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My ANniversary
13 October 2015

My ANniversary
13 October 2015

My ANniversary

Today marks 4 years since I underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor and the affected balance nerve. The tumor is called an acoustic neuroma, (hence “AN-niversary”) and I don’t always make note of the day, but this year it is on my mind. About 6 months after the surgery, I developed a chronic daily headache near the site of the craniotomy that never completely goes away. And while this new reality has altered my life in profound ways, I continue to feel extremely lucky: lucky to be alive, to have some functional hearing left in that ear, and to have a strong foundation of yoga to help me cope with the altered-state experience of living with only one balance nerve. (we call it “wonky head” which pretty much says it all).

I’m not unique; we all have something we are dealing with, or we care for someone who does—an illness, an obstacle, a condition, an experience—that adds suffering to our lives, and re-shapes our awareness of who we are. I will never be who I was before the tumor, but despite living with (low-level) chronic pain and wonky head, I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have the skills to cope with it, the love of my family and friends to support me, and the many gestures of kindness that are freely given by people who know me, and people who don’t.

My “suffering” is relatively minor. There are plenty of people dealing with worse. And much of that suffering and adversity is virtually invisible. I guess my point is we never know what someone is dealing with, but I know personally that when I am having a crappy day, a small kindness can lift me right out of pain.

 We are at our best when we are kind to each other. For me, as it may be for you, it is the small, daily kindnesses that help me face my bit of pain with grace and acceptance.

Small kindnesses: I’m trying to make them a regular part of my day and I feel tremendous love and gratitude for all the people who do the same. Thank you!


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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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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.