Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Training Columbus Ohio

Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Training

What is Urban Zen Integrative Therapy?

Imagine a healthcare system where the patient is treated, not just the disease—a system where Eastern healing techniques support Western medicine in a holistic approach to patient care.  

In 2009, the Urban Zen Foundation launched the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program (UZIT) toward realizing this vision. The UZIT program includes training in yoga therapy, essential oil therapy, Reiki, nutrition and contemplative care. Inspired by Donna Karan and designed by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, UZIT trains members of the healthcare and yoga communities to provide its cluster of therapeutic support services to people facing illness, injury or stress, those in and out of a hospital setting, including senior care facilities, hospice, nursing schools and as well as serving staff at secondary schools.  Its curriculum is uniquely designed to address the classic symptoms associated with illness: Exhaustion, Pain, Anxiety, Nausea, Insomnia and Constipation (PANIC™). More than 450 students have completed the program, which includes at least 50 hours of clinical rotation in a hospital or healthcare setting or in private or out-patient settings.  Yoga on High was the first site outside of New York City to offer the accelerated version of this program, and we are thrilled by the opportunity it offers to our community. Visit the Urban Zen website for more information on this inspiring work.


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What is Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Training?

This accelerated program is designed for individuals who are already established in one or more of the Urban Zen modalities (yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner, doctor, nurse or other allied medical professional, essential oil therapist). It reduces what is normally a 12-month training program to 12 days of intensive training plus a clinical rotation.  Though students are only in class for 12 days, students will have up to 12 months to complete all the program requirements. 

Each training day begins with a led yoga class which includes active and restorative poses, breath work and meditation.  The rest of each day is filled with lectures and discussions for the full group followed by mentor-led small groups and Urban Zen practice sessions.

Lectures and practice sessions include training in the 5 Urban Zen modalities and how to layer them to alleviate the symptoms of PANIC™

  • Yoga Therapy including in-chair and in-bed movement, restorative yoga, breathing practices and guided meditation/body scans
  • Reiki includes Level 1 reiki training for self practice and for use in clinical setting
  • Essential Oil Therapy training and practice with 10 therapeutic-grade essential oils including Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Frankincense and other special blends.  Participants will learn benefits and contra-indications for each essential oil.
  • Nutrition including nutritional information as a form of self-care for UZITs.
  • Contemplative Care training and practice in the ability to stay present, calm and effective in the midst of suffering.

The UZIT program equips therapists with the necessary tools to avoid the burnout that is rampant in the nursing and care-giving communities.  UZITs learn techniques of grounding, relaxation and restoration in order to be present as they serve.  As Roshi Joan Halifax says, “Healthcare without self care is sick care.”

Training Dates for the 2015-16 Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program

Saturday, August 29 through Wednesday, September 2, 2015: 5-Day Module

Saturday, October 24 through Monday, October 26, 2015: 3-Day Module

Thursday, December 3 through Sunday, December 6, 2015: 4-Day Module

What are My Clinical Training Options?

We are affiliated with two excellent institutions for your clinical rotations—The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Wexner Heritage Village.

Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University is one of the largest and most diverse academic medical centers in the country. It includes six hospitals, a network of primary and specialty care practices and more than a dozen research centers and institutes. The nurses and doctors in the areas in which you’ll be working have experienced Urban Zen Integrative Therapy modalities and are eager to add them to the support services for their patients, family members and staff. For more information on Wexner Medical Center visit their website.

Wexner Heritage Village is one of Central Ohio’s most diverse and comprehensive senior housing and health care organizations, It encompasses senior living at all levels of care and includes a rehab center and Zusman Hospice.  Since early 2013, Urban Zen therapists associated with Yoga on High have been working at Wexner Heritage Village with seniors and their families. Wexner Heritage Village has embraced the modalities of UZIT which are offered from the Board Room to the kitchen, to the staff, residents, patients and family members. For more information on Wexner Heritage Village visit their website.

If you do not live in the greater Columbus area, we will work with you to find an appropriate clinical site in your area.

What are the Graduation Requirements

In order to successfully complete the UZIT Training program and receive certification, you must fulfill all of the following:

To be completed before the start of clinical practicums:

  • Attendance at all the in-person training sessions.
  • Complete 18 practice sessions with friends and family, starting after the first in-person training week and due one week before the third in-person training
  • Finish weekly homework logs
  • Complete, with passing grades, all written modality tests at the third in-person training
  • Pass the clinical assessment at the third in-person training (a practice session where a fellow trainee plays the role of a patient from a real-life case study)
  • Attendance at or documented later listening to a minimum of 80% of weekly phone calls
  • Complete basic CPR training and submit documentation
  • Secure and submit proof of proper insurance
  • All of the above to be completed and reviewed to the satisfaction of your mentor, mentor assistant or other Urban Zen staff
  • Complete of any of the individual clinical location requirements, i.e., background, drug and/or TB screening, influenza immunization and/or any other site-specific requirements.

To graduate - all of the above must be in good order and the following:

  • A minimum of 50 hours of clinical practicums in a hospital or clinical setting - some of these hours will be following/assisting mentors, some will be partnering with other trainees, and some will be on your own (completed on or before July 1, 2015).
  • Completion of three audio recordings (two body scans and one breath awareness)
  • Completion of a Final Assessment - a mentor-observed session, either in-person at the clinical location or via video for out-of-town trainees.
  • Completion of a 3-day Yoga on High silent retreat, or other comparable silent retreat, approved by the Yoga on High Urban Zen staff (cost of Yoga on High retreat or other retreat is not included in the UZIT program fees)
  • Payment for the training must be paid in full

All graduates of the program will be certified Urban Zen Integrative Therapists.  Yoga teachers who have graduated from a 200 hour Yoga Alliance registered teacher training program are eligible to register as 500 hour level yoga teachers upon completion of the Urban Zen training and some additional workshops. 

Continuing Education Credits will be available for nurses in the state of Ohio.  We are also working to offer CEs for nurses from other states.  If this is important to you, please communicate this to Urban Zen staff at Yoga on High.

Cost of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapist Training at Yoga on High

The cost of the training is $3,250, if paid in full. Monthly payment options will be available.

This fee includes:

  • All UZIT trainings with local and guest teachers
  • Support between trainings through phone conferences and meetings with mentors
  • The UZIT course manual and other handouts and materials
  • Placement and supervision in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center or Wexner Heritage Village for clinical practicum hours
  • A 6-month pass for classes at Yoga on High
  • A 6-month online Gaiam Yoga Club membership

Additional expenses include:

  • Required texts (discount available if all books are purchased from Yoga on High)
  • A Young Living Everyday Oils kit (order through Yoga on High for a discount)
  • Insurance to fit Urban Zen requirements
  • Basic CPR training
  • Fees associated with clinical work (TB test, drug screening, background check; other fees may apply)
  • Optional Restorative yoga prop package (discount available through Yoga on High)
  • Required Yoga on High 3-day silent retreat
  • Technology needs (see below)

Technology Needs*:

  • Access to computer/internet for online training platform connection
  • Use of scanner to submit .pdf files of written homework
  • Ability to digitally audio record and submit recorded audio homework as .mp3 or .m4a
  • Out of town trainees – ability to video record and submit as .wmv or .mov for final certification

*Technology Support call to be scheduled before the start of the training. Date and time to be determined. Recording will be available for those unable to attend the call.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation must be submitted in writing to Marcia Miller at Yoga on High. If you cancel by October 1, 2015, after the first full 6-day training session, you receive a $1500.00 refund. No refund if you leave the program after October 1, 2015.

More Information

We invite you to meet us at an upcoming information session:
Saturday, February 7 from 2:00p to 3:00p at Yoga on High
Monday, March 23 from 6:00p to 7:00p at Yoga on High
Monday, June 15 from 6:00p to 7:00p at Yoga on High
Sunday, July 26 from 3:30p to 4:30p at Yoga on High


We are offering three informational conference calls for those who may be coming from out of town or cannot make our open house dates.
Monay, April 27 from 1:30p to 2:30p
Tuesday, May 12 from 7:30p to 8:30p
Sunday, August 9 from 6:00p to 7:00p


You will receive instructions on how to join conference call once you register for a call.

Thank you for your interest in this program. If you have questions, please feel free to email us at urbanzen@yogaonhigh.com.

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Where Can I Learn More about Urban Zen?

For more information related to Urban Zen at Yoga on High and around the country, click on the links below.

Rodney Yee on Urban Zen

Urban Zen at Yoga on High

Columbus Dispatch Article, June 11, 2013

Blog by Lori Moffett: Our Presence is Enough

UCLA Hospital Urban Zen Implementation

Moving on From Cancer: A Weekend Retreat

Urban Zen at Beth Israel Hospital




Thank you so much for bringing Urban Zen to Columbus and making this accelerated training available. It has been a worthy journey with the first leg complete and so much more ahead.  I love to practice and the synergy of these particular practices has made a significant difference in my well-being.  My heart is softening and nervous system activation is at a much lower threshold. That makes much more possible—and satisfying. 

These five days of learning, practicing, witnessing, and being together offered a lot of healing and care that I carry with me.  Thank you for putting together an assessment process that had integrity and dignity woven in.  The layering in new ways of seeing and doing and speaking about the work was really helpful.   I love that we’re practicing and learning together.  -Virginia Macali, Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program trainee

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