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Yoga on the Brain
23 March 2017

Yoga on the Brain
23 March 2017

Yoga on the Brain

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Which is fitting because Saturday marked the sixth anniversary of my stroke. In the months following my injury, I struggled with walking, concentration, sensory and information processing, and managing over-stimulation. Alongside physical therapy, a regular yoga and meditation practice were the biggest source of support for developing new connections in my brain, and rebuilding strength, balance, and coordination. Over the years, I continued to find relief and rehabilitation on the mat while learning to navigate the new normal of my invisible injury. Two months after the stroke, I wrote a letter to a friend with the headline, Things I've learned from stroke that are good for life. At the risk of summoning SNL’s Stuart Smalley (“You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!”), I still return to the list from time to time: 1) Slow down. 2) Focus on one thing at a time. 3) Walking is hard. Then try adding everything else you do and realize why that's harder. 4) Quiet the noise. 5) Take time to process physical and mental stimulation before adding more. Sometimes you'll need to stop all activity, walk away, or end a conversation. 6) Think about how much energy it takes to do different things before you do them. Think about how much energy you have. Act accordingly. 7) Different people create/consume different types of energy. Surround yourself with people who nurture what you need. 8) Two steps forward, one step back isn't such a bad way to make progress. Sometimes you have to push the limit to determine where it is. But once you find your boundaries, be sure to tell everyone else what they are. 9) Sleep when you're exhausted. 10) Who you are isn’t what (or how well) (or how fast) you do. 11) Don't just accept help; ask for it. 12) People love you. You don't even know how much. On Friday, March 31, 5:30-6:45 pm, Upper Valley Yoga is hosting a benefit class for the LoveYourBrain Foundation. Founded by UV natives Kevin and Adam Pearce, this national organization is doing essential work to support people living with traumatic brain injury (TBI). They provide direct service through free yoga and meditation programs; create community by connecting survivors who often struggle with isolation and depression; and promote awareness of the impact of TBI through education initiatives. Perhaps most importantly the Pearce family has shared their story, creating space for countless others to speak about their own experiences. LoveYourBrain was instrumental in supporting my own journey back to health and I am so very grateful for their work. I hope you’ll join us on March 31. Sign up here. When not at UVY, Stephanie connects grown-up and little people with art through the Hopkins Center’s Outreach & Arts Education programs. If you follow the trail of nature photos, you might find her trekking the local woods documenting moments of Zen.


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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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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.