Spare a few hours and check into a sanctuary where tranquility reigns and the mind draws a blank
The world is in a hurry. As it spins around the sun and on its own, it's a chaotic picture with its teeming trillions, its zooming vehicles and shooting stars, its classrooms and boardrooms. Everyone is running either from pillar to post, or from the bathroom to the newsroom. And the race never ends.
But it provides mini breaks to give you just about enough oxygen to carry on again. I took one such oxygen-gulping break recently at the two-month-old Thann Sanctuary, a spa from the house of Thann natural skin and body products that retails out of UB City in Bangalore.
Bangalore currently is the only city that boasts of the international chain that has its presence in 24 countries (they have plans to expand to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai).
So feeling mighty proud of my city, I headed there one afternoon and was greeted by their friendly staff. The d �cor is rustic with bright orange walls and cane lampshades. The walls have mammoth fish on them, reminiscent of the ones in coastal Thailand, a country Thann is headquartered at.
The word Thann in Thailand means rice bran oil, an ingredient used in ninety per cent of their products which are dermatological tested, paraben-free and devoid of artificial colors or fragrances and have a maximum shelf life of two to three years.
My first task for the afternoon was to fill up a form with health-related questions that also wanted to know the body parts I'd like their masseuse to focus on and the ones that they should avoid. I decided to go for The Essence of Thann, a three-hour package that would include a body scrubbing, Swedish body massage, a revitalizing facial and a hair mask.
For this, I needed to choose one of their four collections viz Aromatic Wood containing orange and tangerine oil, Oriental Essence containing lemongrass and kaffir lime, Mediterranean Floral containing lavender and rosemary oils and Seafoam Collection containing Peppermint, Thyme and Eucalyptus oil. It's the last one that appealed to me the most.
All three masseuse at the sanctuary are from Thailand and are trained in reiki among other things. Rose, my masseuse, escorted me to one of their three rooms. The slate grey walls and the heavy curtains gave it a darkroom feel, perfect for calming the senses and soothing the nerves. The music was mellow, perhaps from Thailand as well, and Rose, in her heavily accented broken English, adorable!
The treatment started with an intensive scrubbing session with Corn Cob scrub for which the main ingredient is rice, which I learnt is rich in Vitamin E and hence beneficial to the skin. The scrub also contains tamarind and apricot kernels.
The scrubbing went on for almost an hour, which I thought, was a bit much and proved to be quite tedious instead of being relaxing. But it was followed by a heavenly Swedish massage with the Seafoam Collection. The peppermint in it does make you feel a little chilly, but the warmth of the scented candles in the room almost takes care of that.
Thann offers Thai, Ayurvedic and Swedish massages, but I have always been partial to the latter.
The hour-long massage was just the thing I needed to tell myself 'All is well with the world.' Yes, it can take you away from reality, but who says that's a bad thing?
For the facial, they used a cleansing milk consisting of shiso (a plant rich in anti-oxidants) and green tea extracts. The unique and low lathering formula of the ingredients make it easy to rinse off.
It cleanses the skin by retaining its natural moisture, is non alkaline and suitable for sensitive skin. The cleansing milk also included sweet almond oil which removes extra oil and dirt from the skin and lime which increases effectiveness in exfoliation.
A detoxifying clay mask rich in natural nutrients and an oatmeal face scrub with a moisturising cream later, my skin gained a new life.
Incidentally Thann is the first company to use shiso, which also closes open pores in the skin and removes dead cells. For the hair mask too, they used a product rich shiso which removed free radicals from the scalp and arrested split ends. And I almost attained nirvana with the head massage.
Some of Thann's celebrity patrons are cricketers Virender Sehwag,, Gautam Gambhir, Varun Aaron, Zaheer Khan and his girlfriend Isha Sharvani, Kannnada actress Ramya and model Yana Gupta.
But that doesn't always certify the credibility of a place. Nor do the awards a spa has won. What does is a visit there on your downtime. It's that hide out from the busy world that everyone wants once in a while.
Where 133 Residency Road,
The Residency, Bangalore
For Rs 2,700 to Rs 4,300