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Journey to the Strongest Version of Myself: Marina Zahan

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Acts of Karma Yoga Love during Philosophy Weekend

What a ride…the Yoga On High TT program has turned me inside + out in about 13 different ways.

While studying at OSU, I was on a pretty stark path of what I thought I wanted my life to become. I jumped thru hoop after hoop at a young age to get ahead professionally—efforts entirely motivated by gaining approval from my peers, professors, cohorts + (especially) parents.

I was seriously, absolutely, completely, miserable.

This teacher training program has taught me what it means to be the strongest version of myself. It has opened (almost too many) doors. The mentorship aspect is where I felt the strongest resonance + support from this program. Team camaraderie was ubiquitous to say the least. We met to play, practice, offer support in times of heartache + stress, and engaged in new activities such as archery, tai chi + rock climbing.

The TT program granted me a sense of community never felt before. My gratitude will forever reach into the arms of Michele Vinbury. the crusader of this program, and extend to all those who work endless hours to create the most thoughtfully crafted training I have ever experienced.

Yoga On High is a highly acclaimed studio + teaching institute in the midwest. This 200hr TT program flourishes as it offers one-of-a-kind experiences such as: the 2-day Silent retreat, in depth anatomy classes & other modalities such as Pranayama, iRest, Ayurveda, Meditation, Yin & more.

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Silent Retreat -- sure we couldn’t talk.. no one said we couldn’t giggle

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Silent Retreat

Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins September 22nd.  For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session Sunday, September 10th from 11:45a to 12:30p 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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A Teacher Training Journey: Kelly Schulze

IMG_0094Entering Yoga Teacher Training at 41 years of age was a bit intimidating. I remember asking if I had to be “super bendy,” and wondering if I should know my spiritual union to be a Yoga Teacher. I interviewed several yoga schools, making a chart of the benefits and challenges of each, and I tried to take as many classes at each location as I could before I made a commitment. I was taking time away from my family—I have a husband of 19 years and 2 kids—plus diverting money towards something specifically for me and not the entire family.   June of 2016, I chose Yoga On High Teacher Training Institute and committed.

I chose YOHI Teacher Training Program because it was the only program that offered a diverse group of mentors who shared the teaching and each shared their own styles and interests. Following the Yoga trail for over 20 years, I knew there were lots of theories and that each student had their own experience. I wanted to meet as many teachers as I could and learn from them, to know how they guided these experiences. This program delivered that ten-fold! Also, for the entire year, I also chose to dedicate my practice to my family. Each time I stepped onto my mat to practice or into the studio for class, I started with remembering those who were supporting me at home.

Diversity was not just limited to the mentors; it included our family of student teachers, all of whom had amazing backgrounds and paths that all lead to YOHI. Each of us came to our mats every week, open and ready to learn not just from the mentor teachers, but from each other as well. We were lawyers, college students, artists, teachers, stay at home moms, and that is just the outward titles we used, we grew to know some of the deeper differences and see how yoga has truly transformed lives. Meeting each week allowed us to see each other consistently, building friendships that we are still nurturing after graduation.

Introduction weekend was a whirlwind! History, Philosophy, Terminology, Sanskrit, and hints about anatomy quizzes left me in a tailspin. Stopping that tailspin was the amazing staff, who were constantly observing us (not judging, but watching) for signs of overload. A break would be given, or an instructor would infuse humor, and before I knew it the weekend was over and I was left INVIGORATED!

Be open to the entire experience. Each class left me personally with something to work on in my own life. So, if nothing else, take a breath and soak in all that you can to deepen not just your practice, but who you are in this world.

Kelly Head ShotKelly was introduced to yoga her Freshman year at Ohio State with a Rodney Yee VHS tape. Twenty-two years later her yoga journey continues having earned her 200 Hour Teaching Certification from Yoga on High Teaching Training  Institute. Fifteen years of teaching high school students gives Kelly a presence that calms even the most nervous new student and, yet allows long time practitioners to know that she is there to guide each of them in their journey. Having a son with Autism has grown a passion for working with kids and teenagers that Kelly didn’t know she possessed. She enjoys working with kids of all ages, 8 to 99 years old!

Our next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins September 22nd.  For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session Sunday, August 27th from 11:45a to 12:30p 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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News about Jerry Marcom, One of our Teachers

From Marcia Miller

Dear Yoga on High community,
Seems like I have been writing a lot of blogs recently that are hard to read. This will be another of those. I’m not going to say “brace yourself.” I can imagine you doing that already and instead I invite you to feel into your feet and the surface you are resting on. Get grounded and stay as open as possible.

Our dear Jerry Marcom has been recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.  He is in the hospital now awaiting surgery, currently planned for this Friday, August 4.  We will know more about the type of tumor and what comes next after the surgery. Much is still unknown.

Now, feel your feet again, and let your breath keep coming and going. Read More…

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Building Empathy during Tough Times

IMGP6243 - Version 2As we deal with Martha’s impending death and the grief of her family and close friends, perhaps we can use this time to address how best to empathize with one another during hard periods in our lives. I know that SO very many of you care about her family and close friends, and you might not know what to say or do. There are some ways of showing your care that are easier for most people to receive. Let’s use this devastating event of the death of Martha to learn some tools that will likely serve you the rest of your life.

I’d like to start by recommending one of my favorite new books about offering empathy, There is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do when Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe, PhD and Emily McDowell. It includes many great suggestions on what to say or not say, what to do or not do, illustrated with amusing picture and lots of painful and inspiring stories.

Here are two examples from the book of good ways of dealing with loss:

Instead of saying, “I can’t believe this happened,” you could say, “I’m sorry you are going through this.”

Instead of saying, “I lost my wife and I was devastated,” you could say, “This must be so hard,” or “I can’t imagine how you are doing.”

Read More…

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Update on Martha Marcom

Dear friends,

Martha remains in hospice surrounded by family and love. Nothing like a 4-year-old to keep love and light in the room and we have had more laughter over the last 10 days than I ever could have imagined. And somehow we keep having parties with silly hats. Who knew that was a yogic death ritual? And poems, lots of poems about life and death (the best ones always have both.) And Reiki. Thank goodness for Reiki which is so comforting to Martha. It is also the time when the emotional roller coaster of one day she feels pretty good, the next day she feels worse, settles into the space of timeless being. We can re-ground into our inherent connection during Reiki and come out the other side clear-eyed and rooted in love. Read More…

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News about Martha Marcom, Founder of Yoga on High

Martha Marcom

Here is Martha taking a lick of a mango popsicle.

Our dear friend and one of the founders of Yoga on High is nearing the end of her life. She has received treatments for the ovarian cancer discovered a few years ago, and there will be no more treatment. She is in the hospital at the time of this writing (April 5, 2017) and will likely be entering hospice in the next day or two.

Martha is grateful to have had time to watch her darling granddaughter continue to grow up, to spend precious time with family and friends and to see this year’s riotous spring. Outside her hospital window yesterday we saw a huge, flying hawk unfurl its wide, wide wings right in front of us--so close we could have nearly touched it. She remains glad to experience each precious moment as it comes. And she is accepting of death which she senses is near. She is not “fighting a courageous battle,” she is leaning into death now. Her pain and her yogi’s body, which is not supporting life anymore, and her natural growing detachment from the future, are all making the nearness of death more obvious.

Many of you are already reached out to us and we are grateful for the love, prayers and good wishes. Right now the circle of people able to be around Martha and Jerry is very small and it is the time for this quiet intimacy. We know many of you will miss Martha and may want to reach out in some way. Here are a few suggestions of how you can support Martha and her family during this time of much change.

  • Send prayers and blessings from whatever tradition speaks to your heart. We are all connected at this level and we are feeling your support.
  • Send Reiki if you know how to do that. Those of us with Martha are in the Reiki love pretty much all the time. We are giving lots of Reiki to Martha and we are sending when we are not there. Join us in the energy!
  • Chant the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra with us. This is an ancient mantra, sometimes called the Victory Over Death mantra. It is said to conquer the fear of death and bring calmness in the presence of death. Chanting this mantra puts us in the stream of yogis who have chanted this mantra for thousands of years. We add our voices to theirs to feel encouraged and empowered in the face of life’s challenges. When I told Martha I wanted to ask you to do this practice on her behalf she relaxed into her huge Martha smile and said she would like that—to ride out of this life on the wings of these holy and powerful words chanted by those who love her. That sounded just perfect to her. The words to this mantra are here and an audio is here.
  • Get on your mat! As a longtime Ashtangi, Martha believes in practice. She was a daily practitioner as long as she could be and always honored her time on the mat. In honor of her, get on your mat, practice, and dedicate the benefits of the practice to her or to anyone else in need.
  • Write down a favorite memory of Martha. Did she inspire you in some way? Help you in a time of need? Make you laugh? Write a single sentence or a paragraph or two and send it to me (Marcia@yogaonhigh.com) I’ll read it to her if the timing feels right and share it with her family.

Please know Martha sends all her blessings and love to you as well. It is now her time to turn inward and finish her preparations for this next phase of her life. She is doing this, leading the way in a path that will be all of ours some unknown time in the future.

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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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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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