Supporting the Prenatal Experience

by Mary Sinclair

This is my 11thyear teaching prenatal yoga at Yoga on High and I find the spectrum of my experience fascinating! My teaching style continually evolves due to all I learn along the way. Being on the prenatal yoga scene is a surefire way to grow as a teacher, just like the pregnant body grows and changes.

One of my favorite aspects of teaching pregnant women is being a part of their support team.  I love to create and hold the space for them to come together to share their mutual experiences. After all, this may be the only time they get to be around other pregnant women. Class time becomes their sanctuary, letting them spread out, be themselves, share and gather information and share their common woes and celebrations as well. Read More…


Carrying the Weight

By Linda Oshins

I embarked on some of my wildest and biggest learning journeys on a whim. Often huffily.  Something wasn’t quite right in my life and I responded by marching off in a random direction without a lot of forethought. I did an Outward Bound that way. My couch potato husband wouldn’t hike with me, my college-age son left an Outward Bound brochure in my line of sight, and I signed up. I had no idea what I was doing. I thought it was a regular guided hike. I didn’t know that Outward Bound courses are carefully planned to take the group beyond its comfort zone. I was 41 years old and weighed 105 pounds at the time. When we hoisted those 60-pound packs on our backs, and one of us fell over and couldn’t get up, I got the idea. During that wonderful and dreadful 10 days, all of us looked our habits in the face. When faced with adversity, some of us got angry and blamed the guides, who were not present at the time (too dangerous to blame each other). And some of us looked inward, blamed ourselves and got depressed.  Or were overwhelmed by fear, confused and hating our weakness. Some of us rose to the occasion, really shining in an emergency, but struggling testily through the tedious tasks.  And we were true to our habits. Stretched beyond our tolerance levels we always reacted in the same way. We had a view of the world and we stuck to it. Outward  Bound gave us a glimpse into ourselves and taught us our limitations are self imposed. Read More…


Yoga for the Creative Class: Do Your Yoga

By Colleen Leonardi

Do your yoga, which is another way of saying do your thing. Never had this become so clear to me so quickly—the connections between being your creative, searching self and doing yoga—than in a dharma talk with yoga teacher Doug Keller at Yoga on High last weekend.

I love dharma talks. And Doug gives really good talks. He actually talks for two hours and cites all sorts of sources and has a thesis and touches on philosophy while still keeping it light and engaging with anecdotes and stories. He started with the history of Hatha yoga and its transformations over time, but then he said something like, “When you join your focus to a discipline that is yoga,” and I was hooked.
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Mentoring a Healthy Community

This April, the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) held their annual student leadership conference in Columbus, Ohio.  The Conference was hosted by the Charles School at Ohio Dominican University, a local 5-year early college high school.  The students in these programs are from under-resourced and under-served areas around the country, most will be the first in their families to attend college, some will be the first to graduate from high school.
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Moving on from Cancer Day Long Retreat, May 2013

By Marcia Miller

Thanks to our donors to the Yoga on High Foundation we were able to host 37 women with cancer for a day long retreat designed to give them rest, rejuvenation and tools for dealing with the stress and symptoms of their disease.  Thanks also to our 17 volunteers who took a day off to be with us for this special program. In addition to offering them the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy modalities of simple movement, restorative yoga, guided relaxation, reiki, and essential oil therapy, all participants were trained in basic reiki techniques.  Participants from our previous retreat requested to learn reiki for their own self-care and to be able to offer it to others in their families and community.  We were very happy to give them what they wanted.
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If you never get stuck you never get better…

By Jennifer Whittemore

For me it was headstand. Every time the teacher said the word—in English, in Sanskrit—it didn’t matter, I felt my forehead tighten and my breath seize. I just couldn’t do it. Or I should say, that I could physically move into the posture, but never without paying for it with panicky feelings, soreness in my neck and between my shoulder blades.

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Featured Teacher: Lee Kelly

Why do you practice?
I practice to remind myself that the box I tend put myself into is only a perception.  True freedom comes from contacting the
f e e l i n g
of unlimited inner space that fully embodied movement gives me.  I practice to remind myself that that imaginary box is made of my illusions that I need to be perfect.
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Some Facts about the Breath

By Linda Oshins

Yoga students in asana classes are taught several forms of the “yoga breath.” In Ashtanga classes, the entire practice, excluding Savasana, is done while using a breathing technique called ujjayi. Ujjayi, which translates as victorious breath, slows, smooths and regulates the breath by slightly narrowing the throat, thereby providing a little more resistance to the passage of the breath in and out of the lungs. In Hatha classes, students are taught the 3-part breath which has them fill the lungs from the bottom up, making sure that they breath low in the body rather than high in the chest. Before doing some of the other pranayama practices (yoga breathing practices) students must have trained themselves to breathe in a healthy fashion. So what is a healthy breath? Read More…


Featured Teacher: Linda Oshins

Why do you practice?
Honestly, I don’t know how anybody makes it through life without a yoga practice or something like it. I’ve practiced for different reasons through the years, depending on the challenges in my life, and yoga has always been the basis for change, growth, acceptance and, at some point, joy.

Why do you teach?
I teach to be part of the big practice—mine and other peoples’ experiences.

I am grateful to a large number of teachers who have helped me through the years, but true inspiration for me comes from nature. The body/mind, part of the natural order are endlessly miraculous.

Who have you trained with?
Too many to mention. Right now, my teacher is Richard Miller. Also, Marcia Miller was my first yoga teacher and continues to be a inspiration today.

What style do you teach?
I used to teach what YOHI calls “hatha,” a style that uses props and sequences each class or personal practice differently, depending on the class feels at the time. Discerning ours actual needs is a practice in itself. Now I teach breath awareness practices, pranayama, and meditation, especially yoga nidra.

What’s your favorite food?
Bread, and I try not to eat it. But I love to cook and eat a wide range of veggies prepared in all different ways.

Do you own any animals?
I don’t have any live-in pets but I’m an avid bird watcher and know the birds at my feeders personally. Some are trained to take seed from my hand.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
Round bolster.

What style influences your teaching?
Iyengar; Angela and Victor’s energy based, internal practices; Richard Miller’s body sensing practices; Richard Miller’s iRest yoga nidra work.

Favorite yoga pose?
Back bend, any variation. Love to  open that front body!

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
Lily or Rose

Your favorite item of clothing?
Loose pants!

What did you want to be when you were little?
A fiction writer

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?
A trip to Morocco for a friend’s wedding. Being part of those festivities was unforgettable.

What is your mission?
My mission right now is to leave a legacy for younger yogis as I move toward retirement. I want to make opportunities for other people to realize their dreams.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
Marcia and Martha, along with a small group of my other close friends, saw me through the death of my husband. That was a long commitment. They were there supporting me for a couple years through the most intense period of grieving.

What books are you reading right now?
Rereading The Heart of the Yogi by Doug Keller because Jasmine asked to me write up a short, concise summary of the difference between dualism and non-dualism. I checked a couple good quotes and before I knew it I was deep into philosophical history again. Dipping into Making Love with Light as a daily contemplation; this book was a present from Marcia and has already earned a place on the bookshelf forever. For fiction, I’m reading Fall of Frost by Brian Hall, and poetry-wise it’s Stanley Kunitz’s Passing Through. I’m also addicted to Japanese Death Poems (my non-yoga friends think I’m crazy). They were written by Japanese monks on the verge of death. Here’s one by Daido Ichi’i.

A tune of non-being
Filling the void:
Spring sun
Snow whiteness
Bright clouds
Clear wind.

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