Hello dear readers, I’m finally back in one of my favourite cities in the world, Vancouver, BC. Honestly, there is almost no other place I would rather be in the summer. It is the one season we forget the damp, cool, rainy climes of the North West and embrace the seemingly endless days of sunshine with abandon and joy.
Today, I bicycled with my son on the back seat to his favourite beach park in Kitsilano and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling a toothy, happy smile. It wasn’t just the wind blowing through my hair, or the ocean breeze. Deep inside, I felt, amidst all the movement of travel that I’ve experienced since you last heard from me, that I had once again re-found a sense of stillness.
Perhaps my conversation this morning with one of my dear teachers, the amazing, inspiring Ayurveda teacher Robert Svoboda helped, but so did this feeling that I was once again in flow.
That’s why I want to share some of my essential tips to find this sense of vitality, nourishment and aliveness daily. [Read more…]
I just returned back to Vancouver and Ucluelet from a visit to a city I still call Bombay – my birthplace and former home town. Amongst the highlights were, spending time with my family, teaching some Blissology + Yoga workshops at a neat little studio called Yoga Sutra, researching some more spas for an upcoming Asia Spa magazine feature on Bombay spas; and casting my “eagle eye” over the yoga alignment at a Vogue, India photoshoot featuring local yoga instructors, that fortuitously enough, a friend from Vancouver, the super-talented Martin Prihoda, was shooting. One of those small-world stories.
Here are some of Yogue’s Mumbai picks:
Founded with the desire to reconnect to the roots of India’s vedic culture, Om Ved, a home and lifestyle store, offers a range of personal care and home products that are fashioned with the principles of Ayurveda, Vastu and Yoga. Find pure copper dinner plates – eating off this metal is considered very beneficial – organic bamboo clothing, meditation kits, organic, naturally dyed bed linens and pure essential oils. A must stop for anyone seeking some holistic inspired gifts.
Phoenix Mills Compound Unit No.12, Block No.43, Grand Galleria, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel Mumbai – 400013, Tel: 400 48218
Nepeansea Road Shop No.1 Shop No.1, Burani Mahal 59, Opp Priyadarshini Park, Nepeansea Road Mumbai – 400009, Tel: 236 10805
One of my goals during this journey to India was to visit an ayurvedic centre and experience a ten day long detoxification process called Panchkarma. Unfortunately, time has been flying by and ten days seemed a little dear to spend far away from my family, so instead, I got a short 3 day respite at an Ayurvedic Centre called KARE.
Blessed by Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar at its founding ten years ago, KARE is located between Bombay and Pune in the still idyllic setting of Mulshi Lake, a fresh water reservoir surrounded by hills, foliage and small villages. With no cell phone reception or internet there, you are totally cut off from the larger world and that was what I needed to really focus on some quiet, healing time.
Upon arriving, you have a consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor on site, who then works with you to determine an appropriate course of treatments for your stay, depending on your Ayurvedic dosha or mind-body proclivity. You proceed to your first treatment, a leisurely abhyangya (oil massage with herbs – very calming for the nervous system) and swedana, a steam where you sit up to your neck in a wooden box that is heated with steam from a pressure cooker – it was hot, wow, I think I lasted for a max of ten minutes.
Lunch, a beautiful and delicious presentation of all the tastes: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and astringent is offered next. You begin with a prayer, after which the only “sweet” of the day is eaten – now – when your digestive fire or agni is at its strongest – and usually consists of a small “katori” or bowl of some type of kheer. Our first day, it was a delicious saffron kheer – a carrot one was also quite memorable.
After hot rotis fashioned from a whole grain like millet or jowar, a filling lentil soup or dal, rice and a salad – made from a lightly steamed vegetable and delicious yoghurt dressing, you end your lunch with salty, spiced buttermilk or “chaas.” The chaas is served last as it is the astringent taste and according to ayurvedic principles it is the astringent taste that signals your body that it is now satiated. So, who knew, dessert first when your digestive fire is at its strongest – and then you get to slow down? Interesting.
Our afternoon consisted of a resorative Iyengar style yoga class, followed by a second ayurvedic treatment – eoin got a reflexology while I got a medicinal facial massage with herbal drops to clear my sinus passages, known as Nasya. There was a fruit snack and then an evening break to relax, read, hike, explore the area or play croquet – because KARE, for some reason has a croquet lawn.
Sitting by our balcony, taking in India’s chattering birds, the misty hills and even a sprinkling of rainshowers, was truly rejuvenating. After three days, we felt renewed and ready to take on the mad dance of India once more.
To learn more about KARE, visit: www.karehealth.com.
The best season to visit is between November through March.
Thanks for reading. Namaste!