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The Ground we Play on
17 February 2017

The Ground we Play on
17 February 2017

The Ground we Play on

I love to nordic ski but haven't done much of it in the past 5 years. Partly because of residual balance challenges following brain surgery in 2011 that make the world a little wobbly for me, partly because of my problematic right shoulder, which twinges with too much repetitive movement. But this snow! I mean, really, this snow..... Yesterday my dear friend Nancy—who is kindness and patience personified and a kick-ass skier as well—agreed to go out with me, to go slow and be patient. It was glorious. The snow was soft and slow, since TA trails hadn't been groomed yet. I found myself grinning and just so happy to be out. When I asked her, Nancy gave me some simple pointers, but I never ever felt "corrected" or judged for sloppy form. It made me think about yoga, about form, about play, about teaching. I am sore in my shoulder today from doing something different, and I feel a sense of kinship with people who take their first yoga class—elite athlete or its complete opposite, a new student is likely to feel sore the day following that first class. We are "waking up" habitually stiff or weak muscles and creaky joints and the next day, we feel it. I also felt a connection with the new student's first experience of Savasana and the deep and satisfying glow that saturates our bodies, minds and hearts with wellbeing at the end of practice and sends us back into the world a little happier and more grounded. I definitely had a "Snow-vasana" glow after skiing. How can we make our yoga practice as playful and joy-inducing as an hour gliding on perfect new snow? Yoga is bound up in the serious business of self-inquiry, but when we take ourselves too seriously, we lose the thread of joy, not to mention, plain old fun. And, how do those of us who teach offer guidance into that world where something that is often really hard, is also really fun, without degrading the deep seriousness of the practice itself? Something to ponder today while I play on my mat in preparation for Sunday's flow class. Hm. But before I get down to practice, I might just get out again in that glorious snow. The sun is shining, the air is still. Maybe snowshoes, today... There are lots of opportunities to play on your mat, including Deb Heimann's class this evening. And new classes begin in Thetford (see box at right) in March and April. May your weekend be filled with joy and play and just the right amount of challenge


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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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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.