Wednesday, November 18, 2009

day of spa + yoga = tranquility



day cinq: 
today = delight. had my first 8 hours of sleep all at once since landing in paris! double delight. woke up well rested a few minutes before my alarm clock which was set for 12:30pm. yes, pm. i've been staying up a bit later here in paris - usually writing and reading until 2-3ish. just got in about an hour ago. my latest night out and about yet and it was a total treat. actually my day was all about treats and indulgences - including gift buying for loved ones back home. indulged in hammam (described in detail by clicking the link). as soon as i walked in, my heart rate slowed, my breath deepened, and i felt at home. after disrobing and putting on my disposable undies wrong side out (silly american), i headed to a waiting area where they were making mint green tea and served me yummy almonds in easter-colored almond paste. perfect breakfast. next to the mint-scented steam. during the start of the steam room i whispered "save me" as i grasped the door to gain a dose of cooler air. again, silly american. next was a scrub down while i rested on a warmed slab of stone. very authentic. kinda hurt, but i kept telling myself how good it was to shed dead skin and improve circulation. then she lathered me in a yeast paste. had a choice of this, clay, and something else that wasn't translating well to english. they recommended yeast so i went with it - despite smelling like a big bottle of beer. next i was wrapped in a covering and left to "cook" for what felt like 30 minutes. um, beer burrito. again, i know it's good for me, but i started to get antsy and my tailbone was aching on the stone. don't get my wrong, it was divine but i'm not used to being still for so long! next she put a mask on my face and in my hair and then rinsed my hair with rosewater. oh. my. goodness. love me some rosewater. next to the cooler pool as seen in the photo on the blog linked above. i alternated between that and the warm sauna while sipping my lime blossom drink. sooo refreshing. the 3.5 hour extravaganza was topped off with a massage and then she asked if i wanted her to blow dry my hair. seriously? wow! so decadent. i walked out glowing. next on the agenda was yoga but first a stop to pick up goodies/gifts. got 3 bags full and headed to ashtanga paris for a vinyasa class. it's on an obscure street not even noted on the map outside the metro exit. hmmm. what to do? began asking passerbys in my not-so-french accent. finally i stumbled upon the address just in time for class. met my tranquil space pal, maite, and we headed into this sanctuary tucked inside a very zen courtyard. there were only 10 of us in class and one regular proclaimed that it was "packed." hmmm, come to america! yummy ashtanga-styled class, nice assists, and beautiful setting. headed to aux folies with maite, her fun french husband jacques, and two shitzus. sipped chardonnay and learned all about french politics and growing up in the 'hood. next to savor chinese food, rose wine, and a banana split. yep, chinese restaurants have the best ice cream i was told. *big* fan of their banana splits! back to their darling home for some chamomile/lavender tea and then caught a cab back to chez moi. tried to straighten up in prep for beau's arrival in a few hours. so excited to show him around and explore sites, sewer museum, and sidewalk cafes with him. this day was all about tranquility. i wasn't able to capture my experiences on film but i caught the above shots in between. i loved the pink vespa amidst the many black ones. it was a fun reminder about embracing and exuding authentic flair. so what if everyone else drives black scooters? you may want a pink one. the dried rose petals were in the loo of o'kari and inspired me to scatter more dried herbs around the studio - namely lavender and rose buds. the whole experience at o'kari was enhanced by the small touches - blow drying my hair, serving me tea + treats before the treatment, the smell of mint, the flickering candles. finally, i passed the flower shop in the last shot and had to snap a photo. so chic and so french. the flower shops here are to die for (like yesterday's window display i showcased in the blog). the french are serious about their flowers and rightfully so. fleurs add the perfect accent to any and all occasions. mille bisous.

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5 comments:

Sallie Ann said...

I am so excited you went and had a good experience at the Hammam. Isn't it just the most relaxing place? I swore they were pumping opium through the vents. It was just great and i slept the best ever! And yes, the drink and munchies...all just very nurturing. Sounds like you are having a blast on your trip. So happy!

Sarah said...

Your day sounds amazing! I hope to replicate it one day.

Globetrotting Cacti said...

Sounds like you are having an amazing trip. I LOVE the pink scooter. Perfect...

kaileenelise said...

it has been so fun to follow your adventures through your blog posts. for a few minutes i feel like i'm in paris (and not sitting in my cubicle). thank you so much for bringing us along. ♥kaileenelise

Melita said...

hooray for pink scooters!! maybe i should paint mine pink..... ;)