ashtanga

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.

Richard Freeman’s approach to teaching yoga is a consistent re-envisioning and re-imagining of traditional yoga techniques, particularly those found in the various series of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system Richard studied with his guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. With equal love for physical, contemplative and philosophical practice, Richard has devised a completely unique and idiosyncratic teaching that invites each student constantly back into the “beginners mind” -- forget what you know, and practice into the open mind. You can hear straight from him about his method and history of practice here.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.25.53 AMIn the recently released The Art of Vinyasa, Richard and his partner Mary Taylor collect the condensation of the vinyasa method unique to the lineage and innovation of the luminary T. Krishnamacharya, teacher of Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar and others. Correct vinyasa for entering and exiting postures extends into a method for sequencing postures into the yoga mala, or garland of practice. The Art of Vinyasa begins, not with Sun Salutations or an introduction of asana technique, but with a chapter entitled “Natural Alignment: The Internal Forms of the Practice,” wherein the question is asked: if asana is as old as we think it is, how was physical practice taught without our modern knowledge of anatomical alignment?

One answer given is that the practice of visualization was key: visualizing deities, remembering teacher demonstrations, sensing into systems of the subtle body (nadis, bandhas, mudras, cackras, etc). These internal forms create a deep core of listening in and around the body, wherein the rhythms and pulses of the nervous system itself can be the teacher. We can see this key turning in the lock of Richard’s teaching when we hear in class about the heavy golden coccyx (tailbone) and the four angels of the pelvic floor, undulating the torso like the “peacock who swallowed a snake,” spreading kidney wings and lifting cobra hoods, coiling around the sun in the belly and tasting nectar at the root of the palate.

RichardFreeman_AdamWetterhanA precise knowledge of the power of sequencing asana with the internal forms of the practice has led Richard to emphasize the transitional space between each pose, lengthening out the boundary-points between one pose and another. He says, “The best poses are the ones with no name,” such as the one I’m demonstrating here, a preparatory position and first vinyasa for Trikonasana B (revolved triangle), Parsvottanasana (pyramid, or intense side forward bend), and Parivrrta Ardha Chandrasana (revolved half moon). This in-between-pose is usually only practiced for one inhale “on the way” to some destination; but as a posture in and of itself it opens the line from the back foot crossing the psoas to the top hand, a relationship integral to proficient performance of the asanas that might follow, and one that just might trick you into utilizing those elusive bandhas. Richard sometimes refers to this posture as “Challenging Indra Pose, not to be practiced on golf courses during thunderstorms.” Indra, being the Indian equivalent of Zeus, sits above the clouds and hurls thunderbolts at potential threats, including powerful yogis whose arms grow miraculously longer during asana practice.

Richard’s method of teaching has been particularly useful to me for my work teaching Ashtanga yoga to incarcerated men. Re-envisioning each asana and vinyasa as a sacred moment of listening, we grow closer to the wisdom inherent in our own nervous system. This fine-tuning of the inner ear not only leads to a perfection of asana -- not that the poses are perfect, but that the person practicing is already perfect; listening in this way demands that we begin to live within the shelter of the yamas & niyamas, the ethical precepts of yoga.

Internal forms of practice “turn the light around” from external perception to internal feeling. Many prisoners begin practicing yoga with an eye toward physical improvement or rehabilitation of injury, but then find their way into the more contemplative pursuits of pranayama, visualization, and meditation via methods informed by Richard’s teaching. As stated on page 9 of The Art of Vinyasa: “Visualization helps you to organize sensations and perceptions so you can release habitual, self-centered perspectives on these sensations and relate to the world as a composition of interconnected parts.”

Perhaps the power of the imagination harnessed in Richard’s technique is best explained by the French philosopher and student of Sufi mysticism, Henry Corbin, in his doctrine of the “mundus imaginalis” or imaginal realm: “Between the universe that can be apprehended by pure intellectual perception and the universe perceptible to the senses, there is an intermediate world, the world of Idea-Images, of archetypal figures, of subtle substances, of ‘immaterial matter.’ This world is as real and objective, as consistent and subsistent as the intelligible and sensible worlds; it is an intermediate universe ‘where the spiritual takes body and the body becomes spiritual.’” (Henry Corbin, Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi).

What I most want in my own practice, in my teachers and in my own teaching is this ability to mediate between the worlds -- inner and outer experience, hard physical reality and energetic subtlety, progress in practice and return to the basics. Perhaps all of these require an abundance of that magical faculty, the imagination!

Come explore this synthesis of anatomical precision and internal form with Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor at Yoga on High this May, including specific insights into backbending, hip opening, twisting, the Finishing Poses and a section entitled “Restorative Ashtanga,” which I personally cannot wait to experience!

Art of Vinyasa Teacher Day | Friday, May 26
Art of Vinyasa Weekend | May 27-28

Adam Wetterhan is a yoga instructor at Yoga on High, Blue Spot Yoga, and through Healing Broken Circles at Marion Correctional, where he is also Director of Programming for a community center inside the prison.  Adam has been practicing yoga for most of his adult life, holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from Capital University, completed his 200-hour certification at Yoga on High in 2015 and is currently enrolled in their 300-hour program, where he has concentrated on Ashtanga, pranayama, and yoga therapy.

 

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February Calendar of Events

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

Workshops:
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

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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

Workshops:
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

 

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October Calendar of Events

Workshops:
October 1 October Dedication Challenge
October 2 108 to Rehabilitate with Michele Vinbury and Yoga on High Foundation Supporters
October 2 Sanskrit Workshop with Rhonda Kuster
October 8 Yoga and Acupuncture with Linda and Hope
October 8-9 Philosophy Weekend with the Yoga on High Partners
October 9 Restorative Yoga and Live Music with Abby and Holly @ Grow Yoga
October 14 Prema Hara Kirtan with Kamaniya and Keshavacharya Das
October 17 Introduction to Ayurveda with Marina Zahran and Breanna Mustard
October 21 Leslie Kaminoff: An introduction to Breath-Centered Yoga
October 21-23 Leslie Kaminoff: Yoga Therapeutics
October 22 Mandala Art Adventures with Michele Vinbury
October 27 Urban Zen Integrative Therapy – Program Kick Off
October 27 Meditation on the Spiritual Path with Dandapani
October 29 Diwali, Festival of Lights Yoga Class with Anne Weidinger and Michele Vinbury

Reiki Programming:
October 3 Monday Evening Reiki Level 2 Training with Jodi Patton & Julia Haas
October 13 Reiki Level 2 Exploration with Marcia Miller and Linda Oshins
October Reiki Shares: 3, 10,17 & 31

Yoga on High Open Schedule Additions:

Thursdays Hatha Level 1 & 2 with Marcia Miller from 9:30a to 10:45a
Fridays iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation with Jasmine Grace from 8:15a to 9:00a

Grow Yoga Open Schedule Additions:

Tuesdays Hot Flow Level 1 & 2 with Jeremy Grace from 6:00a to 7:00a
Thursdays Hot Flow Level 1 & 2 with Teresa Eigel from 6:00a to 7:00a

Series Classes:
Mondays 4p October 3 – December 5 Multiple Sclerosis Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
Thursdays 5:45p October 6 – December 8 Prenatal Yoga with Mary Sinclair
Thursdays 7:30p October 6 – December 8 6-Week Advanced Vinyasa with Lara Falberg
Saturdays 12p October 8 – December 10 Multiple Sclerosis Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
Sundays 10:30a October 9 – November 13 6-Week Kids Yoga (Ages 6-11) with Julie Standish
Mondays 7:30p October 10 – December 12 Prenatal Yoga with Jenn Gebhart
Sundays 5:30p October 16-November 20 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Correna Starbuck
Tuesdays 7:30p October 18 – November 22 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith

Free introductory Classes at Lululemon Polaris:
Sunday, October 2 from 10:30a to 11:30a; Intro to Sekoia with Alissa Jackson
Sunday, October 9 from 10:30a to 11:30a; Intro to Ashtanga with Correna Starbuck
Sunday, October 16 from 10:30a to 11:30a; Intro to Vinyasa Flow with Sally Walsh Roberts
Sunday, October 23 from 10:30a to 11:30a; Intro to Sekoia with Meredith Bury
Sunday, October 30 from 10:30a to 11:30a; Intro to Vinyasa Flow with Gina Derry

UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) begins October 27, 2016
Free Info Sessions:
Sunday, October 2 from 2:00p to 3:00p at Yoga on High
Tuesday,  October 4 from 7:00p to 8:00p ET -- Conference Call

Ayurveda Heath Counselor (A.H.C.) begins November 5, 2016
Free Info Session:
Wednesday, October 5 from 6:00p to 7:00p at the All Life Center (Powell)
Sunday, October 9 from 5:00p to 6:00p at the Teacher Training Institute

300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training – Rolling Enrollment
Email applications@yogaonhigh.com to schedule an appointment with one of the studio owners or two apply.

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August Calender of Events

Partners-1499eWorkshops:
August 12 Ayurveda: Calming Anxiety with Jasmine Grace
August 13 – 14 Reiki Level 2 Training & Attunement with Marcia Miller and Linda Oshins
August 18 Sekoia Hike with Michele Vinbury
August 20 Meditation Teacher Training with Jasmine Grace
August 26 Potluck and Talent Show
August 27 Sekoia Chakra Journey with Michele Vinbury

August Reiki Shares: 1, 8, 15 & 29

Series Classes:
7:30p Tuesdays August 2 6-Week Ashtanga Foundations with Tom Griffith
10:30a Sundays August 7 6-Week Kids Yoga (ages 6-11) with Julie Standish
6:00p Wednesdays August 10 iRest Yoga Nidra with Michele Vinbury
5:45p Mondays August 15 Inversions from the Ground Up with Marcia Miller
4:00p Mondays August 10-Week Hatha Level 1 with Melanie Miller @ALC Powell

Upcoming Teacher Trainings:
200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training -- Begins September 9, 2016
Free Info Sessions:
Thursday, August 11 from 6:00p to 6:45p at the Teacher Training Institute
Sunday, August 28 from 12:00p to 12:45p at the Teacher Training Institute

UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) -- Begins October 27, 2016
Free Info Sessions:
Thursday, August 18 from 7:30p to 8:30p ET- Conference Call
Saturday, August 27 from 4:00p to 5:00p at Yoga on High

Ayurvedic Heath Counselor (A.H.C.) -- Begins November 5, 2016
Free Info Session:
Friday, August 12 from 5:15p to 6:00p at the Teacher Training Institute

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Ask More of Yourself: Practice with Kino MacGregor

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 2.23.58 PMI was super excited about the weekend workshop with Kino MacGregor. As a true yoga nerd, I had been following her since well before Instagram was even a thing. Based on the bright colors and huge smiles on her social media, you might expect a yummy yoga workshop -- unicorns and candy canes and rainbows. Kino is not here to take us on an amusement park ride. She is very serious about yoga.

Kino’s personality was certainly bubbly, with a wide smile that so often shines out from her frequent Instagram posts, and a friendly and funny demeanor. However, she has received a lot of unfortunate negative attention for her appearance and clothing style, so based on media criticisms, it might be easy to dismiss her as a frivolous person. Yet, Kino quickly put to rest any question of authenticity by demonstrating a deep and profound knowledge of and commitment to the practice of Ashtanga yoga. She was a devoted student of Guruji, dedicated to his memory; following his guidelines for Ashtanga yoga is her path. Her clear-eyed focus on this path drives her disciplined nature and progress through the series of Ashtanga. 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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February Happenings

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Yoga on High February Print Schedule (PDF)

Upcoming February Workshops and Trainings:
Feb 5 Sekoia Hike
Feb 6 Reiki: Healing in the Language of Love
Feb 7 Charles Gibson: Thai Yoga Massage
Feb 10 Pranayama Teacher Training
Feb 13 Couples Massage
Feb 13-14 Acro Yoga Workshop
Feb 14 4-Part Melt Workshop
Feb 20 108 Hour Ashtanga Teacher Training
Feb 21 Restorative Master Class: Inversions

Reiki Shares:
Feb 1, 8, 15, 29

Information Sessions:
200hr TT: Feb 28 1:15-2:15
Ayurveda: Feb 12 5:00- 5:45

All Life Center – Powell – Drop In Classes:
Monday:
9:30a Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 with Marcy Freed
Wednesday:
7:00p Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 & 2 with Marcy Freed

Step by Step Wellness – Westerville – Series Classes:
Monday:
9:15a Mommy & Baby with Janet Braden (Starts Feb 8)
6:00p Prenatal Yoga with Julie Carpenter (Starts Feb 22)
Tuesday:
7:00p Yoga for Runners with Marcy Freed (Starts Feb 9)
Thursday:
6:00p Yoga for Highschoolers (teens 13+) with Katie Whitsett (Starts Feb 18)
Saturday:
11:00a Kids Yoga (ages 6-12) with Mary Lynn Niland (Starts Feb 13)

Yoga on High -- Short North -- Series Classes:
Tuesday:
6:00p EMBER with Michele Vinbury (Starts Feb 23)

Grow Yoga Upcoming Workshops:
Feb 13 Valentine Yoga and Poetry
March 5 Melt Method Introduction
April 16 Ignite Your Personal Transformation

Grow Yoga February Print Schedule (PDF)

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What is the Ashtanga Primary Series?

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David Keil and Tim Miller will be guest faculty members for the Yoga on High 108 Ashtanga teacher training. To get to know David Keil, and for a concise look at the components of the Ashtanga Primary Series, click here.

For more information on the Yoga on High Ashtanga teacher training, please click here.

If you would like more information on this program, call us at 614-291-4444 or email Enrollment Director, Stacee Hill, at applications@yogaonhigh.com.

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And the Journey Continues

yohigh_152By Gail Larned

I had been studying and practicing Hatha yoga for about 10 years before I started practicing Ashtanga, in 1998. When I first saw people practicing Ashtanga, I was hooked: “I want to do what they’re doing!” I taught a yoga class at Grant Hospital at the same time as the Primary Series class at Yoga on High and couldn’t attend it. I’d arrive at YoHi to see all of those sweaty, jubilant Ashtangis, and wish I could be in the room with them. So I quit my gig at Grant and joined in the fun. I began to study with my friend and colleague Martha Marcom, learning the sequence of the Primary Series. And it has always been that for me: challenging, rewarding and fun.

Read More…

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