I have wanted to study with Ohashi Sensei, my teacher’s teacher, for many years now. I finally made the trip to New York this December and had an amazing time. The fast pace of the city that I know and love came to stillness and peace inside the spacious room at Integral Yoga Institute. Ohashi is a talented speaker and engages each of his students in a personal and meaningful way. He can be silly, telling funny stories from his 40+ years of experience. Or he can be quite serious and deep, connecting the practical lessons to life lessons. He doesn’t hold back on encouraging his students and meeting them where they are in their practice. The class was comprised of students at all levels, from the social worker in his fifties who has never used touch as a healing modality, to graduates of the Ohashiatsu program who were there to brush up on old skills and get some more Ohashi-time. Personally, I am still digesting the onslaught of information and experience, playing with ideas in my practice and finding my own expression of the teachings. In my opinion Ohashi’s great gift to the profession is the idea of using one’s hara, or center, to give a treatment. This is a profound lesson that an American like me needs to return to again and again. I will write more about this idea in a future post.