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Nashville, TN
USA

True to the name 'Shivam' - consciousness, mindfulness, - we strive to make our items by re-using our existing resources, and natural, organic materials.

Our yoga mat bags are handmade using upcycled, vintage fabrics, while the aromatherapy eye pillows are filled with the healing goodness of organic lavender buds and organic flax seeds. 

We hope to extend and share the journey of these goods as they make their way around the world. From our house to yours.

Namaste.

Blog

Welcome to my blog at Shivam Creations.

Shivam means mindfulness in Sanskrit; this space is about trying to lead a mindful life and the elements that go with it: yoga, healthy living, nature, and the creative forces within each of us.

Holiday Sale: 20% off Our Best Selling Yoga Mat Bags and More!

Shivangi Parikh

Sorry for flashing another holiday sale in your already cluttered social media but it is that time of the year :) Take 20% off when you spend $40 or more at our shop by using code HOLIDAY20 at checkout. For those of you eyeing our best selling yoga mat bags, this is the best deal of the year!

There are other options to choose from as well: handwoven kitchen textiles starting from $9.99, vegan clutches from $25, and our leather tote bags that are on clearance sale.

Offer valid till Dec. 15th or while stock lasts. All my items are made in small batches so don't wait to shop till the last minute ;)

For those who want even more options, head on over to our Etsy shop where items over $35 get 10% off till Dec. 6th.

xoxo, Shiv

Shivangi Parikh

Celebrate Yoga With This 10-Minute Essential Home Practice

Shivangi Parikh

As the world observes International Yoga day today, it is worthwhile to remember that Yoga is not just a commodity for consumption but something more significant - it is a means for self exploration, discovery and eventually, mastery over ones thoughts and actions. Yoga is so much more than just fancy poses. And this day serves as the perfect reminder for us to re-commit toward living a healthier, happier and more wholesome life.

So how does one do yoga? I am always asked this question in various forms: beginners ask because they do not know where to begin, and experienced practitioners ask because they feel they have to set aside an hour to 'properly' practice, which may or may not happen, and it results in them falling out of routine. I say that from experience myself! The answer is something you've probably heard many times- Consistency is key. Just setting aside a few minutes couple of times a week is a good start. You can always build up depending on your time and energy limits for that day.

To get you started, my good friend, and revered yoga teacher Arundhati Baitmangalkar from Aham Yoga has outlined a simple yet super effective 10-minute home yoga sequence just for you! To keep it easy-peesy, she has omitted a lot of jargon and has detailed photos for each step :)

You can just do a couple of Sun Salutations (pose 1) to begin with, and gradually add the other poses one at a time. Remember: Do it slowly with awareness and deep breaths.

Here is Arundhati:

1.   SUN SALUTATIONS/ CLASSICAL SURYA NAMASKAR: This is the most ancient form of Vinyasa. It is a combination of several poses in a pre-set order that will make you strong, flexible and will you energized and refreshed! We recommend anywhere from 3 to 8 rounds daily.


2.   VIRABHADRASANA 2/WARRIOR 2: Such a strong yet gentle hip opening pose. When done right, it releases the lower back, builds endurance and encourages circulation. If you sit or stand for extended periods of time, this is a great pose to do. Hold for 45 seconds to a minute on each side and slowly build up.

Virabhadrasana II/Warrior II

3.   TRIKONASANA/TRIANGLE:  This will give you a full body stretch. Be mindful that arms and legs need to be straight. Touching the floor with your hand is not important. Use a block under your palm to help you, if you cannot keep the leg straight.

Trikonasana/Triangle

4.   ANJANEYASANA/LOW LUNGE POSE: If you sit at a desk all day, this pose is a must. Initially the stretch will be strong on the front of the thigh but as you start to practice regularly and breathe into it, the muscle will start to release and will get stronger, and help the knee and hip get more stable.

Low Lunge pose

5.   PRASARITA PADDOTTANASANA/WIDE LEG STANDING FORWARD FOLD: This is one of my personal favorites. On the left is the preparatory stage and the right is the complete pose. Make sure to master stage 1 before going deeper into stage 2. This pose not only stretches the legs and releases the lower back but also works as a semi inversion.


6.   ADHOMUKHA SWANASANA/DOWNWARD FACING DOG POSE: This pose is famous for the right reasons. Its elongates the spine, stretches out the muscles at the back of the entire body. Allows the heart to rest and works as an inversion in itself. Great pose to recover from fatigue and restlessness.


7.   URDHVA MUKHA SWANASANA/UPWARD FACING DOG: By bring the chest forward, keeping it lifted and open. Our lungs get a nice opening facilitating better breath and circulation. Enhances mood and helps to keep you alert and awake. Also builds arm strength.


8.   BADDHAKONASANA/BOUND ANGLE POSE: would call this the ultimate pose for the hips. It is so simple, that it is often underrated. No matter what you do, make sure you spend at least a couple of minutes in this pose daily. If your knees are super high, sit on a couple of folded blankets to relieve the strain in your groins.


9.   SETU BANDHASANA: BRIDGE POSE: This pose works on opening the chest and shoulders and helps to strengthen the legs and back muscles. Again it’s a pose that is often overlooked but packs a punch. Make sure your knees are not wider than your shoulders in this pose.


10.   SUPTA PADANGUSHTASANA/SUPINE HAND TO BIG TOE POSE: If you need to do one pose in the morning, I would do this one. Part one, works the hamstring and stretches it out. Keeping the lower back at ease and maintaining the knee joint. Part two, builds hip stability and keeps the hips strong and sturdy protecting the lower back all through.


BONUS POSE!

ONLY if you feel comfortable and would like to try to incorporate an inversion in your practice, do try the Shoulderstand Pose. if this seems too much to attempt then build up to it with the Bridge Pose mentioned above.

SARVANGASANA/SHOULDERSTAND: While we refer to the mother of all poses here. Any inversion during your day will be great. Inversions will keep the brain well fed with blood and oxygen giving energy, calm and clarity. These are meant to be learnt under the guidance of a skilled teacher.

So there you have it. A simple yet powerful set of yoga poses to build your home yoga practice. Remember to get your alignment right in all the poses, stay connected with the breath and hold the poses for as long as you comfortably can and then with time you will build the duration of poses. Give these a try and let us know how you did.

--- Arundhati Baitmangalkar

A big thanks to Arundhati who has outlined a lovely and may I add, not-so-scary sequence, for all of us! You can also check out more videos on Aham Yoga YouTube channel. There are detailed explanations and practice sequences.

Here is to celebrate a happy and healthy lifestyle!

Namaste, Shiv :)

 

Shivangi Parikh

My Mothers Day Wish + 5 Unique Gift ideas for Mothers Day (p.s. They do NOT involve buying more Products!)

Shivangi Parikh

Forget Mothers Day brunches and flowers. Though they are thoughtful gifts, most moms will agree that if they could have anything in the world, they would choose to take a ‘personal’ day off from being a mommy. At least I wish for that on a daily basis. Imagine waking up when your eyes actually open on their own without the help of alarms or kids!

Don’t get me wrong..I am all for getting nice jewelry and all, but I don’t even remember to wear them most times. So that got me thinking that what I would REALLY like is something that is experience-based… something where I can feel carefree and irresponsible and do things without any schedule. Something like this picture below.

I started researching some options and came up with these non-product alternatives.

1. Weekend retreat

This one is first on my list for a reason: here is a vacation where I am not planning anything or packing anyone else's stuff. All I have to do is just show up and all else is taken care of. There are so many retreats to choose from depending on the kind of activity you like. Art, yoga, cooking, zip lining, hiking.. plenty of options out there. This site is a good place to start. http://www.retreatfinder.com/Directory/Retreats_by_Activities.aspx 

Ace Ritchie camps have been on my radar for a while and I hope to go travel with them once I save up enough, and when my kids are older. http://ritchieacecamps.com

2. Hire a Personalized Experience Planner

If you do not want to deal with any decision making then this is for you! Hubbies, and family members, take note. If you are not sure what you or the lady in question, want, then finding a local party planning service is a great option. This Pampered Life is one such company in Leeds, UK, that offers bespoke experience packages foreveryone. You just have to let them know your interests and hobbies. (Full disclosure here: It is run by my sister, Minoti Parikh, who is doing a fantastic job! I wish she could offer something like that here in the US). Clients can choose from horse riding lessons to sky diving sessions to spa treatments, you name it. 

3. Dance Classes

Sign up your mom (or yourself if you are one) for a dance class. Nothing can make you feel more rejuvenated and young that an hour of shaking your booty! Trust me, when my son and I get dancing to a Bollywood song, we are totally carefree and lose track of time. For those who feel intimidated, just remember you delivered your baby in front of complete strangers, so you can do this! Local community centers are good places to look up. Or find a bunch of girl friends to go with. But DO NOT WAIT on anybody.

4. One night at a local fancy hotel

Checking into a fancy hotel with room-service and super soft bedsheets just for the heck of it can be heaven! Again it involves minimal packing and travel arrangements on your end. You can go  window shopping in the neighborhood, get a drink at the hotel lounge, use the hotel spa, or just curl up in bed with a book. Enjoying the silence will be the ultimate relaxing experience, I guarantee ya! Don’t ruin it by calling up your girlfriends or checking on your family or watching TV. Truly shut off.

5. Massages

This is a no-fail gift. Who doesn't love a good massage and some pampering at the spa. Ladies, if your husbands dont get the hint, then use the credit card numbers and book yourself a session.. or two ;). Try to keep it solo. If you go with hubby then you might end up talking about grocery shopping or 401Ks inadvertently!

Mothers Day 2017

Hope these ideas help you, or your loved ones plan something special. I do believe that experiences create more lasting memories than just buying gifts. 

Much love, Shiv

(p.s. For those of you who still love gifts, take 10% off items in the shop with code MOTHERSDAY. Valid till May 8th)

 

 

Shivangi Parikh

Make any Mealtime Special with Just One Accessory

Shivangi Parikh

Hello Friends... Hope you are staying warm and safe in this yo-yo weather pattern. The warmer winter and colder spring has everyone confused and annoyed, so I am hoping to brighten our days with some happy colors :)

In my last post, I mentioned working on my new collection of khadi table napkins and I am so happy with this assortment of of blush pink, peach, and spring green. 

Full disclosure, I tend to pull out my paper napkins whenever we have guests over, especially if there are little ones involved, because its just easy to toss them away. But then there are times when you have a grown-up get together or a family brunch, and want to make it a special occasion. Just bring out these table linens and it will do the trick! The best part- you get to re-use them for ages, making them an ecofriendly choice.

Made from my favorite khadi fabric (handwoven cotton), the napkins are super absorbent and will hold up to many washes - precisely what you should look for in a table napkin.  The fabric also gets softer with every wash, so your hands will thank you as well. 

If you are like me, you might like the plain napkins that highlight the natural weave of the fabric. if you look closely, you can spot the two-tone color. For those of you who like prints, there is the option to pick the block printed ones. Here is one example, where I carved spring blossoms and hand printed each one over the course of 2 hours!

If flowers are not your thing, then feel free to customize your napkin with a block print of your choice from below. Or you can always send me a message with your design idea and I can work something out.

The napkins are available as a set of 4, 6 or 8. Click for more information and photos. The napkins are also listed on my Etsy shop if you prefer to get it from there.

After hibernating indoors during the colder months, I sure am ready to plan some backyard get togethers for the warmer months! We are heading next week to Dallas for spring break. I have never been there and am excited to meet some old friends. We haven't met in 7 years since we were taking turns to have kids, ha! 

Hope y'all get to do something fun for spring break, or have something fun lined up for the weekend :)

xoxo, Shiv

(p.s. thank you so much for your lovely messages and comments on my last post. I was hesitant to make it so personal, but I just had to share my experience.  )

 

Shivangi Parikh

The Second Time Around....

Shivangi Parikh

Abundant joy, post baby blues, gestational diabetes, moments of pure magic...Welcome to my story of Motherhood 2.0!! As my baby girl Divya turns eight months old next week, I think I am now in a better state of mind to write about my experience of being a mom, and learning about unconditional love, once again! I will not bore you with the obvious stuff, but I wanted to share with you some of the most important observations I noticed as a parent the second time around.

MY HUSBAND AND I ARE MORE PATIENT ... WITH EACH OTHER

You may have heard that the birth of a child brings the parents closer together, but that wasn't exactly the case when our son, Arjun was born seven years ago. Not that Abhay, my husband, and I would fight a lot, but I remember us being very annoyed and cranky most of the time. We were very short with each other back then, and most of it stemmed from the fact that as first-time parents we were putting too much pressure on ourselves, and each other. This time around, I didn't monitor Abhay about how he is holding Divya, or dealing with her fussiness.... he is much more patient with her and is doing a fabulous job, I must say! He is also more patient with me about my mood swings and outbursts (more on that below). He has never been one to use Hallmark worthy phrases, but when I am down, he steps in with chores, lets me take a nap, and most importantly, knows when to ignore me till I come around. And that means a whole lot more to me than sweet nothings.

DEALING WITH BODY IMAGE ISSUES

With both my kids, I gained more than 50 lbs during the pregnancy. No matter how much I watched what I ate, or exercised on a regular basis, I just piled on the pounds. That is when I realized how much our body shape and weight is controlled by hormones! Both times, I tested positive for gestational diabetes. With my son, my sugar levels were a lot higher and they had to put me on insulin. I remember being very shocked, because I was a typical yoga-loving, salad-eating California gal at the time, so how could I have sugar issues! With Divya, I was more careful and my levels weren't as bad. But the thing is even though gestational diabetes disappears after childbirth, losing that extra weight is a giant pain in the a**! It took me 18 months to lose the baby weight with Arjun, and it hurt my self esteem and confidence. 

Right now, I am still wearing my maternity clothes, and hate dressing up for an evening out. But then some days these horrible clouds of self doubt will disappear; when I remind myself that I did it once, and I can do it again. I have started my yoga practice, even if I get just 10 minutes every now and then. I have started doing intense workouts once or twice a week. I know its going to be a slow process. Some people drop their baby weight in just 6 weeks, some take 6 months, and for me it might be closer to a year, but working on that mental strength is my goal for now. (FYI, I tried my regular pair of jeans this morning and they fit, albeit a bit snug around the middle ;) 

POST BABY BLUES: Hit me after 3 months! Ha

I have never considered myself to be a depressed soul. Maybe moody, but depressed, never. But let me tell you that post partum depression is very real, and can sneak up on you at any stage after the baby. When both my kids were born, I was fortunate enough to have my mother around for an extended period of time. I never felt super exhausted during the initial months because while I was busy caring for my girl, my mom was busy caring for me. It was the most beautiful time I spent with my mom as an adult. With Abhay traveling for work, I am alone most weekdays, but I didn't feel lonely because of my mom. But soon after she left, I felt like I was in a vacuum. Most days I enjoyed being with my little one, especially as she got more interactive, but then there were days where I was just grumpy and sad. Not sure if this classifies as depression, but I know I didn't feel OK. It didn't help that I was reading about wars and mass shootings, not to forget our presidential election.  Thank goodness for NETFLIX!! I resumed watching The Gilmore Girls, and followed it with The Office. These shows saved my sanity! I am also fortunate enough to be surrounded with great friends and neighbors, and I can always count on my girlfriends to cheer me up. Being a new mom can sometimes be very isolating, but that feeling is short lived. Yes, seeing your baby will make you happy, but you need to make time for yourself, even if it means binge watching TV!

ON A HAPPIER NOTE: YOU ENJOY THE SECOND CHILD MORE. Even better, you enjoy watching the sibling love!

YES, what they say is true!! The second time around you are not as stressed about getting the basics of parenting right. You know you managed it the first time, and your child survived, so clearly you are a pro at this. We have enjoyed cuddling baby Divya (her name means bright light) and picking her up each time she cries, knowing fully well that we cannot spoil her at this stage. What has been a treasure to watch though, is how my son Arjun just dotes on his little sister. Many folks had told me about older siblings' love for the newborn baby, but it was just magical to actually witness it each time the kids look at each other! Those moments have made me cry more than anything. Of course, I am also aware that this 'magic' is short lived and soon they will be arguing or fighting or avoiding each other, but for now let me have my blissful image :)

So there you have it... my version of this emotional ride! Motherhood brings this enormous capacity for women to rip open their heart to make even more space for their growing tribe. It forces you to be more aware of your state of mind. I count my blessings every day, and hope to do my best as a responsible mom.

If you read the entire post, I thank you very much for bearing with me! If you are a new mom, I hope you can relate to my experience and know that this is a very normal circle of life. If you know of someone who might like this post, especially a new mom, please do share it with them.

Hope you have a lovely day!

(p.s. If you have been following me on my Facebook or Instagram, you've seen my shop updates.. I am working on some new product lines and will write about them soon!)

 

Shivangi Parikh