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With a yoga studio, a reflexology walk and a health menu, Taj Coromandel’s Jiva Grande gives the luxe wellness category an upgrade

Walking into a spa is always driven by a decision to be pampered. The sense of touch has an amazing ability to heal, relax and rejuvenate. When combined, in perfect balance, with the other senses, it can do wonders—one of the reasons why spas have become popular destinations.
Coming from Goa, with its wide variety of spas, I’ve never really been too fond of city spas. I felt they have a very limited experience to offer when compared to a spa in an open setting. But walking into the new Jiva Grande at the Taj Coromandel was refreshing, and surprisingly different. Located in the lower lobby, its 12,000 sqft is designed with a sense of openness and space. With four spa suites, a couple’s suite, a yoga studio, an Ayurveda room, a terrace lap pool, a reflexology walk and lounges, it is minimal yet luxurious.
Smells of childhood
I have always believed that our sense of touch and sense of smell are not used nearly as much as our senses of vision, hearing or taste. But when you need to find your inner balance, you need to find the right equilibrium of your senses. There is always a range of treatments one can choose from in a spa—from Swedish
and Thai massages to Shiatsu—but my favourite is always Ayurveda. The smell of its ingredients takes me back to my
childhood, and the hours spent with my grandmother, and makes me feel cared for.
Dreamless sleep
So I chose Sushupti, one of the signature therapies, for my first city spa experience. It was described as ‘the dreamless sleep’, which intrigued me. I must admit it was amazingly indulgent. Starting with a foot massage, it moved on to a warm scrub, a body wrap (in layers of warm cloth) while your head is massaged, a warm milk-rose petal bath, an oil massage with warm packs and, finally, a delicious face massage. Every inch of my body felt completely relaxed by the end of it. And, the best part, I was surrounded by the smells of green gram with lime, rose, brahmi, frankincense, aavla and rosewood, which took me into a sleep-like state.This treatment was really special and I suspect could become highly addictive.
From 9 am to 9 pm. Therapies from Rs.1,000. Details: 66002827

Oil basics
As a perfumer, I’ve always been interested in fragrances that are used to heal. Here are some of my favourite Jiva signature oils:
Foot massage oil: This oil has a perfect balance of the sharpness of lime along with spicy ajwain. The richness of the heavy notes like ashwagandha along with lighter notes like green tulasi make it a balancing composition.
Face oil: It’s like burying your face in mogra (jasmine) flowers. There is the smell of kewada and rose, but this oil is really all about the mogra. Very unique and definitely to be experienced.
Detoxifying oil: This oil has beautiful ingredients like sesame, lime, wild turmeric and earthy ginger, but its main character comes from the Himalayan cedarwood oil. This will detox your body and the effect on your mind will surprise you.
Relaxation oil: Any fragrance with frankincense will make you feel relaxed. Its combination with other oils like brahmi, rosewood, palm rosa and awala creates a perfect balance. It’s like going to the Himalayas for an elevating hour.

On the menu
●    Vellana is a new concept where the velan (rolling pin) is used to release tension
●    Soma, the couple treatment, features a candle-lit, aromatherapy massage, a rose petal bath and some alone time with each other and a bottle of bubbly
●    On the spa menu, the tandoori-roasted mustard broccoli sandwich (`550) and palm sugar elaneer shooters (100g fruit scoops, at `500) sound appetising

The writer is a visual artist and perfumer.

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