< Back to blog

Sorrow and Wonder
28 July 2016

Sorrow and Wonder
28 July 2016

Sorrow and Wonder

I have been trying to write this blog post since the horrific murders in Orlando back in June, but the cascade of shocking and heartbreaking news week after week since June has repeatedly squashed my desire to examine too closely either the world or my own psyche. I won't belabor the news; we all get too much of it anyway. Not to mention the nauseating and numbing news cycle around the election. But I do want to share with you something that happened one day before those awful murders in Orlando, when I listened to a powerful interview that my friend Rob recorded with "Rumblestrip Vermont." In 2013 Vermont passed The Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act, or Act 39; essentially a "death with dignity" law. Last Winter, Rob's friend Bill asked him to help him die. Bill was diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer and asked Rob to agree to help him end his life when he became too sick to continue living with any degree of comfort. It's a powerful interview and I was moved by the story of their friendship, their capacity for play, and Rob's compassion and clear insights into the nature of sorrow and wonder. Rob Mermin founded Circus Smirkus some 28 years ago, and is someone who clearly lives his life with his heart and soul wide open to wonder. His interview explores with great tenderness how the undercurrent of sorrow is a fact of life; he's "friendly with sorrow" and acknowledges its presence in his life. But alongside sorrow, says Rob, wonder exists and acts as sorrow's counterbalance. Wonder for life's mysteries keeps us from the despair that can take root in sorrow. I listened to this interview a couple of times. I learned about Orlando the next day while driving home after teaching, and it momentarily knocked everything else from my mind. Reeling, as I'm sure most of us were, I was too shocked to experience anything other than horror. In the continued violence since then, but also in the quieter moments, I've returned to Rob's interview, trying to find a way to link the two in my own mind. Trying to see if there is solace to be found in his lovely, sad and beautiful story. Lately, the world feels soaked in both sorrow and grief. Rob, near the end of the interview, says that grief is something you get over in time, but sorrow continues. Wonder is a little hard to come by right now, on the news and politics front, but perhaps in time, the outpouring of love around the world for victims and families of recent events will create its own kind of wonder, a force field of love louder than the hate that inspired the murders. The link is below, if you would like to hear the interview. Sad though it is, it is also such a strong story of love that I circled back to listen a third time last night, and I found that his words deeply affirmed my hope that love, in all its expressions, is alive and well in the world. Have a listen: Last Chapter


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.