Ayurveda and luxury together in harmony at Jiva Spa
Relax, Rejuvenate, Breathe, Refresh, Enjoy, Nourish, Renew– A mantra that makes your life beautiful
Because beauty doesn’t always lie in the tones of blush you use on your cheeks or the different hues of smokiness that you achieve for your eyes. Sometimes, baring it down to nothingness, where your soul reflects what you are really made of is where true beauty gently sneaks out and winks at you. When I step into a spa I sense the same feeling of uncovering myself to reveal what I really am. And after a long session of rejuvenation, I step out renewed with a newfound sense of beauty that I see in myself –one that was unconsciously lost in my zany world of meetings, social events and personal obligations.
We often feel a strong urge to break away from our routine life of work and home to just escape through the rabbit hole to a Wonderland that can help us forget our tardy schedules and simply enjoy the moment. For me, a spa has somehow become the much-needed rabbit hole; one I can return from and resume my life with a fresh sense of being. The gentle yet masterful touch of a skilled masseur is known to create ripples in your body that go deeper than the skin they touch. In fact, science has it, that a good massage results in the release of Serotonin, a hormone that is known to stabilize your moods and harmonize your body & mind.
Jiva – is a Sanskrit term, which means ‘the essence of a soul’. So it is anything but pertinent that the Taj Group of Hotels have named their spas as ‘Jiva’. Spas after all, are known to help people reconnect with their souls. My experience at the luxurious Jiva Spa began with an invitation for an experiential from the amiable Samanta Danday who is the Learning and Development Manager at the hotel, and who also manages Jiva Spa.
Tanya Dhar with Samanta Danday
Of all the things that India is, its traditions make it the richest. And if we were to delve into the wealth of knowledge amassed by our ancestors, we would know how much therapeutic wellness has been an important part our culture. Ayurveda is an inheritance that we have benevolently shared with people around the globe, and Jiva Spa has tapped into the rich and ancient heritage of India, deriving its knowledge about wellness from century old therapies that are known for not just physical goodness but also for spiritual reprieve.
The Jiva Signature Treatments are a conjunction of scrubs, wraps and Ayurvedic treatments; yoga and meditation therapies which exalt your body and soul into a sense of comfort and relief. The restoration and rejuvenation of your body is achieved with the help of a repertoire of products which are developed from Indian herbs and essential oils. Jiva Spa really is the perfect place for the weary city dweller to rest their head and indulge in some luxury.
My visit to Jiva Spa is one I will treasure for a long time. The polite greetings of the receptionist as she folds her hands to welcome me to the hotel with a warm smile sets the tone for a much anticipated day at the spa. The spa’s opulent décor glows warmly in the natural light filtered in from the majestic floor to ceiling windows. The delightful aura of humility and peacefulness that veils the entire place helps me slip into a soothing world of relaxation even before my therapy session begins. For my readers who are curious about the setup in the Spa, there are separate sections for beauty services with a steam room, and the spa also features luxe single and double treatment suites.
I am met by Samata, who guides me through the Spa, helping me understand the philosophy of the Spa and the healing traditions from which they have derived the treatments. Her impeccable knowledge of the Indian wellness culture and her soulful descriptions of the treatments transforms eons of Indian tradition and Ayurveda into the most riveting narrative. With my curiosity satiated, I eagerly await for my spa treatment to begin.
My Body Scrub:
Incorporating the traditional theme throughout its treatment rooms, Jiva Spa focuses on the best of age old healing traditions. I opt for the Narikela Body Scrub, followed by the Sammardana – Indian Deep Tissue Massage, exclusive to Jiva Spa. The treatment is a customised technique of muscle massage performed by specially trained hands, which work on your deep-seated stress. Once I am made comfortable inside the spa, a warm cup of herbal tea made with jaggery and basil is offered to me as a prelude to my treatment. The elements of the tea start their work almost instantly as my senses begin to relax from its soothing aroma and taste. Once done; I am escorted into a beautiful spa suite.
The soothing ambience, the gentle notes of music wafting through the air, and the soft lighting act as a catalyst to the process of relaxation; with the fragrance of essential oils filling the entire suite. I am introduced to my Therapist, Wangmo, who requests me to change into the disposable underclothing offered by the Spa. She then instructs me to lay face-down on the massage bed and begins my treatment. The body scrub, that is a combination of Coconut Milk, Coconut Powder, Poppy Seeds and Turmeric has a delicious aroma, and as Wangmo gently exfoliates and moisturizes my body, my skin feels softer and suppler. She is very receptive to my feedback; I request her to use lighter pressure as that is how I prefer it and she does a wonderful job.
The scrub’s nourishing, exfoliating and relaxing properties is credited to an exclusive preparation using the natural goodness of Indian herbs, pure essential oils, sea salts, and fresh fruits & vegetables. There is truly no better way to rejuvenate than to let nature work its wonders on your skin.
Once my body is scrubbed and the exfoliation process is complete, I am cocooned in a traditional Indian Herbal Wrap which is aimed at infusing health and relaxation to my body. Post this, I am asked to take a shower in the adjoining well-appointed shower room. As I stepped out of the shower, my skin feels soft and beautiful. The therapeutic properties of the scrub and wrap have cleansed, moisturised and refreshed my skin, producing a natural glow.
My Body Massage:
I had chosen to indulge in a massage therapy post my body scrub and wrap, and so I find myself sitting across my therapist, Wangmo, as she informatively explains the therapeutic properties of the essential oils that are going to be used for the massage. My treatment begins with a relaxing foot scrub and foot bath in an aromatic infusion of Ashwagandha, Ajwain, Lemon and Tulsi oils – the spa’s Foot Bath Blend Oil. For the uninitiated, this is an age-old tradition that is followed to show respect before you cross the threshold and enter a house. In my case, the massage bed replaces the house.
With Indian traditions woven intricately into its values, Jiva strongly believes in the time-honoured adage, “AtithiDevoBhava”, which translates into “The Guest is God”.
Following the foot ritual, Wangmo requests me once more to lie down on the massage bed. She starts with a gentle lymphatic massage using essential signature oils and fresh ingredients that are generously applied all over my body. The main ingredients in my massage are Eucalyptus Oil, Mint, Cinnamon, Ginger and Ashwagandha. As Wangmo’s well-trained hands work their magic on my muscles, I begin to feel my skin absorb the nourishing oils. The treatment ensures each area of the body is addressed as I systematically feel completely renewed and re-energized.
My treatment at Jiva Spa was an extraordinary journey through time and culture. Between the insightful and thorough explanations from the therapist, the skillful and experienced movements during my massage, the soothing fragrance of the essential oils, and the sublime décor of the treatment suite – every fragment of my experience at the Spa was nothing short of splendid!
End Note: Jiva Spa has the skill and charm to absorb all the negativity and radiate out positive vibes to all its guests. I can definitely see myself going back there for another therapy.
Address: Taj Gateway Hotel on Residency Road, 66, Bangalore 560025
Phone: 080 66604545
*Disclosure: My treatment was hosted by The Jiva Spa Bangalore; however the opinions expressed in this post remain my own.
Photography: Poornima M Reddy