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Meaningful Adjacencies
21 August 2018

Meaningful Adjacencies
21 August 2018

Meaningful Adjacencies

Meaningful Adjacencies
Greg and I were in NYC last weekend to visit family and have some time in the city. One of our stops was  the 911 memorial and museum, first time for both of us.

“Meaningful adjacencies” was the phrase used to describe how names were organized and placed on the panels—the names of all the people who died. Rather than list the names alphabetically, there was an effort to identify meaningful connections between people, placing side by side the names of people who in life were linked by something or someone. Not meaningful relationships per se—in most cases the people didn’t know one another, but connections that were made later, tracing ways in which their lives, loves, work or interests intersected. The tour guide highlighted just a few of these powerful and moving adjacencies to weave in smaller stories of shared humanity. These adjacencies create a precious sense of interconnectedness that helps offset the yawning sense of grief, loss and despair reflected in the crashing water and bottomless abyss around which the memorial is designed.
That phrase, “meaningful adjacencies” stayed with me through our time in the city and has continued to haunt me back at home. Riding the subway later that day, observing other riders, the huge variety of humanity that inhabits a city subway car or city block on any given afternoon, I wondered if meaningful adjacencies aren’t happening all the time, with each person we meet or pass. In a city like NYC the prospect is daunting, overwhelming, but also strangely comforting. We can’t always point to a specific quality or event that connects us, but if someone had to make a connection between any two people, put their names on a wall and honor their memory by creating a kind of mystic joinery in order to lift the experience of tragedy or loss out of its own loneliness...surely we can always find something?

I kept noticing (covertly) the people we passed. The older man in the corner of the train muttering to himself and clearly mentally adrift, and the younger man nodding his head to music but periodically glancing over to notice him....the two young women on the subway bench, a little girl of 3 or 4 nestled between them with her legs crossed up on the bench, chattering away to her stuffed bunny, while the 2 women smiled at each other with a kind of parental knowing. I find back home that I am noticing people I pass, in the coop or driving or on the street, and wondering what narrative we could create to link our lives. I find I am more aware.  

I am reminded that each person who comes to the studio, unrolls their mat, and begins to practice yoga has a story, many stories. We are probably, all of us who share yoga in that space, connected in ways none of us consciously realize. Though we practice "on our own mat" and in our own bodies, can we try and also honor  the delicate threads of life and love and loss and happenstance that connect us?
I think so.



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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+

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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+

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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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