Yogi of the Month: Paul

Yogi of the Month

Nickname: Harvey (long story how I got the name, but it is from the Jimmy Stewart movie…)

Occupation: English Teacher, Thomas Worthington High School

Fun fact about you: I am colorblind, more like an almost complete absence of color vision. Not sure if it is fun, but it sure makes picking out my clothes interesting.

Who is your favorite instructor and why? That is like asking me to pick my favorite cheesecake! I love Michele for her energy, her enthusiasm, and for reminding me that it’s just yoga. I love Lara’s humor and irreverence, as well as her helpful adjustments (and for having the best playlists), and I love Daniel and Jake’s class (at Grow Yoga) for helping me “be a happy little tree.” Read More…

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Adventures in Teacher Training: Teresa Eigle

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.20 PMIt’s hard to believe I am more than halfway through this amazing journey that is my yoga 200 hour teacher training at Yoga on High. I came into yoga teacher training wanting to deepen my own practice. That goal still remains. Halfway through I am still not sure whether I want to teach, but I am 110% sure I have accomplished my goal…with still so much more to learn and absorb from my teachers and fellow students. If I teach, my purpose and motivation will be to spread the power of yoga to as many people as I can. Observing a roomful of students settling into Savasana and relaxing as a consequence of your voice is pretty freaking amazing…thinking about it gives me the chills.

My own regular practice began about 5 years ago, when I decided I should start stretching more after I exercised. At the time, to me (and still to so many), yoga was merely a means of becoming more flexible and stronger. I would power through a class, cranking myself into the deepest adaption of each pose I could. The sweatier I was after class, the better. The sorer I was after a class, the better. I look back now and smile with gratitude that yoga entered my life at all…and at the fact that my practice has taken a 180 degree turn since then. Read More…

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Adventures in Teacher Training: Stacy Abbott

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.40.22 PMVery suddenly I quit my demanding corporate job. Thirty-seven years young, mother of 3—it was time to re-assess priorities. A crossroads, and, on the other side, balance. This was my intention. I would say, “Someday I will make yoga a priority.” Someday was now. And by ‘now,’ I meant ‘right this very second.’ Then all would make sense, the moon & stars would align and my world would be full of everything blissful, right?

I knew I wanted to go to the ‘yoga mecca’…the highly respected YOHI for teacher training. But as it turned out, I had just missed the start of a class and the next one wasn’t for 7 more months. Obviously I couldn’t wait 7 more months to become a teacher…7 more months to find balance…to maybe, just maybe,find…enlightenment!!! No, this had to happen now. I had already put it off for 15 years!! So I began ‘Teacher Training shopping,’ researching other programs. In my over-eagerness, I was lead to a phone conversation with another teacher training program. You know that gut feeling inside…the one we often don’t hear, but feel, and often choose to ignore? Well, I heard it, I felt it, I listened. Read More…

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Adventures in Teacher Training: Christa Overbeck

Christa“How has teacher training changed my life?” There are so many ways to answer this question and at the same time there is no answer at all—at least not in words. The journey of yoga and of teacher training in particular has been an expedition into “felt sense,” an intuitive deepening in and of the body, mind, and spirit that defies language, a peculiar thing for this word lover.

Entering into the 9-month, 200-hour teacher-training program, I was somewhat ambivalent. I was taking a teacher training course and yet I wasn’t certain I actually wanted to teach yoga. I have taught high school English for the last thirteen years. I love what I do, and I wasn’t looking for a career change, and yet as I took stock of my life—my accomplishments, my blessings, my questions, my hurts, my hopes—teacher training felt like the best course of action. Read More…

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Real Yoga

Yoga Class-3247by Michele Vinbury

Morning Practice.  I step onto the smooth, familiar coolness of my mat.  The pre-dawn yellow of a street light spills across the floor.  I yawn and spread toes, feeling my feet ground into the well-worn grooves scuffed through the mat’s surface.  My body, at first stiff, begins to sense and then move with the fluid streams of breath that glide in and pour out.

Inhale.  Honey sweet, the breath enters, expands and unfurls.

Exhale.  All effort undone as the breath slowly recedes and then fades away.

Inhale.  Opening. Receiving.

Exhale.  Surrendering.  Releasing. Read More…

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Adventures in Teacher Training: Alissa Jackson

AlissaJacksonYou know when you are desperately looking for something precious that you lost… Something you love and adore, but you seem to have misplaced it… When you have opened every closet door, every drawer, looked under every bed, and the house is a complete disaster… yet you are still sitting on your bed racking your brain about where it could be? You hardly remember the last time you saw it. Then it turns out that the very thing you were looking for was right where you left it last, and you just kept overlooking it, and piling other things on top of it. Well, that was me looking for myself, my true self, in the few years prior to beginning the 200-hour Teacher Training Program at Yoga on High.

I was at a point in my life where I needed a change, a challenge, a path to learn to trust my heart rather than continuing on a trajectory that, in many ways, was built from my perception of others’ expectations of me.  I was seeking the answer to the question “Who am I?” I wanted to peel the onion layer by layer to see what was in the middle. I knew that there was more for me to know.

Another teacher in the community recommended Yoga on High as the perfect place to begin the path of becoming a yoga teacher. I dutifully reviewed the curriculum and credentials of teacher training programs in Columbus and decided to dip my toes in the water at the various studios. I attended Yoga on High first and took a few classes from the teachers who I knew were Teacher Training Institute (TTI) teachers. What I found at Yoga on High consistently were teachers with such compassion and warmth. I was welcomed into this community with open arms. I took skillfully led classes that left me in awe and feeling fulfilled in many ways. I listened to captivating dharma talks, was guided into alignment by intelligent cueing, and I heard the words, “you are already complete, healthy and whole” for the first time in my life. I knew from the first class I attended that I was in the right place. I also knew that I wanted to give this gift of yoga to others.  I signed up for the 200-hour program soon after attending those first few classes. I went from dipping my toes timidly in the water to diving in headfirst. I never looked back.

The program was transformational for me for many reasons.

The Teacher Training program at Yoga on High allowed the space for me to step into vulnerability, to feel sensation, to be with myself, and to accept all of it. Everything was welcome – sadness, joy, strengths, weaknesses, success and failures. I found the education and information invaluable. All the learning modalities offered by The Teacher Training Institute supported the path to becoming a mindful teacher and were also pointing me back to lessons I needed to learn about myself. From yoga history and philosophy, asana, and pranayama to meditation, anatomy, teaching methodology, subtle energy and class planning -- every area led me to realizing who I am and helped me to develop into the kind of teacher I wanted to be. For me, everything learned on the mat and at the Institute was parallel to life off the mat in those 9 months.

Looking back, the whole experience was similar to flowing into a pose and breathing. Inhale- lengthen, expand, notice; exhale- relax, let it all sink in. Inhale- find tension, un-comfortableness, find space, sensation; exhale- feel that. Inhale- grow; exhale- accept that, be with that.

Sometimes when I am teaching a class, I hear the thoughts as they waft through the mind,

Who is this? Who is this person, who is that voice?

-It’s you.

It’s me?

-Yes.

Yes, it is me. It is me. I’m home. I was here all along.

A deep satisfying inhale arrives, the exhale follows- relax, sink in, go deeper.

So who am I now? I am exactly who I always was all along, the difference is that I am not fearful to be that person. I continue to learn to accept and welcome it all. And so gratefully the exploration continues …

Alissa Jackson currently teaches at Grow Yoga. With a background in medical social work, Alissa enjoys working with diverse groups of people and in unique settings. She has experience teaching private individuals, hospital employees, in local parks and at schools. She is committed to sharing the benefits of yoga in the community.

To learn more about our upcoming 200 Hour Teacher Training beginning March 18th, join us at one of our free information sessions or email application@yogaonhigh.com.

FREE INFORMATION SESSION:
Sunday, March 13 from 1:15 to 2:15p at Yoga on High

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Adventures in Teacher Training: Britt Hunter

12765571_10156575019710626_1755945866_oI was fortunate enough to complete the 9-month 200-hour Teacher Training program through Yoga on High’s Teacher Training Institute between September 2013 and July 2014. I say fortunate because the program was an absolute gift to my entire being, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I was inspired to dive heart first into the program after practicing with many of the amazing teachers at Yoga on High. Each of the teachers of the program offered their diverse knowledge in their respective strengths to give a holistic education that not only provided a well-rounded understanding of yoga, but also helped me learn and develop my own strengths as a yoga instructor, which is essential if you want to teach. There is so much to learn about yoga. The best way to approach it is to find what you do best and go as deep as possible into that. One of the great aspects about the Teacher Training Program is you have access to whatever teachers/mentors most closely align with your approach to yoga: from anatomy and asana gurus to pranayama and meditation sages to just getting juicy, it’s all there.

Throughout the 9 months, I was crown deep in all 8 limbs of yoga as we navigated through anatomy and asanas, pranayama, meditation and my personal favorite, yoga philosophy. The pacing was perfect and I’m so glad I completed a program that spanned over 9 months rather than a shorter program. The amount of transformation you experience, if you allow yourself, is profound, and having enough time to go to new depths of understanding allowed me to emerge a completely “upcycled” person.

As I always say in my yoga classes, you control the depth of your experience. You can go as deep or stay as shallow as you’d like and the teachers/mentors are there for you if you lose your way. For me, tantra yoga (via the suggested reading in the Radiance Sutras) seemed to eloquently describe my approach to life and yoga. As such, I was naturally drawn to the Sekoia Yoga classes as I mentored with Karine and eventually also became certified to teach Sekoia.

I think it’s important to note that on my own journey, I’ve become acutely aware of the temptation and sway towards the instant gratification and posture-centered world of yoga; and it can sometimes feel like a high school popularity contest out there. I’m truly grateful for the grounded training I had at Yoga on High to keep perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in rocking a perfect handstand to post on Instagram, but thanks to my foundational training at Yoga on High, I haven’t lost sight of the core of my practice and my journey. For me, this makes my personal practice and my teaching way more fulfilling.

The 200-hour program was just the beginning for me, as I quickly realized the wealth of information and philosophy out there. After completing the program, I’ve had a pretty unique journey: quitting my job as a lawyer, opening a pop-up yoga studio in my small hometown in Ohio, moving to India and teaching yoga in exchange for a place to live, meeting my now husband there and then moving to Australia, where I completed a level 2 (500 hour) teacher training program. I’m now teaching regular classes here on the sunny Gold Coast. It’s amazing to see how my life has changed, and, when I look back, the biggest push in my journey of consciousness was going through the Yoga Teacher Program at Yoga on High. I am eternally grateful and ever humbled to have the great fortune of being on this path in this lifetime. It’s an absolute gift. Yeeewww!!

Britt was practicing yoga before she even realized what yoga was; whether she found herself in deep contemplation in the forest, running barefoot through the grass, stretching after a nap under the trees or savoring the sweet air at dawn. Britt came to formally practice yoga when she needed a space to reconnect while she attended law school. Inspired by the ancient teaching of tantra yoga, Britt completed her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training  through Yoga on High’s Teacher Training Institute in Columbus, Ohio. She is now in the middle of  her 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training through Essence of Living on the Gold Coast in Australia, where she lives and teaches yoga.

To learn more about our upcoming 200 Hour Teacher Training beginning this March at Yoga on High, join us at one of our free information sessions or email application@yogaonhigh.com.

Tuesday, March 1 from 7:30p to 8:30a at he Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, March 13 from 1:15 to 2:15p at Yoga on High

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March Happenings

 

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Pre-Registration is now available for all classes!  Download our New Yoga on High APP or pre-register on line. Pre-Registration Frequently Asked Questions.

Yoga on High March Print Schedule (PDF)

Additions to Open Class Schedule:
Yoga on High – Short North

Tuesday:
6:30a Slow Flow Level 1 & 2 with Michael Murphy (Starts March 15)

All Life Center – Powell
Monday:
9:30a Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 with Marcy Freed
Tuesdays:
4:00p Hatha Beginner Drop In with Melanie Miller
Wednesday:
9:30a Slow Burn Vinayasa Level 1 & 2 with Kelli Joyce
7:00p Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 with Marcy Freed
Saturday:
8:15a Hatha Level 1 & 2 with Melanie Miller

Yoga on High -- Short North -- Series Classes:
Spring Series Classes – Coming soon!

Upcoming February Workshops and Trainings:
March 4 Tag Team Yoga with Lara Falberg and Julie Kennel
March 5 David Keil 9-day Ashtanga Training Course
March 11 Ayurveda: The Power an Ritual of Tea with Jasmine Grace
March 13 Meditation: Befriending the Mind with Marcia Miller
March 13 Open House all All Life Center -- Powell
March 21 Level 2 Training & Attunement with Jodi Patton and Angela Lamonte
March 25 Ayurveda, Asana and Pranayama Series with Jasmine Grace

Reiki Shares:
March 7, 14 and  21

200 Hour Teacher Training:
9-Month Weekend Program Begins March 18
Learn More

200 Hour Teacher Training Information Sessions:
Tuesday, March 1 from 7:30p to 8:30p at Yoga on High
Sunday, March 13 from 1:15p to 3:15p at Yoga on High

School of Ayurveda Information Session:
Friday, March 11 from 5:00p to 5:45p at TTI

Additions to Grow Yoga Open Class Schedule:
Tuesday:
4:00p Slow Flow Level 1 & 2 with Abby Dorn

Grow Yoga Upcoming Workshops:
March 5 Melt Method Introduction with Crystal Fauber
April 16 Essential Oils, Crystal Therapy and Chakra Workshop with Karine Wascher
Reiki 1 Level 1 Training and Attunement with Michele Vinbury
May 21 Runner’s Workshop with Marcy Freed

Grow Yoga March Print Schedule (PDF)

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Adventures in Teacher Training: Cara Unrue

CaraAsana_LowRes-14I walked into the first night of TT, never having meditated before.  We started with a meditation to ask ourselves on several different levels why we chose the teacher training path.  I was shocked and amazed at how much information I learned about myself and my purpose through this simple, yet profound exercise.  I was in need of much more that I had imagined, and I had so much inside of me to share with the world.

Over the next few months, I learned all about yoga philosophy, asana (the yoga postures), breathing (pranayama) and meditation.  I began to feel myself open slightly.  Each time we met, the bonds I formed with my “tribe” of fellow students grew, and the teachers in the program held the space for us all to open and blossom in our own way, and at our own pace.

The largest transformation came for me at the silent retreat held toward the end of the program.  It was the piece I was most apprehensive about, as I was so guarded and set in my ways… how would I deal with 3 days of silence away from my family and the outside world?  Through 3 days of meditation, asana, and sitting with my true self, my levy officially broke.  Everything that I had walled up inside of me flowed out.  There was no stopping it.  And it was scary.  But the most beautiful thing came from it.  Once it’s out, there is space left to breathe.  And there’s nothing to be ashamed or scared of.  For the first time, I was truly loving myself.  This was an essential part of my path.  How could I ever love my students or help them love themselves without first embracing me?

The program is masterfully written and is absolutely beneficial to all who embark on this journey.  Nothing forced or contrived --just a space to learn and grow, and to become a knowledgeable teacher, should that be your goal.  I now truly love the person I am, and am not afraid to share myself with my students, and the world.

Cara Unrue is a mentor in the Yoga on High 200 Hour Teacher Training and a teacher at Grow Yoga.  To learn more about our upcoming 200 Hour Teacher Training beginning this March, join us at one of our free information sessions or email application@yogaonhigh.com.

Saturday, February 27 from 10:30 to 11:30a at the Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, February 28 from 1:15 to 2:15p at Yoga on High
Tuesday, March 1 from 7:30p to 8:30a at he Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, March 13 from 1:15 to 2:15p at Yoga on High

 

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Handstands

Hatha_LowRes-155I love handstands.  I have loved and practiced them for decades and I never tire of the exhilaration I feel after each one. They help me feel strong and alive, even as I move deeper into my 60s. As a yoga teacher I also know that almost anyone can learn to do at least some version of a handstand, and that many students will be surprised, thrilled and amazed to get up in either a handstand prep or the full pose. Handstands empower us.

Because I teach handstands almost every week in at least one of my classes I am always looking for new ways of making this pose more accessible to my students. I’m always asking myself what alignment tips and various muscular and energetic actions can move my students (and me!) toward more ease, fun and airtime in this amazing pose.

This year I found another physical action that can help us balance in the pose. If you are not yet able to get up into handstand against a wall, then come to class to learn the basics. You can also practice this tip and get your body ready to support you.

The premise behind this practice is that handstand is not just about strength in the arms and wrists as some people imagine. An easeful handstand requires balanced muscular actions throughout the whole body. My students are telling me that doing this exercise, especially right before doing a handstand, awakens what they need to happen in the body to balance off the wall. See what you think.

Begin by lying on the floor on your back. Create the shape of Supta Padangusthasana (SP) with the left leg stretched out along the floor and the right leg up in the air with a strap looped around the center of the arch.

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In this version of SP the main actions of the pose happen in the leg on the floor.  The top leg can be extended into the strap but have enough ease through the back of the leg that the whole pelvis (especially the lower half) is completely on the floor.

As you focus on the bottom leg, feel it spreading lengthwise and sideways along the floor. Let the leg feel wide and completely glued to the floor. Keeping the leg glued to the floor, create the action in the body that would lift it off the floor and do that action strongly even though the leg is staying on the floor.  You’ll immediately feel the whole front of your leg and the left side of your torso up to your ribcage “wake up” with the toning of muscular action. These muscles are the stabilizers that will help you get up into handstand easily and balance once you are up. Relax effort and let the toning go, and then pause and do it again. Repeat on the other side. Be sure as you do this action that you are not flattening or overarching the back; let the front of the body do all the work.

If you look at the photo below I am pressing on the front of Evan’s shin and asking him to push me away. This way I can feel if he is getting the action correctly, and, if you are a yoga teacher, this is a useful assist.

Marcia Miller is teaching a Restorative Master Class on Inversions at Yoga on High February 21st from 9:30a-4p. You can also catch Marcia teacher her favorite handstand variations during her Wednesday evenings Hatha Level 2 & 3 drop in class at 5:45p at Yoga on High.

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