How we startedUpper Valley Yoga originated in 1999 in a drafty, uninsulated barn when Kathy Frorer gathered together a group of friends to "do yoga." Cheerfully they practiced through the New England winter, using ujjayi breath, bandhas and vinyasa to keep in the heat and keep out the cold. In spite of the less than ideal conditions, the group continued to expand and formalize over the following three years. When Leslie Carleton moved to Thetford from San Diego in 2002, together she and Kat launched Upper Valley Yoga more or less the way it is today. While we now have a lovely (warm!) space in downtown White River Junction, the original commitment to "do yoga," regardless of the circumstances, remains. And though Kat has since moved to Philadelphia with her family, she pops in now and again, and the enthusiasm she brought to her practice and teaching is felt keenly in the yoga community that she helped create.
What we teach
At UVY we honor the ancient origins of the yoga practice while at the same time building a meaningful framework for doing the practice today. We work hard in the practice on the mat so we may meet the demands of the rest of life with integrity, honesty, and compassion for ourselves and others.
While yoga is a serious practice and takes great effort, we believe in making the practice fun and enjoyable. It's our goal to meet each student where they are, to create a welcoming environment for every student at every level, and to have each student leave feeling more connected with themselves, even a little closer to bliss.
Yoga is constantly evolving. It is both a science and an art, and even a means of transformation. While many students come for the transformation of body--to be more flexible, to gain greater strength, to have more ease--yoga is also a transformation of the mind and the spirit. The practice of yoga challenges us to attend to the continual dialogue between body and mind, thought and feeling, awareness and action. In addition to developing strength, ease and health in the physical body, through the practice of yoga we learn to deepen our awareness moment to moment, to develop a quiet mind, a vibrant and energetic body, and to awaken love, compassion, and intelligence.
Please join us, and "do yoga!"
Our instructors are highly trained and have many years' experience in a variety of Hatha Yoga traditions. The word Hatha means a balance of opposite forces in the body and, is usually used as an umbrella term that refers to any style of yoga that focuses on Asana, or physical postures. Most of the Hatha Yoga styles practiced in American studios today combine ancient form and contemporary innovations. Our classes derive primarily from the lineage of Krishnamacharya and styles developed by two of his students--BKS Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga) and Sri Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga). Most of our classes are taught in a Vinyasa form. (see instructor page for more thorough descriptions).
Vinyasa is a flowing, athletic style of yoga that links breath with movement. It is often described as a moving meditation. This style allows teachers a great deal of flexibility and creativity in our teaching, and still brings great focus to the alignment principles taught in Iyengar and other yoga lineages.
The breath is the foundation of our yoga practice and teaching; the very source of movement. We move with the rhythm of the breath the way we move to the rhythm of music. Cultivating this awareness of the breath allows us to move into stillness, quieting the constant chatter of the mind and bringing us back again and again to the present moment.
The classes that depart from a vinyasa style are marked on the schedule, and described on the schedule page.
Instructors offer both verbal and physical adjustments. We are sensitive to individual issues of touch—please let your instructor know if you object to hands-on adjustments.
Classes are offered in a variety of levels. Please come to a class that is appropriate for your level of experience, so that you can derive the most benefit and healthy challenge from the class without overdoing it. If you are not sure if a particular level is appropriate for you, please call or email us. We’d love to help you find the right class.
Our space is a beautiful, well-lit studio about 1000 square feet in size, located on the second floor of the Dreamland building in White River Junction, with large windows looking out across the "cityscape" (yes, there is one!) of WRJ. The building itself was renovated to be energy efficient, and the room is heated 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 an electric tea kettle. 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. Our store carries yoga mats, mat bags, yoga apparel, mat wash, and gift certificates are available for purchase in any amount.
Our "kula", or yoga community, is welcoming, friendly, and always open to newcomers and visitors. We look forward to seeing you on the mat!