Saturday, July 26, 2008

Soul Balancing et al

Some time back I happened to state that I will write about the spas that I venture into. I have always loved the reflexology and all the other massage techniques in the world and its been a wish to visit the Ananda Spa at the Himalayas, ever since I read about it years back, though it costs a bomb. I need to have separate earnings to blow it there.
And here I write about Aura at The Park Nungambakkam, Chennai. Winner of the Most Innovative Spa Award last year at the AsianSpa awards.
By the way, let me give the disclaimer that whatever I write here is on personal experience and not written on anyone's behest and nor am I acquainted with the owners of Spas around here.
I happened to read about this in one of the newspapers. An article on the spas in Chennai and decided to check it out.
Fixed an appointment and landed there in time. I went through the entire service card and saw that they had somethings as simple as a Milk and Honey body treatment to complex Ayurvedic treatments. I had already made up my mind on what I wanted though there were a couple of things that caught my eye, I decided to raincheck that.
Also, if you want to avail of any services at Aura, Tuesdays (if I remember right) have a discount on all services for women. You could give them a call (044-42144000, 42676000, 42676300) and find out.
The one that I was most attracted to and had won glorious reviews about as well was monikered "Soul Balancing".
Read through the service card and you ll see the copy is very impressive. Writing about services in such places requires stringing the words in a manner that it impresses you subliminally as well, perhaps, and it was clear that The Park had hired a pretty good copywriter. If that was anything to go by, I definitely expected something other worldy. Well, who wouldn't.. let me rephrase, I would like to balance my soul the way it was printed.
I was first directed to a safe deposit locker where I could place my belongings.
The spa was quiet. Not serene. Just quiet. Tick One. Music was good. Tick two. Ambience great. Tick three. Nice play of colours. Tick 4. Lighting brilliant. Double tick 5.
Once in, the place looked exactly like the picture that they had displayed outside The Park.
Hmm... Whats surprising about a place looking like the picture you might ask. Well, have you visited the several Bhavans around Chennai and noticed how they photographed the milkshakes and ice creams on the menu looks and how the nice tasting but browbeaten product lands on your table? Forget that, how the plate and the Dosa look way different from the picture? Thats it.
With my expectations already sky high at first dekho I looked forward to a super time.
Now, I have always believed that the masseuse heats the oil or at least warms it before the service starts. Or rather thats the way I have experienced it as well. Literature on massage techniques speak about warming the oil at least between your hands, before applying it on the patient's body for therapy.
My first sensory shock happened here. The therapist commenced the session with almost ice cold oil at the base of my feet.
Also the oil was probably a cocktail of a few aromatic oils. What if someone was allergic to any of the compounds?
The masseuse was a pretty restless being I must say. When there is pin drop silence a balanced therapist adds to the experience. That was missing in that girl. Plus, she was talkative. Hardly wanted to talk shop when I was trying to "balance my soul" ;)That was the diademing glory. Not with thorns though, let me not be caustic. I'll just say, dried, ungainly leaves.
And maybe all that would have been forgiven of the therapy was any good. I was immensely disappointed. The therapist is definitely a novice.
45 minutes later, I was wondering why I dropped in there at all. And decided to give no thanks to the copywriter for the flowery words or the journalist who wrote highly of the service. Great writing though. Good job. There ends.
But then if you announce that you are a journalist probably things are different. The best therapist is sent to you and the treatment is no less than five-star. But what if you go in and come out as a nobody?
Anyway, once the session was over I came out to be treated to some herbal tea, that was a welcome treat.
If benefit of doubt be accorded here, every therapy session or how you come out of it depends on your therapist. Or luck. May I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe I could have chosen a different treatment.
The session, small wonder, does not come cheap either.
Nevertheless, if you head to Aura - at The Park Chennai and sign up for soul balancing, don't expect too much from this particular service.
This space shall definitely have some more experiences in therapy sessions, not just in Chennai but wherever I have had the time to test waters.
Next up - The wellness center at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport "My Foot Reflexology"


Madhu said...

I have 3 ticks ;)
tick 1: wow nallaa eluthi irukkinga.
tick 2: I give up the idea of going there....which I had wen reading the beginnnig of this post.
tick 3: soul ean balance pannanum? and eppdi panradhu? (seriously asking)

luved ur writing...keep rockin!

Karthik Murali said...

check out that Oyzter in Chamiers Road , right next to Anokhi

Maheswari said...

Have u tried any spas in Singapore?
You can check out "The Ultimate" Spa - when u come to Singapore - the massage is splendid - the surrondings is as u explained in u'r blog.I think u must be coming here soon for Super Singer or u have been here already for that. Anyway - just try this Spa when u come here.

Renny said...

Oyzter is a good one...
BTW...I have to tell that you are simply fab in 'I miss u da'...I need to know what is verse which comes b4 'college busule'...I have searched a handfull of sites...the result was negative..

Mind Body Shop said...

The softest thing (soul) in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.

jishu said...

hai akka,
The soul needs balance yah!its the speech of many people,ok...,but i lost my balance on reading ur 1km passage.(chumma vilayattuku solli pathaen,tension vaendaam) ''ur narrating style,"wow"...A,B,C,D....should beg and borrow something...,sorry;everything from u akka!

பிரேம்குமார் said...

Finally your soul is back, u know what i mean, your Laptop! this comments goes to both of your recent posts! All d best!

Anonymous said...

Quite unfortunate isn't it? You certainly deserved a better time and theraphy.

But idellam sakajamappa; ippo naama Airtel SSku build-up kuduthu mokka podarathillai? ;)

ILA said...

Numbers have been marked. Thanks for the info

Visveswaran Rajamani Iyer said...

Hi Chinamyi,
I think you got back to the business straight away as your Laptop is back, presume its more for women...?


Vidhyashankar said...

If you get a chance to goto to Wayanad (Kerala), try 'ayurvedic massage' at Hotel Green Gates.
I had a great experience (about 5 years back though). The masseur started with a short-prayer, heated the oil in some aromatic lamp and the whole process lasted for some 45 mins. It was a great experience.

Anonymous said...

Hey i really loved ur song Aayiram vaanavil from vallamai tharayo.

ப்ரியா said...

dear chinmayee,

watched ASS 2008 for the last three days.
romba nalla iruku unga outfits...
but innaikku enna 'body studaa' maari oru hair style, thalaila naalu kuchchi???..jus kidding...:-)
Sunitha Sarathy looks really good and cool.
Rock as ever.


Guru Smaran said...

My personal opinion is that the best massages are those you go to when you're absolutely knackered, and not when you're feeling good and looking for extra contentment. :)

The Kerala Ayurvedic Spa off CMH Road in Bangalore is quite good (they heat the oil too). :D