by Kazuhiro Ohashi
Two weeks ago Ohashi and I had a great ski trip in Vermont. On this trip we were able to reconnect with our good friend Jesse Labow who we met in December last year at Ohashi’s 4-day practical course held at Integral Yoga Institute in New York City. Jesse came all the way down from Vermont to practice Ohashiatsu® / OHASHI Method® with our dedicated COIs, all the wonderful students, and of course, with Ohashi himself. Before the course started Jesse took a private tutorial with Ohashi. From that tutorial and throughout the course, I could see Jesse was not just simply giving bodywork, he was enjoying the act of giving. In a phrase, he was “feeling it” — the connection where you are not doing, you are not working, you are simply being. You are enjoying the act of giving, the state of being.
I was happy to meet and talk with Jesse during the course in NYC. Right after the New Year Jesse emailed Ohashi asking if he would come to Rutland to teach him more OHASHI Method techniques.
As Ohashi puts it:
Last year, December 2016, one young gentleman came all the way from Vermont to take my course in New York City. I believe and I heard that he enjoyed my class very much. This year, January 2017, this young man sent an email directly to me saying, ‘Ohashi sensei, I am a very good ski instructor in Killington, Vermont. I want to teach you how to ski. In exchange for this service, I want you to give me private Ohashiatsu lesson when you come to Rutland.’
My instinct told me, ‘Why not?’
I replied to him, ‘When I teach tutorial, you need a couple of people with you, otherwise it’s boring and not so much fun. You don’t learn anything. Why don’t you get some others? Mr. Jesse, why don’t you organize a course in Vermont? You know lot’s of massage therapists, bodyworkers, practitioners. Please, get lots of students for me to teach. You can keep the tuition and take me and Kazu skiing as your guests. Ok?”
I think this was more than Jesse expected to take on, but he agreed, eager for the opportunity to work with Ohashi again and to take a new step in his professional career.
A little more than a month later, Ohashi and I were up in Rutland and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the job Jesse did registering students, finding a place to hold the course, and all the other small details he thought of that made a big difference in the success of the course.
When we arrived we stayed at Harvest Moon Bed & Breakfast. This traditional and beautiful B&B, run by Jesse’s mom Susan, was the perfect accommodation for us.
Later that day we visited the course site. Jesse’s friend, Dimitri, in his great generosity agreed to host the course at his residence — a beautiful house in Rutland full of light. After talking and discussing the next day’s workshop, Ohashi and I had dinner with Jesse and his wife, Hahn, at their residence.
The next day Ohashi and I arrived at the course site at 9am. Jesse was already there setting up and making sure things were ready for the students when they arrived. Ohashi taught a wonderful workshop on his unique Healing Scarf Technique. Ohashi says:
Someone at the class asked if my Scarf Technique is good for people who have suffered a stroke. My answer is yes – but you must give very gently, and only if they agree. It is an effective way for loosening up muscle tightness.
Thank you to Lisa Marie Donohue, MA, LMT at Thrive Center of the Green Mountains for this question.
Jesse and his wife prepared not only a great healthy breakfast for the students, but also an exquisite meal of Japanese rice balls (Onigiri), miso soup, and other delicious vegetarian dishes. All free of charge! By the way Jesse and Hahn run a catering business — Good Karma Kitchen. Please check them out if you are in Rutland.
Everyone was well fed and happy to have Hanh prepare a special meal for them. They were ready for more of Ohashi’s special scarf technique the rest of the afternoon. After the course Ohashi gave six sessions in Dimitri’s treatment room. And we finalized our night with a visit to a local Chinese restaurant suggested by Hahn.
The next day Ohashi and I drove over to Jesse and Hanh’s house. Hahn had prepared an amazing traditional Vietnamese breakfast. There was a spicy noodle soup, a special type of omelette among other pickled fare. It was the perfect food for a long day of skiing. Then we all drove to Killington Ski Resort. There we met up with Susan – Jesse’s mother. Our hosts described the day as one of the best days for skiing all season. Ohashi and I had not been on the slopes for sometime, but we quickly got back into the flow of things. Ohashi loves skiing. It helps him practice his cross patterning. He skis from the hara, always keeping low for balance. We were able to keep up with our expert hosts. Both Jesse and Susan are instructors and had some great tips for us to improve our technique. Our hosts left us in the early afternoon and Ohashi and I were left to ski on our own for a couple of hours. Ohashi commented:
Next day 28th of February Tuesday, Jesse, the young man who arranged this trip, took me to Killington Mountain and paid for everything. Jesse is really a great ski instructor who taught me lots. That was my best skiing experience in the last 20 years.
After packing up our gear we met with our long time friend and COI Diedre Seeley for a late lunch at a Japanese restaurant. She lives in Killington Village and has a successful massage practice there, Mountain Dove Wellness. It was great to catch up with her and to be in her energetic presence. By the way “Happy Birthday Deedee… belated. Diedre is always available for Ohashiatsu® Sessions via email and at New Life Hiking Spa starting May 15, 2017.
That evening Hahn prepared an “official” dinner for us. It was really a special evening with our friends. This time Susan joined. Hahn really outdid herself with this feast. We were treated to a plethora of traditional Vietnamese dishes, all vegetarian, all delicious. I personally enjoyed the fried tofu with chili paste. Ohashi loved the saki selection and I think we all enjoyed the the apple cobbler with ice cream that Susan brought.
The next day it was time to leave Rutland. Ohashi visited the maple syrup distiller next to the B&B. I packed and we said our goodbyes to Rutland. For the rest of the day Ohashi, Jesse, Hahn and I wondered the aisles of the famous Vermont Country Store, sampling to our hearts content.
As we ate with Jesse and Hahn before we traveled back to New York Ohashi had this interesting piece of information for us:
Life is always a big surprise. Life is always full of strange luck. I didn’t plan or expect anything, yet everything worked out beautifully. This is great luck! In Japanese the word for luck is ‘un’. The Chinese character means you are bringing yourself to where the luck is. So let’s prepare for the Luck which may happen in front of you. Is there anyone who wants me to come to give tutorial? If so, I’m well prepared!
Finally it was time to say goodbye to our hosts. We couldn’t have asked for a better ski vacation. And we look forward to visiting Jesse, Hahn, Susan, DeeDee and the rest of our friends up north again.