I recently stumbled upon a Goop article about this incredible Ayurveda spa in the Pacific Palisades called Surya Spa and knew I had to see what it was all about. Now when you think of “spa” you probably think facials and massages, but this place is totally different! Surya Spa is all about an Ayurveda whole body approach. Ayurveda is the traditional Indian medicine practice that bases your health and wellness off of a dosha, which is an elemental type that you are. Surya Spa specializes in treatments and cleansing programs to balance your doshas when they are out of tune. You have the option to go whenever you are feeling a little out of balance or you can also go every couple months for maintenance when the seasons change.
To prepare for my visit, Surya Spa sent me a suggested meal plan to follow to get my body ready for maximum effectiveness upon arrival. I worked in a 4-day cooked vegan cleanse to prepare my body for all of the treatments and I stayed on the diet until I was through the program.
A sample day on my pre-visit cleanse looked like:
• Breakfast – Basmati rice with almond milk and cooked fruit and nuts
• Lunch – Indian Dhal with cooked kale and sweet potatoes
• Dinner – Vegetable soup – I usually did pumpkin or butternut squash with some lentils
Once I got to the spa, I met Marta who did my first consultation. She has studied ayurvedic medicine forever and is such a beautiful soul. When she checked my pulse and asked me some questions, she found that there was too much pitta (heat) in my body so all of my treatments were aimed to rid of the hot energy from my body. All of the oils and herbs that they use are customized for you and your experience.
Some of the amazing things I experienced while at Surya included:
• Oil massage – Wvery day started with an hour massage with the oil that was prepared for you the night before based on your dosha.
• Shiva – This is where they pour coconut oil or coconut water in your hair through a metal pot. My hair felt sooo silky smooth after these treatments.
• Ionizer – In this treatment, my feet were put in a pedicure bowl and as the minutes passed the water changed color revealing what toxins were coming out of my body! It was a little strange but so amazing at the same time!
• Consultations with an energy healer – I spoke with their energy healer, Roger about some aches and pains I was having and magically, they are actually gone. So amazing.
At the end of my stay, Marta sent me home with some amazing herbs, teas and recipes to help me continue following an Ayurvedic lifestyle while back home. While I don’t think I can ever go vegan or give up dirty martinis, this was an incredible learning experience that I am definitely going to start to incorporate the Ayurvedic methods into my balanced lifestyle.