Monthly Archives: September 2017

October Calendar of Events

Schedule Updates
Monday 1:00p Urban Zen with Jenn Gebhart
Sunday 10:15a Kids Yoga with Staff

October Workshops
October 1 Gratitude Guru October Challenge
October 13–15 Kino Macgregor Weekend Workshops
October 14 Diwali, Festival of Lights Yoga Class with Anne Weidinger
October 14 Bend & Brew with Jeremy Grace
October 20 Ray Long Anatomy Weekend
October 21 Sekoia Spirit Journey: Owl with Michele Vinbury
October 22 Abundant Columbus with Sarah Dryer

Upcoming Workshops:
November 3-5 Reiki Level 1 & 2 Intensive with Linda Oshins
November 11-12 Reiki Master Attunement and Teacher Training with Marcia Miller
November 18-19 Jason Crandell
December 8-10 EMBER Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Teacher Training
December 9 & 21 Holiday Restoratives

Series Classes:
Hatha Beginner Series
5:45p Mondays, starting October 2 Hatha Dynamic New Beginners @ TTI with Marcia Miller
2:00p Sundays, starting October 15 Hatha Beginner Series @ Grandview with Holly Moretti

iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation Series
6:15p Wednesdays, starting October 4 iRest Yoga Nidra Series with Michele Vinbury

Prenatal
6:00p Mondays, starting October 2 Prenatal @ Step by Step – Westerville with Julie Carpenter
5:45p Thursdays, starting October 5 Prenatal with Mary Sinclair
12:00p Saturdays, starting October 7 Prental @ Step by Step – Westerville with Julie Carpenter
7:30p Mondays, starting October 9 Prenatal @ TTI with Jenn Gebhart

Ashtanga Foundations & Advanced Series
7:30p Tuesdays, starting October 10 6-week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith
3:00p Sundays, starting October 15 6-week Ashtanga Foundations with Correna Starbuck
11:30a Sundays, starting October 29 6-week Advanced Ashtanga with Tom Griffith

Specialty
9:30a Sundays, starting October 8 Introduction to Qigong @ Grandview with Kevin Eigel
4:30p Thursdays, starting October 19 6-week Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 @ ALC – Powell with Marcy Freed
7:00p Tuesdays, starting November 7 Yoga for Runners @ Step by Step –Westerville with Marcy Freed

MS Series
4:00p Mondays, starting October 2 MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
12:00p Saturday, starting October 7 MS Yoga with Jenn Gebhart

Upcoming Teacher Trainings:
Pranayama Teacher Training with Linda Oshins
Begins February 7, 2018

300 Hour Teacher Training
1 to 3 Year Customizable Program and Rolling Enrollment
For questions or more information contact: linda@yogaonhigh.com

 

 

 

 

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10 Key Values the Best Yoga Teachers Possess

I’m driven and ambitious when I train teachers. I’m ridiculously passionate about yoga. And, I’m opinionated about the need for education to have clarity, consistency, cohesiveness, and practicality.

And so, I drill technique and teach alignment and philosophical details that will help teachers become better at teaching asana classes: I want them to graduate having a more detailed understanding of how the body works. I want them to know more accurate verbal cues and precise manual adjustments. I want my graduates to create sequences that follow a logical, progressive arc and educate their students. I want them to understand the philosophical container of yoga, where yoga comes from, and how to communicate the ancient wisdom of yoga to students in a modern setting.

But, if I’m being honest, I aspire to teach my advanced trainees more than that. I take it for granted that my graduates will be able teach a kick-* class. For a yoga teacher, this is just being good at your job.

And so, there are four questions that tug at me throughout each and every training I conduct:

– What are the core values and essential skills that I want graduates of my programs to embody?

– What type of teacher and professional do I want to help my graduates become?

– How are my graduates different after my programs than before my programs?

– Am I just adding to their bank of knowledge and technique, or am I imparting qualities that go beyond the ability to teach a good class?

To answer the questions above, I’ve come up with the essential values I hope to convey to my advanced training graduates. I believe these values honor the practice and teaching of yoga.

Speak Up—Not Down—To Your Students

Your students are not just in class to workout. Yes, they want to move and use their bodies. It’s undeniable that they might even want to workout and sweat. But, your students have taken their shoes off and they’re in a yoga class. This means that they also want to learn to move more skillfully, safely, effectively, and intelligently. Your students want to learn how to manage their anxieties, fears, and other stresses. They want to learn how to pause, reflect, and find happiness in the life they are living.

Treat your students as though they are teachable, sound people who are capable of learning from this tradition. Assume that they are in your class to learn about themselves, to feel embodied, and to improve the quality of their lives. So, speak up to your students, not down to them. Teach them yoga while you work them out (if that’s the type of class you teach). Students who aren’t interested in learning these dimensions of yoga will simply move on and find a different practice that meets their needs.

Be Critical Thinkers and Engaged Practitioners

I share this passage with my trainees in every setting. It’s from Chogyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. He writes:

“There is a saying in Tibetan Scriptures that ‘knowledge must be burned, hammered and beaten like pure gold.’ So, when you receive spiritual instruction from the hands of another, you do not take it uncritically, but you burn it, you hammer it, and you beat it until the bright, dignified color of gold appears.”

I remind my graduates—nearly every day—that they shouldn’t take my teaching as singular or infallible truth. I want them to be critical thinkers. I want my students to listen, test, and experiment. If what I teach my students is true and accurate, it will stand up under scrutiny. If it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, then it’s my job to reconsider and revise the teaching. I want my graduates to have the confidence to maintain this spirit.

Continue to Grow and Revise

I didn’t know everything about yoga twenty years ago when I started teaching. I don’t know everything about yoga today. In twenty years, I won’t know everything about yoga. No one—not guruji this or panditji that—knows everything there is to know about the massive scope of yoga and the human experience. We need, as a community, to embrace the reality that many teachings—from time-to-time—need to updated based on experience.

Do we get rid of the ancient teachings that have stood the test of time? No. Let’s continue to uphold and cultivate everything that stands up to the test of time. But, let’s not continue to do Triangle Pose a certain way if it’s hurting our sacrum simply because that’s the way it was taught to us. No. Let’s stay up to date. Let’s learn along the way. Let’s be open, honest, and willing to revise our teaching based on our deepening understanding of this tradition and how it affects modern practitioners.

Keep Your Teaching Real and Relevant

The vast majority of the yoga-practicing population is never going to press into Handstand. That doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate this work into your classes, especially if you’re passionate about inversions.

But, Krishnamacharya had a saying: “Ninety percent of the benefit of yoga comes from the simplest ten percent of the practice.” To me, this means that in addition to the big, challenging stuff that’s engaging and exciting and Instagram-worthy, we need to remind our students that doing foundational postures with skill and focus creates a long-term, valuable impact. Let’s continue to build content that is relevant and accessible for our students—not just show the content that is inspirational.

Develop a Point of View Without Minimizing Other Points of View

I believe that everyone has experiences and beliefs that shape their values, worldview, and point of view as a teacher. I also believe that having a point of view as a teacher is natural, normal, and necessary. I have a point of view about, well, just about everything in yoga from the rotation of the bottom arm in Triangle Pose, to the motion of the inner-border of the scapulae in Down Dog, to the components of Patanjali’s teaching that are most relevant to a modern yogi. My beliefs are substantiated by experience. But, this doesn’t mean that my point of view on any given topic is the only valid point of view.

If you take professionals from any trade, you will find that they disagree on countless particulars. If you take ten economists and show them the same data, they may each come to slightly different conclusions. I want my graduates to have the depth, discernment, and confidence to stand behind what they teach without condemning other perspectives.

Be an Advocate For Your Students

I believe that yoga teachers should always have their students’ best interests in mind. And, when appropriate, we should advocate for our student’s wellbeing by encouraging them to find support outside of the yoga tradition.

Suzuki Roshi, the author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, said, “Teaching Zen is not like training dogs.” I believe the same to be true when it comes to teaching yoga. If someone may benefit from therapeutic modalities that are not part of yoga, we should advocate for them. Some students may benefit from physical therapy and orthopedic attention. Some students may benefit from various forms of psychological support. Some students will take medicine because medicine helps them be well.

We should be opening doors in students’ belief systems, not closing them. We live in a modern world with many different forms of help. Let’s embrace them, not diminish them.

Do Not Make Prescriptive Claims

I want my graduates to understand the importance of these three words: “I don’t know.”

Is yoga super good for you? Yes.
Do we want everyone to practice yoga forever and always? Yes!
Do we know why your back hurts, why your shoulder hurts, or why you’ve been having trouble getting out of bed lately? No. No, we don’t.

Yoga teachers should not put themselves in the position of making claims, performing a diagnosis, or creating prescriptive practices, no matter how well-intentioned they may be. Yoga is inherently therapeutic, but this doesn’t mean that we’re conducting therapy.

Our job is to teach students yoga that works for their body, not fix an ailment. We want to help our students be well. We want to understand how to minimize injuries through effective technique and sequencing. We want to see and understand bodies so that we can help students modify and avoid future suffering. We want to teach good, solid yoga that is relevant to our students’ needs. All of these things often produce a therapeutic effect. This is how yoga works. And, this is very different than telling someone with knee pain and dysfunction that all they need to do is strengthen their quads. We need to understand and respect this boundary.

You Are a Teacher and You’re Teaching a Subject

Yoga is a subject. It’s a body of work. It’s a living tradition. It’s a discipline. It includes anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, philosophy, educational pedagogy, sequencing, manual communication, verbal communication, content creation, and more.

Yoga teachers deal with every component of the human condition and the timeless drive toward transcending the human condition. This means that your job is not as simple as showing up for 60, 75, or 90 minutes and helping people feel better. Sure, this is part of the job. But, there’s something much bigger at play here: Yoga teachers are educators, not just facilitators of flow.

If you were teaching math, you’d want people to learn math. If you were teaching history, you’d want people to learn the themes, concepts, and experiences that different communities have undergone for various eras. If you were teaching photography, you’d want people to understand light, shadow, and composition. As yoga teachers, we’re helping students gain depth, insight, and skill in every facet of the human experience that yoga touches.

Develop a Curriculum

It’s difficult to teach if you’re not clear what you’re trying to teach. Similarly, it’s difficult to learn if you’re not sure what you’re trying to learn. This is why teachers of every single subject under the sun have curriculums. This is why teachers of preschool, kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school, and university have curriculums. This is why I believe that graduates of my programs should be developing a curriculum. I believe that yoga teachers are accountable to their students for providing them with an education. Developing a curriculum helps clarify the learning and skill development process for our students. It also helps teachers refine and articulate their values and beliefs.

You are Part of a Community

You are not alone.

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Journey to the Strongest Version of Myself: Marina Zahan

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Acts of Karma Yoga Love during Philosophy Weekend

What a ride…the Yoga On High TT program has turned me inside + out in about 13 different ways.

While studying at OSU, I was on a pretty stark path of what I thought I wanted my life to become. I jumped thru hoop after hoop at a young age to get ahead professionally—efforts entirely motivated by gaining approval from my peers, professors, cohorts + (especially) parents.

I was seriously, absolutely, completely, miserable.

This teacher training program has taught me what it means to be the strongest version of myself. It has opened (almost too many) doors. The mentorship aspect is where I felt the strongest resonance + support from this program. Team camaraderie was ubiquitous to say the least. We met to play, practice, offer support in times of heartache + stress, and engaged in new activities such as archery, tai chi + rock climbing.

The TT program granted me a sense of community never felt before. My gratitude will forever reach into the arms of Michele Vinbury. the crusader of this program, and extend to all those who work endless hours to create the most thoughtfully crafted training I have ever experienced.

Yoga On High is a highly acclaimed studio + teaching institute in the midwest. This 200hr TT program flourishes as it offers one-of-a-kind experiences such as: the 2-day Silent retreat, in depth anatomy classes & other modalities such as Pranayama, iRest, Ayurveda, Meditation, Yin & more.

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Silent Retreat -- sure we couldn’t talk.. no one said we couldn’t giggle

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Silent Retreat

Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins September 22nd.  For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session Sunday, September 10th from 11:45a to 12:30p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High. To apply or for questions, contact Breanna at applications@yogaonhigh.com

Watch Yoga on High Teacher Training video here.

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Update on Jerry Marcom

Dear Friends,

I know you have been wanting more news about Jerry so here is the latest update. When I asked him what he wanted to share he said to tell you that he now has a big hole in his head.  Lots of space in there these days. Jerry has been recovering from his brain surgery very well these last few weeks.  His physical recovery from the surgery is going well and the PT evaluating him in order to leave the hospital wanted to take his picture to show what she wished all her patients could do.  He was doing a bit of yoga in the hall, keeping things moving as we yogis like to do.  He has also been able to continue to offer very meaningful rituals to honor Martha’s life including getting some of her ashes up onto Mt Shasta with the help of Tom Griffith and many others. He has had time to make beautiful heartfelt, and in some cases miraculous connections with friends, family and people showing up from his past. He has been able to be medically useful by participating in a study requiring a series of MRIs that may help doctors to better understand these types of tumors. He and family have figured out what help he needs to stay at home and he is very relieved and grateful to have that in place. He even took time to come to our Urban Zen training session and support the new trainees. He has been able to return to Morning Mysore with a very modified practice. His doctors explained his limitations and he and dear friend Rhonda Kuster worked out what that meant for a daily routine. This practice brings him much pleasure and balance and I’m guessing that others in the room are inspired to see him there doing what he can. He has recently been able to spend time at his cabin at Lake Logan--long a refuge and sanctuary for him. 

He will start radiation soon. Doctors know that the type of tumor he has responds well to radiation and we hope that is true in his case. He will be taking an oral chemotherapy at the same time as well. He wants you to know he is doing well, but is not able to return to all the previous activities he did before the surgery. He continues to need lots of rest and quiet. He is not driving and not going out much. He sends his love.

As for ways you can help: Do your own practice and dedicate the practice to Jerry and everyone else in need. Send Reiki and blessings his way.  Cards and notes can be sent to him care of Yoga on High. 

Jerry and his whole family are grateful for your love and support.  

Thank you so much,
Marcia 

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