Category Archives: India

Yoga – what is it really? And an Isha Yoga Asanas workshop in Calgary, January 20 and 21, 2018

Isha yoga asanas workshop in Calgary

Yoga Asanas (poses) – photo courtesy of Isha Foundation – used with permission

Yoga means union. Yogis, people who practice yoga, believe our individuality is an illusion and yoga’s purpose is to help us go beyond our limited perception of existence to realize our oneness.

Yoga is not a workout or a fad. Yoga is not a religion. It is a path to self-transformation.  Through meditation the mind is harnessed and taught to focus or be silent. Yogasanas are yoga postures that help a yogi prepare to sit for longer periods of meditation; for longer periods of silence in the mind and of no movement in the body.

This post gives a bit of background about a special Isha Hatha Yoga Yogasanas workshop coming to Calgary on January 20 and 21, 2018. Continue reading

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Caring beyond our own circle: Reality Gives – a visit to Dharavi Slum in Mumbai

A visit to Dharavi Slum in Mumbai with Reality Gives by Savour it all blog's Karen Anderson

Cardboard recycler – photo courtesy of Reality Tours and Travels

Christmas means different things to different people. For me, it’s a time to take stock on how I’m doing with sharing what I have with others. It’s easy to give to our own family and share the spirit of Christmas with our own community. They are part of our daily lives. I’m blessed that I also have the opportunity to think of and give to people half a world away.

Every year when I lead my cuisine and culture journey to India, I choose at least one empowerment project to visit and support. This year it was a group called Reality Gives operated by Reality Tours and Travel in Mumbai’s largest slum – Dharavi. Truth be told, I am absolutely sure that I get more out of this annual quest than I ever give.

My awareness and compassion expand. I am humbled and I am deeply happy to connect with human beings whom I believe live with more dignity and humour than some of us that are far more fortunate.  Continue reading

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An invitation to my 2018 India trip – Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra and Kolkata

The Taj – photo – Karen Anderson

I’ve been fascinated with India and Indian cooking for a very long time. My mentor Noorbanu Nimji and I published A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen in December of 2015 but we’ve done tours and taught Indian cooking together in Calgary since about 2007. In 2011, because I am also founder and owner of Alberta Food Tours, Inc., I was asked to lead tours to India and have been happily doing so since 2012 thanks to my partnership with Indus Travels.

My 2017 trip has been sold out for some time so I’m happy to announce my plans for  India 2018. Click on the link for the full itinerary. The synopsis follows along with some photos from past trips to whet your appetite. Continue reading

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Eating #India with @AlbertaFoodTour – a @CityPalate article by Catherine Van Brunschot

Alberta Food Tours annual cuisine and culture trips to India with Karen Anderson

Cooking with Sumeet Nair in New Delhi – photo credit – Karen Anderson

Huge thanks to writer Catherine Van Brunschot for the City Palate magazine piece she wrote about the 2014 cuisine and culture trip to India I organized. I’ve been leading these tours with my company Alberta Food Tours and our business partner Indus Travels since 2012.

Catherine’s a writer’s writer. She quietly observes, scribbles notes and jots details. Her camera is always close at hand. She’s able to capture a moment and it’s feeling to share a sense of the traveller’s journey. I hope you enjoy reading her piece from the source: Eating India with Alberta Food Tours

I’m pleased to report that my 2017 trip to India is sold out and that Catherine is returning. When you get to the end of her article, you’ll see I’ve shared with you the answer to the question she poses.

For my 2018 trip to India we’ll return to some places I love – Delhi, Agra, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur – and also venture to a place I’m longing to visit – Kolkata. Please comment below if you’d like more information about that trip and I’ll be happy to email you an itinerary.

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Have a #lionheart and #nevergiveup – good themes for 2017

I don’t go to many movies. I find most of them too violent or crass for my well being but, I went to Lion recently and it moved me and motivated me to write this blog.

The main character in Lion, a small boy named Saroo, gets stuck on an empty deadheading train and ends up 1500 kilometres from his home. He survives a few months on the streets of Kolkata before being sheltered and then adopted. The story thus far is a true one but it is not a rare one. I won’t give away the ending.

In India the story of children ending up on the streets happens – for one reason or another – about 80,000 times each year with a cummulative 11 million children currently enduring their existence on the streets instead of having a childhood and chance at thriving not just surviving.

Last year I had the chance to take a City Walk of the Paharganj neighbourhood in Delhi with a guide who was rescued from a life on the streets by a Non-Profit Organization called  Salaam Balaak Trust. Perhaps if I tell you what I learned on that walk, you might like to join the #lionheart movement launched by the movie producers to support a few of the organizations in India working to improve the lives of India’s street children. Continue reading

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#namaskar – #yoga anyone can do – a video from @SadhguruJV

I have written about Sadhguru before. He is a teacher. He helps people along a spiritual path to living more consciously.

So much of the way we live is outwardly focused. Sadhguru is helping people go inward with yogic practices.

The video above is about one such practice: Namaskar. Sadhguru says that by simply folding your hands together you may unfold your being and that focusing your attention with love on something or someone for just three minutes a day can lead to harmony.  Continue reading

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#IDY2016 – the gift of a guru – @SadhguruJV and @Ishafoundation

I met a great teacher last year in India. I met Sadhguru.

Sadh means knowledge that comes from within. Guru is a Sanskrit: गुरु noun that connotes “teacher”. When I met Sadhguru, I met an enlightened human being who is able to access knowledge from within. This is the knowledge of all existence from the beginning of existence.

Attaining enlightenment comes with certain perks.

Today is the second annual International Day of Yoga. One of Sadhguru’s goals is to share the science of yoga. The video above was made last year so that anyone anywhere can access the benefits of yoga. This year Sadhguru and legions of volunteers taught hundreds of thousands of people the simple UPA yoga described in the video. Today Sadhguru taught people from 135 nations live at the United Nations in New York City that same yoga.

I’ve been blessed by my guru. Sharing this video here is a tiny offering of love, gratitude and respect for him and his work. I’ll share more about my experience of meeting Sadhguru at Isha foundation in India in the rest of the post. Continue reading

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