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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
For arts and crafts home furnishing products that help preserve traditional Indian craftsmanship. Also a good place to purchase organic cold-pressed coconut oil, pure rosewater – perfect for summer heat, essential oils and hammered brass incense burners.
Raghuvanshi Mansions, Raghuvanshi Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
Tel#: +91-22-24951954 / 24953840 / 65720342
2 Reay House, Adjacent to Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai 400001,Tel: +91 22 2202 1030, 6524 1374
The flagship store in Fort is filled with everything from naturally dyed clothing – pick up comfortable block-print Indian kurtas here made from cotton or silk – everything for your home from soft furnishings to old wood furniture; and a selection of organic foods. The epitome of contemporary Indo-chic, this is a store worth visiting.
Jeroo Building, 137, M.G. Road, Kala Ghoda, Colaba, Mumbai – 400001, Tel: +91-22-22626539, 40
Founded by artist and blogger Neha Gandhi, Matsya features a rotating selection of traditional yet contemporary, original art and crafts from Maharahtra’s (the province, Bombay is located in) master craftsmen and women. Learn more on the matsya blog.
My new favourite vegetarian Indian restaurant. Serves up a variety of Gujarati food – dishes that you never find in North America – and I actually preferred it to the more crowded Swati Snacks. For lunch, definitely try the panki, a steamed lentil pancake served between banana leaves that comes with a spicy cilantro + chili chutney. Also, any of the entrees are delicious, especially that simple staple dal tadka (spiced dal), rice and roti. You can also try Mumbai street food here such as sev puri and spicy-sour-sweet “chaat” with no worries about catching anything you don’t want!
Sadguru Sadan, Ground Floor, across from Babulnath Mandir, Chowpatty, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Tel: 22/2369-8080
Moshes at Fab India:
An outpost of Moshe’s, a middle eastern inspired restaurant founded by Moshe Shek, a Mumbai native who returned back to his hometown having relished his experiences in London and Israel, the café at Fab India’s beautiful home and clothing store in the Fort area of Mumbai, offers up healthy salads, smoothies, light lunches and a selection of baked goods and confectionary made in-house. A perfect refuel stop from the shopping and sightseeing that fill the streets here.
137, Jeroo Building, MG Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, 400001.
A good place to savour a lazy breakfast while browsing the paper or catching lunch with a friend. The deli offers a range of delicious and healthy salads while the a la carte menu offers everything from delicious risottos, grilled fish and pasta dishes.
5, Ground Floor, Pheroze Building, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharishi Marg, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai – 400 039. Tel: +91 (22) 6655 1010
With a second location at the new Palladium Mall in Lower Parel.
Delicious pan-asian food at a cosy-chic restaurant run by a chef-owner who is passionate about bringing authentic tastes to the Bombay palate.
4 Mandlik Rd Behind the Taj Hotel Mumbai 400001. Phone: 022-2204-3769.
A superlative, highly personalized, perfect escape of a Day spa, you can easily spend hours here. Do try one of the signature treatments, blending ancient Indian beauty traditions, ayurvedic and traditional wisdom while in the hands of qualified and caring therapists. This is your well-deserved escape from the chaos of the city.
33 Nathalal Parekh Marg Colaba Mumbai – 400 001, Maharashtra, India, Telephone: +91 226 6569494
A tiny yet beautifully designed Yoga studio in the heart of Mumbai’s Breach Candy area, Yoga Sutra offers classical hatha yoga, sivananda, Iyengar and flow Yoga style classes for all levels of students. Workshops are also often taught by visiting teachers.
Play Health and Fitness:
A three level fitness centre and Yoga Studio in Mumbai’s Bollywood heavy suburb of Bandra, Play is a busy studio offering various styles of Yoga classes for beginners and advanced yogis, as well as capoiera and kickboxing.
Church Building, Sherlyn Rajan Road, off Carter Road, Bandra (W). Telephone: 30607688/26055586
When in India, Iyengar Yoga is never far away. Take classes at this beautiful centre from certified Iyengar teachers who have been training for years in the method.
Elmac House, 126 Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel,
Mumbai – 400013, Maharashtra. India
This convenient online company offers a range of organic dried goods, lentils, grains and spices that you can have delivered anywhere in the city.
317-318, Vasan Udyog Bhavan, Off Senapati Bapat Marg, Opp. Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013
Telefax: 022-2497 4035 / 2494 7902/ 2493 4552 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ashok Paranjape is a highly qualified holistic Doctor of Ayurveda who may be able to fit you in for a consultation. Expect to be asked questions that deal with every aspect of your lifestyle and habits.
Prakash Bldg, Vithal Mandir Lane, Station Road, Thane (W), B-400601; Telephone: 2533-1461
I’ve been going here since I was in elementary school and the owners still recognize me. Stock up on contemporary Indian fiction, politics, world affairs and anything your heart desires – if there is a book you’re looking for, they will order it in for you. It’s not super well-organized, but if you’re someone who loves the smell of bookstores that are not slicked out Barnes and Nobles, you will find yourself spending hours here.
5 C, Dhannur, Sir PM Road, Fort, 400 001 Mumbai, MH, Tel. +912222661994
* All photos by Irfan Rasiwala: http://www.flickr.com/photos/irfanr