CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi offers soothing Asian therapies in a serene setting. By Parvati Mohanakrishnan
The sound of water follows me as I walk down CHI, The spa’s main corridor towards
the treatment room. I snap out of my conversation with Aien, my therapist, to find its source, and discover that there’s water flowing on both sides of the walkway, gushing and bubbling forth with an enthusiasm that’s energising. The door to the room opens and the sound only gets louder. I enter to see a mini waterfall-of-sorts—in a corner—a vertical marble slab down which the water noisily adventures. And it’s then that I join the dots. Chi, or qi, literally translates to the ‘flow of energy’, ingeniously depicted through the water at the spa.
I flip through the spa menu to the music of the water, browsing the variety of massages and journeys on offer. I toy between a ‘Relaxing Shirodhara’ and a ‘Deep Tissue Sports Massage’. But, for a change, I don’t want a relaxing spa experience. In fact, I could do with a massage that wakes me up. I turn to Aien for suggestions, and she decides that a re-energising massage will suit my needs. She brings me a tray of vials to sniff out the massage oil I prefer; I pick tangerine.
The air is rich with tangy tones as I lie down on my stomach for the hour-long ‘Signature Chi Balancing Massage’. Aien dives right into it after cleaning my feet with a warm towel. She starts with my right leg, working her way up my over-stretched muscles and coaxing them back to their happy place, and then moves to the left. I turn on my back and the kneading continues. Aches and pains I didn’t know I had are relieved, and my body starts feeling lighter.
I know I will fall asleep when she starts on my shoulders—I always do. But, to my surprise, my eyes stay open, and my mind alert enough to register the smells, sounds, and movements around me through the massage. And my body is an untangled mess, ready to spring to action when it has to. But I stay snug and warm under the covers for a few minutes after the massage ends, enjoying this feeling of resurrection that it seems to have brought over me.
After a quick steam, I stand under warm water, the stream continuing to re-energise me,
as I had been promised it would. Perhaps this is how you feel when your chi has been restored.