A Sunday Stroll in Kudee Jeen, Bangkok

In a rather inconsistent manner throughout a sweltering  Sunday, without really knowing where I was (because I allowed myself to get lost and explore Bangkok beyond its skyscrappers...), I found myself stepping into Kudi Jeen, a neighborhood with Eurasian heritage alongside Chao Phraya River.  Little known by tourists, this district, offers an immersion in the city’s historic past. As I wander through a maze of alleys, colorful houses, I am transported away from Bangkok’s hustle and bustle, and entering a sense of intimate escapade and discovery.
The Kudee Jeen community traces its history back to 1700s, when King Taksin gave permission the Portuguese to settle on the West bank of the river. Throughout time, the community evolved, and diversified as Siamese , Chinese, and Muslims also settled into the area giving the neighborhood a unique history and mix of cultures. You will find Buddhist temples, Chinese shrines and mosques coexisting alongside Santa Cruz Church, the centre of the community.. As you wander the hidden alleys of Kudi Jeen, one begins to see the interesting legacies of the Portuguese and other settlements in the area.

Have a glimpse into the houses and see the Portuguese influence: azulejo tiles and crosses. And... if you wish to have a little break or immerse further into the history of the area, stop by Baan Kudi Jeen, a museum and cafe owned by a Thai Portuguese family.

Santa Cruz Church, playing a central role in the Kudee Jeen community.

Santa Cruz Church, playing a central role in the Kudee Jeen community.

Get lost in Kudi Jeen's colorful alleys   

Get lost in Kudi Jeen's colorful alleys


Facing the river, this pagoda shrine is dedicated to the Chinese warrior god Guan Yu

Facing the river, this pagoda shrine is dedicated to the Chinese warrior god Guan Yu

 A stop at Baan Kudi Jeen, a museum and cafe, owned by a Thai Portuguene family. A beautiful home that still reflects the Portuguese legacy in its design and azulejos.

 A stop at Baan Kudi Jeen, a museum and cafe, owned by a Thai Portuguene family. A beautiful home that still reflects the Portuguese legacy in its design and azulejos.

Tuning Back In

Tuning Back In

Tuning back in for a postive change. Try the short breath meditation video to help you feel calm and more centered.

Don't Forget To Breathe!

Don't Forget To Breathe!

A simple breathing technique for stress relief

Orenda Featured on InfoHub.com + GIVEAWAY!!!

Orenda Featured on InfoHub.com + GIVEAWAY!!!

We are pleased to announce that one of our tours – Drop Back Into Nature - Yoga and Archaeological Hike – has been named an Unordinary Trip of The month by InfoHub.com, the #1 travel portal on the internet promoting in the out-of-the-ordinary travel, from bicycle tours to spa vacations. Orenda, a boutique company specialized in organizing holistic retreats and wellness workshops, has been at the forefront of the unordinary vacations. Orenda approaches vacation from a health and wellness perspective by combining it with yoga and meditation. This award is well deserved.

We are also pleased to announce that we have a special prize for our customers, courtesy to GPSmyCity, publisher of travel apps for Apple and Android! If you book a tour with Orenda before July 31, 2017 you are eligible to win a special prize from GPSmyCity: a one-year full membership of the GPSmyCity app including access to ALL the GPSmyCity content - over 6,500 self-guided walking tours and travel articles covering more than 1,000 cities worldwide – to the total value of over $7,000!!!. The GPSmyCity app offers self-guided walking tours in all major Spanish cities, Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, Toledo, to name a few. The GPSmyCity app works offline so there's NO need to worry about roaming charges when traveling abroad.

The winner – single lucky one – will be chosen randomly after July 31, 2017. Book now and enjoy your travels!

The Soul of Africa: An Artist's Journey to Discovering the Magic of Life

The Soul of Africa: An Artist's Journey to Discovering the Magic of Life

Luba L Roshchyna a dear friend that i met while living in Tanzania, with whom I commonly share the love of the African continent. It is incredible to see the path that she has taken throughout these years accessing the personal power, presence, and authenticity, which are reflected in her art pieces. She s a painter with a story, and her story is about the Soul of Africa.

Fattoush - a Fresh and Zesty Meditarranean salad

Fattoush salad with a little twist (as usual) 😋. This is Mediterranean / middle eastern salad I love as it is zesty and so refreshing. Try it.

  • 2- 3 Tomatoes,
  • Lettuce,
  • 1 cucumber,
  • Half of a red pepper,
  • A bunch of Mint,
  • A bunch of parsley,
  • 3 table spoon of good olive oil,
  • 1/2 Lemon juice,
  • Pomegranate syrup,
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac,
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 1 spring onion (optional)

Cut the cucumbers, tomatoes, red pepper, and lettuce into small pices. Mince the parsley and mint, spring oonions (optional). Mix all together in a bowl, then add lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate syrup, sumac, salt et voila!! You can put toasted pita bread on top but I m not a fan.

Enjoy😊 !

Milk Pudding - Muhallabiya

Milk Pudding - Muhallabiya

Muhallabiya a tasty milk pudding a l'arabesque

Stress & Burn Out Prevention - Tackling Your Energy Crisis

Stress & Burn Out Prevention - Tackling Your Energy Crisis

Decrease your toxic load, and reclaim your vitality back

Eight tips for dealing with stress & slowing down

Eight tips for dealing with stress & slowing down

By Leila El Krekshi

What constitutes the “hurry worry culture” of our modern lives? Expectations from people, from a situation, relationships, work and constant pressure to meet deadlines lead to stress and cause various physical and emotional pain/ illnesses. They can cause your body and mind to overreact to situations, resulting in digestive problems, weight fluctuation, heart disease, depression, and a host of other issues that no one desires or deserves.

According to the American Psychological Association, in 2014, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress and nearly half reported that their stress has increased from the past year. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and Eurofound, in joint communication reported in 2014 that one quarter of Europeans risk health problems due to stress at work.

Managing stress is important for all of us. While we can’t always control stressful life events such as a conflict or the loss of a dear person, we can still find ways to respond to stressors with good management tools. These include time management, learning to say no when we do not want to accept or do something, modify our attitudes and secure a supportive social web in addition to other self-coping strategies that can help us be less stressed out.

The state of our mind and our body are intimately related. When our mind is calm and relaxed, our body also becomes relaxed and at ease. Stress produces a state of mental, emotional and physical tension. We all suffer from occasional mild level of anxiety. However chronic stress takes a huge toll on the body, draining energy resources and keeping the body in a constant state of stress.
The effects of stress are particularly magnified when we become more sedentary in our lifestyle, and when our body lack physical exercise we experience muscle tension, shallow breathing and a spinning mind that has no rest from the whirling thoughts and emotions that feed the stressors.

How can one deal with stress? Here are 8 tips on how to deal with it in your life, gentle reminders to all of us (including myself) that we need to slow down.

Identify what triggers your stress

An important step in managing stress, is recognizing and becoming aware of what triggers you to become stressed. While it may be impossible to remove life’s stresses, understanding and becoming aware of the triggers can be particularly helpful in solving the root that causes problems. Spend some time to ask yourself what stresses you out, how it affects your body and how you react to it.

Find your daily stillness

A tip I learned from my yoga master teacher and that I love sharing with my clients, is conditioning our mind to bring it to stillness. Conditioning is a very short meditation that can take 3-4 minutes of your time. It is a simple exercise, where you focus on the natural flow of the breath as you inhale and exhale and gently move the attention from feelings of anxiety to feelings of relaxation allowing calmness to come to your mind. This simple yet effective exercise can be done before the start of any assignment or action, i.e. before lunch or a meeting, while stuck in the traffic, etc. Doing it several times per day will help you bring your mind to stillness whenever you feel overwhelmed, allowing you to be focused and more efficient in what you do.

Have good hours of sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? Restful and restorative sleep is essential for good health and vitality. It is even more crucial when you are going through challenges in life, to ensure having good hours of sleep. When your mind and body are well rested, you can approach stressful and challenging situations more calmly and in a more focused way.  

Keep a good energy level and balanced diet.

Many of us are still engrained in unhealthy habits. We rarely pay attention to what we eat, how we eat, when we eat and where we eat. This can have a significant impact on us. Providing our bodies with the right food is crucial to give us the energy needed to tackle the challenges we go through in our lives. It cannot be emphasized enough how important the link between stress and nutrition is.
A balanced and healthy diet is one of the most important components to a healthy living because it boosts our resistance against the effects that stress brings upon the body.
Under the influence of stress, the body craves foods/drinks that are high in fats and sugars. Such examples include sweets, starches, caffeine and smoking.
It is important to constantly boost yourself with vital nutrients, i.e. vegetables and fruits and other high-fibre foods and make conscious eating choices.

Practice Conscious Breathing

When our mind is relaxed, our body is also relaxed. When we are worried, stressed or have negative afflictions, it is common that our breathing becomes shallow, fast and tense. Through conscious breath and meditation, one can bring calmness to both the body and mind. The relaxation helps to stabilize the autonomic nervous system and there are many breathing techniques that can help alleviate stress and restore balance; one simple yet powerful technique to calm the mind, body and emotions is Anuloma Viloma, alternate nostril breathing.

Time management and slow down

 We all have busy and tight schedules, which is one contributor to stress.
Slow down… and take time to plan your day, prioritize with calm and mindfulness. Furthermore give yourself breaks, and have activities that will bring positivity and nourishment to you mind body and spirit. For instance, walking, swimming, reading, practicing yoga, hiking, or spending fun time with friends and family. Making time for activities that you enjoy, will help alleviate stressful feelings and bring your balance back.

Take time off

Going on holiday is really good for you and it may actually be necessary for a good health.Take time to properly plan a weekend or more exotic getaways. This will help you to disconnect from your daily routine, leaving you energized as you come back home. But do make sure to disconnect from the digital world while on holiday.

Your Happiness Should Not Wait… It Is Now  

We hunger for health and happiness in our bodies, our families, and workplace. In yoga, we say that there is no tension in the outside world, it is rather our perception that causes us tension. We need to slowly train our personality not to take anything as tension nor label as negative. According to yoga philosophy, when a person is away from a happy state, he/she is under tension. In his powerful teachings Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh said: “when I breath in, I see myself as a mountain. This mountain represents stability. A person cannot be happy if has no stability. When I breath in, I see myself as still water, this represents stillness and fluidity.” Reflect things as they truly are, when you are calm you are not victim of wrong perceptions, nor anger, nor fear. We do not imagine things.
“Being in the present moment, is the moment we realize we are alive. Being alive is a miracle and if you don't go to the present moment you cannot perform this miracle. Be in the present moment, as it is a wonderful moment”
Because we’re so full of negative perceptions, ideas and judgments about what we should and shouldn’t do, we tend to ignore that little voice inside us - the guidance from our inner soul. We live in forgetfulness instead of mindfulness and being in the present moment.

As part of self reflection, think about three things in your life that bring you joy, then think about three things that you do not enjoy. Consider what changes you can make in your life to turn the negativity into positive.



Free Your Mind ... Hum It Like A Bee

Free Your Mind ... Hum It Like A Bee

Calm your mind with Brahmari ... Humming bee breath

Seven Reasons To Stay at Pole Pole in Mafia Island For A Yoga Retreat

Seven Reasons To Stay at Pole Pole in Mafia Island For A Yoga Retreat

Seven reasons to come to Pole Pole in Mafia Island for a Yoga Retreat. Set your foot onshore and discover and embrace...