Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting a Scrub Down in Bali

I was trying without much luck for a title that didn't sound entirely perverted... But I mean what do you really expect when we are talking about paying someone to rub down your naked body?

Anyway, Ubud is a lovely place, as I've said before.  One of the lovelier bits about it is the spas!  There are masseuses on every corner ready to sink their fingers into you, they'll even pull out a stool and start up right on the curb.  They're cheap, they're everywhere, and they are oh so relaxing.  I could use one right now honestly (I got knocked off my feet, laid flat out, by my small innocent looking puppy... puppy that runs like a bullet! seriously, I was airborne.  How is that even possible?)

As with anything, there is definitely a difference in quality, depending on where you go and how much you pay.

My first massage was at place (pretty sure it was called Eden) just outside the Yoga Barn where my training was happening. I booked the last massage of the night, and they certainly let me know it.  I had coincidentally booked a massage at the same time as my friend, and they decided that to save space and time they would just stick us together without really asking. Now, I don't mind getting a massage with a friend, but it's certainly more relaxing when you're alone, and it's quiet, and don't have to share a shower and all that naked type stuff.  It was pretty much a "let's get this over with and go home" kind of massage.  Fine, but not great. Good thing it only set me back 100,000 Rph, or $10USD.

Second massage was infinitely better, but only $4 more expensive, at Body Works Healing Center on Hanoman St.  At 140,000 Rph I was ushered into a beautiful compound of gardens and temples, up to a third floor room with a gorgeous view, got to choose my own scented oils which I got to keep at the end of the treatment, and the massage was so much better. Oh, and they give you fresh papaya and ginger tea and you can sit out in the garden while you snack away.  My experience there was so good in fact, that I went back on the second to last day of training with a friend to celebrate us becoming yoga teachers. That time we also got a really great pedicure, too!

And lastly, on my very last day off (of only three during the entire training) I booked a two hour Body Scrub and Flower Bath at Eve Spa.  I mean the works! (For only 180,000Rph or $18)  As with most massage places in Ubud they give you this really attractive pair of black paper panties that make you look like when your bathing suit gets caught by a jet in the hot tub and it puffs up, do you know what I'm talking about?  Anyway, so I put on the super sexy paper panty things and got my massage underway.

P.S. I've learned that it's really only American massages that do that whole hold up the towel, let you flip over without looking thing.  In Bali, and in Germany for that matter (that's really the extent of my international massage knowledge), they really like to get all of your body- including breasts and very very upper thigh.  Just thought you ought to know ;)  Ok, so massage ends, scrub begins.  I think it was called and herbal lufur, but I really just picked it because I liked how it smelled best.  Post scrub, I am quite obviously covered in scrubby stuff, so she instructs me to head over to the shower.  At this point I assume I will be left to my own devices to shower off and get in the tub full of flower petals for a soak. Wrong!  Nope, lucky me, I get the all-star treatment, which apparently includes being hand showered, slathered in cold yogurt, then once again hand washed.  All the while engaging in a rather awkward conversation, deciding whether it is more or less awkward to just make eye contact with her as she asks me where I'm from and how old I am and what I'm doing in Bali while she's rubbing cold yogurt on my breasts. Hm...  Still can't decide...

Besides the mild awkwardness, it was a really relaxing treatment and my skin felt fabulous.  Honestly, as far as I can tell, I will never see that woman again, clothed or otherwise, so it really doesn't matter that much anyway, right?

Those are just the three places I checked out while I was there with my limited free time.  I did also get a free reflexology foot massage as part of my training at Kush Spa inside the Yoga Barn.  It was wonderful, I nearly fell asleep!  My friend from training swears by their Ayurvedic massages, so that's another.  There are tons of options as far as spas and relaxation and healing in Ubud.  It's an amazing place for a physical and spiritual recharge.  Just be prepared to get naked!

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