Jiva for the mind and body
Jiva Spa in Taj-Blu Diamond Pune, is the epitome of homegrown treatments and in true Indian tradition believes in the time-honoured adage `Atithi Devo Bhava’. Jyoti Balani experiences the best of India here.
Each time I visit Vivanta by Taj-Blue Diamond, it is like taking a trip down the memory lane as this is the first hotel where I was sent for training while in Hotel Management College. Located in the busy locality of Koregaon Park in Pune, the hotel is popular with locals and tourists alike owing to its excellent restaurants that have stood the test of time. The brand new Jiva spa is located on the lobby level next to the pool. As I entered the spa, the sight of pristine whites and soft edges infused with Indian motifs set the mood for relaxation. A cup of herbal tea along with a hot face towel was offered as soon as I settled down in one of the comfortable sofas. The spa is spread over two levels; the lower level houses the reception area and the treatment rooms are located on the level above. Gitesh Kshatria, the spa manager offered to show me the entire spa, which consists of a couple’s suite, two single treatment rooms and a relaxation lounge with heated loungers. All rooms are equipped with steam cum shower facilities. The spa also boasts of an outdoor swimming pool, a unisex gymnasium and a spa retail area. Signature spaces include dedicated wet areas with steam, sauna, chill showers and separate change areas for men and women with lockers, change and shower facilities.
The spa manager handed me a copy of the menu and told me about the unique facets of the spa. Jiva spa is the only branded Indian spa in the sub-continent and all the treatments are conceptualized from traditional Indian rituals from different rural parts of India. For example, The Pehlwan Malish, The Jagr Massage, Jivaniya, Trupti, Shudhikara, The Mangal Snan etc. The therapy oils are a signature blend from Indian herbal plants. I was told that the linen used in treatment rooms is organic cotton and herbal-dyed.
Apart from signature treatments, a glance at the interesting menu revealed a range of Indian therapies, aromatherapies as well as body rituals including Sammardana which is Indian Deep Tissue Massage, Prithvi Mrit, which is a detoxifying warp, etc.
“The exquisite traditional and Indian ethos of Jiva Spas is accentuated through holistic treatments, enlivening and meaningful rituals and ceremonies and unique natural products that are integrated with the experiences. We ensure that the 100% natural range of Jiva Spa products are made with a deep understanding of the therapeutic benefits of Indian herbs and essential oils. Signature experiences, therapies and beauty services are drawn on the rich and ancient wellness heritage of India, the fabled culture and lifestyle of Indian royalty and the healing therapies that embrace Indian spirituality,” says Kshatria.
“The newly opened Jiva spa in Vivanta by Taj Blue Diamond Pune, with its philosophy rooted in traditional Indian approaches to wellness, is all about holistic rejuvenation and centers you like nothing else will. Blending ancient Indian wisdom with contemporary therapies, Jiva offers the best in ndian rejuvenation therapies ranging from Signature experiences, Indian aromatherapy massages, time-honored Indian treatments, body scrubs and wraps. Our rejuvenating experiences are masterminded by well-trained experts armed with exclusive natural products and a gentle approach to all round healing,” he asserts.
I was asked to fill out a personal history form while sipping the delicious herbal tea. Apart from signature treatments, a glance at the interesting menu revealed a range of Indian therapies, aromatherapies as well as body rituals including Sammardana which is an Indian Deep Tissue Massage, Prithvi Mrit, which is a detoxifying warp, etc. After a chat with the spa manager I decided to go for the Jivaniya Invigorate, a treatment that lasts for 120 minutes. This is an energising treatment to relieve muscular tension and improve blood circulation. It includes an exfoliating herbal scrub of exotic spices and herbs from the hills of India, a heat-stimulating wrap, followed by a revitalising massage.
I was led into a spacious treatment room with a shower cubicle, a large bathtub as well as enough storage space for changing and storing your clothes, etc. The treatment started with the efficient therapist washing my feet. The blend that was used in the foot bath was a combination of lemon (refreshing), ajwain (stimulant) and Ashwagandha (rejuvenator). After the foot bath, I lied face down on the massage bed and the therapist applied a masala spice scrub, which was a mixture of Indian spices. Once the scrub was applied, I was advised to go for a shower and get the scrub off my body. After padding myself dry, a clay wrap consisting of twenty two Indian herbs was applied and then I was wrapped up in plastic for twenty minutes. This was followed by Vishram, a full-body relaxing massage. The therapist used alternating palm and thumb strokes, her skilled hands gently working on my tired and sore muscles. The fragrance of signature oil blended with the richness of Kewda, Frankincense and Brahmi, infused in sandalwood and sesame combined with the soft music and serenity of the space ensured I drifted off to sleep for a while. These oils and fragrances are used to release tension, bringing ease and tranquility to the entire system.
The rejuvenating spa treatment resulted in sound sleep that night and a relaxed frame of mind, which is rare in these stressful times. Jiva spa is definitely on my list of must-visit spas in Pune what with its serene ambience, range of interesting treatments and efficient therapists!