Posts by: yogaonhigh

March Calendar of Events

Community-9499Schedule Updates:
Grow Yoga:
All mid-morning Grow Yoga classes have moved to 9:30 am start time:
Monday Slow Flow Level 1 & 2 with Cara @ 9:30a
Tuesday Sekoia with Alissa @ 9:30a
Wednesday Slow Flow Level 1 & 2 with Cara @ 9:30a
Thursday Hot Flow Level 1 & 2 with Erin @ 9:30a
Friday Slow Flow Level 1 & 2 with Anne @ 9:30a

Yoga on High: Please see web for most current schedule.

March 3-5 Sekoia Teacher Training with Jasmine Grace, Michele Vinbury & Karine Wascher
March 6 Reiki Share with Jasmine Grace
March 10 Ayurvedic Herbs: Making Tinctures with Jasmine Grace and Meredith Bury
March 10 – 12 Yoga for people over 50 with Marcia Miller @ Yogaville Virginia
March 12 Prenatal Partner Workshop with Mary Sinclair
March 18 – 19 Reiki Level 1 Training and Attunement with Marcia Miller
March 22-26 David Keil Mysore – SOLD OUT
March 25 Sekoia Spirit Journey: Snake with Michele Vinbury @ Grow Yoga

Series Classes:
March 6 -- 20 Monday 5:45p Balancing the Hips with Marcia Miller
Mar 28 -- May 9 Tuesday 4:00p 6-Week Hatha Level 1 & 2 Melanie Miller @ All Life Center
Mar 29 -- May 3 Wednesday 6:30p Yoga for Runners with Marcy Freed @ Step By Step Wellness -- Westerville

Upcoming Teacher Trainings:

200 Hour Teacher Training -- 9 Month Weekend Program
March 17-19 Kick-off Weekend
Free 200 Hour Teacher Training Info Sessions:
Sunday, March 12th from 12:00p to 12:45p at Yoga on High
Watch Video Here

Ayurvedic Health Educator AHE I -- 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, March 12th from 6:30p to 7:30p at Yoga on High TTI

300 Hour Teacher Training – 1 to 3 Year Customizable Program
Rolling Enrollment

UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) – 11 Month Program
Wednesday, August 23 through Sunday, August 27
 First Onsite


Ellen Smith: Adventure

TTsI began the Yoga on High teacher training program with the sole focus of wanting to become a yoga instructor. What transpired over the next nine months was an amazing journey that brought me not only my RYT-200, but also a deeper understanding of myself and the connection of mind, body and spirit. I was in awe my first night of class when we were invited to “empty your cup.” At that point I can say now without judgement or embarrassment that my yoga practice was more ego driven, muscling through poses regardless of form or safe technique. So that first night when we were invited to empty our cup and let go of what we thought we knew, to make space to truly learn, I made the conscious decision to check my ego, cup empty, let the adventure begin.

Over the next nine months the diverse group of dedicated instructors inspired me with their knowledge of all things yoga…….anatomy, pranayama, meditation, subtle energy, sequencing, adjusting, and even marketing. Each lesson was delivered in an intelligent accessible format, providing a comprehensive program that was both fun and challenging. From the reading and written assignments, to assisting and practice teaching; I found the progression of the program perfectly provided me the opportunity to develop the skills I needed as a teacher to help my students grow and deepen their practice. I feel I was given a solid knowledge base as well as a supportive space to establish my own unique teaching style.
I am grateful for the education I received through the Yoga on High teacher training program. I was met with several personal challenges during my training that allowed me to experience first-hand the transformational power of yoga. While the textbooks from the program have become a resource library that I constantly refer back to for the wealth of information they provide, it is what I learned on a personal level while in the program that I come back to on a daily basis…”yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s what you learn on the way down.”

Ellen_Smith_TTEllen Smith is a graduate of the 200 Hour Yoga on High Teacher Training.

Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins March 17. February 17 is the last chance for the paid In full price of $2850 (with no deposit, no monthly payments). For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session Sunday, February 19th from 12:00p to 12:45p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High. To apply or for questions, contact Breanna at

Watch Yoga on High Teacher Training video here.


Interesting Reads for Current Times

Beginning in March, the Yoga on High Foundation will host monthly discussions centered around books and podcasts. Our hope with this series is to help encourage an educated, engaged and inspired community -- as well as to foster open, thoughtful dialogue around issues of the day.

Enroll in a book conversation here.

During the course of creating these community events, I had the opportunity to ask for book recommendations from some amazing, intelligent and caring people. What follows is a list I’ve compiled of their favorites, combined with my own picks for 2017 must-reads.  If you have recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

-- Michele

1984 by George Orwell

The Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel

The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz

The Rebel by Albert Camus

The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White: the strange journey from Ellis Island to the suburbs by David Roediger

Borders: A Very Short Introduction by Alexander C. Diener and Joshua Hagen

Hope In the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit

The Age of Fracture by Daniel Rodgers

Neither Beasts nor Gods by Francis Kane

C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy by Jeff Sharlet

Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy by David Daley

Gerrymandering in America: The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Popular Sovereignty by Anthony McGann

The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

White Trash: The 400 year old untold history of class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Listen Liberal: or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People by Thomas Frank

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance

Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men by Rus Ervin Funk

Transforming a Rape Culture by Emilie Buchwald, Pamela Fletcher and Martha Roth

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ain’t I a woman? Black women and feminism by bell hooks

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

A Bond between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion by China Galland

Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

When Abortion Was A Crime by Leslie Reagan,

This Common Secret: My Life as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Cents and Sustainability:  Our Common Future by Gro Harlem Brundtland

Mobilizing the Green Imagination: An Exuberant Manifesto by Anthony Weston

This Changes Everything: Capitalism and the Climate by Naomi Klein

World as Lover World as Self: Courage for Social Justice and Ecological Renewal by Joanna Macy

The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan

To Repair the World: Paul Farmer speaks to the next Generation by Paul Farmer

No god but God: Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Raza Aslan

The Bible and the Sword by Barbara Tuchman

Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

A Path Appears: Transforming lives, creating opportunities by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle

Choosing Peace: New Ways to Communicate by Ike Lasater and John Kinyon

Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu

Full Catastrophe Living, John Cabat Zinn

Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte

Ten Poems to Open Your Heart by Roger Housden


On Being

John Lewis:

Ruby Sales:

David Whyte:



Shannon Taylor: Wide Open Heart

IMG_0046Heart. Cracked. WIDE. Open with space for new and beautiful things! Yoga is sometimes SO big (for me), that it’s hard to put into words. I walked into Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga on High nearly a month after taking my first-born to college (one of the most beautiful, exciting and toughest moments of my life). Looking back…I was a little raw (emotionally). I was full of so much emotion and energy. I only shared with a few people that I was investing in myself, and starting this journey. On a Friday evening in September, the nine month journey began. Armed with my Nike spirit tee “Just Do It”, I was BURSTING with excitement! When it was my turn to introduce myself…it was all I could do but scream I’M SO EXCITED!!!! I couldn’t believe that I was really there, living out a dream. It was a long time coming. I knew shortly after my first “live” Yoga class that eventually, I wanted to teach yoga. I wanted to create a class where people would leave feeling AMAZING in body and in spirit! Up until Spring 2015, it had been something I’d talked about, but didn’t think I had the time or money to actually do it. I stepped out on faith, applied for the program, and somehow, some way…. God made a way! But, what I didn’t know then was how much Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga On High would impact my life.

Birthing a “Yoga Baby.” The program is nine months for a reason. There is so much to learn. Asana, pranyama, meditation, anatomy and alignment, yamas, niyamas, sutras…my spirit (and body) were stretched in ways I couldn’t begin to articulate…and you need TIME for that! I didn’t expect for my practice on the mat to grow and change, I was supposed to be learning how to teach people yoga. I became a better listener of others (teachers) and of myself. I established and developed a personal practice and I began to understand (from an academic, philosophical and spiritual perspective) how my yoga practice had changed my life and allowed me to deal with the “adult” part of my life.

Being Silent…As a little girl, I always got the comment on my report card that referenced my talking. Quiet isn’t necessarily my thing. I like talking, I love podcasts, I like the TV playing in the background, I like music…. That being said, the Silent Retreat was initially very intimidating, SILENT! No talking at all? That weekend was one of the most fulfilling and exciting weekends of my life!   My husband still can’t believe I was quiet the whole weekend. I didn’t know it, but it was just what I needed. The quiet was beautiful. I colored, I journaled, I ran, I practiced yoga, I meditated and I processed and I was able to reset. Now, I treasure those moments of silence. Allowing myself to be fully immersed in my actions.

Solid Ground. Throughout my Teacher Training experience, I would tease and tell my friends that I was in the “Harvard” of Yoga Teacher Training. In all seriousness, the breadth and depth of the Yoga on High TT program is so vast and unparalleled! I’m forever grateful that my journey as a teacher began here. Yoga on High will always have a piece of my heart! It includes a strong philosophical foundation and an explorative approach to practice on the mat. The program is thoughtful and comprehensive. It was well structured, nurturing and challenging, providing a strong foundation for a teacher and practitioner. The access to an amazing group of teachers/mentors and their classes provided the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and experiment with different styles of yoga and different instructors. This also informed my own teaching style. When I began teaching my own classes, I felt confident that I was well prepared and would provide my students with a quality experience.

Support. Friendships cultivated with my mentors and fellow TTs will last a lifetime!

Yoga is a gift! Trust me, I will be unpacking the experience for the rest of my life!

A54186AA-4D7F-4E3D-A7F4-99F51006D22FShannon Taylor currently teaches at Replenish Spa Co-op.  She enjoys sharing yoga with family, friends and coworkers and strives to be a light to others whenever opportunity allows. Shannon is dedicated to bringing access to yoga to underrepresented populations, encouraging them to grow their practice through self exploration and powerful choices. Off the mat, Shannon is a wife and mother and works as a College Advising Manager for the non-profit organization, I Know I Can.

Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins March 17. February 17 is the last change to get the paid In full price of $2850 (with no deposit, no monthly payments). For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session Sunday, February 19th from 12:00p to 12:45p with Michele Vinbury at Yoga on High. To apply or for questions, contact Breanna at

Watch Yoga on High Teacher Training video here.



Yoga on High: Our 2018 Transition to an Updated Location

Partners-1340e2You – our clients, students and teachers – are and always have been our number one priority. And what encircles us all, tying our beautiful community together and making it all possible is our space. We have called our High Street location home for 15 years, but now we are so excited to announce plans for a new location in 2018.

We’re sorry you didn’t hear it from us first, Columbus Underground (link to article) beat us to the punch, but here’s what we can tell you at this time.

  1. All classes, programs and teacher trainings will remain uninterrupted though all of 2017, with plans for smooth transition in 2018.
  2. We are in negotiations for the new 1081 N. High St. space and have the entire year to find the perfect spot.  We have been working with a Broker, so let us know what you would like!  A dedicated hot yoga room?  Wall of windows?  More mandala art?  Dark wood floors?  We’d love to know your thoughts.  Please email

Even though the brick and mortar will change, the spirit of our beautiful studio will not.  We are committed to maintaining the integrity and diversity of Yoga on High’s programs and classes – and are looking forward to celebrating this growth with you! Thank you all for your continued support and patronage.


February Calendar of Events


Schedule Updates:
Ashtanga Half Primary Level 1 & 2 Wednesdays at 7:30p with Adam Wetterhan

February 3 Beach Yoga Girl Master Class with Kerri Verna
February 4-5 Beach Yoga Girl Weekend Workshop with Kerri Verna
February 10 Prenatal Teacher Training kick-off weekend with Jennifer Gebhart and Mary Sinclair
February 11 Yoga for Pelotonia with Anne Weidinger and Julie Kennel
February 15 Pranayama Teacher Training kick-off call with Linda Oshins
February 19 Acro Yoga Workshop with Jarred Keener
February 19 Couples Massage with Crystal Fauber
February 24 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Marcia Miller
February 25 Sekoia Spirit Journey: Spider with Michele Vinbury @ Grow Yoga

Series Classes:
February 10 – March 17 9:30a Friday 6-Week Sekoia Series with Alissa Jackson @ All Life Center – Powell
February 15 – March 22 5:45p Wednesday 6-Week Advanced Ashtanga with Tom Griffith
February 23 – March 30 4:30p Thursday 6-Week Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 with Marcy Freed @All Life Center – Powell
February 28 – April 4 11:15a Tuesday Mommy & Baby with Janet Braden @ Step by Step Wellness -- Westerville

Upcoming Teacher Trainings:

Sekoia Teacher Training with Jasmine Grace, Karine Wascher and Michele Vinbury
March 3 -- 5

200 Hour Teacher Training -- 9 Month Weekend Program
March 17-19 Kick-off Weekend
Free 200 Hour Teacher Training Info Sessions:
Tuesday, February 7th from 6:00p to 6:45p at Yoga on High
Sunday, February 19th from 12:00p to 12:45p at Yoga on High
Sunday, March 12th from 12:00p to 12:45p at Yoga on High
*Don’t miss our February Paid in full option by February 17, 2017: $2850 (no deposit, no monthly payments)

Ayurvedic Health Educator AHE I -- 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, February 12th from 6:30p to 7:30p at Yoga on High TT
Sunday, March 12th from 6:30p to 7:30p at Yoga on High TTI

300 Hour Teacher Training – 1 to 3 Year Customizable Program
Rolling Enrollment
Free 300 Hour Teacher Training Info Session:
Sunday, February 19th from 2:00p to 3:00p at Yoga on High

UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) – 11 Month Program
Wednesday, August 23 through Sunday, August 27
First Onsite
Free UZIT Info Session:
Sunday, February 19th from 1:00p to 2:00p at Yoga on High


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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