yoga

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.

This is the UZIT work we do at The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families of seriously ill children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio is the largest in the world serving more than 4,500 families each year by providing over 35,000 nights at the House.  Since January 2017 there have been 8 UZITs offering Urban Zen to families, patients and staff members. Here is what one staff member said:

“The Columbus Ronald McDonald House is beyond grateful to have the support of Urban Zen for our families. What’s so special is that they also support our staff. Attending an Urban Zen session helps me to relieve my compassion fatigue and allows me to regain focus so that I can be a better coworker and sense of support to the families we serve.”

Here is another of the many stories we have to tell……

A young boy with cancer and his mother were both visibly anxious. I could feel the sadness as I began to listen to their story; bearing witness to this family was an honor for me. I offered the mom lavender essential oil, as that was one of her favorite smells. I put them in our most nurturing pose--side-lying child’s pose facing each other. The mother wrapped her arms around the bolster I placed at the front of her body holding on tightly at first. I used a soft teddy bear as a prop for the young boy, which he gently caressed. As I cradled his head to offer reiki I could feel his head melt into my hands. He looked up at me and, as our eyes met, I could actually feel his sense of relief. They rested in that position as I offered them a guided meditation. Later, as they rolled up from the pose, both looking more relaxed and less stressed, the young boy said in a soft voice, “This was fun.” His mom smiled.  Later she wrote,

“My son and I are so thankful for our experience with Urban Zen. Not only did Lori spend time listening to our needs but then tailored an amazing experience to those needs. She was kind and patient! We are so thankful for our experience with Urban Zen!”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Yoga of Generosity

The holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate their meaning in our lives. Chances are that we spend hours shopping in stores or online for the perfect gift to give. Yet, we can make the commitment to give year round, by sharing our time, energy, and talents.

Yoga Sutra II.37 shares the principal of Asteya, or non-stealing, and invites us to live with integrity and reciprocity according to Deborah Adele. She reminds us that ancient Vedic scriptures speak of taking nothing without giving something back. Imagine being challenged to give something back each time we took something!

As Astheya encourages us not to steal causing our hearts grow, it encompasses not only generosity of money and giving of things, but also generosity of time and giving of ourselves. We remind our students yoga offers a practice where we take care of ourselves so that we can better serve others, challenging them to take what they learn from their practice into the world and their own lives.

As you approach this season of wonderment, think of ways you can give back to those around you and to our world.

Be present. Have a meaningful conversation with someone. Give them your full and undivided attention by actively listening as they share a story or concern. Instead of thinking of what you’re going to say next, focus on what they are saying and offer no judgement.

Create memories. Share a story or talent with friends and loved ones. Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? Consider sharing the recipe and a plate of cookies with someone close to you. Some of the most cherished times in my life have been spending time with loved ones. I can still recall the memories of holidays spent with my Italian Nana. From her voice to her incredible cooking, she gave me the gift of memories that will remain with me for life.

Teach something new. We all have something to offer the world whether it is yoga or another offering. Give a memorable gift by teaching a skill or practice. Our students often report that in times of anxiety or even when they have difficulty sleeping, they can hear our voices leading them through a breath practice. They say it immediately calms them down and sometimes invites a full night of rest. One of my nieces still recalls the time I taught her to play a simple song on the piano. It took twenty minutes of my time and now that she has kids of her own, it’s this memory and not the holiday gifts received over the year that she remembers most.

However, you choose to give this holiday season, give from the heart with no expectations. In doing so, you’ll see great things happen and your heart will continue to grow.

Breath of Generosity

  • Become aware of your breath and notice how you are breathing.
  • Place your hands together at heart center as you begin to think of a time when someone was generous to you. After a few inhales and exhales bow forward in gratitude for this person and their actions.
  • Keeping the hands at heart center, think of a time when you were generous towards someone. After a few inhales and exhales bow forward in gratitude for your own actions and service.
  • Separate the hands placing one hand on your lower belly and one hand on your heart. As you inhale, imagine your heart becoming more open to receiving. As you exhale, envision your heart becoming more open to giving.
  • Bringing hands back to heart center, inhale as you draw the hands up, separating at the top and making an offering of your gifts to the world. Exhale as you circle the hands to the sides accepting the gifts of the earth as you bring the hands back together. Repeat a few times.
  • Pausing in stillness with the hands at heart center. Think of a way to expand your generosity towards others. It can be small or large. After a few breaths, bow forward sealing your commitment to generosity.daniel_sekoia_bw

About Our Writer

Daniel Sernicola (whose last name is appropriately translated to Saint Nicholas in Italian), teaches yoga in Columbus, Ohio, with his partner, Jake Hays. They are committed to the empowerment of their students and specialize in creating compassionate, safe, and inclusive yoga environments. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @danjayoga.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A Yoga Sequence to Help Transition You to Sleep

On nights when I feel restless, racing mind, uncomfortable body, tossing and turning in bed…I’ll hop out of bed and either stop, drop and yoga right there, or pad over into my yoga room to do a sequence like this to calm and soothe my body and mind.

Start with 3 sun salutes of your choice to warm the body a bit and expend some energy.

Depending on your level of flexibility and energy today, these poses can be done freestanding, with blocks or with a chair. Practice unsupported poses 5-10 breaths or up to 1 minute in each.

Active Poses:

Triangle -- to ground your energy. Let the legs work, invite them to be quite active and strong here.

yogaforsleep_uttanasana2

Uttanasana -- with or without a chair. Tradition and experience tell us that forward folds are calming to the nervous system. Let this pose work on your subtle body to chill it out.

yogaforsleep_downdog3

Down Dog – An active pose here and also an inversion to smooth the mind. Arms and legs active here -- you might place a block under the head to touch into more grounding energy.

yogaforsleep_prasarita4

Prasarita Padottanasana A -- wide legged forward fold. Again, strong active legs, hands pressed firmly into the mat, allowing forehead to ground on block (or on the seat of a chair). 5 to 10 long smooth breaths here.

Restoratives:

At this point, you can transition to lying down. Depending on your availability, you might do one or all of these (1 to 10 minutes per pose). Over time, and with practice, you’ll learn which shapes are most soothing to your nervous system.

yogaforsleep_mtbrook5

Mt. Brook (1-5 minutes) -- I start this pose by applying some Sekoia Lavendar essential oil to the soles of my feet. After the previous forward folds, this heart opener feels amazing. Whole body supported. Take your time to align the blankets and bolsters just right -- when you get it “right”, you’ll lie down and your whole body will say “ahhhhhh”.

yogaforsleep_paschimotanasana6

Supported Paschimo (1-5 minutes) – The restorative version of this seated forward fold isn’t about feeling a stretch, it’s about allowing the body to rest deeply in this shape. A rolled blanket under the knees, or a folded blanket under the hips -- or both can feel awesome. Build the bolsters and blankets on your lap until you feel you can drape your torso forward and let go.

yogaforsleep_supportedtwist7

Supported Twist (2-5 minutes per side) -- This is one of my absolute favorites. It feels like wringing tension out of my belly -- a place where nervous energy likes to roost.

yogaforsleep_supportedchildspose8

Supported Balasana (1-5 minutes) -- One final forward fold. Child’s Pose gently opens the hips and invites a strong grounding energy.

If you’re not asleep already -- Savasana/Bedtime, have a pillow supporting the head, a rolled towel or blanket or pillow under the knees and cover yourself. A practice I often use is to count the exhalations down 21-1. If you lose track or come to 21, just start over again.

Happy zzzz’s

Michele Vinbury is leading Sekoia Spirit Journey: Bear on Saturday, December 3 from 2:30p -- 4:30p at our sister studio, Grow Yoga.  This workshop will focus on the root chakra, bear symbolic medicine, plants, herbs and crystals to create comfort and to nurture and protect as we move into the winter.  Click here to register.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Coming Out Comes Full Circle

By: Daniel Sernicola

awardMy hand shook as it unfastened my seatbelt. I slowly climbed out the broken window of my overturned car and examined the wreckage. Tires were still spinning and Jim Brickman’s Rocket to the Moon was playing on a continuous loop from the speakers. The roof of the car was smashed down to the driver’s seat. Help was needed, but on the quiet back road in my hometown it was unlikely to arrive quickly. I slowly walked towards a house that sat back from the road and standing on its porch, knocked on the door. No one was home.

A woman’s voice screamed, “There he is!” As I turned around, people were coming out of the woods where they had been looking for my body. The woman ran towards me and held me as tears ran down her face. She whispered in my ear that God must have been with me. A man placed me in his truck and drove me to my home just a few miles away. I was numb and could barely remember how to get there as I gave him directions.

My dad was in the kitchen cooking pasta as he did every Sunday. As I stood next to the man, he knocked on my parents’ door and told my dad that I had been in an accident. My dad calmly thanked the man for bringing me home and put down his spoon as he prepared to put on his shoes. Anger filled his face and the veins in his forehead were popping out – I just wrecked a car owned for three short weeks. Yet, he didn’t say a word as he grabbed his keys and drove me back to the scene of the accident.

As we pulled up, we saw the flashing lights from police cars and an ambulance. We got out of the car and the moment my dad saw the wreckage, he grabbed me, holding me tight and sobbing. It’s the only time I ever saw my dad cry. Thoughts of anger turned to compassion as police told him I was lucky to be alive.

Home from the hospital, I rested on our living room couch. Looking over at the coffee table, I saw my keys and began to scream and cry wondering what had happened and trying to piece together a sequence of events.

I was a senior in high school during the fall of 1996. It was October 12th and there was excitement as the camera flashed during my senior photo session. An hour later I had a date. Sure I had been on dates with girls before, but this was the first time I went on a date with a guy. I was nervous, but as the night progressed I realized that we were basically two guys hanging out and having fun. It was care-free and on the drive home, I couldn’t stop smiling.

From the age of four years, I recall feeling different and looking at other boys. The word, “gay” wasn’t part of my vocabulary and wasn’t talked about in our home, though I remember my mother and sister laughing at a very flamboyant man selling his items at a yard sale. Kids at school made fun of me calling me the dreaded “f” word. In my conservative church, sermons preached that homosexuality was wrong and a sin. Confusion filled my mind as I struggled to fight off feelings of attraction towards the same sex. Hours of prayer didn’t erase the feelings as they became stronger and more intense. I wrestled with feeling that even though I was born gay, everyone around me told me it was wrong.

I was on my way to church the morning of the accident. It also happened to be the day after my first same sex date. In my 17-year-old mind, the only sense I could make out of everything that took place was that my maker was punishing me for finally acting on my feelings. It wasn’t fair! I may have walked away from the accident with a concussion and no broken bones, but one thing was broken for sure; my spirit.

The following week at school, I passed notes back and forth in my Algebra class with one of my best friends. I decided to tell her about my date, knowing she would be accepting of me. It felt amazing to finally share with someone the secret I’d been keeping for my entire existence. I had an outlet in her to discuss my thoughts and feelings. It was enough.

A few weeks later, I knew something was different as I walked down the hallways of my high school and people turned away from their lockers to look at me, whispering to each other. It was surreal and appeared to happen in slow motion. This was interrupted by a football player knocking my books out of my hands and my belongings being scattered all over the floor. My friend’s boyfriend found one of our notes in her locker and shared it with the rest of the school. Being bullied was not new to me, but I wasn’t prepared for the year that was ahead of me.

I was beaten up weekly and weighing 140 pounds, it was futile to fight back. I’d take the punches and kicks waiting, hoping for the torment to end. When I finally had the courage to talk to school administration, I was told that I brought everything on myself since coming out. My parents, sensing something was wrong and knowing of my gay friend, started asking if I was gay. Finally, I told them the truth, my truth. They weren’t accepting, but witnessed my intense emotional pain and depression. A trip to the family doctor was supposed to help, but instead worsened my situation. I was put on heavy anti-depression and anxiety medications which brought on suicidal thoughts and feelings. I tried taking my life a few times and, fortunately, I survived. Later, I stopped the meds on my own having realized that prior to being on them I had never once thought of ending my life. A year later, reports were published stating that the two medications I was on caused suicidal thoughts in people under the age of 18.

My entire world as I knew it had changed and it felt like I had no control over anything. There was also the heavy feeling of being alone. My family, peers, church, and my maker all seemed to have abandoned me. Hope didn’t seem to exist, and I was beaten down.

meditation20 years later, it’s 2016. I’ve been out as a gay man for over half my life and I’m 37 years old. Life has changed. My family is now accepting; I’m surrounded by loving and supportive friends; and best of all, have my own family consisting of an incredibly amazing partner and big, goofy dog. Society has changed. Gay marriage is legal in all 50 states when it seemed like a huge and unfathomable dream at one time. Ellen DeGeneres now has the number one talk show in the country after her sitcom was cancelled in 1997 when she came out. And schools now have gay/straight alliances and student groups.

It appears everything is moving in a positive direction, but sadly, this isn’t the case. As a society, we witnessed the shootings at Pulse Night Club in Orlando this past summer. We also saw the State of North Carolina pass an anti-transgender restroom law. While we hope that youth don’t have to face the same situations I went through twenty years ago, the truth is that they are facing worse situations. Behind the closed doors of the family unit, parents are still struggling with acceptance of their LGBTAIQ+ children.

A few years ago when my partner, Jake Hays, and I began our 200-hour yoga teacher training, we were asked what groups we’d like to work with and what our goals were as teachers. We immediately thought of LGBTAIQ+ youth and decided we wanted to start a yoga program for them in Columbus. Through our practice teaching, we held classes and asked participants for donations to the Yoga on High Foundation that would be earmarked for this program. The Columbus Coyotes and local performers Nina West and Virginia West also helped raise money to go towards the development of this program.

Kaleidoscope Youth Center was thrilled when we approached them with our idea as yoga classes had been on the list of programs they desired. We made fliers with our standard publicity photos on them, and were excited when the first night of our classes finally came. Not one student wanted to come to yoga. We were saddened, but not defeated. We realized that in our photos, we are big guys and look exactly like some of the people who bully the youth on a daily basis. So, I went to the center to meet with the youth. Through tears, I shared every detail of my personal story hoping to make a connection with them. The following week we tried again and the room was packed!

mindfulness-practiceWho are the youth of Kaleidoscope? They are you and me. They have had to face adversity and trauma at young ages. Many have had horrific struggles including bullying, homelessness, human trafficking, rape and more. Yet, they have hopes, dreams, and bright eyes ready to conquer the world. They come to their mats each week, looking forward to the peace and calm the yoga program provides.

The yoga program was developed specifically for them and has evolved and changed to meet their needs. Kaleidoscope Youth Yoga incorporates a variety of yoga tools including physical postures, mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, meditation, relaxation and Reiki. The program is designed to inspire and empower the youth, offering them an opportunity to begin to heal from difficult life experiences. Through these practices, students are invited to find a connection to their true self by learning valuable coping skills in addition to fitness and body positivity in a safe environment infused with compassion, humor and empathy.

Together, we practice yoga and their personal stories slowly come to the surface. In the spring a young male to female transgender youth showed up to class in a dress, proudly proclaiming that she’s probably our first student to practice in a dress. We shared her pride, knowing the dress was more than clothing to her, it was an identity. We celebrated as a girl who was homeless and has practiced with us for over a year was excited to tell us that she was able to graduate high school and moving into her first apartment. And the meaning of joy was realized when another girl rested in savasana receiving Reiki for the first time. At first, her face showed pain and uncertainty. As soon as she felt Reiki, the corners of her mouth turned upward and she beamed, later proclaiming that Reiki made her feel safe. These are just some of the stories and there’s many, many more to tell. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve practiced yoga – together.

On October 2nd, the Board of Directors of Kaleidoscope Youth Center, upon the recommendation of staff and participants, presented Jake and me with an award of Distinguished Community Partner of 2016. Amy Eldridge, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope stated, “The Yoga program that you have established at Kaleidoscope is a tremendous contribution to the well-being of our youth, and is providing them with skills that will support their well-being well into the future.”

It seems fitting that this takes place twenty years after my own coming out as a gay teenager. It feels as though everything has come full circle and yet we know there’s more work to do. As Robert Frost so eloquently wrote, The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Welcome Space

 Natalie_Adams_yogaonhigh“What did I receive?” This was the question we were asked to contemplate on our graduation day from Yoga on High 200-hour Teacher Training Program. Without thinking, I took pen to paper and quickly wrote the first word that came to mind.

SPACE.

Wait. What? I wasn’t expecting that. It was a crazy, busy 9 months. I felt pulled in all sorts of directions—balancing teacher training with being a mom, a full time employee, and a wife….I often joke that those 9 months were harder than BOTH of my pregnancies.

But I sat with this word, and just wrote whatever came to my mind without over-thinking (I’m a yoga teacher now; I’m not supposed to “over-think” right?). Thoughts came pouring in, and are still pouring in since graduation 2 months ago.

Every Thursday night for 9 months, I had the space to learn about my favorite thing in the world—yoga: yoga anatomy, yoga adjustments, yoga alignment and yoga class planning. I assisted in classes with the some of the best teachers in Columbus, and learned how to take the 8 limbs of yoga off the mat.

I was like a kid in a candy store, taking in as much as I could, learning that there is so much I didn’t know (and still don’t)! Just when I thought I mastered how to cue downward facing dog, I quickly learned that there are about 50 other cues. This was simply the tip of the iceberg. Yoga is a life-long journey of self-inquiry and I’m in it for the long haul.

I found a space to share with people exactly like me. The kind of people who chant “om” loudly without worrying about what others are thinking. I met people who have been affected by yoga on a deeply personal level, who shared their stories of how yoga changed their lives and their desire to give back to a practice that has given them so much. We laughed hard and some of us (me!), cried hard. It was during these moments that a deep family bond formed, one that will never be broken. Even though we’ve graduated and do not see each other weekly, when I see them, it’s like no time has passed at all. We pick up right where we left off. We have each other’s back and support one another as we embark on this next stage of our lives. We truly are better together.

Teacher training gave me the space to let go and have fun! When will you ever have a chance to blow bubbles in total silence at a weekend silent retreat? Or chant so loud at kirtan that you just have to get up and dance? Or laugh uncontrollably while learning adjustments….I put my hand where??? The fun made the hard work worth it. I will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life.

But it wasn’t always easy. I also found space to learn my limits. I was stretched more than I ever thought I could imagine. I am someone who always thrived on being busy and “having it all,” but this was TOUGH. Between teacher training sessions every Thursday, assisting in yoga classes, practice teaching and a weekend silent retreat, it almost pushed me over the edge.

Through all the chaos, I literally thought I was losing it, but really, I was finding it. For the first time ever, I learned to say “no” when I couldn’t take on just one more thing, or to forgive myself if I wanted to skip practice in order to spend time with my husband and daughters. I learned that when I operate from a place of self-love and acceptance, that I am free. THAT, my friends, is the space!

During the program, I often asked myself, “am I am on the right track?” “Do I really want to do this?” “Is it worth it?” “Can I realllly do this?” All I knew is that I loved yoga. I’ll always love yoga. Yoga gives me space; space in my body and in my mind. When I’m on my mat, I feel safe, vulnerable, and at peace. I want to hold space for students to have their own journey. That’s what kept me going through training and keeps me going as I begin my journey as a new yoga teacher.

Finally, and most importantly, teacher training gave me space to love myself. Once I found this love, I was able to start fully receiving love from others; the deep love of my husband and daughters regardless of whether or not I was home to fix dinner every day; the love and support from my friends outside of yoga who came to practice teach sessions, who celebrated with me when I passed my final certification, and who were patient with my when I was just too tired to see them. Even if they didn’t always get it, it didn’t matter. They love me and that is enough.

If I never teach another class, this experience; my teachers, my classmates, this practice, will be etched in my heart forever. If you’ve ever thought of taking this journey, jump in with both feet. No regrets. Be brave with your life. Follow your heart.

Namaste.

Natalie Adams is a recent grad of Yoga on High’s 200 Hour Teacher Training program.

Michele-2041e_playOur next 200 Hour Teacher Training program begins September 9th.  For more information, join us at our upcoming Free Info Session this Sunday, August 28 from 12:00p to 12:45p at the Teacher Training Institute. To apply or for questions, contact Breanna at applications@yogaonhigh.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Welcome Trust

image1I had no idea if it was the right time to become a yoga instructor. A spell of feelings: self-doubt, intimidation, insecurity, anticipation. What did I have to offer that other 200-hour teachers out there didn’t have? Would I enter a saturated teaching scene with nothing unique to share? When I was considering joining Yoga on High’s 200 Hour Teacher Training Program, I solicited everybody I encountered for their advice. Do you think I should go for it? Do you think I have the time? Is my practice advanced enough? Am I ready? I received boundless advice, but it was my own fortitude that got me to take the leap of faith. ‘A leap of faith’ is exactly what I would call my entire 200 Hour Teacher Training experience at Yoga on High. I was never ready; I was never sure my practice was advanced enough, if I had the time, or even if it was the right time, but I had to take the leap of faith to figure it out. I couldn’t be more grateful that I did.

I found trust. I had to trust that while it felt like I didn’t know half of what I thought I knew about yoga, I was in the right place at Yoga on High. Surrounded by knowledgeable mentors, experienced teachers, and my fellow teacher trainees, I was given all the tools to dive as deep as I wanted into the sea of transformation. I trusted in myself that I would always find a way to accomplish everything I needed to, when I needed to. The 9-month program is perfectly crafted to propose new content in a digestible way and I trusted that there was plenty of time to know it all.

I found comfort. Teacher training taught me to truly find balance between ease and effort in practice and in teaching. I learned to dedicate myself to proper alignment to achieve comfort in even the most modest of postures. My teachers, Michele Vinbury and Marcia Miller, taught me comfort in the fluctuating state of the mind that has translated off the mat into daily life in more ways than I imagined.

I found fearlessness. Being in the role of an instructor and giving the gift of yoga to another person is an incredible responsibility. It felt unnatural to be judged on my teaching because teaching yoga isn’t supposed to be about me, it’s about my students! Overcoming that required a certain amount of audacity as did simply standing up in front of a room of students. Each lesson of the program helped me get to that place of fearlessness all on my own.

image2 (1)I found healing. I began this adventure with the intention of healing others and I ended with also healing myself. We all come into teacher training with our own experiences and circumstances. Life did not stop when I signed up for 200 Hour Teacher Training. I was not in a bliss bubble for nine months protected from all of life’s highs and lows. Yet still, I became better equipped to face life’s challenges and I broke down rigidity I had been holding onto in my heart. I have so many salient memories of moments over the course of the training that helped me unravel truths about myself. On a particular Monday night, I was assisting Anne Weidinger’s Hot Flow class and was completely overcome with awe witnessing the students in the room moving together with their collective breath. One morning I remember practice teaching a guided meditation in Savasana to a group of beginning yogis, and when I closed my eyes, I could feel their peace. Moments like these proved that I am enough and I do have something unique to offer this world. We all do.

If you are considering going through your teacher training, I propose the idea that it will never be the right time. It will always be a leap of faith. That’s the beauty of it and you just have to do it to let the mystery unfold.

Brittny Manos is a Research Coordinator in Adolescent Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a graduate of Yoga on High’s 200 Hour Teacher Training Program. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she has arranged her life around health and wellness and yoga is an extension of that. Brittny aims to awaken a new sense of freedom in the mind, body, and breath for her students through dynamic Vinyasa flows and guided meditations.

Michele-2041e_playOur 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.com

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
1 2  Scroll to top