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Nest Open, Heart Full
13 October 2015

Nest Open, Heart Full
13 October 2015

Nest Open, Heart Full

My youngest son Liam has left for his 4th and final Summer of touring with Circus Smirkus. When the tour ends, he’ll be home for about 4 days before heading up to Canada, where he will attend L’ecole de Cirque de Quebec. Tomorrow is his high school graduation, but he will not be there. We celebrated the closing of this chapter of his life with the Baccalaureate ceremony last Sunday, and an emotional gathering with his closest friends and their families afterward. (As well as some ceremonial gowned leaps from the roof to the trampoline, as you can see in the photo above. A colorful alternative to Pomp and Circumstance). 

My own feelings have yet to fully surface. I will miss indulging in that ritualized surge of pride of seeing him walk and receive his diploma, but I carry pride and love for him in my heart everywhere I go, so it doesn’t, at this moment, feel like a huge loss. And while I dearly miss his lively, happy presence I don’t miss the piles of casual debris that drop in his wake everywhere he temporarily parks his body. (I’m not complaining. But I’m not going to glorify it either.) 

So Liam leaving just…..is. Every family with children who grow up and graduate and move on experiences this milestone in their own way. Ours is unique (yes, yes, he’s “running off to join the circus.” I want to retire that phrase almost as much as the “empty nest” phrase) but every family and every individual has a unique journey. And certainly we have to do the work of planning, setting goals, helping them actualize what comes next, but there is a healthy amount of “letting things unfold” required as well. If you are a parent, think back for a moment to when your child was, say, 2. You followed him at every turn, reached out to shield him from life’s potential perils, wiped poo from his wee bum, scraped snot from his rosy cheeks. I didn’t back then imagine the time I’d let him walk out the door not fully prepared, likely to make huge mistakes. I didn’t really fully imagine letting him go at all. 

 I can say with full confidence, that capable and wonderful as he is, he will make big mistakes. He will have to figure out a lot of stuff. We are doing some of that for him, but less and less. He will have to figure out so much in just the next year, living in a French Canadian city with roommates who speak very little English, that it is frankly beyond my ability to figure it all out ahead of time. So, once again, the well-traveled theme of opening my hands, and letting go. We do this in all kinds of places in our lives. 

The balance between managing our lives, and leaving room to simply let things unfold. The practice of yoga gives us opportunity to do this, on the mat and off. 

We do the work, we study the self, we understand what we can, and then we step back a bit and resist the temptation to over direct, every step of the way. If you need a physical, concrete example, think of your hamstrings. If they are tight, you cannot bully them into becoming more pliable. There is an enormous amount of patience and time required to get tight hamstrings to lengthen. You can do the poses that warm up the whole body, do the poses that help stretch the hamstrings, but if you mindlessly and aggressively force that process, you will not get longer hamstrings, you will just get hurt.

Summer is a nice time to soften the grip on your life, your actions, your yoga practice. Even if you are busy, the additional daylight hours provide the possibility that maybe, we don’t need to rush. Maybe, we can dwell in the present moment with the understanding that things will unfold in their own, wonderful, surprising ways.

Our new Yoga Immerson Program with Sharon is a go! Already we have a sizeable group of yoga students registered for the program. We are so excited about this new offering. To those who showed up for Sharon’s Q & A, thank you! To those who missed it, we have opened registration on the website, with links to a pdf that outlnes the full course with dates, content etc. The discounted rate is available until July 1. Check it out here.


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The building itself was renovated to be energy efficient, and the room is moderately heated in cooler seasons to promote a good, healthy sweat, but not heated to an excessive or wasteful degree. There are cubbies in our large office to store your personal belongings, a spacious changing room, a comfy sofa and a water cooler (please bring a water bottle to fill, to cut down on paper cup usage). Two nice, clean bathrooms are located just down the hall. There are also cubbies in the studio itself for valuables, which students are welcome to use. We have a full lending library of yoga books, and encourage students to borrow freely. Gift certificates are available for purchase in any amount.

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Please do not wear perfume or any strong scent

People with allergies can be very sensitive to scent. Also, lots of people sweating in a closed space is less stinky than lots of people all wearing different brands of perfume or deodorant.

Wear comfortable clothing

Not so tight it binds, not so loose it gets in your way. And please do not wear clothes that “gap” and are inappropriately revealing.

Practice on an empty stomach

If possible, don’t eat at least three hours before practice. If you know that this isn’t possible for you, eat easily digested food one hour before class.

No food or outside beverages inside the studio

If necessary, bottled water is okay, but remember we are trying to generate internal heat; constant sipping cools the body. After practice, drink plenty of pure water.

Bring your own mat

Shared mats are not hygienic; you may borrow one from us if one is available, until you are able to purchase your own, but please clean it afterward with the mat wipes provided. Please understand mats may be borrowed on a first come basis….we have only a few to borrow, and do occasionally run out of them.

Keep your eyes on your own practice

The practice is richer when it happens from the inside out. It’s not about comparing yourself with the person next to you. Be present with your own experience.

Be kind and loving to yourself

Rest when you need to. Honor where you are in your practice. Use the energy of those around to inspire, not diminish, you. Remember: you are perfect just as you are now, and yoga is meant to enhance that understanding and let that perfection shine. Have fun!

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Newcomers! 3 for $30

If you are new to Upper Valley Yoga, you can purchase a 3-class pass for $30! (For our first-time guests only, package expires 15 days after purchase)

Single Class, $18

Drop in to any regular weekly class

Single Class, Student or Senior* Rate, $15

*Full time high school and college students, Seniors 60+

10-Class Pass, $145

Expires after one year

10-Class Pass, Student or Senior* Rate, $130

Expires after one year

*Full time high school and college students, Seniors 60+

5-Class Pass, $80

Expires after 6 months

5-Class Pass, Student or Senior* Rate, $70

Expires after 6 months.

*Full time high school and college students, Seniors 60+

Unlimited Yoga Passes

Monthly, Auto-Renew with credit card, $99/mo

Unlimited yoga. 6-month commitment is required; early cancellation fee of $50 applies if the auto renew is canceled before 6 months. This is the best value if you plan to attend at least 2 classes per week.

One month, unlimited, $150

Unlimited yoga with no commitment required.

One month, Student or Senior* rate, $140

Unlimited yoga with no commitment required.

*Full time high school and college students, Seniors 60+

3-Month Unlimited, $390

Unlimited yoga, 3 months

If you don’t yet have a mat, borrow one from us and please clean it afterward with the mat wipes.

We have a limited, need-based scholarship fund available for those who are struggling to pay for classes; please email or call us to inquire. We also gratefully accept donations for that fund in any amount. In addition, there are occasional work/study opportunities. If you are interested in being on the work/study list, please let us know!

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