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Trust- The Ultimate Feat
13 October 2015

Trust- The Ultimate Feat
13 October 2015

Trust- The Ultimate Feat

I’m coming off an incredible and incredibly busy week, filled with Circus Smirkus. My son is in his 4th and final summer of touring with this stupendously talented and hard working group of young artists and athletes, and so each year I spend a good chunk of time marketing for the Hanover shows, hosting kids, feeding them, driving them, being entertained by them, occasionally reminding them that they need to sleep. And along the way getting some precious time with Liam, which is reason enough to do everything my husband and I do to help make Hanover a great place to perform. I also work at the shows. All but one this year, in Hanover. Which means I watch almost every one.

I continue to be amazed at the physical feats, the prowess and strength, skill and daring. But this year I was struck and moved by the incredible bonds of trust that hold the performers together, even more than the impressive display. They trust each other in the ring, to not let someone drop, to catch each other in the air, to support each other in every way. The clowns, too, trust each other. To have that impeccable timing that makes or breaks a gag, to watch each other for cues.

Liam’s favorite part of performing as a clown is actually improvisation which—without the trust to follow a thread with another performer—can simply fall flat. To perform with courage and commitment you also have to trust the audience. The jugglers have to trust each other to watch intently, in order to catch and pass. It is the crucial ingredient of every single act.

I found myself watching the evidence of this web of trust after about the 4th show, even more than the performance itself. And what I saw is that the key to trust is generous, unflagging focus. Focus that is given 100% from person to person, person to audience, person to group. And person to self.

I’ve pondered in the past how, though I love circus, I am uncomfortable with its sometime comparison with the physical practice of yoga. Because, ultimately circus is about entertaining; Yoga is not. The older I get, and the more yoga is displayed in show-offy splendor in the media, the colder the display leaves me. If I want to ooh and aah at the body pushed to its limits I think the circus is a more fitting arena.

On the other hand, I’ve had my breath taken away watching a yoga student simply uncurl their fingers in a pose, or quietly stretch a leg straight. Or even take a deep breath. Literally broken out in inexplicable goosebumps.

While I have certainly been entertained by this year’s circus shows, I have been absolutely riveted watching the way trust informs every moment in the ring, I am tempted to look once again at the two entities, yoga and circus, side by side, and draw comparison.

Obviously, if you are doing yoga partner work, trust is essential. But what about the trust to be led by your instructor? The trust required to roll out your mat the first time, in a room full of strangers? And most importantly, the trust you place in yourself to venture through a class or a practice and be open to whatever happens? And the tremendous focus that you build in with that trust? Savasana, witnessed from the outside, is as powerfully moving to me as watching a circus performer flung to the heavens while practiced hands ready themselves to catch her. It’s a kind of magic. I see in those quiet, still bodies the breathtaking beauty of trusting and letting go. And that is as potent as circus magic.


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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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