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Gone to Seed
11 October 2019

Gone to Seed
11 October 2019

Gone to Seed

'Gone to seed'
"a phrase that carries negative connotations. What seeds really carry are a promise."

I came upon an instagram post a few days ago that made me laugh out loud and prompted me to borrow both the quote and the photo (thank you for both, Emily Zollo!)

I've had a week  plus of feeling myself going to seed. The very phrase popped into my head more than once. A medley of oddball health hiccups—a bad reaction to a shingles vaccine, a very bad cold, an anaphylactic reaction to hazelnuts—left me dwelling on the feeling that my health was eroding and dropping like so many crumbly leaves.

But bear with me a bit. Emily mentioned "promise" and what is a seed if not a promise of future vitality and renewal?  When it "goes to seed" a plant has stopped the productive growth stage, and is turning to the production of seeds—the plant is focused upon propagation of the species; it is a normal and necessary part of a plant's life cycle to produce seeds once the plant's harvestable days are over.

The analogy may not hold up, but let's deconstruct this a bit. In the aftermath of my own challenging week, I crawled back into my yoga practice with a sense of achey renewal, and I like to think the "renewal" aspect of practicing after sickness, the pace, the focus, helped my students. (I could be deluding myself.) I felt we were all of us together more focused in on our individual cycles of both dissolution and letting go, as well as regenerative growth.

"Gone to seed" implies "Past his/her prime" or "not full of life"  but I would say at this stage of the game, 55+ my prana is abundant  and more nuanced and varied than when I was 20. While I don't have the stamina I had at 20, nor the desire to push past what actually feels good and fairly natural in my own body, my sense of "waking up" on the physical, neurological even cellular level feels like a much finer sensory experience than ever before. Injury has made me pay attention. The resulting humility has helped me sidestep the tendency to get trapped in ego. My "seeds" such as they are, as I hover at latter middle age—full of life still but no longer capable of creating it—are what I give of myself as a yoga teacher, in my family, and in my friendships. And that to me feels, on a good day, less like the brittle breaking brown of fallen leaves, and more like contribution to a rich, loamy soil.

Here we are in the midst of this dazzling display of Fall color. Seeds have dropped and leaves are preparing to. Life and death are doing their colorful, saucy dance in everything we see around us. Nature is not, of course, always benign and beautiful. It can be frightening and terrifying also. But, A garden gone to seed is a diverse ecosystem.

From Thoreau: "In Wildness is the preservation of the world."

This is the way of it, as nature shows us. The falling apart, disintegration, dissolution of what we feel to be permanent, lasting, unshakeable. The promise is that the beautiful decay makes it possible for life to pick up again come spring and nature to keep on keeping on. 

With nature's glorious autumn die-off, and flowers casting forth their seeds before succumbing to fruitful rot, I return to my own fading (thankfully) unwellness, and feel my own seeds of vitality and renewal. For sure, I am going to seed.

Join me?


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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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