Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Namaste Project

As yogis we often say the word “Namaste” at the end of class. “The Light in me honors the Light in you” is one possible translation we can say as we bow to each other. And now, post-election 2016 we need to get serious about Namaste-ing each other.

This past election is not really over. Even though we are exhausted by the meanness and the inability for people of differing opinions to talk to each other, we continue to yell and roll our eyes at each other. We have vilified those making different choices from ours. We have been more vicious about this election than any I have experienced. And it is not over. SO yogis, what can we do?

We can start by doing a restorative pose—right now! By calming our nervous systems we will be ready to respond to whatever happens, rather than to react. What good is this yoga anyway, if it doesn’t help us in times of challenge? Are we really just practicing for longer hamstrings or can we put these powerful teachings to a better use? When our nervous systems are on “chill” we can be in the room with someone who disagrees with us and be curious rather than angry. Maybe only for a minute or two, but that minute matters. I recommend putting your legs up over the seat of a chair, close your eyes, cover them if you can, and do nothing for 10-15 minutes. The whole world will be a better place for it and at least we won’t be raging on Facebook during that time.

Let’s get more serious about nonviolence, especially with our words. It is appropriate, maybe even necessary these days to have strong opinions about what our country needs to do. This does not give us yogis license to be verbally violent. I am going to work harder to check my judgmental comments at the door of my mouth. If I start to say something like, “Anyone who voted for XXXX is stupid!” I will NOT let those words come out. I will put my hands over my mouth if necessary. I “know” I am right, but right is not what we need now. We need LIGHT. At the very least let’s not add to the disharmony and polarization. People on both sides of this election have bad-mouthed the other side. Join me in stopping it now and we can hold each other accountable. This will likely take more discipline than getting up at 5:00a to do our yoga practice. We can do it. In fact, let’s do both.

Training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has been one of the best things I have learned to help me bring ahimsa (nonviolence) to my satya (truth.) It has helped me to deepen my listening skills and the skill to have a conversation in a way that both participants might enjoy. This beautiful practice has helped me to look for the deep needs behind the words of the person who is speaking. When someone says “Hillary belongs in jail,” I might hear something like, “I’m scared that no one in government is listening to me and my concerns. Hillary has been part of government for a long time so I’m going to try someone new.” This “translation” of their words helps me to see their humanity in a way I appreciate. NVC has also helped me to identify my deepest longings so I can speak from that place instead of saying something inflammatory. I can also ACT from that place with greater wisdom and effectiveness.

Now back to Namaste…this practice of seeing the Light in yourself and others is transformational if you take it seriously. First, see what is beautiful within you. Find that spark of Light that helps you feel fully alive and here on purpose. You might start by feeling into your heart but there are many ways to experience this. For some of us seeing our own beauty will not be easy but it is well worth any attention you offer this practice.

For a variety of reasons many of us are living in bubbles where we are mainly in contact with people who think like we do. Let’s make the effort to step out of this bubble to talk to someone who thinks differently than we do. Can we be calm and curious? Can we see the inner light in another even as they are saying words we don’t like or agree with? This person is also here with a purpose—it is NOT a mistake that they are alive at the same time we are. What strategies can we employ to help us pause and to know that all of us are Divine Beings?

Please know that learning more skills in our speech and in our ability to see the beauty in someone we disagree with does NOT mean that we condone all activities they may do. Not at all. It is our responsibility to act to support the values we hold dear. This may included resistance where necessary. It is my belief that our actions will be in fuller alignment with our goals as yogis and human beings when our own behavior is impeccable.

Yogis! We have tools. Will you join me making this diverse country a better place for us all to live? We have the ability to focus and sustain difficult challenges. Many of us experience and even enjoy difficulty every day in our practice. Let’s get to it.

marcia-8584Marcia Miller, one of the founders and owners of Yoga on High has been studying and teaching NVC for many years now. As a result of many requests and her sense of what is needed in these polarized times she is offering a 6-week course in January called Ahimsa: Dissolving Enemy Images, co-taught by Janine Harris Degitz. The link to this workshop is here.



January Calendar of Events

marcia-8518eSchedule Updates:
Tuesday 5:30 Ashtanga Mysore with Tom Griffith -- Location Change to TTI
Tuesday 5:45p Hatha Level 1 with Angela LaMonte -- Location Change to TTI
Tuesday 7:30p Big Asana with Michelle Winship -- Location Change to TTI
Tuesday 7:15p Sekoia Level 1 & 2 with Michele Vinbury -- Time Change
Thursday 7:45p Sekoia Level 1 & 2 with Amy Lybrook -- Day and Time Change
Saturday 10:30a Hatha Beginner Drop in with Colleen Leonardi -- Teacher Update

January 1 Ashtanga Mysore New Year’s Day Class with Linda Chun and Correna
January 1 Hatha New Year’s Day Class with Marcia Miller
January 1 Sekoia New Year’s Day Class with Jasmine Grace
January 1 Vinyasa New Year’s Day Class with Sally Walsh Roberts @ Grow Yoga
January 7 Sekoia Spirit Journey: Rabbit with Michele Vinbury @ Grow Yoga
January 15 Yoga 4 Kids with Jennifer Gebhart
January 29 Ayurvedic Goddess: Balms and Salves with Jasmine Grace & Meredith Bury

Series Classes:
January 7 -- March 11 Saturday 12p -- 1:30p MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
January 8 -- January 29 Sunday 9a -- 10a 4-Week Mediation & Pranayama with Michele Vinbury
January 8 -- February 12 Sunday 3p -- 4:30p 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Correna Startbuck
January 9 -- March 13 Monday 4p -- 5:15p MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
January 9 -- March 13 Monday 6p -- 7p Prenatal with Julie Carpenter @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 10 -- February 14 Tuesday 11:15a -- 12:00p Mommy & Baby with Janet Braden @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 10 -- March 14 Tuesday 4p -- 5:30p 10-Week Hatha Level 1 & 2 @All Life Center -- Powell
January 12 -- March 16 Thursday 4:30p -- 5:45p 6-Week Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 @All Life Center -- Powell
January 12 -- March 16 Thursday 5:45p -- 7:15p Prenatal with Mary Sinclair
January 17 -- March 21 Tuesday 9:30a -- 11a Prenatal with Jenn Gebhart @TTI
January 17 -- February 21 Tuesday 6p -- 6:45p Introduction to Meditation with Marcy Freed @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 17 -- February 21 Tuesday 7p -- 8p Yoga for Runners @Step by Step -- Westerville
January 17 -- February 21 Tuesday 7:30p -- 9p 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith
January 18 -- March 15 Wednesday 5:45p -- 7:15p Hatha Basic New Beginners with Angela Lamonte @TTI
January 21 -- March 4 Saturday 11a -- 11:45a Parent & Kid Yoga (Ages 5-10) with Mary Lynn and Julie @ Step by Step -- Westerville
January 23 -- February 27 Monday 5:45p -- 7:15p Ahimsa:Dissolving Enemy Images through Nonviolent Communication with Marcia Miller and Janine Harris Degitz
January 23 -- March 27 Monday 7:30p -- 9p Prenatal with Jenn Gebhart @ TTI

Upcoming Teacher Training:
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Kickoff Weekend -- February 10 -- 12
with Jennifer Gebhart and Mary Sinclair

Pranayama Teacher Training Kickoff Call -- February 15
with Linda Oshins

200 Hour Teacher Training -- March 2017
Upcoming Free 200 Hour Info Sessions:
Tuesday, January 17th from 6:00p to 6:45p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High
Sunday, January 29th from 12:00p to 12:45p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High
*Enjoy $500 OFF the 200 Hour Teacher Training when paid in full by December 31, 2016.
*Off full price. Cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts.

Ayurvedic Health Educator -- May 2017
(equivalent to NAMA’s Ayurvedic Health Counselor)
Upcoming Free Ayurvedic Health Educator Info Sessions:
Sunday, January 15th from 6:30p to 7:30p with Jasmine Grace at the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, February 12th from 6:30p to 7:30p with Jasmine Grace at the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute



The Yoga of Generosity

The holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate their meaning in our lives. Chances are that we spend hours shopping in stores or online for the perfect gift to give. Yet, we can make the commitment to give year round, by sharing our time, energy, and talents.

Yoga Sutra II.37 shares the principal of Asteya, or non-stealing, and invites us to live with integrity and reciprocity according to Deborah Adele. She reminds us that ancient Vedic scriptures speak of taking nothing without giving something back. Imagine being challenged to give something back each time we took something!

As Astheya encourages us not to steal causing our hearts grow, it encompasses not only generosity of money and giving of things, but also generosity of time and giving of ourselves. We remind our students yoga offers a practice where we take care of ourselves so that we can better serve others, challenging them to take what they learn from their practice into the world and their own lives.

As you approach this season of wonderment, think of ways you can give back to those around you and to our world.

Be present. Have a meaningful conversation with someone. Give them your full and undivided attention by actively listening as they share a story or concern. Instead of thinking of what you’re going to say next, focus on what they are saying and offer no judgement.

Create memories. Share a story or talent with friends and loved ones. Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? Consider sharing the recipe and a plate of cookies with someone close to you. Some of the most cherished times in my life have been spending time with loved ones. I can still recall the memories of holidays spent with my Italian Nana. From her voice to her incredible cooking, she gave me the gift of memories that will remain with me for life.

Teach something new. We all have something to offer the world whether it is yoga or another offering. Give a memorable gift by teaching a skill or practice. Our students often report that in times of anxiety or even when they have difficulty sleeping, they can hear our voices leading them through a breath practice. They say it immediately calms them down and sometimes invites a full night of rest. One of my nieces still recalls the time I taught her to play a simple song on the piano. It took twenty minutes of my time and now that she has kids of her own, it’s this memory and not the holiday gifts received over the year that she remembers most.

However, you choose to give this holiday season, give from the heart with no expectations. In doing so, you’ll see great things happen and your heart will continue to grow.

Breath of Generosity

  • Become aware of your breath and notice how you are breathing.
  • Place your hands together at heart center as you begin to think of a time when someone was generous to you. After a few inhales and exhales bow forward in gratitude for this person and their actions.
  • Keeping the hands at heart center, think of a time when you were generous towards someone. After a few inhales and exhales bow forward in gratitude for your own actions and service.
  • Separate the hands placing one hand on your lower belly and one hand on your heart. As you inhale, imagine your heart becoming more open to receiving. As you exhale, envision your heart becoming more open to giving.
  • Bringing hands back to heart center, inhale as you draw the hands up, separating at the top and making an offering of your gifts to the world. Exhale as you circle the hands to the sides accepting the gifts of the earth as you bring the hands back together. Repeat a few times.
  • Pausing in stillness with the hands at heart center. Think of a way to expand your generosity towards others. It can be small or large. After a few breaths, bow forward sealing your commitment to generosity.daniel_sekoia_bw

About Our Writer

Daniel Sernicola (whose last name is appropriately translated to Saint Nicholas in Italian), teaches yoga in Columbus, Ohio, with his partner, Jake Hays. They are committed to the empowerment of their students and specialize in creating compassionate, safe, and inclusive yoga environments. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @danjayoga.


Yoga for Cramp Relief

Hold supported poses for 3-5 minutes each.

yogaforcramps_1 Start by lying down in Supta Baddha Konasana. Option for sand bag or blanket on upper thighs.


Simple warm up: inhale arms over head….


Exhale hug knee in.  Moving back and forth with each breath.


Supta Padangustasana A with strap (could be to block/bolster to stay)


Supta Padangustasana B with strap (could be to block/bolster to stay)


Supta Padangustasana C with strap (could be to block/bolster to stay)

yogaforcramps_6byogaforcramps_6aWide Legged Janu Sirsasana onto bolster(s) or block(s) x both sides


Upavistha Konasana onto bolster(s) or block(s)


Supported Balasana with bolster (sandbag on sacrum if available)


Puppy or Down Dog (some women prefer not to invert when menstruating.)


Gentle Cat


Gentle Cow


Supported Supta Tiriang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana or Ardha Supta Virasana (Sit on bock or bolster, left leg in Virasana, right knee bent sole of foot on the floor.  Option to extend straight placing blanket under knee.  Recline onto 1 or 2 bolsters x both sides


Setu Bandha Sarvangasana with block under sacrum.  I know this is a little tiny baby inversion, but I find that students love this and find it massages the sacrum.


Simple unsupported supine twist


Supta Baddha Konasana


Savasana -- minimum blanket under head, bolster under knees.  Blanket to cover.  Additional folded blanket to hold or place on belly.

Michele Vinbury, E-RYT 500, is a lead teacher in the 200hr YTT (Next YTT program begins March 2017) and Trauma Sensitive 100hr TT (Trauma Sensitive program kicks off December 9) as well as the co-director of the Yoga on High Foundation.  Michele infuses her joyful and creative classes with lighthearted humor while still integrating the spiritual and philosophical teachings of Yoga. She welcomes students to feel their bodies, feel the breath and to dive into sensations, riding them like waves. You can find Michele on our open class schedule here and teaching a series of Sekoia Spirit Journey workshops throughout the year.  


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