When traveling, especially to multiple countries in a short period of time, your immunity system can suffer a bit. So one of the remedies that I incorporate on top of making sure to get a good workout in from time to time, is also ensuring that I have at least one to two full spa days where I pamper myself and really allow my body to get a good sweat to alleviate as many toxins from my body as I can.
While in Europe recently, I raised the anti a bit and treated myself to South Kensington Club (SKc), a private wellness facility that includes a sky-lit gym, state-of-the-art fitness studios, juice bar, as well as an elegant Bathhouse spa comprising of a Turkish hammam, Russian banya and plunge pools, a saltwater Watsu Pool and Tea Library where members can relax and unwind. The amenities and facility is quite frankly epic.
Now you might be wondering whether or not I bought a membership for one day and the answer to that question is, of course not. However, I most certainly flexed my recent purchased Velocity Black membership which allowed to me experience: a one day membership to the SKC private members club, a special Bellini on the Club’s roof terrace, signature SKC wood-fire pizza in the Club Italian Restaurant or swanky Lounge, Traditional Russian Dance of Leaves Banya treatment (15 minutes) in the Bathhouse spa and a massage treatment – your choice of Swedish or Deep Tissue (30 minutes) all for the whopping amount of $0.00. Yes, that is correct folks – it was pro bono with my Black Velocity membership 👌.
Talk about a sweet day of pampering and relaxation. Quite frankly I had never experienced a spa day such as this and I have gone to spas all over the globe. I believe what really swooned me over was the Traditional Russian Dance of Leaves Banya treatment. It was an intense and euphoric experience that I had not realized I was missing out on. And it went a little something like this:
- 10 to 15 minute steam in the Turkish hammam.
- Enter into the Russian Banya where your personal treatment therapists, a banschik, lays you on your stomach and your head on a branch of eucalyptus and then covers your head with another branch of eucalyptus to create a cooling system so you can breathe.
- Then the intensity begins as the banschik opens up the stove in which hot steam comes pouring out. After he or she dips the birch leaves leaves into cold water, the steam is guided all over your body with the branches – front and back (15 minutes.
- After – the banschik slowly has you rise (if you are a little light headed, it is common) and takes you to the shower where he drenches you in cold water twice.
- Then you are guided to a super cold plunge pool where you submerge yourself three times.
- Lastly, you then are guided to the saltwater Watsu Pool (body temperature) where you are instructed to relax as the therapist guides your body into a floating position.
- Then you are carefully guided out of the pool and wrapped in a cocoon and taken to the Tea Library where they leave you in a state of euphoria as you await your special Russian detox tea.
Expect to sleep for at least 20 minutes as you wait for your tea because your body is in such a state of relaxation and detoxification. It is supreme bliss I tell you and it is a treatment that my Russian, banschik, Artiom Chaldejev, said that he grew up doing once a week. Benefits of the Banya treatment are smooth and soft skin, detoxification, immunity boost, anti-aging and encourages weight loss just to name a few.
I think I may have to incorporate this practice at least once a month. However, trust me when I tell you, it is not for the faint hearted.
🙏Thanks Velocity Black🙏
💫BONUS: check out the proverbs and sayings about the Banya. It will give you some more insight into Russian culture for sure.
💜Ба́ня здоровит, разгово́р весели́т.
The banya makes you healthy, it stimulates conversation.
❤️Ба́ня – мать втора́я.
The banya is like a second mother.
💛В ба́не помы́лся — за́ново роди́лся.
Washing up in the banya is like being born again.
💙Вы́лечился Ва́ня — помогла́ ему́ ба́ня.
Vanya has recovered from sicknesses – thanks to the banya.
💚Приста́л, как ба́нный лист!
Stuck like a limpet! (literally: Stuck like a banya’s leaf.)
💜В ба́не ве́ник доро́же де́нег.
A bath-broom in the banya is worth more than money.
💜Love & Light☀️,
CRISTEN M. MILLS