< Back to blog

Banana Peel, Light Switch, Alarm Clock
13 October 2015

Banana Peel, Light Switch, Alarm Clock
13 October 2015

Banana Peel, Light Switch, Alarm Clock

Karma: what is it? Simply put, Karma is the law of cause and effect. Seed and fruit. You plant a lettuce seed and lettuce grows. There is never a time when you plant a lettuce seed and produce cauliflower from that seed. The seed determines what grows; that is an unvarying law. Understanding the law of Karma can help us unite how we say we want to live, and how we actually live. Intention and action.

My first yoga teacher defined Karma in 3 forms: 

  • Banana peel Karma is the most instant and obvious kind of karma. Step on a banana peel, fall down. 
  • Light switch Karma: flip a switch and a light turns on. It’s still instant but there are also hidden wires and unseen connections at work. 
  • Alarm clock Karma: set an alarm clock, go to sleep and 8 hours later the alarm goes off. Time has elapsed, other actions have taken place, but the connection is still clear. Cause and effect, seed and fruit. 
Karma Yoga is more specifically the practice of giving back to the communities of which you are a part, and can manifest in any of the 3 varieties.
In its purest form—Seva, or selfless service—it is an act of kindness and generosity that neither demands, nor expects, reciprocation. So, helping someone immediately who is in need, giving a ride to someone who is stranded, donating money to a cause, working for a need-based agency, all of these are Seva.
At Upper Valley Yoga I have always tried to include Seva as part of the daily workings of the studio, to insist that as a business owner I am practicing Karma Yoga. I don’t make a lot of money personally, so I don’t have much extra to give away, but I believe giving back to our community is vital to being a studio of depth and substance. The instructors who teach our monthly free classes—generous angels of yoga that they are—are the clearest example of this.

The scholarship fund, our own “Karma Fund” is another. This fund acts as kind of our own “alarm clock Karma." If someone comes to me, strapped for cash but hungry for yoga, I like to be able to offer them some free classes. When there is credit in the fund, I am able to do just that. And then, who’s to say the ways in which that act might reverberate both in that individual’s life and also its ripple effect outward into the community and world.

This Friday I will teach a by-donation class at the studio and the proceeds will all go to the Karma Fund. I hope you will come join me in Seva, donate any amount, and help us strengthen our own immediate community and by the laws of Karma, help that effect ripple outward through our surrounding communities. And in the process, enjoy a fun, feel-good practice to kick off your weekend. I hope to have a robust turn out. Please do sign up to hold a space, so I can plan accordingly. Time allowing, I will make some treats to enjoy after class, and you are welcome to stay and enjoy Kirtan with Angie and Josh at 7:30!.


Close window


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.

Close window


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!

Close window

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!

Close window

Privacy & Terms of Use

Upper Valley Yoga requires the use of your personal information for record-keeping and payment purposes only. We are committed to safeguarding your personal information, and will do so by using state-of-the-art digital technology and encryption services. We will not distribute your information to third parties.

We may use your online information to contact you about class cancellations or other information regarding Upper Valley Yoga. We require your personal information in order to provide you with an efficient and safe online class-registration and payment experience. Please feel free to contact Upper Valley Yoga with questions about this website, our privacy policy and terms of use.