Urban Zen Integrative Therapy

Changing the Paradigm with UZIT in Schools

By Janine Harris Degitz

Janine Harris DegitzThis past Fall, Susan Cunningham and I began offering Urban Zen Integrative Therapy™ (UZIT) oneday a week to the teachers, staff and administrators at a local elementary school in Central Ohio. The commitment in this school to progressive education and caring for the whole child is taking root in a new way. The administration’s support of UZIT says loud and clear to all of the staff of the school—you can’t take care of the children you serve unless you also take the time to care for yourself.

Through a generous grant from local donors, and as a community, we are setting down new self-care patterns at work. We are creating a place, within the workplace, for teachers and staff to pause and take 10-20 minutes out of their task-filled days of service to children to tend to their own well-being, which has shown remarkable results.

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This week as I walked down the hall with one staff member to our small room next to the often-lively library, she reflected; “I associate work with stress and anxiety, and it is wonderful to have a place at work to come to that is relaxing and neither stressful or anxiety producing. Thank you for being here, it’s making a huge difference.” This client noted pre-session stress and anxiety levels of 7 on a scale of 10, and left after our 15-minute session with self-assessment numbers of 2 and 3. Changes like this in our nervous systems are central to the possibility of changing our work environments, transforming this critical workplace, which serves our children, to one that cares about all people involved, as well as the purpose of their work.

It takes time to undo our cultural training to overextend ourselves in
our work and home life. It’s a challenge because our North American culture tends to value being busy all the time and carries busy-ness like a badge of honor. Therefore, we need to make it a conscious part of our daily life to pause, set down the to-do list and the phone, breathe, listen and be quiet.

The messages in our heads are often very loud, “I need to be in crisis to ask for help,” “I have to work harder in order to be valued or worthwhile,” or, as one teacher mentioned before our session, “Well, I guess I’m really doing OK, maybe I don’t need to take the time….” It’s radical to make self-care the norm so that we know when we are out of balance in the moment.

How would it be to have 28 pairs of children’s eyes staring at you and know that you have tools and the space to breathe. That you can come back to the moment, notice your breath and your body, and share your gifts with our youth from a place of wholeness. It only takes a few minutes to shift from overwhelmed and anxious to ready and able to meet the rest of your day.

Life doesn’t wait for us to be ready, it’s happening each and every moment. Building skills of self-care and self-awareness is how we re-tool ourselves to be the best we can be in our lives. As a friend recently told me, “Fold up your super-hero cape neatly in the bottom drawer of your dresser – it’s not needed anymore”.

Janine Harris Degitz 
lives in Clintonville with her family. For the past 25 years she has deepened her passion for living in harmony with the earth and community through supporting local farmers, fermenting food, teaching and sharing natural and sustainable beekeeping, Urban Zen Integrative Therapy and compassionate communication. All things that bring her back into connection with her own being, the earth, the food that nurtures us and the love, compassion and interconnectedness of life itself.

Janine became a certified Urban Zen Integrative Therapists in April, 2014 and became a staff mentor/ teacher for the Yoga on High Urban Zen training classes beginning in 2015.  Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) uses multiple modalities to address the symptoms and stress of everyday life. The modalities include gentle movements, restorative yoga positions, body awareness meditation, breath awareness practices, aromatherapy and Reiki.

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UZIT at Ronald McDonald House

By Lori Bower and Marcia Miller

IMG_0814Meet Mary (not her real name), a past resident of the Ronald McDonald House.  She was staying there to support her critically ill grandson, her daughter and her other two grandbabies.  Her young grandson had been a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, for several months. Mary was visibly shaking, anxious, exhausted and so overwhelmed by her family’s situation that she was not sure she could continue to help. She had been trying to hold it together for her family but that day on a scale from 1 to 10 her stress was “off the charts.” We were in an Urban Zen Integrative Therapy session together.  First, I listened in order to gauge her needs, and then I made a plan. I offered her an essential oil and put her in a restorative pose called legs-up-the wall to address her exhaustion. I gave her reiki, a breath awareness practice and a body awareness meditation. Mary began to calm down and her shaking subsided. Toward the end of our session she began to cry and said she had never had the chance to cry. She had been so focused on taking care of everyone else she had forgotten what it felt like to be taken care of. She looked relaxed and was even smiling when we finished our time together. Mary was surprised and delighted to experience what a difference 20 minutes had made in the way she felt and at that point she was refreshed and ready to go back to the hospital to help her family in whatever way they needed. Read More…

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February Calendar of Events

Community-9583e

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 Read More…

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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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Living a Big Yes

“Our hospice staff works so very hard and needs the Urban Zen experience. Will you come to South Africa?” asked the head of Helderberg Hospice, Gail Sykes.  “YES!” Said Lori Moffett; “YES” I said after hoping for this moment for years.  YES, YES, YES! And so began our African adventure. One of the elements that remained a powerful gift throughout the whole trip--the planning, the travel to get there, the work itself--every part of it-- was the ongoing experience of a whole-hearted and whole-bodied “Yes.”

I hope you know this feeling--this knowing that you are doing what you absolutely must be doing in a given moment. Perhaps there is the sense of doing what you were born to do, or what all your time on earth has prepared you to do. There may be the beautiful sense of Life living through you in a way that is at once deeply personal and yet vastly impersonal. Or maybe it is the fulfillment of a deep longing of your heart. Whatever the details, there is a sense of being in the right place at the right time, a sense of purpose and flow that feels so right.

This feeling doesn’t need to wait for something monumental like a trip to Africa--it could come when you are playing with your cat or watching your baby sleep.  It could be you posting on Facebook, just the right comment to your friend who is suffering, or celebrating. It could be anything that is yours to do, that no one else could do like you would do it. And they don’t need to because they will hopefully do what is theirs to do.

Anyway, back to our trip….We lived in the flow of our big YES for 3 weeks. While much of what happened was challenging and required lots of effort we always knew we were where we were meant to be. That helped us to let go of any resistance to the moment and to be present over and over to what was actually happening. We used ALL our skills, including ones we didn’t know that we had. And because of this feeling of being held in something bigger than ourselves, we could just relax back and let Life happen through us and the people we were with.

For me, living in this experience for 3 full weeks gave me a deep drink of what it means to live from my heart, and I will use this feeling more and more as a guidepost for other things I am doing in my life. Can I live my big ‘yes’ and leave the rest for someone else? Can I discern more and more what is mine and mine alone to do? Why is my to-do list always bigger than what I can do? Can I use this ever-deepening compass to help me navigate? We’ll see but I’m definitely trying this on.

Marcia Miller recently traveled to South Africa with her friend and colleague, Lori Moffett and her husband Kevin Eigel.  They taught UZIT (Urban Zen Integrative Therapy) to staff of over 15 hospices at 4 locations around the country. If you would like to hear more stories Marcia and Lori will be sharing on Thursday, September 15 at 6:30 at the Yohi Teacher Training Institute.

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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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July Calendar of Events

ashtanga-vinyasa-with-kino-macgregorStudio Closures:
Friday, July 1: Close Early 3p (Red, White & Boom)
Saturday, July 2: Normal Schedule
Sunday, July 3: Close Early 3p
Monday, July 4: Studio Closed

Workshops:
July 11 – September 12 Reiki Level 1 Training with Bernie McKnight and Angela Lamonte
July 15 – 17 Kino Macgregor 2016 Workshops
July 16-17 From 55-105: Teaching Older Students with Marcia Miller, Angela Lamonte & Mary Sinclair
July 22-24 Reiki Level 1 & 2 Intensive Training & Attunement with Jodi Patton
July 23 The Four Agreements: How to Incorporate Them into your Practice with Lara Falberg Read More…

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June Schedule

Yoga on High

Workshops:
June 3 Ayurveda: Igniting Shakti and Reconnecting with Your Feminine Self with Jasmine Grace
June 5 Introduction to Yoga for Beginners with Marcy Freed at All Life Center (Powell)
June 10 Sekoia Hike with Michele Vinbury
June 10 – 12 Doug Keller: Shoulders and Asana
June 11 Doug Keller Master Asana Class
June 17 Ayurveda, Asana and Pranayama: Cooling and Calming with Joanna Arnason & Marisa Barsotti
June 18 The Four Agreements: How to Incorporate Them Into Your Practice with Lara Falberg
June 22 – 26 iRest Yoga Nidra Training Level 1 with Stephanie Lopez
June 25 The Natural Breath and Beginning Pranayama with Linda Oshins

Jasmine-1511eSchedule Updates:
5p Sundays Vinyasa Beginner Drop-in with Cara
6p Fridays Deep Release with Jacquie
8a Saturdays Sekoia Pre-Meditation – cancelled
8:30a Saturdays Sekoia with Sarah

Grow Yoga
Grow Yoga Series and Workshops:
June 7 – 28 Tuesdays, iRest Yoga Nidra Series with Katie Whitsett / $40
June 11 Melt Introduction with Crystal Fauber
June 25 Roll into Summer: Full Body with Crystal Fauber

Grow Yoga Schedule Updates:
6:15p Mondays Sekoia with Joanna

Summer Schedule All Life Center – Powell

Michele-1872eDrop – In:
Wednesdays 9:30a Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1 with Kelli Joyce

Workshops:
Introduction to Yoga for Beginners with Marcy Freed
Sunday, June 5 from 4:00p to 5:45p / Upstairs studio / Cost: $20

Series:
6 -- Week Foundations of Hatha Yoga with Melanie Miller
Tuesdays from 4:00p to 5:30p / May 31 -- July 5 / Upstairs Studio / Cost: $75

6 -- Week Hatha Level 1-2 Series with Melanie Miller
Thursdays from 9:00a to 10:30a / June 2 -- July 7 / Atrium / Cost: $75

Sunrise Series: Sun Salutations for Beginners with Marcy Freed
Tuesdays from 6:00a to 7:00a / June 7 – June 28 / East Patio / Cost: $50

Sunset Series: Slow Burn Vinyasa Level 1-2 with Marcy Freed
Thursdays from 7:45 p to 8:45p / June 2 – June 30 / West Lawn / Cost: $60

Marcia_Ohio-3783eUpcoming Teacher Trainings:
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica July 1 – 23, 2016
Meditation Teacher training -- Begins August 20, 2016
200-HR Yoga Teacher Training  -- Begins September 9, 2016
Urban Zen Integrative Therapy – Begins October 27, 2016
300-HR Yoga Teacher Training -- Rolling enrollment

For questions regarding Teacher Trainings, contact Breanna@yogaonhigh.com

Free Information Sessions:
UZIT: Tuesday, June 7 from 5:30p to 6:30p ET -- Conference call
UZIT: Wednesday, June 8 from 4:15p to 5:15p at Yoga on High
Ayurveda: Friday, June 17 from 4:00p to 5:00p at TTI

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Look again

nature-sunny-red-flowersYesterday was one of those days for me … not awful, not dramatic, just slightly off-kilter. I felt like a skipping record. I’d play, but only with a great deal of picking up and finding another groove. You know?

One of the day’s ‘symptoms’ was losing things, and then, not; that is, frantically searching for and then finding keys/papers/Altoids exactly where they should be, and where I had looked just minutes before. GAH.

So the day’s very practical practice was “Pause. Look again.” It was helpful for finding the ‘missing’ iPhone, but so much more meaningful in other ways.   Read More…

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Spreading Suffering

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I’m going to tell you a little story. It’s a story of spreading suffering versus spreading well-being. For many years I have been practicing meditation. At some point it went from being a personal practice to part of my professional work. And, along the way I added many other pieces to what I consider my self-care puzzle—all parts of a whole that I felt were necessary for the expression of the full picture. I thought I had pretty much figured things out.

Then my professional and personal life began to grow. I changed my habit of waking up at the same time, very early, to meditate. I began to squeeze it in, usually on waking, but sometimes later in the day. As a practice, I’ve found some meditation somewhere in my day is OK, and certainly better than no meditation. Though many teachers might say otherwise, my personal experience is that, as long as meditation is a priority in my daily life, varying the time of day of my practice can work for me. The problem was that at a very stressful time in my life, I allowed it to be less of a priority. And there was the slippery slope… Read More…

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