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Yoga Columbus Ohio
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Announcing Sekoia by Yoga on High

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 08:15

A new retail concept is launching this fall in our Columbus boutique and also online; Sekoia by Yoga on High. As many of you know, Sekoia is already a popular class on the Yoga on High schedule, offering a multi-sensory experience that blends yoga, reiki, aromatherapy, pranayama and meditation. The high-quality Sekoia products will help students take the Sekoia experience home with them.

We expect that you will be able to experience the retail line of lifestyle and wellness products this fall. And of course you can continue to join our wonderful teachers for the beautiful and experiential Sekoia yoga classes on the Yoga on High open class schedule.

In bringing you Sekoia by Yoga on High, we are also excited to announce that we have partnered with Karine Wascher as a co-founder and lead teacher in the concept. (Yoga on High ownership will remain unchanged.)

When you get a chance, please join us in welcoming Karine Wascher to the Yoga on High family in this new capacity. And check out the Sekoia website for updates and related Sekoia launch events!

40 Day Reset ~ Aspirations

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:47

Sadhana -daily practice
Yoga Asana 6xweek (3 in studio classes)
Meditation/iRest Yoga Nidra Daily

Fitness -- kick start the 35+ metabolism
Run/cardio 4x week for at least 30 minutes
Weights 3x week
Plyometric/Core work 3x week

Nutrition – eat intelligent food for maximum energy and nutrition
Kapha Balancing Diet; no sugar, no dairy. Biggest meal is lunch with breakfast and dinner being easily digestable.
1 Gallon of water a day – includes lemon water and detox tea – sip all day
Triphala tea in the evenings before bed

Self Care – feeling good inside and out
Floss daily
Tongue Scrapping daily
Oil Pulling daily
Dry Brush daily
Ayurveda Oil Baths 2x week

Journal Daily – 1 page
List one thing I am grateful for each day
Have one friendship date a week
Chant daily – 10 minutes
Get outside for 30+ minutes each day

Michele. Strong, Lucky, Beautiful, Deserving.

I practice yoga 6x per week. 3 in-studio classes.
I make time to meditate daily. Minimum 20 minutes.
I get, at least, one 3-hour stretch of totally alone time weekly.
I spend a minimum of 1 hour outside a day. (20 mins for rain days.)

Physical Wellness
I eat whole, healthy meals as a form of self-care.  Five meals per day. Vegetarian, no sugar (fruit’s cool though). 1 “whatever” meal per week.
I drink 100oz of water per day to include herbal tea.

I run. For fun.
I weight train 3 times a week -- Mondays: chest, shoulders, triceps, Wednesdays: back and biceps, Friday: legs with plyos and abs worked into each (check my facebook page for some of the detailed workouts.)

Reality Check
I write love and appreciates daily.
I write gratitude items daily.
I list motivations and inspirations daily.
I take time to bask in the wonder of it all (daily!)

I am a patient and creative mother -- 1 art/science project a week with kids and minimum one legit outdoor adventure too.
I have 1 friend date a week outside of work.
I let my partner know that I appreciate him.
I volunteer my time 1-2 hours per week.

Here are my love & appreciates for today:
I love & appreciate my body, I love and appreciate myself.
I love and appreciate my body, I love and appreciate myself.
I love and appreciate my body, I love and appreciate myself.
I love and appreciate my fingers that allow me to type and communicate with friends.
I love and appreciate my throat, the tunnel my coffee takes to my belly getting much loved caffeine to my whole body!
I love and appreciate my feet. Especially bare. Especially bare in dirt. Especially bare in dirt in the summer. (And fireflies, I love and appreciate them too.)

40-Day to Reset, Renew, Revitalize!

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 23:16

Is there something to this 40-Day Transformation thing? Jasmine and I are determined to find out! Join us for the next 40-Days as we detox, meditate, stretch, strengthen and grow on our personal 40-Day Vibrant Wellness Journey.

Step 1: Contemplation and Journaling
Jasmine and I each take time to contemplate the question, “What might there be for me to learn/recieve from the 40-day Reset, Renew, Revitalize Journey?”
After we sit with this question, each of us spent about 20 minutes writing about the feelings, thoughts and messages that came up during the contemplation.

Step 2: Defining our Aspirations and Intentions
Setting our aspirations for our 40-Days will help to keep us focused on our broad desires and also give us a framework from which to set our daily intentions. (Check out my blog on intentions).

For me, when creating concrete goals or aspirations, I follow this formula:

  • - Write aspirations in the present tense, as if they’re already a statement of truth. Instead of “I’m going to eat healthy food” I would write “I eat whole, healthy food as a form of self-care.” Instead of “do an unsupported handstand.” I would write “I enjoy unsupported handstands that feel strong and stable.”
  • - Make goals time bound and measurable. For instance instead of saying “I want to do more yoga”. I would write, “I practice yoga three times a week in a teacher-lead class and three times at home for 60-90 minutes”. Or, in this language I would write “I weigh xxx pounds by October 27th,” or “I am xx% body fat” or “I run a 5k in xx minutes on September 7th”.
  • - Dream Big, but not crazy! While I want to allow myself to dream big dreams, I also want to make sure that my goals and aspirations are within my reality. I love to run, but I’m not terribly fast. Setting a goal of “I run a 17 minute 5k in September” is beyond my reach and sets me up for failure. A more realistic goal might be to shave some time off my PR (personal record). By looking at a training program designed to get me to that time, I can assess how long I need to reach that goal and then state “I run a xx minute 5k on October XX”. Similarly, floating through my vinyasas is not a reality for me at the moment. I don’t have to give this up as an aspiration though. Instead, I might look at breaking “Floating” down into smaller pieces and set markers around that -- for example working on Lolasana first with big blocks, then with 1/2 blocks, then with hands on the mat, then rolling my shins parallel to floor, then step one foot back, etc.
  • - Start by seeing the big picture. In my case, I want to feel content and healthy, and ultimately I wish to live as an expression of loving kindness. In living my “today”, I move toward that ultimate desire by devoting myself to what feel like more easily digestible pieces. I know that in order for me, personally, to feel content and healthy I must address my physical, mental and emotional/spiritual being. That means addressing what I eat, how I move my body, how I speak to myself and others, how much rest I get, how much time I spend outside, how much time I have with my family and also by myself, and there is definitely a component of how much fun I have! When I set goals/intentions, I address each of these. (Check out tomorrow’s blog for both Jasmine and my 40-day aspirations.)

Step 3: Sharing our Hopes and Visions (out loud!!)
From experience, I realize that sharing my dreams and goals out loud is a powerful and important step in the “becoming” process. By sharing my dreams/goals/intentions, I hold myself accountable and also admit to myself and the world that there is a specific direction I’d like to be headed. In the past, there were times when I shared my desires for the “future me” quietly, with fear of being judged and perhaps some self-consciousness or some bit of asking for permission. What I learned is that the more I spoke the desire, the more confident and clear I became in “owning” or integrating the vision into myself. It became a statement of fact. One without shame, without fear and without need for external acceptance or permission. I have grown strong in many ways from this “out loud” practice. If you don’t have someone to tell your dreams to, or if it’s still a bit on the scary side, write them down -- seeing them on paper can have a strong impact too -- like a contract (or promise if you prefer) with oneself.

Step 4: Prep Work
If your intention, for example, has something to do with eating whole healthy foods, and your 40-day Journey starts tomorrow, set yourself up for success -- go shopping and stock the house with fresh food. Pick out recipes that you can make ahead and fill the fridge with easy options that will meet your need for this form of self-care. If your intention is to go to a 7a or 5a yoga class, set your clothes out before bed (check out Jasmine’s blog on this). If your intention is to meditate daily, create a spot where this can happen…it doesn’t have to be big or fancy, but make it inviting and easy. Also, try to anticipate obstacles you might face. For instance, I’m on vacation this week. While this presents great opportunities for me to meet my fitness and time outside goals, eating in the way that I want is more of a challenge. I definitely need to spend some time coming up with airport food strategies. This helps ensure I’ll not have excuses to “fall off the wagon” when faced with booth after booth of unhealthy food options.

Step 5: Find an accountability buddy

Jasmine and I will serve as each other’s accountability buddies. And in a way, you will be there for us too as we blog about our
experiences over the next 40-days. Get friends to meet you at the park or at yoga class, tell them that you’d love them to check in on your progress and ask how you’redoing. And choose people who will be supportive in a way that feels good and healthy to you.

Step 6: Go! And have fun too!!



Yogi of the Month: Michael

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:24

Meet our newest Yogi of the Month, Michael Agunga! Although new to the Yohi community, Michael is a dedicated yogi, athlete and writer. Michael found yoga after suffering from a herniated disk in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. We are happy Michael has made Yoga on High his yoga home. Yoga on High is pleased to partner with Manduka to feature a Yogi of the Month. Learn more about this month’s featured Yogi, Michael.


Meditating with Malas

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 07:16

Disconnecting to Connect

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 07:05

By Jennifer Gebhart

“Your children need your presence more than your presents.” ~Jesse Jackson

It is etiquette to turn off your cell phone upon entering a yoga studio. This practice helps us to drop into the present moment and tune into our breath, sensations and the community in the room. I’ve taken this practice off the mat and into my life. This summer I’ve dedicated Tuesdays to spending time with both my kids. During this time, I’m not checking email or Instagram, I’m present to my kids and our experiences together. Our connections have strengthened from this practice of disconnecting from the digital world and connecting to each other. We laugh and “play” together. I get to really listen to my children and bear witness to their hopes, dreams and thoughts on life. I’ve noticed how my teenage daughter is also able to stay present to us and, not check her phone every time she hears a chime signaling a new text. I notice I feel less stressed and therefore, my family is less stressed. I know this time with my kids is so precious and fleeting. I want them to know that I’m really there for them. I also want to instill a practice/habit in them that they learn to stay connected to those in front of them instead of the virtual world. I can’t help but wonder, what message are we sending our loved ones when they are trying to talk to us and, we are so focused on our phone.

“We’re living in an era where capturing moments using our phones is more important than actually living these moments with whoever is beside us.” ~Unknown

This blog post was originally published by Jennifer Gebhart on the blog Yoga and Inspiration on June 19, 2014.

Featured image: A Heart of Love made by Gail Spirit Sky.

Yogi of the Month: Andy

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 09:35

Meet our July Yogi of the Month, Andy Clingman! Andy is a Reiki Master, Ashtangi, musician and runner. Andy presence is reverent and grounding and his thoughtful nature inspires curiosity. Each month, Yoga on High is happy to partner with Manduka to feature a Yogi of the Month.  Learn more about this month’s featured Yogi, Andy!

What’s Your Yogi Color?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 07:03

Yogi of the Month: Jenn

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 07:05

Meet this month’s Yogi of the Month! Jenn Gebhart is a spirited member of our YOHI community. She teaches MS, Prenatal and Mommy & Baby classes at YOHI, in addition to being a dedicated yoga student herself.   She truly lives her practice and is committed to her students needs, by sharing her wisdom and always being present with a thoughtful ear.  Her bubbly personality is infectious and she truly inspires us all.  Each Month Yoga on High is happy to partner with Manduka to feature a Yogi of the Month.  Learn more about this month’s Yogi of the Month, Jenn!

Doorways of Not-Knowing

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 07:28

by Virginia Macali

Each day that I cross the threshold of a patient’s room during my clinical rotation,  I am aware that I don’t know what I will find.  I enter the not-knowing with a sense of openness and anticipation.  Each new patient is a world of his or her own, with a unique history and personality. 

Referrals for UZ may come from a doctor, nurse, or family member.  Nurses provide some basic health information, but details are often slim.  Sometimes they let us know whether the patient is having a good day or a bad day and whether they might enjoy Urban Zen session today.  Even with those details, we don’t know what we’ll encounter.

When I pass through the doorway and rub the hand sanitizer into my palms, the patient may be experiencing discomfort that is mental, physical, emotional or spiritual.  We’ve worked with people who chose not to continue with cancer treatment, people who have been in car accidents, people with recent knee replacement, people at end of life, and people with memory issues.

We encounter wondrous people on our rounds. A woman who delighted in hearing her name spoken by the UZIT, a woman who spoke proudly of the difficulties she’d been through in her life and how she got through them, a man who used his wit to tease a UZIT, a woman who cruises through the building with her walker, greeting everyone with a smile, a memory care patient who laughs at a video of I Love Lucy.

One week we worked with a patient’s grandchildren who loved smelling a number of different essential oils and hearing the stories about them, a staff member who took time for a short reiki session and shed a tear for patients she worked with, office workers who enjoyed hearing about Urban Zen and having 10 minutes to smell lemon oil, receive reiki, do a brief body scan.  Each of these encounters left people feeling more refreshed and relaxed as they continued through their day.  I feel a deep satisfaction to being of service in this way.  And I await the next doorway and what I will find when I cross the threshold.

Virginia Macali is a trainee in the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program in Columbus, Ohio.  She is enjoying the clinical rotation at Wexner Heritage Village.

The True Nature of Self Care

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 07:24

Be the Change. As much as Gandhi’s words have become, perhaps, overused, I still feel warm-hearted when I see them with a pretty photo backdrop as a friend’s Facebook share. They are heart-centered, uplifting by nature. And yet I remember when it was first suggested to me in a yoga class, some 20+ years ago, that my yoga practice benefitted the entire planet, I doubted it. I wanted to believe that it could, and it even felt really good to imagine that it could. But, when my mind considered it, it made no sense. When I looked at the idea with the focus of a magnifying glass, it fell apart – my little mind, my little world, my little self. “Practicing yoga is selfish,” I heard my little mind say. How could this practice that I thought was so selfish benefit the world? Even as I couldn’t see that it did, I decided that, for a while each week, I could be selfish.

Over the years I added other practices – meditation, alternative therapies, body work, essential oils. With each new addition, I still felt selfish. And, I felt better. When I left a class or a session, I glowed. This was met with different reactions from different people. Sometimes I would walk into work, and my self-care glow was met with scowls. This reaction confirmed to me that these practices must certainly be selfish acts. And, now I look back and consider that their reactions can come from any variety of story, just as my conclusion about their reactions came from my story. Another time I was walking down the street and heard from a stranger, “You’re glowing! Whatever you’re taking, I want it!” I chose to enjoy this freely-given comment, and it sparked in me a desire to share that these acts of being selfish just might actually have a way to benefit others.

When our younger daughter was 7, she sat in meditation with me. After practicing with me for a few days, we were in the car, and from the back seat I heard, “Mommy?” “Yes, honey, what is it?” “Mommy…the world would be a better place if everyone meditated. People would be happier and nicer to each other.” And so perhaps we choose these acts of self-care, whether or not we yet know, at the core of our being, that the glow is vibrating out to those around us, and on to the world at large. Consider choosing to be selfish, to care for yourself. Through these choices, we are the change.

Release your Inner Warrior

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 07:32

Home Practice: Props

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 07:20

Studio Spotlights: Mike McGrew

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 07:03
It’s hard to explain the mental state that (yoga) puts me in but if I come in and I have had a stressful day I find it relaxing.  I can use it throughout the week to cope with everyday situations.

Why yoga?
I never gave it a thought until the Recreational Amputee Support Group of Central Ohio invited me to a class that Stacee Hill is teaching.  I got a free pass to Yoga on High, came the next day and have been coming ever since.  Its’ very helpful physically and mentally.  It’s hard to explain the mental state that it puts me in but if I come in and I have had a stressful day I find it relaxing.  I can use it throughout the week to cope with everyday situations.  It’s almost like going to church for me.  I come 2-3 times a week now.

Favorite yoga style?

Favorite pose?
Gotta be the warrior pose.

How long practicing?
Since last Dec 2013

Dream yoga retreat?
Never gave it any thought. But not knowing much about this but I would like to try yoga outside—maybe the summer yoga in the Columbus Commons.

Greatest yoga lesson learned?
The health aspects of practicing.  Marcia has explained a lot about the good yoga does for you.

Favorite thing about YOHI?
There’s a lot of good there.  I can’t get over how friendly and trusting everybody is.  From all the classes I have taken so far, how much I have enjoyed them and how beneficial they have been to me.

I enjoy photography, exercising in general-especially bike riding; I like to be outdoors.  I’m retired from the State of Ohio. I’m really glad I was introduced to yoga and I hope to continue the practice for a really long time.

Yogi of the Month: Zuri

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 07:46

Meet this month’s Yogi of the Month! Zuri lights up any and every room she walks into with a beauty that shines inside and out.  Zuri has an infectious smile and a playful and lighthearted way about her.  Don’t let her laughs fool you though, she is a seriously yogi and her commitment has not gone unnoticed.  Zuri leads by example with an open heart, willingness to try new things and unfaltering dedication.  We feel lucky to have her as a part of the YOHI community!  Each month Yoga on High is happy to partner with Manduka to feature a Yogi of the Month. Learn more about this month’s Yogi of the Month, Zuri!

Take Root

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 07:02

by Bernie McKnight

The first chakra, Muladhara, is also known as the root chakra. As its name implies, it is related to our personal sense of foundation.  Located at the base of the spine, the first chakra is the physical space where we connect with the ground or its representation (the floor, a chair).  Getting grounded is an important activity as it provides the stability from which we can efficiently move forward in both momentary and lifelong pursuits. Sending roots into the earth is a common image offered during grounding techniques.  While this is clearly a metaphor, it isn’t unusual to focus on the body parts that touch a chair or the floor, and have the sensation that some part of the self is descending towards the center of the earth.  Ground is useful to focus your mind first thing in the morning, at the end of the workday or any time your experience frantic, scattered feelings.

Getting grounded honors the first chakra. As we pay more and more attention to this energetic center we can begin to see the details of other information housed there, the nature of the foundation from which we rise.  As children and adolescents we are initially rooted in the traditions and values of our families of origin.  Maturing into adulthood we often find that at least some of our assumptions and habits do not serve us.  Trying out different practices is a common rite of passage, and when we find a practice that feels right for us, it can be very satisfying to set down roots in a like-minded community.

Transitioning out of the dormancy of winter and moving through April, a month whose showers bring with them the promise of flowers, offers the invitation to ponder the state of the soil in which we are rooted. Taking a bit of time to be still and connect with our first chakra, we can begin to notice if we are in the correct growing conditions.  And as we grow and change, the practice of taking in information through our root can tell us if we have found the grounds through which our needs can best be met.

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