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Go Away to go in
10 October 2015

Go Away to go in
10 October 2015

Go Away to go in

In a couple of weeks I’m headed to Kripalu to spend a week studying and practicing Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Reiss. I made the plans about 6 months ago, when I was contemplating my first Autumn without kids at home, and anticipating the need to immerse myself in contemplative practice of some kind. Let’s just say it felt like a more positive choice—not to mention less melodramatic—than beating my breast, rending my garments, and keening with loss. I suppose I could have chosen instead to train for a marathon but frankly, I’m tired.  (10K is more my speed anyway.)  

Fall is an interesting and fruitful time to withdraw a bit and tune into to the powerful oceans of the unconscious mind, to see what they might offer up. The gears are already slowly and gorgeously grinding toward winter….a little color here and there in the trees, and that morning mist hanging in the river valley and waiting for the sun to crash through is as beautiful and heart wrenching as the most poignant work of art.  I can feel my own soul straining toward  deeper communion with myself, and so off I will go.

So, what IS Yoga Nidra?
The literal translation of Nidra is sleep. You will hear people call it “yogic sleep”, but Yoga Nidra is a dynamic state, not the unconscious sleep of nighttime. in Yoga Nidra, with the guidance of an instructor’s voice, you leave the waking state, go past the dreaming state, and go to a state of deep sleep, yet remain awake. Ordinary sleep renews and heals the body and brain and is powerful in its own right, but Yoga Nidra has the ability to alter your unconscious programming or samskaras, to unleash the power of the deep unconscious. When you purify the samskaras—those deep impressions that are the driving force behind Karma—the healing aspect of the practice goes well beyond “deep relaxation”, though that is one of its many happy by-products.

Yoga Nidra works by immersing your brain in the healing rhythms of the alpha state. In this state, you access both logical left brain and the intuitive, insightful right brain, and align your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to restore the body and mind to balance.
Yoga Nidra inspires transformation from the deepest core of your being and provides you with powerful tools to eliminate stress and banish self-destructive habits and thoughts. While it is difficult to describe how amazing it feels, I will say Yoga Nidra takes you beyond the barriers of the five senses.  It feels like you slip completely free of the grasp of struggle with self. It feels, for a time, like absolute freedom.
I hope to hold Yoga Nidra sessions occasionally at the studio. In the meantime, if you are curious, here is a YouTube link to a guided Nidra practice with Jennifer Reiss. Enjoy!


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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+

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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+

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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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