Fostering Health Inclusively
by Susan Post
If there were only two words to describe Yoga on High, they would be “wellness” and “community”. The studio offers a peaceful sanctuary on High Street in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus, and its founders welcome everyone to experience the joy of yoga.
Linda Oshins, Martha Marcom and Marcia Miller opened Yoga on High in 2001. Since then, the three founders have honored the history of their studio but also looked to the future by recognizing a new generation of yoga in the hiring of Jasmine Grace as their CEO, or Chief Energy Officer. As CEO, Grace has built on the long-standing tradition of Yoga on High by creating a set of guiding values reflected in every decision made at the studio. Quality, inclusivity, integrity, learning, community and sanctuary are the cornerstones around which the studio operates.
The practice of yoga honors both physical and spiritual wellness. Classes are meant to be a time to de-stress and have fun, while at the same time connecting with the spiritual foundations upon which yoga is based. Stress can cause a host of health problems and Grace hopes that through practicing yoga students can learn to manage their stress in a healthier manner.
“This can be a place where they can find radical self acceptance,” Grace says. “Teachers and staff will meet students where they are with their physical and spiritual needs.” By peeling away the stress, she hopes students can improve their physical health and open the door to letting go while getting to know themselves on a deeper, spiritual level.
It often takes a very special, peaceful place for a person to reach such relaxation. This is why sanctuary is another of the group’s core values. “Creating a space and sanctuary allows the other components to come in,” Grace says. “If our space feels good, so do we.”
The studio features three different styles of yoga: Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa with skill levels ranging from beginner to experienced. No matter the type, every practice is breath-centered, alignment-based and honors the origins of yoga traditions. Hatha classes run at a more relaxing pace and focus on body alignment and mechanics. Ashtanga moves at a quicker pace with more advanced poses. Vinyasa offers more creative and advanced levels of poses to build strength and flexibility; it also includes specialty practices like hot flow yoga. All of the classes and values are part of a larger effort to create and promote wellness.
Wanting to make yoga accessible for everybody in the community may sound like a lofty goal, but the teachers and staff quite literally mean it. The studio offers over 100 classes each week, through a variety of programs. Not only does Yoga on High cater to all levels of practice, they also offer unique programs for different groups. There is yoga for runners, kids’ yoga, art + yoga (where students go straight from their mat to their creative space) and yoga hikes combining yoga with hiking in 15-minute intervals.
No matter the program or level, the teachers at Yoga on High are committed to building community and fostering inclusivity around yoga. In order to hold true to this core value, they have designed several programs to make yoga accessible to those who wouldn’t normally have the resources to practice. The Yoga on High Foundation brings classes to veterans, schools, communities and other underserved populations. In addition, the studio facilitates classes at different locations in the community, including the Audubon Center, Ohio Health, Mount Carmel and various schools throughout the city.
Yoga on High offers a space where anyone can explore the practice of yoga for his or her health and well-being. The studio is focused on bringing joy to the community through this both physical and spiritual experience.
Location: 1081 N High St. For more information, visit YogaOnHigh.com or call 614-291-4444.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.firstname.lastname@example.org.