The search for meaning in life has never been as elusive as it is for the urban dweller today – drowned out by the hectic pace of life, and host of distractions. For me, whilst looking for answers and guidance in my teens, the search led me to Sufi poets. Rumi, Kabir, Hafiz, Sharam Shiva and Mirabai all bared their souls and devoted their lives to the pursuit of truth, and sharing their experiences with others. Their message is of the heart, that opens minds to the unity of the human spirit, and their poems and songs speak to the divine in us all about the eternal mystery of love and life, of the soul, and of faith.
“An urban haven for those seeking to get in touch with themselves, and the things that really matter. “
What does that have to do with a spa, you may ask. When it comes to the Imperial Spa – everything! When I first came to the spa, I knew, instinctively, that here was a space, with its peaceful ambience and serene architecture, which lent itself perfectly to Sufi teachings. The Imperial Spa reflects the elegance of the hotel with its cool marble floors and walls and quality of materials throughout. The architectural story is drawn from the Mughal era, with corridors of tall arches creating long vistas for self-reflection, and traditional Tikri mirrored artwork and antique embroidered wall hangings. Aesthetically featured lighting to walls, floor and ceilings, is both traditional and contemporary and compliments the time of day. The ceilings are still a staggering 13-feet high with skylights to flood public areas with natural light and inspiration. The Imperial spa offers a magical hideaway with 16,000 square feet of marbled space that includes a new salon, gym, yoga studio and squash court.
The job before me was to create a space which correlated the key qualities of each poet with the therapeutic action of the oils used in the spa to create a continuity of understanding and a depth of perspective at the spa.
So, I set upon carving my favourite Sufi verses on stone tablets and had them imbedded in the walls so guests could read them and be transported as they floated through their spa journey. The therapy rooms were themed around some of the great Sufi poets – The Kabir Room and Mirabai’s Room – came into being. The oils used in the therapies at the spa – the Oils of Spirit – are also named in the same way such as Oil of Rumi and Oil of Kabir.
Our Sufi philosophy is the thread that weaves the intention and quality of The Imperial Spa service into a whole; giving meaning and significance to people’s life and reminding them of what is important and valuable in the turning world.
Q & A with Tara
Jacqualine Tara Herron is an author, consultant, therapist, an experienced yoga teacher, spa products developer and Director, The Imperial Spa & Salon.
How important is it to get massages at regular intervals?
Stress, tension and over tiredness cause toxins to block the healthy circulation of vital energy and lymphatic drainage thereby weakening the immune system. Regular massage boosts circulatory systems, improves elimination of toxins and brings the body and mind back into balance and alignment. This is turn creates a positive ‘feel-good’ factor. I recommend a weekly massage.
Can you remove cellulite through massage therapies?
Yes, there are specific products, essential oils and massage techniques that do help break down cellulite and drain away excess fats. However, exercise is essential, as is a low fat diet. Very coagulated cellulite will take at least six months of dedicated changes to diet, fitness programs and massage to get rid of.
What are the alternatives for those who don’t get the time for regular massages? Any home remedies?
Dry body brush every morning before you shower. This stimulates the lymph nodes and helps keep metabolism healthy. Have lovely hot baths in candlelight, with pure essential oils that are calming for deep relaxation. Or bathe in natural salts to draw out impurities and cleanse the blood. Burn essential oils in the home to calm the mind and always take a cool shower after a hot bath to boost circulation and eliminate toxic waste. Let the daily acccumulation of tension ebb out with yoga and meditation. Eat a light meal in the evening.
What would be your ‘winter tips’ to keep the skin moist?
Dry body brush daily, use a good skin exfoliant three times a week, and a hydrating body cream or natural oils with nut extracts that are rich in omega-3, minerals and natural vitamins. Drink penty of warm water and take supplements of Omega-3.