Seeking Soul in Sun City

While sun-soaking, wake-boarding and wine-sipping may be Kelowna BC’s three favourite summer lifestyle choices, our visit last weekend revealed a more soulful side to this Okanagan lake front town.

First up was Oranj, a new dance, yoga and fitness space featuring three serene studios with gleaming wood floors, high ceilings and a cheery, urban decor. Oranj offers 100 classes a week ranging from a kettlebell bootcamp, ballet and various styles of yoga.

Managed by the personable Sheila Chutskoff, formerly of lululemon, Oranj hosted my partner, Eoin Finn for two sold out workshops, Superflow Yoga and Yoga for Happiness, both of which featured packed bodies in a room, moving, flowing and breathing their way to a deeper bliss.

And for those in-between yoga libations, we discovered the Chai Baba Tea House, a funky zen meets urban tea bar in down
town Kelowna. Tina Pritchard, the resident Tea Goddess and owner, presses her custom blends of tea through a high-pressure tea-spresso, which incidentally looks just like a professional espresso machine.

“It’s one of the first of its kind in North America,” she beamed.

You can taste the difference, Chai Baba’s iced tea elixirs made from the tea-spress
o were rich, fragrant and full of all those beneficial tea anti-oxidants. Of the creative options on the menu, my favorite was the Shiva Shakti, a blend of yerba mate and elderberry blossom that tasted just like summer. Eoin, who loves green tea, sampled the Ninja Cha, an enlivening blend of Hojicha tea, vanilla and chai spices. mmm

Chai Baba has about 85 different loose leaf tea varieties, many of them organic, as well as premium coffee and some vegan treats.

Oranj Dance is located at 529 Lawrence Avenue. Phone: 250.448.5749

Chai Baba is at 104-1289 Ellis Street, Kelowna. Phone: 250-717-5616