I don’t know why I didn’t write about Karam Khand Yoga Shop, Bologna’s first and only yoga shop, earlier. It might be because this was the place I wanted to open (unconscious jelousy). Or because this is where my two passions (and my two blogs) merge. Or just because I’m a serial procrastinator.
Anyway, there I was once again a couple of weeks ago, strolling around with my great friend Fabiana visiting me from Hamburg, finally spending a gift card my boyfriend got me last Christmas. Poor Fabiana wasn’t expecting we would spend more than an hour there, but at least she was rewarded with a sweet “thank you” necklace.
Yes, yoga shops sell necklaces too. Not of any kind, obviously. Here you can find a small selection of japamala (rosaries to meditate with), as well as little precious jewels with a certain yogic spirit: a “OM” sign here, a little mantra there, but nothing looking plainly commercial or superficial. Actually, everything seems to reflect the genuine disposition of the person who made a certain item or, at least, of the one who chosed it.
The chooser is owner Valentina, a beautiful kundalini yogi with big brown eyes and sweet, delicate manners, that I immediately felt at ease with (and even asked her if I could work with her!). She opened the shop last october and did a great job: for as little as it is, this cozy place in Via Riva Reno has an impressive selection of all the things that most yogis and yoginis desperately look for on the internet: from props to mat cleaners, from ayurvedic toothpastes to specialised books, from yoga-gear to cymbals, and of course herbal teas, incenses, stones, little statues of Shiva and Ganesh. Everything looks carefully assembled and picked up with love. The disposition of items doesn’t appear casuel either.
Not only quantity but quality, too: Manduka mats, tops and leggings by the English brand YogaMasti and the Milan’s own Yogessential, and some other lines I didn’t even know but Valentina seems to know all about the person behind of, which is always nice. Also, the house style is one of promoting yoga for everyone and every pocket, so you can really find a lot of little, cheap ideas for small yoga-oriented presents. And in the clothing department too, despite a couple of big names, Valentina chose not to buy the most expensive items. So no, no Lululemon here 🙂
A friend of mine who works for Yogi Teas told me that this shop is one of the few in Italy selling the complete selection of teas from the ayurvedic brand, and sometimes they are also on sale: check the Facebook page, where Valentina writes down what stuff will be part of the “happy hour”: three hours (morning, until ‘noon) when there are some special discounts.
As for me, what did I buy with my gift card? A great pair of earrings, each different from the other: one is a delicate glass micro-ampoule containing a rolled micro-parchment with a mantra, the other is the OM symbol. A simple necklace still with the OM, from the same designer. An ayurvedic toothpaste that tastes like liquorice and feels wonderful (perhaps because I know it’s ayuervedic? Who knows), and little necklace for Fabiana, for her patience.
And I will go again soon, even if just for having an interesting chat (she really knows a lot abut yoga in general and kundalini in particular) with lovely Valentina and taste some herbal tea. Namaste 🙂
Karam Khand Yoga Shop
Via Riva Reno 13/b