iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation: A Living Practice of Connection & Belonging

 

s-lopez-web_7By Stephanie Lopez 
This blog was originally published in the Accessible Yoga Conference newsletter in 2016.

In the course of daily life how often do we feel unseen, disconnected, and disempowered? For many this is an all too frequent experience.

People practice yoga and meditation to discover a sense of ease, balance, and purpose. I believe there is a deeper motivation as well; a longing for connection with one’s self and rest of the world. I’ve found this yearning is satisfied through iRest Yoga Nidra. This transformative yet simple practice uncovers an undeniable ground of well-being and interconnectedness. It brings forth a direct sense of wholeness that is unchanging regardless of life’s circumstances. Read More…

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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. Read More…

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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. Read More…

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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. Read More…

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Christen Boyles: Venture Inward

Christen BoylesBy chance, or perhaps by divine intervention, I stumbled into a semester-long yoga class in college. I knew nothing about yoga at the time. I knew I had anxiety. I knew I was overwhelmed. I remember that class being the only two hours of my week when I felt like I could breathe.

At the end of that semester, I graduated and left on a retreat-like road trip by myself across the country. Life was quiet and simple for a month, and a trip that I had thrown together at the last minute ended up being life-changing. I packed a $10 yoga mat (which I still use to this day) and rolled it out on dusty campsites for 30 days. At some point, I decided I wanted to share this practice with other people.

On a 1,400 foot peak In Utah, I met a group of friends and discovered that myself and the two girls in the group share the same birthday. Divine intervention? One was a yoga teacher. Divine intervention.

Before I knew it, I was back home and walking into my first night of teacher training at the Yoga On High Teacher Training Institute. An elaborate mandala of candles and flowers was spread out on the floor and we all chose a seat around the circle. None of us could have imagined the journey we were about to embark on together.

The knowledge shared
Friendships formed
Tears cried
Hands held
Epiphanies reached
Lives changed

I learned how to teach yoga. I learned how to adjust poses and sequence classes. But most importantly, I learned to venture inward in search of myself. I learned to be in silence whether it was comfortable or not. I learned to look fear in the face and do it anyway. I learned to quiet my mind. I learned why people cry on yoga mats.

I laughed, cried, felt vulnerable, got frustrated, and through it all, I was always surrounded by a community of people who supported me, reminded me to forgive myself and to always go forward.

I still feel the support of that community as I navigate each new experience as a yoga teacher. I feel the impact of those 9 months with me everyday.

I am eternally grateful.

Christen2Christen Boyles graduated from the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute in 2016. She teaches Hatha yoga and is passionate about teaching students who are just beginning their yoga practice. She is also interested in the ways that yoga can help students cope with stress and anxiety.

Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins March 17. 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 applications@yogaonhigh.com

Watch Yoga on High Teacher Training video here.

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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. Read More…

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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.

Read More…

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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 Read More…

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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.

Read More…

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