India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Spaces
July 12, 2011

Divas Loosen Up!

Interviews by Nasrin Modak. Photographs by Amit Dey, Ankur Chaturvedi, Sam Mohan, Yolk Studio, Sameer Belvalkar

From diving deep into the sea, relaxing over candle-lit dinners with live music to exploring wildlife, there are plenty of ways to relax. These days, a spa experience too is all about ever-expanding possibilities, allowing guests to choose their own adventure. Five chic spa owners in a dialogue with Verve share the way they wind down even as they’re ironically looking after their spa businesses

Poonam Sharma
Vedic Spa, New Delhi
A firm believer of working towards good health. Being married into a family that has been into the Ayurveda business for the past 100 years, the spa was a natural progression for Poonam who started the place four months ago.

Vedic mantra means: It’s a universal term for creative transformation of life, wellness, positivity, body and soul. Even the Balinese and Thai systems of wellness have roots in Ayurveda.

Key to a good spa: Hygiene, trained and polite therapists who make you feel comfortable, natural products which look after you and good professionals who recommend what therapy works for you.

What works for me: Ayurvedic shhirodhara after a stressful and tiring day – it takes all the stress and negativity away, making the eyes and face look younger. For the body, the Balinese urut massage gives an amazing relaxing feel.

Unwinding routine: Yoga and meditation. I love reading and listening to music. Spending time with my family is totally relaxing and therapeutic for me.

Aleena Jetha
Mudd Salon and Spa, Mumbai
An aromatherapy specialist, creative hairstylist, beauty therapist and cosmetologist, Aleena’s obvious evolution was to start a spa.

Mudd denotes: All things natural. Our spa treatments mostly comprise natural ingredients.

Key to a good spa: It should be an extension of your home that provides multiple services under one roof. Going to a spa should never be a tedious process; it kills the core purpose of relaxation. It should provide innovative and convenient treatments and packages that suit the guests. Also, I strongly believe in constantly upgrading your knowledge.

What works for me: Since I am mostly on my feet, I go for a mud pack luxury that focuses on my head, neck, shoulders, back and legs. There is another one that focuses on the spine that works incredibly well.

Unwinding routine: The sea is a natural healer for me. I sit by it and feel extremely relaxed. I go out for beach holidays often. I also like hanging out with friends and watching movies.

Aparna Raghavan
White Mantra Spa, Bengaluru
Always led by her passion. Working for the IT industry and travelling across the globe for 13 years, Aparna realised the lack of a good spa in a stressed-out Bengaluru.

White Mantra means: White signifies purity and tranquillity. It’s the colour used to purify an aura. Mantra adds the Indian touch.

Key to a good spa: The ambience, uniqueness of treatments and products (natural, no chemicals, the benefits of which are noticed immediately), and the right consultation based on the guest’s lifestyle.

What works for me: It depends on which part of the body I feel more stressed, I either go for a Balinese massage that works marvellously for a tired body or I prefer a relaxing, long stroke Hawaiian massage for detox.

Unwinding routine: Diving at different locations across the world. Last one was at Lakshwadeep. I paint, watch movies and spend time with my two dogs.

Nisha Javeri
Myrah Spa, Mumbai
A connoisseur of a healthy lifestyle who is extremely disciplined about her wellness routine. For Nisha, a spa is all about a holistic lifestyle and well-being.

Myrah in ancient Latin means: Fragrance. A sense of smell is most important for an overall good experience. Besides, someone told me, ‘M’ would be lucky.

Key to a good spa: A spa isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s about being comprehensive and hands-on. Safety and hygiene are crucial factors and personalised service with the undivided attention of the therapist, makes for a fine experience.

What works for me: A deep tissue massage and a Thai massage work wonders. Aromatherapy wise, it depends on what I want to achieve. For calming, it’s lavender; for energising, it’s citrus, grapefruit and pepper.

Unwinding routine: A daily eight-kilometre morning run, yoga and weight training. I love travelling to new places and I am most relaxed when I am listening to music on the iPod, getting into bed and watching trashy soap operas.

Riona Biyani
Skah Body Opulence, Pune
A complete spa freak who loves pampering herself. Riona started Skah in October 2010 as a nail spa but her niche clientele demanded a full day spa to have the best treatments under one roof.

Skah means: It’s a Native American word that means white and pure. It suited the organic natural spa space.

Key to a good spa: Focus on aspects like standards, quality of service, professionalism of staff and certification of business practices that are practical and operationally manageable.

Original philosophy: Zen and purity.

What works for me: Indulging in exotic spa body treatments. A good body scrub for baby soft skin, an oil massage when tired and a pedicure to inject life into tired feet, making them feel happy.

Unwinding routine: Exercising – yoga, cycling or just a brisk walk. I enjoy nature and outdoor activities and early mornings make for a fresh start. Evenings are with my husband and two kids. After I put them to bed, it’s just him and me relaxing. I simply love and look forward to this family time every day.

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