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Her Spa Shangri-La in the Himalayas

 

I slept like an Indian baby...

At dinner, my Kapha menu was presented to me. It began with a cup of hot water and a plate of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, salt and chili. I was instructed to make a tea with some of the spice mixture and sprinkle the rest over my food. Then came a delicious tomato thyme soup, Cajun-style tofu with star of anise sauce, rice with vegetables and topped with a Soya mocha mousse for dessert. The meal was satisfying and easy to digest -- light and not too spicy. I slept like an Indian baby.

The next morning, I was awakened with knock at my door. "Namastae" said a smiling attendant offering me a cup of hot lemon ginger tea from his tray. Sipping my tea slowly, I reviewed the two treatments scheduled for this new day.


One massage, two therapists...

My first massage, a 45-minute treatment called Abhyanga, was done by two therapists at once. I was told it would induce deep relaxation, improve eyesight, and create a glowing appearance and it most certainly did. Wrapped only in a towel, I was seated on a huge slab of jackfruit tree wood, the traditional Ayurvedic massage table. Two female therapists sang an Om prayer to me, and rubbed my crown with a herbal powder to prevent colds. One gave me a head massage, then I lay on my stomach and a medicinal oil was spread all over my skin. Working on either side of me, they diligently massaged my back in figure eight motions, working down to my legs. Next came my front, arms, hands and feet. When the therapists were done, I was instructed to shower with a herb paste made of turmeric and wash my hair with a herb shampoo. "Don't use any soap in the shower, and drink lots of water" were their parting words. Ah-h-h-h, the pleasure!


Breathing beautifully...

The Nasya sinus treatment was next -- something I had never experienced before and I was a bit apprehensive. Leaning back on the massage table, I readied myself for the medicated oil which was going to be poured in small drops down my nasal passages. Expecting to gag and cough, I was surprised at how smooth it felt. After the oil was poured, my nostrils were pinched shut and I breathed out through my mouth, spitting out the oil at the same time. I cleared each nostril with a lot of sharp inhalations and we were through. No shower for two hours and no cold liquids for the rest of the day, were my instructions as I was handed a cup of hot herbal tea. Glowing, relaxed and breathing easily, I put on my Khurta pajamas and contemplated the fact that I was actually here in the Himalayas. How lucky I was -- enjoying wonderful tastes and nourishing treatments that were absolutely new and exotic to me.

Rich with culture, filled with treasures of history, and steeped in ancient wisdom, Ananda Spa is a place I could return to many times. I was truly thankful for my experiences there and the opportunity to see such a different way of life. And to top it off, I didn't get sick. To find out more about Ananda Spa, you can visit their website at: www.anandaspa.com.

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