Japanese Twist to Wellness
The word ‘Sara’ encompasses all forms of purification and purity is not merely restricted to physical decontamination. Based on Japanese wellness concepts, Sara Spa & Sento at Bengaluru, offers spa treatments that are unique and highly effective. As you step into Sara, you are drawn to a serene and calm environment, a stark contrast from the hustle and bustle of the urban chaos outside. The trained therapists use a fusion of ancient oriental healing methods and Japanese Shiatsu with the help of the healing power within your body to rejuvenate your senses.
Located in the basement, you need to leave your footwear outside and change into the comfortable spa slippers outside the spa itself. The reception is chic and done up in beige and brown and I a comfortably seated with a cup of tea. The spirit of Japanese hospitality referred to as ‘Omotenashi’ which means a wholehearted and welcoming way of treating guests is practiced here and each menu/treatment at Sara is approximately 30 minutes longer compared to other places. The well defined space has a common bathing area which is a shallow elongated bath tub that has water heated to 40 degrees. This space also has Akasuri an area where dead skin is removed post the hot bath as well as a dry sauna and mist sauna. Each of the rooms has a common colour scheme that creates a sense of calm here.
Yoga Meets Stretching
My therapist Tsering Namdol, a Tibetan from Hubli recommends that I try the signature treatment Yoga Shiatsu Deluxe that can be done for 90/120/150 minutes as per your convenience. And unlike other massages where you disrobe, I am actually given a pant and shirt and asked to wear it! There is a poster that also explains pictorially how you can wear the Thai massage pants! So am all set and Tsering washes my feet with warm water and immediately tells me I have stress in my lower back and shoulders. When I ask her how she is so accurate she explains that in Japan, the feet are a mirror for all organs of the body. I am lead for the first part of the session which is a foot massage in a room that has Lazy boy chairs. Pressing each point Tsering explains which stress points are being massaged and these include all parts of the body. The massage starts with the left foot as it is believed that the heart is on the left and Japanese work with their heart! The rhythmic movements and massage with a simple cream feels relaxing. After half hour, I am led to another room that has a plain mattress and pillow. I am asked to lie on my stomach and the Yoga Shiatsu starts. A combination of Indian and Japanese techniques my body is stretched slowly and pressure is softly applied to the energy line using fingers and palms. This proves to be highly beneficial in balancing the mind and the entire body as the rhythm of slow and deep breathing is synchronised with these stretches. The hour long session is done with the use of hands and no oil or cream is used – so essentially this is a dry massage. Using her thumbs, pals, arms and even her foot, my masseur deftly removes all the stress from my muscles. She instructs me to hold on to her hands and helps me stretch and the results are instant rejuvenation. My entire body felt alert and relaxed together. I was even taught simple yogic postures to relieve my lower back pain too. In all this was an experience like no other simply because it was so different and my first tryst with Japanese therapies is highly recommended!
Name of The Spa: Sara Spa & Sento
Established: 9th March 2016
Founders: Hyagreeva Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd. in association with Toyota Enterprise (India)
Architect: Mr. Taro Tanno
Area/Size: 4175 sq. ft.
Treatment rooms: 6
Number of estheticians: 9
Signature Treatment: Yoga Shiatsu
Timings: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Address: The Chancery Hotel Basement, 10/6, Lavelle Road, Bangalore – 560001. Phone: 080-41188888
This story appeared in the April 2017 issue of Style Speak magazine here: Sara Spa