Pondicherry Yoga Arts, Woodstock, NY

Pondicherry is a retail gift shop on the Woodstock Village Green founded by Julian Lines.

They sell handicrafts from the international community of Auroville, along with yoga related clothing, books and music. Many of their clothes are made from hemp and organic cotton. Some of their suppliers include: Of the Earth, Blue Canoe, Pantropic, Indigenous Design and GAIAM.

They carry jewelry from Auroville designers, traditional silver from other parts of India and a wide selection of silver rings and hoops.

They’re located on the Village Green at the center of Woodstock.

YOGA Co-owner Wendy Lines, teaches hatha yoga at her studio in Mount Tremper. They carry a wide selection of yoga videos, mats, props and books.

MUSIC Woodstock is famous throughout the world for its arts and music tradition.

They carry a unique selection of chant and world music including many local Woodstock musicians. Co-owner Julian Lines, sings with Prana (www.pranasound.com), a harmonic overtone choir. They also carry CD’s from Auroville musician, Nadaka (www.nadaka.com) and a number of Indian Classical Musicians who have played in Woodstock including Tarun Bhattacharya (www.tarunji.com), Steve Gorn (stevegorn.com), Samir Chatterjee (www.tabla.org), Barun Kumar Pal and Ray Speigel (www.nadaka.com).

STATUARY Julian and Wendy travel to Pondicherry to visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram(www.sriaurobindoashram.org) and Auroville (www.auroville.org). They carry some of the finest bronze statuary from Swamimalai and stone carvings from Mamalapuram and Auroville.

As Wendy is a hatha yoga teacher, yoga is a main theme of the shop. There is comfortable clothing for men and women, much of it in organic cotton and hemp. Yoga videos and chant CDs compliment a large selection of Indian classical music. There are Indian curry pastes and pickles so customers who buy a cookbook can get right to work on a nice Indian meal.

“We really are idealists of the first order, but we’re also practical. We want to see ideals put into practice. So we’re ecologists and into a sustainable and holistic lifestyle. That is why it is so wonderful to be surrounded by kindred spirits in the Hudson Valley. We have been fortunate to be able to go to India the past few years to buy for the shop. We have custom made some great summer cotton pants, shirts and dresses.”

The shop first started next door to Mirabai, a “new age” book and gift shop down the street. It then moved to the other end of town next to Town Hall and finally to its current location sharing the building with Modern Mythology next to the Reformed Church on the Village Green.

12 Tinker Street Woodstock NY 12498 Tel: 845.679.2926 email: info@pondi.biz

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Pondicherry is named after a French seaport in South India which is home to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a community which gathered around the Bengali political leader and sage. Wendy first visited there in 1970 and stayed for six years. Both she and Julian have worked on behalf of Auroville, a UNESCO sponsored international community just to the north of Pondicherry. The shop was founded in order to provide an outlet for handicrafts made there.