Sunday, March 24

Yoga on High | Columbus, OH

On our drive back from North Carolina we stopped about halfway in Columbus, OH to visit with a high school buddy of Jafe's. The next morning I decided to check out one more class before I accept that our vacation is over.

LOCATION: Waze navigated me to an adorable part of downtown Columbus, OH. Yoga on High is located in a decent size brick building on a corner with free parking.     
STUDIO: When you get to the front door, the person at check-in buzzes you in. The entry is huge with lots of merchandise, cubbies, and places to hang your coat. Most yoga props are in the practice space, but the mats are actually at the front desk where you check-in ($15, I paid cash, but they do accept credit cards). I was one of first to enter the space where I discovered it was a heated room. There is at least two practice spaces down the hallway, and beyond that is large bathrooms like you'd find in a public building. 
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Mysore Yoga | Mixed Level 1 + 2 | Ashtanga Drop-in: This class is open to all levels of ashtangis. Brand new beginners through experience students practice side by side at their own pace, each receiving individual instruction and hands-on adjustments. Use this class to memroize the sequence of poses in your series and to move toward an independent practice supported by the energy of the class. This class format is the traditional method of learning Ashtanga yoga as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India.
INSTRUCTOR: Taylor Hunt has been a devoted student of Ashtanga yoga since 2006. He was first introduced to yoga by a persistent friend who encouraged him to attend a class. Although his first experience was met with resistance, he was inspired to come back again. While lying in savasana after his second class, he felt a sense of comfort and ease unlike anything he had experienced before. Since that day, Taylor has maintained a daily Ashtanga practice and committed himself to the study of classical yogic texts including the Sutras, Vedic chanting, Indian philosophy, and Sanskrit. In 2009, Taylor felt the calling to share his love of yoga with others and completed the 200 hour teacher training program through Yoga on High.
CONTACT: Yoga on High

I had no idea what I was getting into, but the class was scheduled for three hours and that alone intrigued me. When I walked into the practice space to discover a heated room, I wasn't too happy. I don't like hot yoga or Bikram yoga—it scares me a bit. Not because it's challenging, but more so because it warms up the body so much I'm worried I'll injure myself not realizing I've gone past my edge. But I was here and I was going to do my best to stay open to the experience.

Taylor introduced himself immediately and was very patient with me explaining the process. Basically it was an open class for yogis to practice the Mysore sequence without instruction to create a meditative state. But Taylor would give me a couple instructions, practice it with me once, and then walk off to let me do a set. The first two were Surya Namaskar A + Surya Namaskar B—five to eight times each with some serious Ujjayi breathers reminding me to activate my own. At some point all of us came together to chant, which I didn't know, so I om'd and listened. It was beautiful.

Once I was warmed up (aka sweating my ass off) Taylor and another instructor in the room taught me the first six standing poses. At this point the room is now packed, and the yoga that is happening is truly breathtaking. The woman next to be floated into her positions—and when I say floated, I don't mean she was graceful. If you're not familiar with this reference, take a moment to watch this:

OK, I did not do that, and that's alright—I did however enjoyed peaking over at my neighbor to watch her do some of this.

After I practiced my first six steps maybe three times my instructors had me go into savasana, both of them congratulating me on my first class and comforting me in saying they didn't want to overwork me so I'd be excited to come back next week. I wasn't really discouraged with my level of yoga—I was easily the "worst" practitioner in the room, but I know where I am in my practice and quite comfortable with it. But that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the kindness given to encourage me to return.

I would definitely not recommend this to a newcomer. It says all levels welcome—but no way. I almost wondered if it was appropriate if I was there after a few years of practicing. In the end, I'm glad I did go, because you have to start somewhere and this was a lovely space to do just that. 

Thank you Yoga on High and Taylor! Namaste.

Quick snapshot inside the studio


I liked the painting behind the check-in desk

Lovely pictures in the hallway

Discovered these two adorable elephants on my drive home :)

2 responses:

  1. I loved your detailed account of your experience at Yoga on High. Thank you so much for supporting YoHi (nickname for Yoga on High) and the Mysore program! I do want to say that many beginners do come and it is an environment that welcomes any student who wishes to start their practice for the very first time, or get back into it after a few years away from the mat. Taylor creates a welcoming environment with beautiful instructions and a realistic approach to each individual's practice. He is so experienced as a teacher that he is able to provide instructions to all types of student. I'm so glad that 1- you were able to experience Mysore during your visit to Columbus and 2- you shared your experience with the world! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Sabrina—Taylor was an excellent instructor, I agree!