Momentos Tranquilos at Shiva Mangalam Posted on 20 Mar 10:29 , 0 comments

Article by Ariel Olswanger, photos by Atenea Tello.

Before entering Shiva Mangalam, I had never tried yoga nor eaten in a vegan restaurant. But, I am all about trying new things and when a friend told me about the low cost yoga classes at Shiva, I thought it was worth a shot. The cost for the first class is simply a donation of fruit for a nearby orphanage. I arrived my first day with two friends, an open mind, and armfuls of fruit. During my first class, I fell asleep during the closing meditation and awoke feeling refreshed in an entirely new way. I woke up the following day feeling the good kind of sore, and I have been hooked on Shiva ever since.

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The yoga classes are small. Throughout class the instructor walks around the room, ensuring that each person is in the correct pose. The floor is padded in soft purple mats and surrounded by intricate dream catchers and origami created by Higher Fold. A large tarpe depicting a buddah hangs on the end wall. Palo santo burns, creating a lazy smoke and Indian mantras play as we finalize our final meditation.  This room is truly peaceful.

With a vegan restaurant on the ground floor and the yoga studio and massage/reiki space in the basement, Shiva supports a holistic lifestyle. The orange and purple walls, tables, and chairs, along with Middle Eastern art, set just the right onda.  Shiva is the name of a supreme Hindu god and mangalam means happiness through harmony. At Shiva Mangalam, the team truly strives to live up to the name. Many types of yoga are taught at this studio (English/Spanish), as well as tarot readings and free meditation classes every Saturday. Shiva also offers workshops on how to heal and nourish the body, including cooking classes with raw foods. Shiva is all about conscious food, conscious living, conscious breathing, and conscious being.

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Everyone works together as part of the whole at Shiva Mangalam. Each staff member both teaches and works in the restaurant. The reiki instructor is also a waitress, the masseuse also cooks, and the yoga instructors all work the restaurant as well. Shiva’s owner, Miriam Bieladinovich, is a yoga instructor at Shiva and also a professor at Federation Argentina de Yoga. Miriam also does yoga therapy and reiki for people who are terminally ill.

Shiva also hosts many special events. Last year, they hosted a Stamina Night, an art collective and music event created by Grace Portillo and Celu Giran. More recently, Shiva hosted “Night of Music Mantra Jazz with Live Painting”, which is exactly as it sounds. During this event, human canvases posed throughout the restaurant, available for painting. Last Sunday, Shiva held a feria, selling clothing and artisanal crafts.

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The restaurant offers meat-eating Porteños a delicious and unusual introduction to vegan fare. As a great fan of bife de chorizo, ice cream, and Mendoza reds, it was a pleasurable surprise how enjoyable it was to experience the food. The vegan menu, which is almost all organic, includes a number of vegan “cheeses” on and raw cookies made from seeds, without flour – flavor bombs of antioxidants and fiber.

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Shiva also makes fresh organic juices, as well as Kefir, which means “blessing”. Kefir is a fermented, probiotic drink filled with vitamin C and antioxidants. If you close it and let it ferment, it creates its own gas and becomes a type of champagne. Here, you can also find artisanal beer and organic wine, because alcohol in moderate quantities helps raise good cholesterol and has lots of vitamin B, A, D, and E. I learned from the staff at Shiva that a liter of beer covers about half of your daily necessity of magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. So, if you are looking to give your body and soul a new kind of lovin’ amidst la ciudad de la furia, Shiva will serve you well.