Monthly Archives: July 2016

Graduation Gifts

Graduation Gifts For Students Leaving Home

Need some gift inspiration for a daughter, son, relative or friend who has just graduated?  Check out our suggestions below:

graduation gifts

 

  1. An embroidered cushion to brighten up a sterile dorm room or tired rental.  The motifs and stitches in this unique piece of Kutch embroidery have been handed down from mother to daughter over generations.
  2. Combine number one with one of our best-selling Moroccan pom pom blankets in beige and natural. These hand woven blankets are designed to withstand the cold in the Atlas mountains so are perfect for snuggling under on winter nights.
  3. For a boho look add Tanjaoui,one of our Souk Collection cushions, to the mix.  Each piece in the collection is one-of-a-kind and mixes vintage fabrics, ribbons and silk screened henna prints with an old silk screened image of a Berber woman.
  4. Headgear, a cushion inspired by a traditional African saying “What you cannot carry on your head you can most probably live without”. Hand printed and hand painted no two cushions are alike in this collection.  Mix with other styles in the Namibian collection to create a contemporary global feel.  This piece works well with our Moroccan pom pom blankets too.
  5. Stylish storage in the form of this super size Swazi basket, Bonakele.  Hand woven from indigenous grasses by social enterprise, Gone Rural, this large decorative storage basket is perfect for towel, throws, magazines or a plant.
  6. A firm favourite with interior designers, this versatile Moroccan pom pom blanket in black and white stripes, will instantly add warmth and style to a student bedroom.
  7. A bold, bright, beautiful boho kilim pouf, Nabila, perfect for adding a colour and pattern to a room.  Use as extra seating or a low table.
  8. Eye-catching Clamp dyed cushion covers will instantly update a room.  Mix and match styles and combine with 9, our natural wool Moroccan pom pom blanket to complete the look.

Shreyas Yoga Retreat

Relax and Re-energise at Shreyas Yoga Retreat, Karnataka, India

Shreyas coconut plantation maud interiors

 

Shreyas is an Ayurvedic yoga and wellbeing retreat in Karnataka, an hour by car from Bangalore.  It’s a Relais & Chateau hotel offering all the benefits of a traditional ashram without the austerity associated with ashram life.   It’s the place to go when you want to escape from daily life to focus on yoga and meditation and re-energize.

You start to relax on the drive to the retreat, as you pass through lush tropical vegetation and small farming communities, and that feeling of tranquility and calm continues throughout your stay.

Deep stillness in beautiful surroundings

The sense of peacefulness and deep stillness is in part due to the beautiful surroundings.  The retreat is set in 25 acres of coconut plantation, frangipani trees and organic farmland.  The only sounds are birds singing, the odd monkey chattering and frogs croaking in the evenings.

shreyas yoga retreat

Shreyas yoga retreat

Shreyas is an Ayurvedic ashram.  Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of holistic medicine balancing mind and body through diet, yoga, meditation and herbal treatments.  My stay began with a personal consultation with the on-site Ayurvedic and naturopathic doctors who created my agenda for the week based on my needs and the yoga package I had chosen.

Yoga-pavilion-Shreyas-Maud-interiors

Shreyas yoga retreat

Days start in traditional ashram style at 06.30am with one and half hours of yoga, either hatha or ashtanga depending on your ability.  Practising yoga in the early morning in the yoga pavilion just as the sun is coming out and the ground is beginning to warm up is a wonderful way to wake up and start the day.

My yoga package included two group yoga classes a day, and five individual yoga sessions.  The yoga is expertly taught in a disciplined, traditional, way and the teachers are inspiring.

After the intensity of the yoga sessions you can relax by the pool or book a treatment or massage at the Ayurvedic spa.  Choose from Balinese, Thai, Swedish or Ayurvedic massages.

 

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shreyas yoga retreat

Time for introspection and reflection

Meditation is an integral part of the yoga package, something which is often overlooked in Western yoga.  Classes include pranayama to regulate and extend breathing, yoga nidra, taking you into a deeper state of consciousness, candle meditation or trataka, which helps improve focus and concentration, and guided meditation.  All these techniques aid relaxation and help create a sense of inner calm.

As well as seated meditation you can take a walking meditation in the grounds or find one of the hidden machans (above) in the organic gardens and spend time meditating there.

shreyas yoga retreat

shreyas yoga retreat

Shreyas decor

There are three types of accommodation: tented cabins with al fresco bathrooms, rooms by the infinity pool and three rooms in a separate cottage with a large lounge area.

All the interiors have an understated elegance, featuring natural colours and materials, which blend in with the surroundings. There is the odd splash of colour in the form of  kantha cushions and large meditation bowls filled with floating roses or geraniums.

Delicious, nutritious, vegetarian meals

Shreyas cooking lesson

Shreyas-at-night

Shreyas is an ashram so the food is vegetarian and there is a a strictly no alcohol policy.   The food is light, plentiful and delicious. Meals vary from Indian to Mexican to European and the ingredients are mainly sourced from the organic gardens.  As part of my yoga package I had a cookery demonstration with Chef Mani and learnt how to make a nourishing spinach and cumin soup. You can find the recipe here.

The staff go out of their way to make each meal an experience.  From the variety of dishes, to the floral table decorations, to the venue which changes every evening.  One night you might be sitting by a roaring fire (I visited in February) in a candlelit garden, another you may be sitting near the pool surrounded by coloured lanterns.

Returning home after such a wonderful break is tough but the staff help you to integrate what you have learned during your stay into you daily life back home with practical guidance and a yoga manual to assist you with your practice.  I returned home feeling relaxed, re-energised and planning my return trip.

You can find out more about Shreyas here.

Shreyas yoga retreat

Photos courtesy of Shreyas