Posts tagged ‘Vermont’

Return of the Light

One of my first winters in Vermont, I attended a solstice party, in which we all went from the warm and cozy house out into the very dark and deeply cold night, where we each took a candle, and lit it from the fire that burned outside (it had been set the hour before we arrived by our lovely hosts).

We brought our candles in to the hearth, lighting the fire in the fireplace (the house made cozy by the woodstove in the other corner), welcoming the return of the light.

Today, just after the solstice and just before Christmas and the New Year, I imagine the return of the light within myself.  As long as I have breath in my body, the light of the divine is always within me.  On my darkest days, I may not be able to feel the warmth of that light, or experience its brightness, but when I close my eyes, I can find it somewhere within me.

I imagine I bring that light–perhaps burning as bright as a bonfire, perhaps as tiny as the flame of a tealight–into my heart, reigniting myself in this winter darkness.

Solstice, the return of the light, as we journey, here in Vermont, towards the coldest part of winter.

Stay warm with your yoga practice, with the love of friends and family, and with the light of your own self, and your own heart.


December 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm 1 comment


Someone in Vermont has a license plate that reads AHIMSA.  I see it from time to time as I drive around.  I’m always jealous that I was not clever enough to have thought of this idea–what better place to remind people to be nonviolent than in our cars (surely I am not the only one who has cursed at the car in front of me for driving too slowly when I am running late on my way to yoga class!)?

Ahimsa, which is often translated as nonviolence, is one of the yamas, or ethical guidelines, of yoga.  Although they each have a strange-sounding Sanskrit name, they are all principles we’ve heard along the way: to practice gentleness, and truth; to not covet the things or talents of others; to remember that each breath is a blessing.

The yamas are meant to govern our conduct with the world–the rules of the sandbox so that we can all get along with each other–but I’ve found it helpful to also think about how they apply as I interact with myself.

Am I gentle and nonviolent with my body when I come to my yoga practice, when I choose what and how much to eat, and to drink (ahmisa)?  Do I see my reflection in the mirror of truth, or do I allow it to be distorted by my own judgements, and expectations of what I “should” be (satya)?  Do I give myself credit where credit is due, stepping into the bright light of my own goodness (asteya)?  Do I pause to feel the satisfaction with who I am and what I have in life, instead of looking for what’s to come (aparigraha)?  Do I see the spark of the divine within myself, the light that shines out from my own heart–that piece of God within me (brahmacharya)?

In my classes, as in most yoga classes, we “Namaste” each other at the end of the practice.  This simple and beautiful word holds so much meaning–the light of the divine within me, recognizes and honors the light of the divine within you.

When we practice the yamas not only out in the world but also within our own selves, it is as if we are giving ourselves that greeting, Namaste.  I see myself as a spark of the divine.  I honor myself, in all of my grace, in all of my potential, in all of my perfection.


November 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm 2 comments

Who are we?

I mean that not in any cosmic way—at least not this week—but I thought you might be curious to know who the people are behind the pup.

Carol is Up Pup’s creator.  It’s her art and her energy that created the lovely dog and this wonderful company.  Carol not only holds the vision of the company and creates the art, she also does the leg work–updating the website, taking orders, shipping orders, answering questions, making decisions.  She does all of this from her home off the grid in central Vermont, where she lives with her husband and two children, and of course Luna, their pup.

Although Luna, a chocolate lab mix adopted from the local humane society, looks just like the pup on the Up Pup wear, the pup that inspired Carol’s creation was their dog Molly, who passed two years ago.  Molly was a black lab mix who, even as an old dog with a bad back, knew the importance of the daily stretch!

Lucia in up dog.

Lucia is Carol’s daughter, and also her right hand gal.  She helps out at shows to set up and sell, she graciously poses in Up Pup wear for promotional photos, and is a general helper and support.  She is particularly good at talking with customers and potential customers, getting and giving feedback.

Sharon is typing the keys, that is, I actually write this blog.  Carol and I became friends in part because she gathered a group of neighbors together who let me practice on them when I was first learning how to teach yoga.  Typing this blog is one way of giving back to her, plus, it always helps a writer (at least this writer) to have a deadline and an audience.  I teach yoga, and also work at Sunrise Farm, a CSA in my community.

My husband Kevin is a massage therapist, and has taken many of the photos that are on this blog, in the store, and the Upper Valley Yoga website. We live in town with our two cats and our dog, Wiley, who is part Australian Shepherd (and possibly Tazmanian devil!).

You will also find, on the Up Pup website, photos of our friends Meg modeling our tank top, and Sadie modeling the children’s wear.  Please check the store soon for the organic cotton line for babies, adults (including men’s sizes) and children.  The colors are fantastic!

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week.

Carol, Lucia, Sharon and our pups!

Luna, exhausted after a long day of providing inspiration!

July 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

Up Pup Store News

Up Pup Winter Clearance Sale
Up to 75% off
Women's tanks, skirts, tee's; Men's pants; Kids leggings and tees; up-cycled fingerless gloves, headbands and leather cuff bracelets.
Sharon Farmers Market
Feb 9, 10-1
Sharon Elementary School

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