Monthly Archives: March 2017

April Calendar of Events

Jeremy-9095Schedule Updates:
Friday 6:30a Hot Flow Level 1 & 2 with Nicole Fleming
Monday 9:30a Sekoia Aerial Level 1 with Dale Ann Gray
Saturday 8:30a Hot Flow Level 1 & 2 with Jeremy Grace at Grow Yoga

Announcements:
Studio Closed Easter Sunday, April 16
Michael Murphy is moving to North Carolina.  All Love Michael!
Welcome home Karine Wascher!  Look for her on the schedule staring May. 

Workshops:

April 1 Reiki Share with Marcia Miller
April 1 – 30 Commit, Cleanse and Clear April Challenge
April 14 Ayurveda, Asana and Pranayama for the Seasons: Kapha with Jasmine Grace
April 15 Book Conversations with Marcia Miller (On Being Podcast with John Lewis: The Art of Discipline of Nonviolence)
April 19 -- 24 iRest Yoga Nidra Level 1 Training with Stephanie Lopez
April 29 Ayurveda: Spirituality and Wellness with Dr. Hari Sharma
April 30 Sekoia Spirit Journey: Lioness with Michele Vinbury

Series Classes:
April 3 -- June 12 Mondays 4:00p MS Yoga Mondays at Yoga on High with Jennifer Gebhart
April 3 -- June 12 Mondays 6:00p Prenatal at Step by Step Wellness – Westerville with Julie Carpenter
April 4 -- May 16 Tuesdays 7:30p 6-week Ashtanga Foundations at Yoga on High with Tom Griffith
April 5 -- May 31 Wednesdays 5:45p Hatha Basic New Beginners at Yoga on High with Cindy Houpt
April 6 -- June 15 Thursdays 5:45p Prenatal Yoga at Yoga on High with Mary Sinclair
April 7 -- May 12 Fridays 9:30a 6-week Sekoia Series at All Life Center – Powell with Alissa Jackson
April 8 -- May 20 Saturdays 10:15a Introduction to QiGong at Yoga on High with Kevin Eigel
April 8 -- June 10 Saturdays 12:00p MS Yoga Weekend Class at Yoga on High with Jennifer Gebhart
April 9 -- June 1 Sundays 2:00p 9-Week Hatha Beginner Series at Grow Yoga with Holly Moretti
April 9 -- May 21 Sundays 10:30a 6-week Kids Yoga (Ages 6-11) at Yoga on High with Julie Standish
April 9 -- May 21 Sundays 3:00p 6-week Ashtanga Foundations at Yoga on High with Correna Starbuck
April 10 -- June 12 Mondays 5:45p Hatha Dynamic New Beginners at TTI with Marcia Miller
April 10 -- May 15 Monday’s 7:30p 6-week Advanced Vinyasa at TTI with Lara Falberg
April 10 -- June 19 Monday’s 7:30p Prenatal Yoga at TTI with Jennifer Gebhart
April 11 -- May 16 Tuesdays 9:30a 6-Week Vinyasa Beginner Series at Grow Yoga with Alissa Jackson
April 13 -- May 18 Thursdays 4:30p 6-week Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 at All Life Center – Powell with Marcy Freed
April 18 -- May 23 Tuesdays 11:15a Mommy & Baby at Step by Step Wellness -- Westerville with Janet Braden
April 26 -- May 31 Wednesdays 6:00p EMBER at Yoga on High with Marybeth Hamilton
April 30 -- June 4 Sundays 3p 6-week Foundations of Kundalini Yoga at Yoga on High with Sada Nam
Click here to enroll in series classes.

Upcoming Teacher Trainings:
Ayurvedic Health Educator (AHE Part 1) -- 11 Month Weekend Program (equivalent to NAMA’s Ayurvedic Health Counselor)
May 20 -- 21, 2017 Kick-off Weekend
Free Ayurvedic Health Educator Info Sessions:
Sunday, April 2nd from 5:30p to 6:30p with Marina Zahran & Marisa Barsotti at Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute
Saturday, April 15th from 12:30p to 1:30p with Jasmine Grace at Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute
Saturday, May 13th from 12:30p to 1:30p with Jasmine Grace at Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute

300 Hour Teacher Training – 1 to 3 Year Customizable Program
Rolling Enrollment
Contact: linda@yogaonhigh.com

UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) – 11 Month Program
Wednesday, August 23 through Sunday, August 27 First Onsite
Contact urbanzen@yogaonhigh.com
Free UZIT Info Sessions:
Saturday, May 13th from 1:30p to 2:30p at Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute with Marcia Miller

 

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Sending Reiki

By Marcia Miller

Marcia-8579ccOne of the greatest gifts of Reiki Level 2 is learning to send Reiki through time and space. There is no doubt that in-person Reiki offerings are powerfully loving and satisfying, but many of the people we love and care about are not able to be with us in person: they may be across town, across the world or even across time. (More about this in another blog.) Just as we love people who are not right in front of us, we can also send Reiki as a vehicle of that love for those who are not in our presence.

Linda Oshins and I are currently sending Reiki to our dearest friend who is living with cancer. We are so glad to have a daily way of offering her support. Linda lives in Seattle, I’m sending from my farm west of Columbus and our dear friend is downtown. We have chosen a specific time to send to her each night. The best part is that it feels like we are all together in person as we send energy each day.

We are having several different kinds of experiences as we send. Sometimes, we feel our friend as her separate self—with specific health and emotional sensibilities; for example, we can sometimes sense her anxiety, or we feel a deep personal love for her.

Marcia-8463ccSometimes I can feel our friend’s energy through the connection I feel with Linda. When Linda and I both lived here we did a lot of Reiki together. When we shared clients she would generally end up at their head and I would be at their feet. We found we could feel each other’s energy through a person’s body. We can feel each other in sending as well. When we are sending to our friend at the same time, we can feel each other there—together. Sensing Linda there with me is so comforting. As we walk side by side with our friend who has a terminal diagnosis, we need each other and Reiki is the best way for us to be with each other. It’s been hard for me to face this by myself, and it’s very comforting for me to know Linda is there as a felt experience. When I do my sending—generally at the end of the day—I’m tired and full of the day I just had. When I plug into my send it feels so much more palpable when Linda is there too.

And then there is the other type of experience I have—the Big Energy. Sometimes I start sending, and I tap into an Energy that is Big—it’s not just Linda and me together; it feels like the energy of the entire universe. It’s Big (I know I said that already but it’s the word that keeps coming) and palpable with a vibratory quality to it that feels like the essence of Life Force. It has a flow and pulsation to it. In this case, no matter how tired or distracted I am, I immediately feel this huge connection and can rest into it.

In my mind, I am not at all Ok about the impending death of my friend. But when I am in the Reiki energy with her, in that Big Energy, I am actually OK and so is she. It just feels Ok that life is as it is. That in itself is a huge gift as we go through this time together.

Reiki is one of my paths that has broadened my experience so that I know that things are not always as they seem. That love is love whether we are together or not. The Love and Reiki both exist without any limits of time and space.

Marcia Miller, Linda Oshins and Michele Vinbury are teaching Reiki programs throughout the year and reinitiating the Yoga on High Reiki Masters’ program beginning in the fall. Please click here for details.

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Richard Freeman: Asana-Poet and Embodied Philosopher

It is my position that the great, traditional asana sequences are like the epic poems of Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and Ovid. Richard Freeman is a voice uniquely situated to interpret the various Ashtanga Vinyasa series, often by breaking them into sonnets and haikus in order to reveal hidden structure and meaning. Richard’s 60- or 90-minute classes might focus on, say, the first third of second series “Nadi Shodhana” or the last third of primary series “Yoga Chikitsa”. As students, we are blessed by the opportunity to read these gigantic works of physical poetry through the lenses of a master teacher.

Richard Freeman’s approach to teaching yoga is a consistent re-envisioning and re-imagining of traditional yoga techniques, particularly those found in the various series of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system Richard studied with his guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. With equal love for physical, contemplative and philosophical practice, Richard has devised a completely unique and idiosyncratic teaching that invites each student constantly back into the “beginners mind” -- forget what you know, and practice into the open mind. You can hear straight from him about his method and history of practice here.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.25.53 AMIn the recently released The Art of Vinyasa, Richard and his partner Mary Taylor collect the condensation of the vinyasa method unique to the lineage and innovation of the luminary T. Krishnamacharya, teacher of Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar and others. Correct vinyasa for entering and exiting postures extends into a method for sequencing postures into the yoga mala, or garland of practice. The Art of Vinyasa begins, not with Sun Salutations or an introduction of asana technique, but with a chapter entitled “Natural Alignment: The Internal Forms of the Practice,” wherein the question is asked: if asana is as old as we think it is, how was physical practice taught without our modern knowledge of anatomical alignment?

One answer given is that the practice of visualization was key: visualizing deities, remembering teacher demonstrations, sensing into systems of the subtle body (nadis, bandhas, mudras, cackras, etc). These internal forms create a deep core of listening in and around the body, wherein the rhythms and pulses of the nervous system itself can be the teacher. We can see this key turning in the lock of Richard’s teaching when we hear in class about the heavy golden coccyx (tailbone) and the four angels of the pelvic floor, undulating the torso like the “peacock who swallowed a snake,” spreading kidney wings and lifting cobra hoods, coiling around the sun in the belly and tasting nectar at the root of the palate.

RichardFreeman_AdamWetterhanA precise knowledge of the power of sequencing asana with the internal forms of the practice has led Richard to emphasize the transitional space between each pose, lengthening out the boundary-points between one pose and another. He says, “The best poses are the ones with no name,” such as the one I’m demonstrating here, a preparatory position and first vinyasa for Trikonasana B (revolved triangle), Parsvottanasana (pyramid, or intense side forward bend), and Parivrrta Ardha Chandrasana (revolved half moon). This in-between-pose is usually only practiced for one inhale “on the way” to some destination; but as a posture in and of itself it opens the line from the back foot crossing the psoas to the top hand, a relationship integral to proficient performance of the asanas that might follow, and one that just might trick you into utilizing those elusive bandhas. Richard sometimes refers to this posture as “Challenging Indra Pose, not to be practiced on golf courses during thunderstorms.” Indra, being the Indian equivalent of Zeus, sits above the clouds and hurls thunderbolts at potential threats, including powerful yogis whose arms grow miraculously longer during asana practice.

Richard’s method of teaching has been particularly useful to me for my work teaching Ashtanga yoga to incarcerated men. Re-envisioning each asana and vinyasa as a sacred moment of listening, we grow closer to the wisdom inherent in our own nervous system. This fine-tuning of the inner ear not only leads to a perfection of asana -- not that the poses are perfect, but that the person practicing is already perfect; listening in this way demands that we begin to live within the shelter of the yamas & niyamas, the ethical precepts of yoga.

Internal forms of practice “turn the light around” from external perception to internal feeling. Many prisoners begin practicing yoga with an eye toward physical improvement or rehabilitation of injury, but then find their way into the more contemplative pursuits of pranayama, visualization, and meditation via methods informed by Richard’s teaching. As stated on page 9 of The Art of Vinyasa: “Visualization helps you to organize sensations and perceptions so you can release habitual, self-centered perspectives on these sensations and relate to the world as a composition of interconnected parts.”

Perhaps the power of the imagination harnessed in Richard’s technique is best explained by the French philosopher and student of Sufi mysticism, Henry Corbin, in his doctrine of the “mundus imaginalis” or imaginal realm: “Between the universe that can be apprehended by pure intellectual perception and the universe perceptible to the senses, there is an intermediate world, the world of Idea-Images, of archetypal figures, of subtle substances, of ‘immaterial matter.’ This world is as real and objective, as consistent and subsistent as the intelligible and sensible worlds; it is an intermediate universe ‘where the spiritual takes body and the body becomes spiritual.’” (Henry Corbin, Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi).

What I most want in my own practice, in my teachers and in my own teaching is this ability to mediate between the worlds -- inner and outer experience, hard physical reality and energetic subtlety, progress in practice and return to the basics. Perhaps all of these require an abundance of that magical faculty, the imagination!

Come explore this synthesis of anatomical precision and internal form with Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor at Yoga on High this May, including specific insights into backbending, hip opening, twisting, the Finishing Poses and a section entitled “Restorative Ashtanga,” which I personally cannot wait to experience!

Art of Vinyasa Teacher Day | Friday, May 26
Art of Vinyasa Weekend | May 27-28

Adam Wetterhan is a yoga instructor at Yoga on High, Blue Spot Yoga, and through Healing Broken Circles at Marion Correctional, where he is also Director of Programming for a community center inside the prison.  Adam has been practicing yoga for most of his adult life, holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from Capital University, completed his 200-hour certification at Yoga on High in 2015 and is currently enrolled in their 300-hour program, where he has concentrated on Ashtanga, pranayama, and yoga therapy.

 

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What does it mean to be a channel for Reiki?

Marcia-8436ccWhat does it mean to be a channel for Reiki?  We often hear that Reiki is Universal Energy that is channeled through us. The image given by one of our dear teachers, Hyakuten Inamoto, is that of being like a “hollow bamboo.” This beautiful loving energy flows through us—it is not “our” energy. Air flowing through a bamboo flute, for example, doesn’t come from the bamboo, it comes through it.

This image is very helpful but doesn’t go far enough in my experience of Reiki. There IS a sense that something is coming through me that is not originating within me, and I think this is what Sensei Inamoto means by this comparison. However, a piece of bamboo with air flowing through it isn’t changed by that experience, yet I am deeply changed by the Reiki flowing through me. Just before I started writing this article I did my Reiki self-practice and paid close attention to my experience. I immediately felt more relaxed and at ease. I felt a warm, tingly, energetic flow coming through my hands and into my body, and my whole body felt spacious with room for all parts of myself.  My mind didn’t get especially quiet, but there was room for the thoughts I was having and so much more. Everything felt in context and interconnected. I felt meditative and happy for no particular reason. As I gave myself Reiki I also sent Reiki energy to many other people I love and care about. (This is a practice learned in Reiki Level 2.) I felt the connection with them as well and my heart welled up with love. Even when my main intention is to give Reiki to another, it is still affecting me as I offer it.

There is something so very special about offering Reiki to another person. They are receiving a powerful energy that is not mine—since it is not coming from me, but through me—so in a way I am a hollow bamboo. But, there is more for me. In addition to the Reiki flowing through me, the person under my hands is getting my care, my intention to serve and my love. They are getting something from me by my personal presence. We experience a powerful mutual connection by being in the Reiki energy together, and we are both transformed by it, whether the session lasts just 2 minutes or is much longer.

So what does it mean to be a channel for Reiki energy? I invite you to join me in this ongoing contemplation. I have been living with this question for years, but lately in a more active way. As I give myself or someone else Reiki I have been feeling into my experience in a deeper way—even repeating that question and just sitting with the felt responses that come to me. And I’m also asking this question as I go through my day when I am not giving Reiki consciously. Do the events and decisions of my daily life affect the way Reiki is channeled through me? I’m finding that in some ways yes, and other ways no. I’ll save this exploration for another article. In the meantime keep offering your warm, Reiki hands to yourselves and others.

Note: I have been doing self-Reiki now for about 20 years. In my early years I didn’t have many sensations. I would feel relaxed after my sessions, but that was all.

Marcia-8579ccMarcia Miller has been practicing and teaching Reiki for 20 years. She uses it is all sorts of ways—in private Reiki sessions, in private therapeutic yoga sessions, in yoga classes, as part of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy™ and in her daily life. She is teaching Reiki at national Yoga Journal conferences, as part of UZIT training and in the Reiki Masters’ program at Yoga on High, beginning in October, 2017.  Marcia is teaching our upcoming Reiki Level 1 Training March 18 -- 19 at Yoga on High.

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