Ayurveda can be, and often is, translated as the “science of life”. I’m an alternative medicine ambassador as it is, so I don’t need any convincing to try out a Hot Stone and Head massage at an Ayurveda Spa. Like most spaces in the crammed city of New York, Fine Living Ayurveda Spa is pressed for space. My bedroom in Brooklyn is bigger than the entire spa. But therein lies one of the complications with spas: shouldn’t it be about the treatment you receive–not the scattered rose petals on the long stretches of marble tiling? I’ve had enough spa treatments that were, sure, pleasant while they were happening, but underwhelming in the hours shortly after where I oftentimes felt my back still aching to know that I’d hop in a graffiti-painted dumpster for some massage therapy that actually had lasting effects. Luckily, there’s no need to dumpster dive for your next worthwhile and privacy positive massage. You can just go to this place on 14th street instead.
Ayurveda, as a practice, extends back in time at least 3,000 years, but many sources cite 5,000 years as the recorded beginning of the practice. There are documents detailing the practice dating back to the Vedic Period in India…so, all in all, this stuff is very old and has had a lot of time to evolve.
When you walk into Fine Living, you’re given a survey to fill out on everything from your digestive complaints to your sleep patterns. The results of this survey help the therapists peg you as ‘Vata’ (air and ether), ‘Kapha’ (water and earth), or ‘Pitta’ (fire and water). My therapist, Shree, announced to me that I am Pitta, which came with little surprise, and explained to me just how she’d be adjusting my treatment accordingly. Assistant Editor, Ben Britz, was also present and wowed by the right-on adjustment of his own treatment in accordance to his survey.
Shree knows what she’s doing. Straight out of Nepal and serious about healing, this lady is well-versed in the science of Ayurveda and will give you helpful health and lifestyle tips while learning about your and your body through your treatment.
For once in my life, I experienced a massage with effects I’m still feeling 5 days later. The prices are reasonable, the space is tiny and very well hidden, and the practice has a lot of years of experience on its resume. Try it out, try it soon, then comment here with your lofty compliments of this rare gem in NYC.
(Me in a taxi after the treatment, smiling ear to ear)
By: Elizabeth Seward, Photos By: Ben Britz