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The Fluid Body
29 June 2018

The Fluid Body
29 June 2018

The Fluid Body

This Georgia O'Keeffe sculpture, Abstraction, is outside, in downtown Santa Fe. I love the spiral nature of it—to me, anything that spirals embodies and expresses life force. The Psoas, ilia, and even temporal bone are all structures in the body that spiral or have spiralic motion. In asana, twisting poses revitalize the body and are an energetic expression of the spiral sheath. The "spiral sheath" of the body is made of bands of fascia that helix up the legs and criss-cross up the body and they help create stability and mobility. Once you recognize the spiral shape, you see it everywhere! (See description for Deb's next Forrest Yoga class, another image of a spiral).

Last week we finished the second session of the month: "The Fluid Body." The idea of exploring the element of water and our own fluid nature struck me as ironic as this area is experiencing a drought of profound severity. The air sucks all the moisture out of one's body and my skin and nasal passages feel husk-like. Beautiful here for sure, but I will be happy to be back in the land of humidity (feel free to remind me I said that, should you ever hear me complaining about the humidity!) We have a few days of nuts and bolts teaching techniques before diving into our last (and to me most anticipated) third session: Yoga and the Subtle Body. The training days are quite long, and at times I feel overwhelmed, but then I relax into the familiar surroundings of this practice and all that I know already, and I feel excited to expand and augment what I teach. If I feel at times a lack of confidence here (I'm at least 20 years older than most of the students), I remember that I do have something to offer students at UVY. I don't have a lot of time to really review and soak in what I am learning, though I transcribe notes each evening and that helps me revisit the material. I know too that I need some time for myself to just be outside, in the evening, when it finally cools down, time to read something each evening, usually something wholly unrelated to yoga, and time to communicate with my husband, my family, my friends. I am glad I know these small things about myself, because I remain, for the most part, grounded in myself.

Yesterday we had our second and last full day off, and I hiked, explored ruins, took an incredible drive up to the ski mountain, and went to the Georgia O'keefe Museum. At the museum, just as I was preparing to leave, I glanced into a room where they were showing a short film, and sitting there was...Pam, from POST, downstairs in our building! We both just stared, and then started laughing, and had a hard time stopping. It was remarkable and yet, I have had this feeling all along that I would bump into someone I know from the real world. I've been kind of expecting it. So, surprised, not surprised.

If there is a resounding theme that keeps floating to the top, it is one of compassion, kindness, love and the essential grounded awareness, or Shamatha, that helps us better feel—and act from— those feelings. Not terribly new or groundbreaking but terribly, vitally important, especially in today's bewildering world of division and marginalzation, politically cultivated hatred, and the confounding cruelty of imprisoning and separating families who are just trying to survive. The deeper teachings of yoga and buddhism reinforce the foundation of kindness and of love as the ground floor for self-realization; yoga the training ground for the awareness that lets us abide in that love. So, sending much love to all who are reading this, from my beautiful but very toasty perch up in the high desert of New Mexico. Namaste, Leslie


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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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