Yoga Spotlight: Neck and Shoulder Love

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Yoga Spotlight: Neck and Shoulder Love

Using Yoga to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain

Perhaps it is just an occasional twinge after a long day at the desk. Maybe it is tightness and immobility upon waking up in the morning. For some, it an unfortunate, nagging pain that hinders the ability to move and act with fluidity and freedom in daily life.

According to Harvard Medical School, 7 out of 10 people will eventually suffer from such pain.

Centerpeace Yoga Therapist Lisa Thiel knows first-hand the difficulties of neck and shoulder trauma. A car accident several years ago left her with very limited range of motion and persistent pain and numbness, which was exacerbated by a career at the computer. Told by doctors she would probably have to “live with it,” Lisa devoted herself to an intensive study and practice of yoga that has eventually freed up her neck.

She found through her own pursuit of wellness that there are multiple skills and habits we can cultivate in order to help us prevent the occurrence of such neck and shoulder pain, and to lessen that pain when flare-ups do occur. Now Lisa will share with all of us some of her hard-won skills creating mobility and freedom in this critical area of the body. Please join her on Saturday, May 23rd (1:30pm-3:30pm) for a phenomenal workshop “Neck and Shoulder Love,” devoted to finding freedom, fluidity, and stability in the neck and shoulders. Call 330-346-0393 for more information or sign up at

Bright Yoga Light: Surya Kriya, CommUnity Kirtan, and the Value of Practicing Together (Satsang)

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Bright Yoga Light: Surya Kriya, CommUnity Kirtan, and the Value of Practicing Together (Satsang)


Being together, finding community along the inward journey of our personal practice, is perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can receive. With the guidance of good teachers, philosophies, and the impetus provided by life challenges, the support of kind, intelligent, caring, and compassionate friends whose paths resonate with our own can be vital in encouraging us to forge ahead. Sometimes we find that sense of commonality, of oneness, through the combined study of philosophies of outside resources (various books, scripture, lectures, or other media) along with deep and honest examination of ourselves. Of course, we are also able to benefit from the myriad mentors who have gifted their understanding to us throughout the ages. There is so very much to be gleaned from “sitting” with them for a while… or for a lifetime. In a similar way, the challenges we face make abundant and generous companions for us as we dive deep into our practice. Then there is the gift of our dear community, our compatriots in the daily work of trying to understand more profoundly, live with more clarity, and to act with more precise focus and intention. Such are the components of Satsang, or a “gathering in truth.” In Indian philosophy, this refers to walking through life with a particular doctrine or philosophical principal as a guide. Or, it may refer to benefitting from the guidance of a guru, mentor, or teacher. Finally, and in perhaps most widely practiced method, Satsang speaks of gathering with other individuals who learn about, discuss, and try to assimilate “truth.”

We are certainly blessed here at Centerpeace with an abundance of opportunities for Satsang. With a lineage tied to the Brahmrishi philosophy and tradition, we are gifted with a philosophical resource that is rich and deep. Senior teachers such as Margot and Bill Milcetich, along with a full staff of wonderful, dedicated teacher/practitioners keep the understanding of this powerful philosophy vibrantly present within all of the offerings here at the studio. We are also blessed at Centerpeace with a lovely space and many opportunities to gather together with other dedicated individuals in community, in the seeking of deeper understanding of our bodies, minds, hearts, and most essential “Self.”

Surya Kriya and CommUnity Kirtan

In the coming week, we will be offering two workshops which highlight such opportunities. Saturday and Sunday (March 28th & 29th) we will be hosting guest instructor Siri Cherurkuri as she teaches a powerful, two-day event: Surya Kriya- Activate the Sun Within. Having just recently returned from advanced teacher training in India, she is generously sharing with us a powerful practice learned in her recent seven-month training at the Isha Ashram. Her workshop will teach a deeply connected vinyasa sequence which will warm and tone the body, release old patterns & toxins, and invite vitality, energy, and clarity to one’s entire system. What an opportunity to learn in community this age-old practice!

Surya Kriya (web)

Our second wonderful offering this week will be CommUnity Kirtan: Find Your Voice with Call and Response Chanting, led by Margot Milcetich, Joe Culley, and Tom Zocolo. Join us as we gather together to let go of the heavy details of our individual lives and instead embrace abundance through shared sound and space. Margot and Joe have played together for over 12 years, leading numerous kirtan sessions with Margot contributing harmonium and vocals and Joe offering his soulful mastery of  the tabla. Tom Zocolo adds his amazing artistry to the group’s world of melody and rhythm. Performing together this coming Saturday (March 28th) at Centerpeace, it is sure to be a night to remember. These kirtan events, meant for audience participation, are wonderfully inspiring and connecting so don’t miss your chance to take part!

Community Kirtan (web)

We are so happy to be able to make these opportunities for community, learning, and support available. Though this shared space, we hope to serve you on your path toward greater wellness and clarity. As always, we are here to answer your questions, and to discuss your thoughts and ideas on how we can serve you better! Do not hesitate to call us at the studio (330-346-0393), to email (, or to stop on in for some hot tea and conversation. We welcome your presence!


Inspiration: Climbing the (Yoga) Walls

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Inspiration: Climbing the (Yoga) Walls

I am a lucky, lucky gal. I get to come to work each day and be incredibly inspired. I am inspired by the city I live in and all of the support we continue to receive as a business. I am inspired by the students here who seek wellness in mind, body, and relationship on a daily basis. I am inspired by my fellow teachers who are constantly innovating, invigorating, and striving to build with us a thriving, vibrant community.

Thursday night, I was was able to watch as our wonderful teacher Tracy experimented with traction, length and back/shoulder openers on the Great Yoga Wall.

Tracy gets her traction on at The Great Yoga Wall! @CenterpeaceYoga #Centerpeaceyoga

A photo posted by Centerpeace Yoga and Wellness (@centerpeaceyoga) on


This morning it was our teacher, Lisa, who demonstrated a back strength and stability sequence that was just too good not to share:

Yoga wall time! #domoreyoga #centerpeaceyoga @centerpeaceyoga #lovebodyhealth A video posted by Lisa Mardel Smith (@love_body_health) on


And, as if the day needed any improvement, our lovely instructor, Jessica, came in to the studio a while later and put the cherry on top with this amazing core work:


A video posted by jessica g (@ihmeplikka) on

I find this all so very inspiring, not because any one movement is perfect, any singular sequence more important or helpful than another, but because of the heart behind each pose. We lift each other up not in our perfection, but through our dedication… to ourselves and to one another. Thank you for letting me be part of this wonderfully joyful, fiercely dedicated community.

With Love,


PS- You can come “hang out” at Centerpeace with Tracy on the Yoga Wall every Tuesday at 6:15pm, or with Lisa 9:30am on Thursdays. Jessica teaches a beautiful gentle/moderate yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-11:15am. Follow us on Instagram @CenterpeaceYoga to see more of these lovely pics and sequences! You can also find Jessica and Lisa there via @ and @love_body_health.

Up Against (A Great Yoga) Wall

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments


“I recognize and bow to the light in you, the same light that is in me”

At Centerpeace, we feel very blessed to be able to offer the community unique ways to experience and access the benefits of yoga. All of our classes are meant to address not only the body, but also the other layers of our human experience. As such, we look upon the many props and various equipment in our studio as a wonderful way assist in gaining valuable skills to successfully understand, integrate, and nurture all of the various parts of ourselves. The way we breathe, the way we process information, and the way we focus our attention are each important in the way we practice yoga.

There are SO MANY variations to be found with the help of this wonderful tool!

There are SO MANY variations to be found with the help of this wonderful tool!


The Great Yoga Wall is one of those wonderful tools that we have at our disposal here at Centerpeace to help us cultivate skill in those areas. Utilizing straps, bars, and slings placed at various levels into the gorgeous poplar wall, we are able to experience our bodies, our thoughts, our breath, and our relationship to gravity in an entirely new way. From a physically therapeutic standpoint, The Great Yoga Wall provides a tremendous opportunity for gentle traction to the spine and limbs as well as a profound sense of stability and grounding in the various yoga asana (poses).

Lisa Thiel in a "Vertical" Chair Pose.

Lisa Thiel in a “Vertical” Chair Pose. Grace and power while “flying.”


Creating traction along the spine, finding alignment in the legs, strengthening the core and thighs… all while lying down.


For those who experience challenge in creating support in the foundational lower body (feet, ankles, knees, hips, and low back), working with the information and strengthening that this powerful prop provides can be staggeringly beneficial. Practitioners who struggle to invite fluidity and freedom in the upper body along the back, chest, shoulders, neck, and arms often find that the creative use of the various straps, slings and bars at The Great Yoga Wall creates a new sense of length, space, and power. Restorative poses are able to take on a whole new dimension (literally!) as the reinforcement from the wall allows for new possibilities for trust and release. Finally, inversions, which for so many of us seem utterly unattainable, can become instead easily accessed and abundantly therapeutic via the bolstering assistance that The Great Yoga Wall Provides.

Teacher Jessica demonstrating the joyful accessibility to inversions that The Great Yoga Wall offers.

Teacher Jessica demonstrating the joyful accessibility to inversions that The Great Yoga Wall offers.

This really is a variation of yoga practice that should be tried, at least once. As student Paula Norris recently recounted,

“Last Saturday I had the opportunity to practice with Lisa Smith using the Yoga Wall at Centerpeace Yoga.

We did a wide variety of postures and sequences from standing poses, backbends, forward folds and inversions.

After a few basic postures I was convinced this was the best tool available for going deeper into my poses and gaining a new sense of alignment for my body.  

 I left the studio that day with a big smile on my face.   I don’t know if I can recall a time when my body and heart felt that open.

Thank you again!”

At Centerpeace, having your back against “The Wall” is a good thing. Come in and try this unique Kent experience for yourself!

Great Yoga Wall classes are currently offered in both a drop-in as well as a series basis.

Weekly Drop-in Wall Classes

Tuesdays 6:15-7:15pm

Thursdays 9:30-10:30am



Finding Support

Wednesdays 5:30-7pm

Feb 25th, March 4th, $15 drop-in per class/$25 for two classes


6 Week Wall Series

On and Off the Wall

Wednesdays 5:30-7pm

March 11th-April 15th, $80

Warming Up from the Inside Out: Yoga’s Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskara

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

On days like this, with negative wind temperatures, mountains of snow, months of winter behind us and weeks still ahead of us, it can feel as if our bodies and lives are stuck in a freezing pattern. While this season offers us a chance to dive deep into silence and stillness, we sometimes need to find our inner light and warmth first. It is similar to the process of building a cozy fire in the fireplace to settle down next to.

Surya Namaskara, or Sun Salutations, are one of yoga’s tools for enlivening the body and senses so that we might better appreciate the beauty of stillness. As a warming vinyasa, or sequence of postures linked with our breathing, Sun Salutations offer us the opportunity to connect to the solidity of the ground we stand on, the expansiveness of the space around us, and the fluidity and connection between the breath and body. It is from the awakened state of calm that this meditative series of movements provides that we are able to be fully aware and alive in the present moment. This is the gift of practice.

Below is a video celebrating all of the unique variations of Surya Namaskara as they are demonstrated by the wonderful teaching staff here at Centerpeace Yoga and Wellness. We hope that the warmth and love with which this sequence was made is felt by you as you watch it. From our hearts to yours, Namasté.


Aerial Yoga Silks Demo Practice with Kim

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

One of the things I most love about this studio is the endless creativity and joyfulness of our staff. My fellow owner, Amanda, was able to film Kim yesterday morning as she “played” around on the yoga silks. Happily, this is not an uncommon sight around here. It seems that Kim, like all of our teachers, is committed to exploring and refining the practice of yoga in all aspects of life, whether that be on the silks, on the mat, on the Great Yoga Wall, or in their vast and varied life outside of the studio. This energy, dedication, and gentle sense of curiosity are what make this studio hum with life, and what we hope that each student is warmly gifted with each time they walk through the doors of Centerpeace.

In the video below, Kim demonstrates an uplifting, morning-time yoga silks sequence at Centerpeace. You can join her every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 for a joyful, accessible practice on the silks in her Aerial Yoga Basics class! See our website for a full class listing of the Aerial, Wall, and Mat Yoga offerings.

Rosen Method and Mindfulness: What We Notice

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Susanna Smart

Rosen Method Bodywork (or Rosen Method) is a type of wellness modality. This bodywork, sometimes described as “listening touch”, promotes body-mind awareness and relaxation. An underlying premise of the work is that we unconsciously learn patterns of muscular holding, feeling, and behavior in hopes of coping with the challenges of life.  These patterns become so familiar that they feel “normal” to us.  Rosen Method helps us become more aware of these patterns.  During sessions, touch highlights the holding and allows us to come to know our holding tendencies. Sensing how we brace ourselves in life is not always “comfortable”, but taking time to be sensitive to ourselves is how we learn.  The learning continues in sessions, in those moments when we find ourselves unconsciously releasing the holding.  In those moments, we discover a new possibilities for being.  As muscles release and spontaneous breath moves through us, we sense greater freedom to be who we truly are.  Rosen Method Bodywork helps us listen to the integrated wholeness of our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Rosen Method involves gentle, non-intrusive touch and verbal cues. Sometimes the client and practitioner talk about what they are sensing in the body.  Rosen Method bodywork was developed by Marion Rosen and is currently offered at Centerpeace by Susanna Smart.

Susanna Smart has provided touch therapies shaped by her values of confidentiality, caring and competent practice for over forty years. She trusts the wisdom of the body and the power of gentle touch. She offers a compassionate way to awaken the embodied experience of living to gain self-understanding for moving forward on the path of life. Susanna has a master’s degree in nursing and is a board-certified holistic nurse sharing her skills in hospitals, outpatient clinics and private practice. She is also certified in massage, Rosen Method Bodywork, biofeedback and self-regulation, and clinical hypnotherapy. She is a 200-hour yoga instructor. Susanna is a doctoral student at Kent State University, soon to embark on a research project to study Rosen Method Bodywork.

You can read an article she recently co-authored on mindfulness and Rosen Method at the Rosen Method International Journal at “A Preliminary Inquiry on Rosen Method and Mindfulness: What We Notice” (Rosen Method International Journal, 7, Issue 1, pp. 49-62) by Carol Cober, Susanna Smart, and Jeanie Williams.

This journal also includes many other articles that help describe this remarkable bodywork. Rosen Method, along with many other healing bodywork and massage techniques, are offered daily at Centerpeace Yoga. Information can be found on our Wellness page or by calling the studio at 330-346-0393.

KSU Loves Centerpeace!

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

KSU Loves Centerpeace!

Kent State University has featured Centerpeace on its homepage at! In addition to the wonderful article and pictures of the studio, check out the video news story they did on us below. What an honor! Thank you, KSU!

Read the article here:

Inspiration into Form

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Inspiration into Form

Inspiration into Form – By Margot Milcetich

As the seed of an inspiration develops into form, it compounds naturally with further ideas, resources, connections with people and places.  One thing leads to the next, as one yoga pose leads to another.  It can feel like wild growth.  But with paring and pruning, selecting and refining, we have something we can use.  Like a longer flow of yoga postures that benefit our self and others.  This phase is convivial, joyful, social, and productive.


Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments


Inspiration – By Margot Milcetich

We get the idea first. We think of a pose before we do it. Then we are in it. Sometimes we might not notice the inspiration phase of action when the action is small, such as “now it is time to do the dishes,” though what is small for one might be large for another. But some ideas are plainly too large to act upon quickly. So then what do we do with them?

We look at them. Turn the inspiration over in your hand and see how it might serve you. An inspiration is too precious to release as quickly as it may have flown into the imagination. We have to give it time. Then set the inspiration aside and see if it flies off. See if it stays. Step back and see how the sunlight and shadow fall across it. Can we feel the potential beauty and the possible downside of bringing this idea into form? What if it gained more substance? Like a vast hillside that drops into shadow, out of view, there may be unknowns. The unknown is difficult to witness.

But that is where most inspiration leads us. Closer to what we cannot imagine. And then there we are: fully in the next pose.