community

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.

We are having several different kinds of experiences as we send. Sometimes, we feel our friend as her separate self—with specific health and emotional sensibilities; for example, we can sometimes sense her anxiety, or we feel a deep personal love for her.

Marcia-8463ccSometimes I can feel our friend’s energy through the connection I feel with Linda. When Linda and I both lived here we did a lot of Reiki together. When we shared clients she would generally end up at their head and I would be at their feet. We found we could feel each other’s energy through a person’s body. We can feel each other in sending as well. When we are sending to our friend at the same time, we can feel each other there—together. Sensing Linda there with me is so comforting. As we walk side by side with our friend who has a terminal diagnosis, we need each other and Reiki is the best way for us to be with each other. It’s been hard for me to face this by myself, and it’s very comforting for me to know Linda is there as a felt experience. When I do my sending—generally at the end of the day—I’m tired and full of the day I just had. When I plug into my send it feels so much more palpable when Linda is there too.

And then there is the other type of experience I have—the Big Energy. Sometimes I start sending, and I tap into an Energy that is Big—it’s not just Linda and me together; it feels like the energy of the entire universe. It’s Big (I know I said that already but it’s the word that keeps coming) and palpable with a vibratory quality to it that feels like the essence of Life Force. It has a flow and pulsation to it. In this case, no matter how tired or distracted I am, I immediately feel this huge connection and can rest into it.

In my mind, I am not at all Ok about the impending death of my friend. But when I am in the Reiki energy with her, in that Big Energy, I am actually OK and so is she. It just feels Ok that life is as it is. That in itself is a huge gift as we go through this time together.

Reiki is one of my paths that has broadened my experience so that I know that things are not always as they seem. That love is love whether we are together or not. The Love and Reiki both exist without any limits of time and space.

Marcia Miller, Linda Oshins and Michele Vinbury are teaching Reiki programs throughout the year and reinitiating the Yoga on High Reiki Masters’ program beginning in the fall. Please click here for details.

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Yoga on High: Our 2018 Transition to an Updated Location

Partners-1340e2You – our clients, students and teachers – are and always have been our number one priority. And what encircles us all, tying our beautiful community together and making it all possible is our space. We have called our High Street location home for 15 years, but now we are so excited to announce plans for a new location in 2018.

We’re sorry you didn’t hear it from us first, Columbus Underground (link to article) beat us to the punch, but here’s what we can tell you at this time.

  1. All classes, programs and teacher trainings will remain uninterrupted though all of 2017, with plans for smooth transition in 2018.
  2. We are in negotiations for the new 1081 N. High St. space and have the entire year to find the perfect spot.  We have been working with a Broker, so let us know what you would like!  A dedicated hot yoga room?  Wall of windows?  More mandala art?  Dark wood floors?  We’d love to know your thoughts.  Please email questions@yogaonhigh.com

Even though the brick and mortar will change, the spirit of our beautiful studio will not.  We are committed to maintaining the integrity and diversity of Yoga on High’s programs and classes – and are looking forward to celebrating this growth with you! Thank you all for your continued support and patronage.

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Welcome Self-Inquiry

Abigail_Love_Teacher TrainingAbigail_Love_Teacher Training3After graduating from Ohio University I moved to Columbus to start my career as a nurse. Before moving, I was introduced to Yoga on High by a dear friend. Yoga on High quickly became how I built a sense of community in my new city. I immediately fell in love with the studio because of its central location, the sense of welcoming I felt as soon as I entered its doors, and the diversity of intelligent, passionate people attending the studio.

As my love for yoga grew, I was approached by my teachers at Yoga on High about my practice. They asked me if I was considering teacher training. My dream was to escape the city and do the training in an exotic location, and Yoga on High was doing their first Intensive in Costa Rica. I knew that was right for me because it would allow me to balance my career with the perfect learning experience. An added bonus was that I could share the experience with Taylor, a good friend from Columbus.

Once Taylor and I arrived in Costa Rica, we immediately felt relaxed and mentally prepared for the journey ahead. We both needed a break from our busy lives in the city and the time to focus on ourselves. The program was scheduled through three intensive, 3-hour class sessions each day, with breaks in between. We spent one week at three different locations. The first week we were in the rainforest at a biodynamic farm where we focused on the root chakra, the root of yoga, and the root of our practice. The second location was on a mountainside at an Eco-lodge facing the south pacific where we brought in the element of fire with the third chakra, the will power of our practice, and cultivated the authority to teach others. The last location was at a very luxurious beach resort with lush surroundings. Our room faced the beach and we could hear the waves crashing constantly. Here, we had reached bliss as a group – the sixth and seventh chakra. We learned to integrate all of the teachings, find our authentic voice, let our intuition guide us, and allow yoga to unify our life.

Jasmine and Michele provided just the right amount of challenge and support for each of our journeys. I never felt alone in the process or stifled by the pressure or expectations placed upon me throughout the program. It also helped to have by friend Taylor there as someone to lean on when I was feeling lost and it helped that we could decompress together. If you have the opportunity to take teacher training with a friend, I would recommend it!

I would say the most foundational thing I learned about my personal practice is to be OK with “backing-off” or taking a break when my mind or body needs me to. It is A LOT to practice yoga intensely three times a day, but because of my character, I immediately saw it as a challenge. I plan to use this lesson with my students by giving them the option to do less in order to feel more. My practice actually progressed immensely from this lesson because I am no longer holding that tension in my mind or my body. I was able to find ease and go further into what I sought or yearned for in my practice.

Abigail Love began her yoga journey at age 12. From an early age, she found that yoga helped adapt to body changes, improve self-confidence and build healthy relationships. Abigail is a nurse and sees yoga as a method of healing. She hopes her yoga classes will empower students to find harmony in their lives.

TT_Video-02Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins September 9th.  For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session Sunday, August 28 from 12:00p to 12:45p at the Teacher Training Institute. To apply or for questions, contact Breanna at applications@yogaonhigh.co

 

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A Poem for Summertime

Peaches_Full BloomFrom blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee
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Why Yoga Teachers Read Poetry

red-love-heart-typographyA year and a half ago, I moved to Seattle where I don’t know many people, formed a book group at my condo with my one good friend in the building, and the nine of us met to pick the books we would read in the coming months. I suggested a non-fiction book, What the Stones Remember by Patrick Lane, and a work of fiction, Gillead by Marilynne Robinson, and on a whim I included a book of poetry, The Way It Is by William Stafford. In the discussion about which to pick, several people mentioned that they don’t know how to or don’t like to read poetry, but a couple people were really interested and their enthusiasm carried the day. I was stuck leading a club meeting on poetry for people who don’t like to read poetry. Read More…

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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: 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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2015 Awards

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Yoga on High is in the news! When voting for best Columbus yoga studio or fitness studio, readers of Columbus Alive and 614 Columbus gave YOHI a big thumbs up! Thank you to those who voted, and to all the students who come to the studio and make it the vibrant learning community it is. Read More…

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Community of Care

by Marcia Miller

I live in a Community of Care and this has never been more obvious nor more intentional that this past year.  What does this mean--Community of Care?  It has several elements.

The first element is self-care.  One of the greatest obstacles to compassion is exhaustion. Those of us in the “business of care” need to know how to replenish our own energy stores, and we can be relied on to do this most of the time.  We are not perfect but we do our best.  We have daily practices that we know restore us.  We do them over and over even when we may think we don’t need them.  In addition to the daily rhythm of self-care we have occasional, longer periods of self-renewal that involve  stepping out of our daily lives for vacations or retreats. This is as essential as our daily practices.  We also schedule time together for fun and important conversations about what we value—we share our celebrations and our struggles.

The second element is community. We work together to care for the people in our community who need help at any given time.  No one person is indispensable, and we stay in communication to know who is able to help and to what degree.  Sometimes it is like a big puzzle as we figure out who can step up and who must step back.  Just this past summer one of us lost a beloved relative.  She needed regular support, so a group of us stepped forward to offer her what she needed including housing, food, Reiki and company.  We developed an email list of her support team and kept in touch about what she needed every day and what we could offer.  We created a schedule so everyone had clarity about who was doing what.  Then one of the support people found out that a relative of hers had a dire medical diagnosis and that she was needed at home.  She was able to step out of care for our friend and tend to her relative.  And we began to check in on her to see what was needed there.  And so it goes.  None of us is always a giver or a receiver--we take turns.

The third element that helps make this possible is self-knowledge.  We are checking in with ourselves on a daily basis to see what we realistically CAN do without causing ourselves harm.  We know that there will always be someone in our community needing support, and we are committed to our own sustainability which will allow us to continue the blessings of embodying compassion.

And along with self-knowledge we are cultivating honesty and increased skills in communication.  Knowing that you don’t have enough energy to help does not always translate into being able to say that to another, especially if the other is in trouble.  Many of us have been trained to believe that everyone else is more important than we are, and it can be hard to say no to a request for help or to take time for ourselves.  Learning to know what is true, and then speak what is true, are two different steps that are works in progress for each of us.

Back to community--if one of us loses track of what is reasonably possible to accomplish, another of us will be alert enough to help them step back and take more rest.  It may be as simple as a 10 minute restorative pose at just the right time, or a more extended sabbatical from helping.

It can also be a challenge for those of us who are used to being “helpers” to receive the care of our community, but we are getting better at this as well.  I have been amazed and gratified to see the grace of this. Another of our dear friends was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer this past summer, and has received much love and help from many of us since then.  She has been a beloved caretaker in our community for most of her life and now she is a beloved receiver of our care.  It has been really gratifying for us to be with her as she has opened herself up to receiving nearly daily Reiki and food deliveries.  She has received cards and outpourings of love with grace and gratitude.  There have also been a few times when it felt challenging for her to be on the receiving end of such love, and we worked through that together as well.

The words “giving” and “receiving” do not really do justice to the process I am describing here.  In everyday language they seem like opposites and very different from each other.  One of the things we have learned in our Community of Care is that giving and receiving are so closely intertwined as to be virtually the same thing.  When a friend is willing to receive our support she is giving us a huge gift: the ability to be present with her.  We share love and, in love, there is always complete giving and receiving simultaneously.  We are not giving from our own storehouse of energy at that point, but from an endless Universal Love that flows through us.  We are both renewed.

When I broke my ankle a few years ago I, too, was the recipient of much care.  Each day someone brought me food and Reiki.  Often, the person giving me Reiki shared something they remembered that I had offered them in a yoga class or in a conversation that was meaningful to them.  I realized that each person was glad to be able to offer back something to me (I was a teacher for most of them), and that helping me was a way of completing a circle of love. It was a beautiful gift to know that something I had said held meaning for them. And what they told me supported my healing process.

I am excited and a bit in awe of the communal wisdom that is present in our group.  We are so much more powerful together than we are separately.  I can rest in this.  The final element in our community is Trust.  We trust ourselves, we trust each other and we trust life to be enough just as it is.  This is a miracle of high proportions.  This goes against my personal training and much of the training of our culture, and I am grateful for all who keep reminding me of the beauty of what is possible.

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