Bragging

I didn’t know there was such a concept as Humblebrag until I read about it in The New York Times (Style Section, Sunday, December 2, 2012), but I was already troubled by an undertow of backhanded self-congratulation in my own media posts. Humblebrag is a term coined by comedian Harris Wittels, a writer for the NBC series “Parks and Recreation.” It’s self-aggrandizement in the form of self-deprecation, and according to the article, it’s found its home via social media. The famous and near famous are particularly prone to it. Here are a couple examples from The Times article. “My emails send so slowly over here in Cannes! So frustrated!” “Why do men hit on me more in sweat pants?” “Honored and humbled to be included in @claudiachan’s profiles of global ‘remarkable women.’”

Blogging about yoga, it’s tempting to write a piece wherein I experience a mini-spiritual crisis, described or implied, and my yoga practices lead me to a happy resolution. All of us on the YOHI blog are prey to this narrative line. The reader, after many such blog posts, could be forgiven for wondering, are they ready for sainthood yet? The thing is, those stories are true. Yoga continues to offer us insight and direction on every level, helping us meet the challenges in our lives. But no matter how many times we realize another personal truth, we bump up against the imperfectability of the personality. See writings on the kleshas for one explanation as to why. Hopefully, our experiences are shared by you, the reader, and reading about them is of interest.

In this blog I’ve decided, in order to avoid false modesty, to brag outright. I’m looking back at 2012 and the accomplishments of the men and women who work and teach at YOHI with pride. Here are a few of the highlights.

• YOHI changed behind the scenes. Jasmine dragged us shuffling into the 21st century, hence the new website alive with pictures of YOHI teachers and students, our facebook presence, the ability to buy passes and workshops on the web, and the blog site itself. She also streamlined many business practices making it easier for the desk goddesses to addressed your needs and retain their sanity when the desk gets busy.
• The bookstore got a facelift and carries many new, interesting items including Young Living Oils, which figure in Urban Zen programs offered at YOHI.
• YOHI welcomed new staff members to keep up with expanding workloads and support new programs. We now have a program director for the Yoga on High Foundation, a scheduling coordinator, a marketing coordinator, a teacher training program administrator, an ashtanga teacher training director, and a Morning Mysore Club director. Amanda, who everyone knew as head goddess, stepped up to the role of office manager, and Brooke now focuses all her time on bookkeeping and financial analysis.
• The partnership changed. Two of the founding partners amended their roles. Martha cut back her time at the Center dramatically in order to travel with her newly retired husband, Jerry, and Linda stopped teaching asana classes. That was hard for us, but welcome. And we are proud of how we handled these emotionally loaded changes, taking them slowly enough to digest them. Marcia, thankfully, worked on as usual, and Jasmine became a partner!
• In 2012, The Yoga on High Foundation funded programs for veterans with PTSD, inner-city school children, sexual abuse survivors, and women prisoners. We wrote our first grant and received funding from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Columbus Affiliate, for the women’s cancer retreat that served cancer patients and oncology nurses. And Marcia laid the groundwork for yoga therapy sessions delivered in cooperation with various medical treatment facilities throughout Columbus.
• YOHI launched new programs in 2012 including the Morning Mysore Club, the Prenatal Teacher Training Program, OM vinyasa and hot yoga classes, expanded Urban Zen offerings, and the Yoga on High Book Club. And we moved to continuous programming—no more quarterly breaks! We had a fuller roster of fascinating and proficient guest teachers than in any previous year with a total of 300 hours of weekend or week-long programming to choose from.
• We laid the groundwork for more changes in 2013 including a revamped 200-hour teacher training program, 100-hour post-grad specialties in Ashtanga yoga and vinyasa yoga and a 500-hour yoga therapy program. We also worked toward offering the Urban Zen practitioners’ training in Ohio in 2013.
• The programs that have been in place for 12 years still retain their relevancy, vitality, and level of excellence, undiminished by all the new activity. Those familiar ashtanga and hatha public classes, along with the new vinyasa classes, offer an approach to yoga for every “body.”
• Pinched for space, we looked for an additional location for Yoga on High and found it in November. Just around the corner from 1081 North High Street, we will be opening the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute, a studio for workshops and teacher training programs.

Change never occurs without some sense of loss. People told us that they didn’t feel we were as accessible to them as before. They liked rounding the corner and seeing us working in the back office. They could stop and chat. There are so many of us now that we can’t all fit in the back office, and we do much of our work from home, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t available. If you would like to talk by phone or get together for tea, let us know. We don’t want to lose touch!

At the YOHI staff holiday dinner, I looked around the table at the talented and committed Yoga on High team with pride. We pump a lot of work through the good intentions of 12 smart women! The same sense of awe and gratitude overtook me at YOHI teachers’ meetings. The teachers show unflagging dedication to their yoga practices and their students. All of us take pride in our community and the work done at YOHI by everyone who enters its doors—staff, teachers and students.

Let’s meet again in 2013!

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