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Sometimes the Power Goes Out
11 January 2019

Sometimes the Power Goes Out
11 January 2019

Sometimes the Power Goes Out

Welcome to 2019!—may we all thrive in the new year.

Last night I was teaching my 5:30 class in the barn in Thetford. We had a lovely, small group; the space warm and lit by fairy lights and dim sconces. The sky was pitch black by the time we started.

And then, it happened. Sometime between 6 and 6:30 the power went out. Completely out. The space went dark. There was no storm, no wind, no obvious reason we should lose power. Outside I could see  that several homes on the hill were dark. Because I often teach at least part of the Monday evening class by candlelight, I quietly lit about 8 tea lights and put them in the middle of our space and we carried on. It was pretty wonderful, actually. The space had been warm already for hours, I'd been practicing before our class, so our space stayed cozy, sweetly lit by flickering candles, soft music playing on charged devices.

The students were beautiful, the space was beautiful. Watching, teaching...it took my breath away.
The sudden outage really kind of made the class.

We all noticed that with less light, balance was really hard. As I led students into Natrajasana I felt my own foundation and confidence wobble in the flickering, shadowy light. But even that was delightful and surprising.

By the time we got to ground for some seated postures, we were drawn into the flickering light, and lingered a bit in a short trataka (candle gazing) meditation.

I left them tucked into Savasana, and snuck out to hunt out some flashlights for the end of class. the music went silent as my phone-—serving as flashlight—got further from the studio. When I came back, the silence felt thick, comforting and, unlike the flickering flames, utterly still.

Sometimes the power goes out. For no reason, we are plunged into darkness. Maybe we expect it when the winds are howling, the rain pounding down around us, or snow draping trees and lines in a heavy blanket, but last night was quiet. No weather to speak of.

Sometimes the power goes out and we give into powerlessness; not the frustrated, angry kind, but the kind of powerlessness that has no alternative and is instead comforting. It's the kind that lets us off the hook so that we are embraced by the quiet and the dark, our senses prickling, listening and waiting.

It was still quiet when my students had gone, the candles snuffed, the music off, the door shut. My house too was silent and lightless, the only sound the phone battery beeping. Here too I lit some candles, settled in to read a bit and wait for the power to come back on, and for Greg to come home.

And then, the power came back on.

As I  always do when the hum of electricity boots back up after an outage, blinking in the sudden light, I felt regret. A brief sense of loss that what showed itself to me in the dark and the quiet had now slipped away. It's sometimes how I feel after meditating, or after a deep, slow yoga practice. Sometimes, after a class. A reluctance to return, a desire to be held just a little longer in shadow. A grasping at something that is no longer there.

We don't have light without the dark. We don't have dark without the light.


The new Monday class, by the way, is happening every week in Thetford, 5:30 pm. I do hope to pull in a few more regular students, so that we can continue the class on into the Spring, when 5:30 will once again be full daylight in our fair state. Take a look at the descriptions to see what "Unwinding" is all about. Essentially we spend the first 30-40 minutes on the floor, out of gravity, exploring gentle somatic movements that train subtle body and subtle awareness, and then we move to our feet to explore more demanding postures, using the more subtle work as a resource for understanding challenging poses and actions, and learning to apply "right effort" to difficult asanas.

I do hope you can join us!

As always in Winter months, be sure to check the website and facebook for weather-related cancellations, when road conditions are dicey.



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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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