I think I’m finally believing in Ayurveda! Ok maybe the massage part more so than the medical part, but had I more time at Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre (IVAC) it might have just converted the U.S. trained nurse in me over.
I have always thought Ayurveda massages were too oily and didn’t work my muscles enough/ not enough pressure was used. Typically they are a stroking massage to get blood flow going. I finally had an Ayurvedic massage worth writing about, but first let me tell you about the place.
Indus Valley Ayurvedic Center Review
If you have some cash to spend on Ayurveda while you travel in India, IVAC in Mysore is the place to do it. Not only the most famous center in Mysore, but maybe all of India with two newer sister locations in Goa (Sun Valley and Rococco).
It’s just a few minutes drive from the city center but is far enough out that you don’t hear traffic or the chaos of a city- although Mysore is pretty calm for an Inidian city. The whole place has “aummmmmms” sounding of in all directions to keep people happy and calm. Literally, the noise comes from some hidden place; I think speakers under wooden boxes.
The property is quite spread out with a tennis court, cabins dotting around (one in the shape of a swastik), a huge swimming pool, restaurant, and treatment centers. There is WiFi only at reception.
As for rooms you have the option of standard, cabin, or deluxe. The deluxe room at the time I was there (October during Diwali) was around 6,000 while the cabins were going for 8,000 rs.
I was in a Deluxe room which had two single beds, a foyer, A/C, hot water shower, and all the extra towels, toiletries, and blankets you could want. Since there is no room service, the tea kettle came in handy during my 3 night 4 day stay.
The night I showed up my food was delivered to the room as I’d missed dinner- but that’s not the norm. Breakfast is from 8-10, lunch from 1-3, and dinner from 7-9. It’s buffet style and Ayurvedic diet. You won’t be getting any meat or chocolate chip cookies here. Surprisingly the meals weren’t bad. I’m not a huge lover of Indian food (I know, how the heck did I end up living in India!?) and I eat as unhealthy as possible pretty much all the time- but carrot salad, clear veg soup, and tamarind rice kept me full during my stay.
Of course there was more on the menu and the guests were raving about how much they loved it. I’m still trying to understand beetroots. But moving on… They served dosas for breakfast along with all the other Indian goodies plus fruit, juice, and cereal. This is one of the best restaurants in Mysore.
Not just a place for massages and pedicures, they do treatments here for anything from paralysis pain to weight loss. After looking at the tariff card, I knew I couldn’t afford to try out the more extreme options and went for the abhyanga massage, a one hour full body massage with sauna for 2,175 rupees. When my appointment time came, the masseuse came to my room to escort me (nice!).
Little did I know this was a TWO PERSON MASSAGE!!! As in, yes, FOUR HANDS massaging me. I could not even hold back my excitement.
They started by pouring hot oil in my ears and sticking cotton balls in. Next, hot oil all over my hair, as she rubbed it in I pondered how I could ever rub it back out… She massaged my shoulders (all the while I’m still thinking it’s just her giving the massage) then bam all the sudden someone else was massaging my feet!
It was the bomb.
The massage was done on a table similar to a doctor’s table… so as the four hands massaged I slid around the board like a slimy fish- literally drenched in oil.
Next was sauna, then I hopped in the shower provided at the treatment center with little hope of getting my 100% oil-drenched body clean. They actually suggested it’s better to leave it on but I’m seriously far too OCD for that.
There was one bottle of “soap” to be used on my hair and body… I wasn’t buying into it’s usefulness. I washed my hands first and magically the oil disappeared…
Now, according to Dove commercials, Dove is used on birds after oil spills, but Dove does not get the oil off me after I have a massage in Goa… so what in the hell was this magic in a bottle? Unlabeled, it’s a secret I’ll never know (but could surely buy some in the Ayurveda pharmacy on site).
The whole massage was basically life-changing (as much as a massage can change a life) and it’s a good thing I had to check out the next day or would have just done two or three more.
The fact that a simple oil massage could surprise me here makes me wonder what other goodies they have, but *sigh, I just don’t have the budget to be spending money on spa treatments. It’s best to buy a package then you get all kinds of goodies built in like massage, yoga, etc.
Other treatments on individual basis: Consultation 600 rs, Yoga 300, Oil drip for full body 9250, Bastis 1625, Beauty treatments start at 2000, Weight loss 3750, Deep tissue massage 2875, Thai massage 5000, Hot Stone 5000, plus about 20 more!