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How's the Weather in There? Turbulent Snow Squalls, Calm Inner Seas: Inside, Outside—Class Cancellations
15 November 2018

How's the Weather in There? Turbulent Snow Squalls, Calm Inner Seas: Inside, Outside—Class Cancellations
15 November 2018

How's the Weather in There? Turbulent Snow Squalls, Calm Inner Seas: Inside, Outside—Class Cancellations

In an age of constant acceleration,
nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow.
In an age of constant distraction
nothing is so luxurious as paying attention.
In an age of constant movemet
nothing is so urgent as sitting still

—Pico Iyer

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I am just back from a week with my teacher, Tias Little, of Prajna Yoga, completing the first 45 hours in a 150-hour program to become a certified SATYA (Sensory Awareness Training for Yoga Attunement) teacher. Briefly, SATYA is primarily floor-based movements that Tias has codified, combining elements of Hanna Somatic Movement and Feldenkrais, and decades of his own experience as a teacher and yoga-naut. In this practice we recognize that healing can only happen slowly, that to heal the body, heart and nervous system requires slowing down. SATYA is a powerful way to train this process of slowing down and looking inward. The movements themselves include sliding, dragging, and rocking, in a non weight-bearing position. The process of compression/decompression, or squeeze and release actions help to release tightness and holding in the tissues.

It's remarkable work. So many of us are trapped in "speed" in our bodies, accelerating constantly (as Pico Iyer so aptly notes above). SATYA trains mindfulness in the body in a way that I have never experienced, even in restorative and other slower methodologies, in 30 years of practicing yoga. In training our attention to subtle movement we get below the radar of the thinking mind and 'doing' body in a really powerful way.  Regularly, we pause to notice, feel, and find Savasana. By repeatedly noting feelings, sensations, pulsations (ie, "how's the weather in there?") we train the skill of awareness, we learn to come back to Shamatha, or grounded awareness, again and again.  It is transforming both my asana and meditation practices.

If you have come to my classes recently you know I have started to integrate some of this work into my classes.

I love speed. I love active practice. I love the sweat and euphoria and sheer power of a challenging asana practice. I think the two go hand in hand, but that when we disregard the need to slow down, our active practices can become reckless—pounding out poses in a way that jangles our nervous system and perpetuates injury and overuse.  Energetically, if we use a practice to momentarily mute difficult feelings and just ride the waves of bliss, we feel good in the moment but it doesn't last long. Sometimes in our relentless pursuit of "bliss" we careen headlong past the other layers—including pain, discernment, true presence.

I hope in the winter to offer a class that combines SATYA followed by a strong hatha practice, as I ultimately see my own practice as a skillful blending of both, and I want to share that with interested students. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I will likely be including a little bit of this work in most of my classes, in the first few minutes of class. I hope those of you who study with me will let me know how it works for you.

Finally, I can never truly express how much gratitude I have for you—the Upper Valley Yoga Sangha, as well as the uniquely talented and kind teachers who grace my roster at the studio, and my own many teachers. Happy Thanksgiving—may your own hearts fill with gratitude and love and may we all keep radiating that love and gratitude out into our troubled world.

Love,
Leslie

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ACCOMMODATIONS:

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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GUIDELINES FOR PRACTICE

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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