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Vegetarian cook needed in fabulous yoga retreat Goa

PURPLE VALLEY, GOA, INDIA

Needed - Experienced Vegetarian cook: Oversee menu planning, budgeting and cooking for up
to 50 guests, co-manage kitchen with current chefs , including supervising small team of hard-working locals. Positions include accommodation, meals, local subsistence salary and a unique opportunity to study with the world's top Ashtanga teachers as well as meeting amazing people
from around the world and experiencing Goan culture in its true sense.

Please send your details, CV or resume to info@yogagoa.com


Purple Valley yoga retreat, India

Following the recent film Eat Love pray, I thought I would post an item on my favourite yoga retreat in India, not to be confused with an Ashram in India (as depicted in the film).

Purple Valley yoga retreat is a beautiful peaceful retreat set off the beaten track in Assagao, Northern Goa, where you can practice yoga with some of the world’s most highly respected Ashtanga yoga teachers. It is situated close enough to be able to venture into other parts of Goa, but feels like a cocoon if you wish to stay put on the retreat.

The beautiful shala (studio) is very peaceful and is situated at the far end of the retreat. The amazing birdsong you hear while practising yoga is just wonderful.

The accommodation is within two main houses or in small cottages located in the gardens. You can share rooms or pay a nominal fee to have your own room, if there is space available. I personally choose to take my own room, as I share my life with a family on a daily basis and Purple Valley is a bit of “tim…

Art and textile design

I thought I would share a couple of textile designs produced by my daughter, who is in the first year of a textiles degree at Central St Martins.

These two silkscreen pieces are designed by using images from photographs taken when we were on holiday in India. I am not an art student, so will not try and discuss the process of silkscreen printing, but I do understand that it is quite a tricky process; as well as very time consuming.

If you look closely you can see the fishes in one of the designs and, in the other, my daughter has drawn in the pylons that she photographed in Goa. I think she has captured a great likeness of this clothes seller and a real feel for India.

The man who features in the prints is seen below with his friends. I think he would be delighted to see himself as a muse. Who knows he may appear on a t-shirt in the future! If we return to India in the winter we will definitely take him one of the prints.



Buy cheap crap

On my last trip to India I heard one of the worst sales’ pitches ever. The beautiful young girl (seen in the photo) was selling sarongs on the beach and approached me by saying “do you want to buy some of my cheap crap?”. I laughed for 10 minutes.

The Indian people have a great sense of humour. Despite the sweltering heat and earning very little, the young girls always have time for a chat (once you have purchased some “cheap crap”) and have dazzling smiles that are so infectious.

I found it fascinating hearing about their lives; how they travel to Goa (quite often on their own) from far-flung villages. Some of the girls are as young as 14 and were amazed that my daughter was not having an arranged marriage, and that she could in fact choose her boyfriend.

Before I forget, another funny line for me came from another beach seller: “those hippies, bunch of lazy bastards!”.

Yoga video: Ashtanga yoga with Kino Macgregor in Goa

Here is a video of Kino practising in the Shala in Purple Valley, Goa India. This video demonstrates just how strong and focused Kino is… It is fantastic to watch a woman practice Ashtanga yoga at this level. I also love the bird song you can hear in the background. I myself have practiced many times in this lovely shala and always found the bird song very soothing and meditative .

Happy New Year

Here we are on the 6th of January 2010 and I am finally getting around to wishing you all a Happy New Year. My family and I had a fantastic trip to Goa and I will post some of my favourite bits.

India is one of the noisiest, most vibrant and beautiful places I have visited. I have been to Goa before, but never with my family. When I have travelled to India in the past, I have always gone on my own and stayed on yoga retreats (more to follow in another post). Although I have loved the previous visits, this one was extra special and I felt more involved with Indian culture and spent more time with local people than ever before.





We went to waterfalls, parties, markets, a spice plantation, rode on elephants, amongst other things. It was wonderful to share this experience with my teenagers and watching my son turn from an urban Londonite into a chilled out Goan was something else. We ate in beach shacks, drunk mocktails and kingfishers and all managed to avoid getting “Delhi Belly”, which wa…