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Patient Today?
13 October 2015

Patient Today?
13 October 2015

Patient Today?

The Sanskrit word “Mudra” is usually translated as a seal or gesture. Mudras are typically used during meditation or pranayama as a way to direct energy flow throughout the body. Yogically speaking, different areas of the hand stimulate specific areas of the brain. By applying light pressure to these areas of the hand, you “activate” the corresponding region of the brain, not unlike reflexology.

Mudras also symbolize various feelings and states of being. This hand Mudra—Shuni Mudra—is also known as the “seal of patience.” The middle finger represents courage to hold duty and responsibility. The thumb represents divine nature. When the two fingers are placed together in Shuni Mudra, it is meant to symbolize and encourage patience, discernment, focus and discipline.

“Patient today”?
A number of years ago, if you drove into the main parking lot at DHMC, the booth attendant would ask you that exact question. Every day, all day. I was a daily visitor for about 3 weeks while my stepfather was in the ICU. My mother was spending many fretful hours by his bedside and I came down to make sure she was eating and sleeping enough. The attendant’s perfectly modulated voice asked the question with just the right balance of kindness, distance and empathy. As if quietly acknowledging that your visit might be associated with some kind of personal pain, but not intruding in any way. And I was not a patient, so at first I would say “no, just visiting” but the irony wasn’t lost on me, and my inner sarcastic commentator was screaming: “NO I AM NOT PATIENT! NOT TODAY, NOT EVER!” After a few days, I stopped responding verbally. Just a slight smile and a nod. I wanted his phrase, rather than my response or mental sarcastic retort, to linger in my head. I took the words “Patient today?” and gave the self-directed question its own gentle, reflective meaning. I let it become a kind of mantra through my day. It made me ask the question of myself, was I being patient? Was I staying present? but without harshness or judgment. Because it was his warm but slightly distant tone in my head, I felt patience itself was a quiet and accessible state. I am not by nature a patient person. I can—by sheer force of will and change in breathing—physiologically mimic the state of being patient, of being solidly present here and now, but it takes some work to get there. Right now, I feel the strong pull of Autumn, and I’m tempted to rush headlong past what is happening right now which is Summer. And so I stop, and look around me. Blueberries, ripe tomatoes, sun on my face. Both my boys at home. Patient today? Yes. For the moment.

This weekend and next we have many lovely opportunities at the studio to both savor the lingering taste of summer and begin the process of turning slowly toward autumn. Forrest Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga—each of these practices will ground you and ignite you in equal measure.


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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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