About

Do what makes you come alive. The world needs more people who have come alive.

Welcome!

I invite you to come alive with me. Play with your body with yoga, your mind with meditation, your soul with healthy, delicious vegetarian food. Come alive with yoga to heal your mind, body and soul.  Learn quick and easy tips to get your body tuned up in shape with simple yoga poses you can do anytime. Learn easy ways to meditate to bring a sense of alive and calm centered focus to your daily life. Learn amazing ancient Indian vegetarian cooking tips in a modern Canadian context. Learn to use spice to spice up your life, activate your body and breathe new life into dull food.

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My ongoing attraction to yoga started early on, with my childhood upbringing in a southern Indian Brahmin household. Growing up a Tamil girl in the cosmopolitan capital city of Delhi, I tasted the light & subtle flavours of my Southern background and and also sampled the hearty mixes of Northern influences. I hope to share loads of colourful stories in each of my posts. I was also fascinated by gentle living. I wouldn’t want to touch meat even though my parents allowed us the opportunity to taste and sample, I just couldn’t. The idea of cutting up an animal and cooking it was unpalatable. Later as an adult, I realized many health benefits from a veg diet.

Fast forward to my move to Canada. As a young bride in a foreign land, I had an unusually hard time. Lots of experiences that tried me which I will share another time. Life threw so many challenges at me, I kept fielding them one after the other, balancing home life, my working life and all the many difficulties thrown at me with cheer. At some point, something had to give. I ended up with high cholesterol. I left an abusive marriage with no roof over my head, no money, just my positive attitude. I relied on that positivity time and again. I looked around and saw that there wasn’t much of that food anywhere. And started thinking, “What was it that I had developed, that helped me sustain, that helped me believe in myself, that helped me get the job of my dreams, the house of my dreams, the work of my dreams, the passionate teaching of yoga that is my life’s calling?”

The answer is not one, but many tools that I used. This is what I love to share with others. My experience is not unique. there are so many out there who also have major life challenges to face, be it physical trauma or emotional or mental issues. On my website I want to share my experiences with you to inspire you to come alive. So you too can go into that space within you, that quiet, constant, steady, unchanging space that you can always rely on. That will tide you through good times and bad, through happy and sad, through high and low.

Charu Shankar

82 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I look very forward to catching up on yours!

    1. soulofspice says:

      its great to see everyone sharing what they know.. I watch out for your posts & can’t wait to steal πŸ™‚ some of your recipes to make them my own!! thanks for stopping by..

  2. It is always such fun to explore new ingredients, flavors, and spices! Looking forward to checking out more of your blog!

    1. soulofspice says:

      it sure is & always a treat to hear and learn from others. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Loved ur blog,,, specially your south indian touch to it!! πŸ™‚

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks for your comment. makes it a pleasure to share more south indian foods. Thanks also for stopping by. I hope to visit yours soon…

  4. Allison says:

    Hi Charu, I’m so glad to have discovered your blog! We definitely share a love for travel and food. And I love learning more about South Indian recipes especially! : )

  5. soulofspice says:

    Me too Alison, I have a lucky job that takes me all over canada & sometimes the United States so I can combine my 2 loves, eating & traveling.. We might have something more in common other than delicious south indian food, my sister studied Japanese in Nagoya & got me inspired about japanese culture. I hope to visit Japan some day & will definitely keep your tips in mind!

  6. vinicooksveg says:

    Hi Charu , I enjoy your blog and so I want to present you ‘The Sunshine blog’ Award. Please do visit following link for further details http://vinicooksveg.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/thanks-for-appreciation-and-awards/
    Thank you.

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks so much Vini I’m honored that you thought of me for this lovely award! I accept it wholeheartedly & will visit the link for details.

  7. You sound like a woman after my own heart! Am looking forward to following you and learning some new Indian recipes. I’m feeling hungry just thinking about it. Best Torie

  8. soulofspice says:

    that’s sweet of you to say Torie! Happy to answer any questions that you haven’t already figured out,, i can’t seem to take my eyes off your pix, they tell an amazing story..tc, charu

  9. Liana says:

    What incredible luck that you found my blog today so that I could find yours! I absolutely love Indian food and am hoping I can learn how to make some dishes now that I’ve got a source…a teacher! How serendipitous is WordPress!!

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks so much for stopping by. It was great finding you too! I just love how life is bringing so many wonderful people thro’ wordpress. take care.

    2. soulofspice says:

      Thanks Liana, I’d love learn from you. Great to know you like Indian cooking. You’re in the right place, I love cooking Indian & love teaching others on how to make it easy & simple. Wonderful to find you..

  10. Marcella Rousseau says:

    Hi Charu! I think your blog is great and I have nominated you for β€˜Blog of the Year 2012’ Award! Click the link for instructions. Congratulations!
    http://marcellarousseau.wordpress.com/?p=1710&preview=true

  11. Hi !
    I β™₯ your blog and I have nominated you with these two awesome awards!
    https://vinca11.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/being-awarded/
    It’s ok whether you choose to join in or not; just wanna thank you for the great blog that you put up. I’m totally enjoying reading your posts daily β™₯

    1. soulofspice says:

      Congrats on your awarda& thanks so much for nominating me. It’s so much fun to receive & pass it on..

  12. Ankit says:

    your blog is truly fantastic
    i have nominated you for the Liebster Award.
    πŸ™‚
    Congratulations.
    http://gypsyfoods.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/awww-shucks-you-make-me-blush/

    1. soulofspice says:

      Congrats on your award! Well deserved. I really liked your coofins..;) and thanks for nominating me…

  13. Hi Charu, I’ve nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award. There’s no obligation to accept or re-post it, this is just my way of saying ‘I enjoy reading your posts’.

    Here’s the award post link: http://perisspiceladle.com/2013/01/16/blog-of-the-year-2012-and-more-a-heartfelt-thank-you/

    Have a great year!
    Peri.

  14. Hi Charu! I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Here is the link! http://angiesfoodadventures.wordpress.com/awards-2/

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks so much Angie.. what a lovely surprise. I’ve received this award before & will accept it again from you.. so agree with your belief that health & beauty go together… .

      1. My absolute pleasure! Have a great day! πŸ™‚

  15. Hi Charu, I know you must be busy, so reach for your paracetamol and chai, haha – it is award time. I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. Point your browser here http://bakeslave.wordpress.com/awards/

    1. soulofspice says:

      Hi Nat, Thanks a ton for the shoutout, much appreciated my sweet fellow blogger.. I’ll write a post sooon acknowledging the award when I’m not so busy sipping chai haha πŸ™‚

  16. Thank you for stopping by my blog which enabled me to discover yours. I’m very much looking forward to discovering all your recipes and tips as I love Asian food. πŸ™‚

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks! nice to have you here πŸ™‚

  17. Congratulations, Charu! You have been awarded: Very Inspiring Blogger Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post, unless you wish to pass on the award.
    Your blog has been awarded at:
    http://faestwistandtango.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/awards-february-2013/
    Enjoy! πŸ˜€ Fae.

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thank you so much Fae..I appreciate it. Hope to write a post soon about it.

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks so much. I’ll head over right away to your link..

  18. Sugaretal says:

    I love everything about spices hence your blog name caught my attention. And i am so glad that I visited. Lovely recipes. I have to keep coming back now.

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks for stopping by.. you’re right. what would LIFE be without SPICE?

  19. liveblissful says:

    Hi Charu, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award & The Illuminating Blogger Award!
    http://liveblissful.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/belated-thanks/

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks so much live blissful.. Tried finding your name on your. Blog but I didn’t spot it πŸ˜‰ I checked out your link rightaway …and cOngrats on all your awards… Very well deserved…charu

    2. soulofspice says:

      thanks for the lovely awards gorgeous!! congrats on all your awards, you’re on a winning spree and so very well deserved..Keep on writing!! love, charu

  20. Congratulations, Charu! You have been awarded: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award & Wonderful Team Member Readership Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post, unless you wish to pass on the award nominations. Your blog has been awarded at:
    http://faestwistandtango.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/awards-march-2013/
    Enjoy the Awards! πŸ˜€ Fae.

    1. soulofspice says:

      that’s wonderful! Thanks so much Fae! I’ve been traveling a bit and hope to write a post to acknowledge your lovely gifts.. charu

  21. Hi, Charu,
    Just stopping by to say I really enjoyed following your blog and I have nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. If you’re interested in, pop by this link http://matchamochimoo.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/thanks-awards-on-march-2013/ for more details and follow the rules. Keep your good work.

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks so much matcha.. I really appreciate your nominations…and congrats for your awards….I checked out your link right away for the rules..promise to acknowledge your award in a post soon πŸ˜‰

      1. you’re welcome, keep your good work.

  22. alliblair says:

    Hi there, and congratulations! I have nominated you for the Best Moment Award… which you really deserve! Click this link to have a look at how to accept the award:

    http://thevintagepostcard.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/best-moment-award/

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks a lot…….what a wonderful moment. I’ll head over to your link sooon..

  23. I appriciate your blog content very much and am passing the Team Member Readership Award http://cookingwithmamamiyuki.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/team-member-readership-award/

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks so much Mama Miyuki.. what a lovely award.!!I’ll check your link rightaway.. charu

  24. Lakshmi Loves To Shop says:

    Namaste…thank you for visiting my blog πŸ™‚ YUM…I can’t wait to follow yours ~ Lakshmi x

    1. soulofspice says:

      you’re welcome. happy to see you here πŸ™‚

  25. Dr Dan says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog! You were asking if poutine could be vegetarian. Of course it can! Smokes Poutinerie offers a vegetarian option at all their locations. Check if there is one near you. To make it at home, use thickened vegetable broth with a bit of ketchup and a tiny bit of cider vinegar for the tang. And don’t forget to use cheese curds! Bon appΓ©tit!

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks a lot for the poutine tip! cider vinegar sounds delicious…

  26. Thanks for the nice words and for stopping by. I’ll be checking things out here as well. Your photos make everything looks so delicious! And I’m always looking for GF ideas for my GF friends….

    1. soulofspice says:

      oh! you’re very welcome & deserving! your cuban posts had me transported to varadero…

  27. Hi Charu, I ADORE your blog! Two of my favorite things in the world are culture and food. I love how you artistically explore the expression of culture through foods! Spices are so important, and I’m only just now discovering and experimenting with various spices in my cooking. I will look to your blog for food inspiration (read: recipes!) for sure! I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award, which you can read about and accept here: http://thetraveluster.com/2013/05/02/versatile-blogger-award-celebrating-bloggers/

    1. soulofspice says:

      Hi Lindsay! you just made me smile with your lovely comment, I’d like to frame this & keep coming back to it.. I simply love art and cooking I believe is an amazing art that satisfies all the senses. I’m so glad you were able to see this in my blog. I’m sorry I took this long to reply. been away on work, now looking forward to a weekend of reading your blog posts. thanks for the award nomination, I’m honoured! will head over to check rules now.. love, charu

  28. Heeey Charu! I’d like to pass on these awards (don’t groan heh heh): Best Moment Award & Shine On Award. Please drop by http://bakeslave.wordpress.com/awards/ to pick up your badges. PS: Waiting for your next blogpost – you have been missed!

    Cheers,
    Nat

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks for the nomination Nat ! And your awards…..that’s a lot of awarding, well deserved. You’re right. I’ve missed myself too, πŸ˜‰ just back from work travel , hope to post soon!!

  29. Liz says:

    I love spices and look forward to receiving your spicy posts, to spice up my life and cooking! Have a wonderful week!

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thanks Liz! your minestrone soup and apricot cupcakes are to die for !! hope you return for more spicy recipes πŸ™‚

  30. Hello! I hope you won’t mind a blogging award.:) I’ve just nominated you for a Tag! You’re It Award! Please click here for more info: http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/a-super-sweet-blogging-award-and-tag-im-it/ Thanks!–Mike

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thank you .. What a pleasant surprise πŸ™‚ & congratulations mike!!

  31. shobhnaa says:

    Hello I like your blog and enjoy visiting here. So as a token of my expression of the same I have nominated you for β€œThe versatile Blogger Award”. Please accept it here. http://femmehavenn.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    1. soulofspice says:

      Thank you so much.. Appreciate your thinking of me.. I’ll head over to your site soon to check out the award..

  32. Liz says:

    Do you live in Canada? we are on the same time Zone!

    1. soulofspice says:

      I do! in Ontario.. wherebouts are you?

  33. Merci de suivre mon blog. d–0.o–b

  34. Hi there, I’ve nominated your lovely blog for the “I’m a Part of the WordPress Family” Award. You can see more at http://theseasonedtraveler.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/celebration-ice-in-paradise-happy-50th-award-time. No action required unless you’d like to pass it on. -Laura at the Seasoned Traveler

  35. Your blog is a lovely discovery… look forward to learning more.

  36. Hi, soulofspice, I just nominate you to have the Blog of The Year 2013 Award, 3 stars β˜† β˜† β˜†β€™., if you like to join in, please click in http://matchamochimoo.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/thanks-for-the-dragons-loyalty-award-blog-of-the-year-2013-award-3-stars-%E2%98%86-%E2%98%86-%E2%98%86-in-dec-2013/#more-3988, have fun1

  37. apsara says:

    Hi Charu, I’m so glad I found your blog through Liz’s. What a terrific about page, I can completely relate to it! And the picture is beautiful too. My ideology is similar to yours, and wish that we could connect through our blogs. Looking forward to your posts…

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks so much for stopping by Apsara. and your lovely comments. Looking forward to learning more about you.. via your blog posts.. xoxo charu

  38. afsheenanjum says:

    Hello Charu ,
    It is a very very yummmy Blog πŸ™‚

    1. soulofspice says:

      thanks so much.. and for commenting. πŸ™‚

      1. afsheenanjum says:

        πŸ™‚ .. welcome..

  39. afsheenanjum says:

    Hello ,
    Thank you Charu for liking me and following my blog.
    May Allah bless you , ameen

  40. Hi Charu,

    Today’s post on Peri’s Spice Ladle is about my favorite fellow Indian food bloggers. Your site is one of them:)

    Here’s the link: http://www.perisspiceladle.com/2014/04/25/meet-fellow-indian-food-blogs/

    Look forward to more of your recipes and staying connected.
    Peri.

    1. soulofspice says:

      wow! that’s awesome Peri. I checked out your page. what a great idea to collect your fave indian recipes & share on your page. I’ll head over now to post a comment rightaway!!!

  41. Barbara Gillen says:

    Love, love, love Charu’s yoga class. Body, mind, and soul are all touched. She teaches me that we have to take care of our inner body as well as our outer body and that both are connected. I always leave her sessions feeling refreshed and energized – keep up the amazing work, Charu!

    1. CharuYoga says:

      thanks so much Barb.. its awesome teaching you. as you really really put yourself heart & soul into your yoga practice..i love to see you walk out of class all refreshed & ready to tackle your busy work….xoxo

  42. Trish Salazar says:

    Hello Charu
    It’s Trish from NYC
    I’m so glad I found you and this amazing website.
    What an inspiration you are!
    Thank you for being such a lighthouse

    I’m coming to Toronto in September and I would love to meet up with you!
    The dates are sept 14-17, 2017 for an intense class of pure bioenergy level 1.
    Maybe you want to take it too?!
    I dont have your email address!
    Let’s connect!

    Let’s hang!

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