauma has allowed me to develop a greater understanding of the scope of treatment needs, as well as approaches, that work for survivors. After having the opportunity to participate in the EMBER series with Michele Vinbury through Yoga on High, I would highly recommend it as part of a treatment plan for anyone recovering from trauma, and as an adjunct to other treatment modalities.
The EMBER series incorporates approaches including body movement, mindfulness skills, distress tolerance and emotion regulation, all of which have documented benefits in mental health treatment. The most current research is showing us how the body and the brain are directly impacted by trauma, and provides support for the incorporation of movement and mindfulness to traditional therapy approaches. The creation of a mentally and physically safe place through the EMBER program allows participants to explore being in one’s own body. Particularly for the trauma survivor, this is no small task. The practice of this type of purposeful, mindful, body awareness is an imperative aspect of the healing process.
More traditional talk therapy approaches to managing symptoms stemming from trauma are a beneficial and often necessary part of a trauma survivor’s healing journey. However, with research indicating that the brain and the body quite literally hold traumatic events, the importance of re-connecting with the body and addressing trauma in the brain becomes more apparent. The use of mindfulness and grounding techniques in the EMBER series create a foundation for this deeper level of healing to occur.
Michelle Dismore is a licensed social worker and clinician working for a private non-profit organization in Columbus, Ohio. She obtained her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, and a Master of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University. Michelle has experience providing therapy and interventions with children, adolescents and families across multiple levels of care including residential, intensive community based, and outpatient settings. Her approach in working with clients combines elements of mindfulness, regulating approaches and whole body awareness.
As I write this I’m on my way home from teaching a weekend yoga workshop to a group of people over 50. One of the most meaningful parts of the workshop for me was the time we spent answering the question, “What do you know now that you didn’t or couldn’t have known when you were 20 or 30?”
The wisdom in the room was felt viscerally, as one person after another offered a phrase or two about something they had learned, often with a poignant story from their lives as examples. One woman described an unexpected acceptance of life’s difficulties, despite a deep longing for health and happiness for all. Another described understanding her own mother’s maxim, “This too shall pass.” She shared the face she used to make when her mother would say that, but lately she realizes her mother was correct. You may know that saying, that our parents get smarter as we get older? This turned out to be true for her. Another described a life in which his longtime question, “How do I get this right?” evolved into more interesting questions, including, “What can I learn from this situation?” Or, “What are my choices here?” It was quite a relief to not have to always get “it” right, whatever “it” is. We heard one woman speak movingly of a hard-won realization that she could not control the world around her. Life can take us to our knees, and, while painful, the lessons are precious.
Most spoke of a deeper understanding of what is really important in their lives now, having lost loved ones or faced death themselves. This clarity allows them to let go of that which is not important anymore and move on. And of course—love. We spoke of realizing that the essence of life is love—it all comes down to love.
These are likely ideas that we all heard when we were younger, but what I saw this past weekend was embodiment. Life turned concepts and ideas into lived experience that we could embody as truth.
In a culture where youth is revered and our elders are often invisible, I was inspired by us this weekend. Personally, my 20s were painful for me in many ways that I would never want to return to. I was naïve and judgmental, often sure I knew what was best for everyone around me. I was also earnest and caring, but without many of the skills I have now that make my life so rich and meaningful. Those of us in of 50s, 60s and beyond have lived life, earning our grey hair, our wrinkles and our shining eyes, and, to some, we are invisible. But our lives do not depend on being noticed—they are precious and empowered either way.
Marcia Miller was one of the original co-founders of Yoga on High, was the genesis behind The Yoga on High Foundation, teaches yoga classes on the public schedule, and runs many of the upper level specialty studies at Yoga on High, such as the Urban Zen program and the Therapeutic Teacher Training Program. She teaches workshops throughout the US, this workshop on yoga and aging as an example.
In the Ayurvedic Program at Yoga on High, we are making ghee this weekend. Ghee is clarified butter, and it has a multitude of health and cooking benefits, good for the body, mind and spirit.
How to Make Ghee
The making of ghee can be a very beautiful and peaceful experience. As you make it, be mindful. Perhaps chant and infuse the process with the vibrations and frequency of love and healing.
Grass fed organic unsalted butter (salted butter can be used but it will foam more. I prefer unsalted.)
Place butter in a clean, dry, medium-sized, heavy-bottom sauce pan.
Cook uncovered on medium heat until the butter melts. Throughout the entire ghee-making process, stir the butter occasionally. The butter will start to boil and foam, and you will hear a crackling sound. Once it reaches a boiling point, reduce the heat to low and simmer the butter until the foam forms on the top of it. You will need to part the foam to see the melted butter getting clearer.
Continue to simmer the butter until the crackling subsides. How long the process takes depends on how much butter you are clarifying.
You know ghee is ready when:
- Crackling stops, which is an indication that the moisture has been cooked away
- Under the foam film, the butter becomes a golden yellow liquid
- The milk solids separate and settle in the bottom of the pan, and are light brown in color
Be careful not to overcook the ghee and burn the milk solids. When burned, they turn a dark brown and/or the liquid ghee will be dark brown.
When the butter is clarified, remove the pan from the heat and let the ghee cool for about 30 minutes, then pour it through a fine strainer lined with 1 layer of muslin. Strain it multiple times, if necessary, to ensure that all the milk solids are strained out.
Pour the ghee into a clean, dry glass jar. Do not place a lid on the jar until the ghee has fully cooled. Ghee can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 months.
It is high in nutrition: Ghee is rich in vitamins A, E, K2 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid, an antioxidant with anti-viral properties if it is sourced from grass fed cows).
It has a high smoke point for cooking (482 °F).
Unlike many other oils you can cook and fry with ghee, and it will not break down into free radicals
It has a great buttery taste but doesn’t prompt reactions to dairy allergies
Ghee is made from butter, but the milk solids and impurities have been removed so that most people who are lactose or casein intolerant have no issue with ghee.
It supports digestive health
Ghee is rich in butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that is beneficial to intestinal bacteria used to support intestinal wall health. Ghee can also stimulate the secretion of gastric acid. Consuming ghee therefore supports overall digestive health.
It can support the mind and spirit
The mind and body are directly connected. Modern science teaches us that there is a chemical nature to our emotions. Our negative emotions can release hormones and chemicals that are stored in fat. When used properly in a cleanse regimen, ghee can help cleanse (oleate) these tissues and pull the toxins from the body, positively effecting our emotional state. Ghee has a sattvic (clear and balanced) quality. Sattvic foods promote positivity, growth and expansion of consciousness.
Uses of Ghee
- For massage (Abhyanga): It is said that 60% of what we place on our skin is absorbed into the body, bypassing the digestive system. This allows ghee’s qualities to penetrate directly into the tissues.
- In cleanses (Panchakarma): a small amount of ghee, taken first thing in the morning to oleate the internal organs and “dissolve” the ama or toxic wastes in the tissues, allows toxins to be carried to the digestive tract for elimination.
- It is a carrier for herbal formulas: Ghee is used in Ayurveda as a carrier for medicinal herbal preparations so that they are transported to and absorbed by targeted areas of the body, deep in the tissues (dhatus).
- To support bowel movements: one or two teaspoons of ghee first thing in the morning, followed immediately with a cup of hot water, will promptly produce a bowel movement. It will also warm the body quickly. Two spoonfuls of ghee in warm (non-homogenized) milk before bedtime is soothing to the nerves, lubricates the intestines and facilitates a bowel movement in the morning.
- For cooking: Due to its high burn point, ghee is one of the best cooking oils.
- For oil-pulling: Excellent for swishing through teeth (1 tablespoon) to improve the health of the teeth and gums.
- For bathing: Mix ghee with several drops of an essential oil and place the mixture in your bathwater for a nurturing bath.
- For a topical treatment: Ghee is excellent to put on topically for both chemical or fire burns and scrapes on the body.
- In the eyes: A small drop of room temperature ghee can be used in the eyes for lubrication and eye fatigue. This is best done at night before bed as a small film of ghee will cover the eye until it is absorbed into the tissue.
10. Facial use: Ghee can be used as a make-up remover and moisturizer for the face.
11. Nasal use: Use a few drops in each nostril after Neti pot use, or if you get a nosebleed, or to alleviate nasal dryness.
12. To balance the Ayurvedic Doshas: Ghee can increase Kapha and decrease Vata and Pitta.
The Yoga on High Teacher Training and Ayurveda Institute: School of Ayurveda has certifications in wellness counseling in Ayurvedic Health Education (A.H.E) and Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (C.A.P). Our next program begins in October 2015.