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A Spa Story from Chateau Whistler, or: What Vita Said.

alt="Copyrighted image - used with permission." border="0" hspace="5" width="250"
height="373" align="left" vspace="5">Dear

I opened the bag where I kept my Whistler notes -- and instantly experienced a
feeling of deja vu. The pungent smell of neroli oil wafted into the room, and like the
genie escaping from a bottle, and guided me gently back to my afternoon at the Spa Chateau

Outside the walls of the spa, the noonday sun ricocheted off the snow and ice like light
off a quality diamond. Through the chateau's windows, I could see the twin peaks of
Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains reaching up to the highest ceiling of blue imaginable.

I had spent the last hour lolling in the chateau's beautiful swim indoors / swim outdoors
pool. I was a happy camper, chatting with Guy (of Guy Goes Gourmet) and an Australian who
was thrilled to bits to be in Whistler. Part of me resented leaving the wonderful and warm
pool ringed by ice, sky and snow -- even if it was to be pampered at the famous spa.


But here I was. I turned my
attentions back to Vita, who asked me to fill out a 'Tara Ayurvedic Constitutional
Analysis' (a written questionnaire). Based on that information, Vita would chose essential
oils that suited my constitution or 'dosha'.

After I finished wrestling with the personality questions, I turned to the ones about my
state of health. These were even more intrusive -- like, are your bowel movements regular?
Vita scanned my answers and happily pronounced me a 'Pitta' (fire and water personality).
Then she led me to one of the spa's 14 private treatment rooms, where she instructed me to
disrobe totally and lie on her massage table. I obeyed and when Vita returned, she began
what I had come for, the Aryuvedic Swedana steam and massage.

alt="Copyrighted image - used with permission." border="0" hspace="5" width="250"
height="355" align="right" vspace="5">The room
glowed in candlelight, and music played.
I shut my eyes. I lay still on a table, clothed solely in white cotton. Fragrant oils were
smoothed like satin over my body. Disembodied hands (they seemed to me) made circular

The room was delicious with cloves and spearmint and violins danced music through the air.

As my body relaxed, I listened to Vita's voice. And here is what she said:

"Aryuvedic treatments are based on a 5,000-year-old 'science of life' with deep
cultural and historic roots back to India. The treatments are layered with the emotional
and the metaphysical." Vita's hands seemed to know exactly what kneading and
massaging my muscles needed. Not too hard, not too light, just the right amount of

Vita continued to give me Aryuvedic advice about diet, lifestyle and exercise. All of it
good, all practical. "You must treat yourself both emotionally and physically with
diet, aromatherapy massage, meditation and yoga. We must strive to balance our
lives." While her hands rejuvenated my muscles, she mesmerized me with her
experiences in the metaphysical.

Vita had trained in California with a famous Aryuvedic guru / doctor. "He is 130
pounds of pure energy," she crooned as she massaged her healing cocktail of oils into
my skin. My worldly cares melted under her fingertips. Vita was a natural teacher. She
spoke slowly and calmly, almost hypnotically.

As Vita poured warm medicinal oils on top of my head and began to give me a cranial
massage, she spoke personally about the many lives she had lived and now remembered
vividly under the tutelage of her guru. "In the early 1900s, I lived the life of a
bisexual sea captain." Her conservative yet feminine exterior made this statement
seem quite bizarre; yet the calmness of her voice made me believe everything she said.

"One night I went off to get roaring drunk and picked up a female prostitute. My male
lover, who was also the First Mate, became enraged with jealousy and shot me in the
shoulder when I returned home to him that evening. I almost bled to death, but the pain
that I caused him by my betrayal made me aware of the suffering caused by my too human
behavior, and I was better prepared for my next life."

I had fallen into my own meditative state induced by Vita's fascinating monologue and
skilled massaging hands. Vita understood this and stopped speaking. The small treatment
room reeled with peace.

Vita poured more fragrant oils on my scalp and finished by massaging my neck. Then she
gently drizzled warm oil in my ears, first the left, then the right. While I lay relaxed,
yet invigorated, Vita prepared the cedar steam. When it was the correct temperature, I was
asked to lie in the cedar steam cabinet that Vita had infused with special herbs. This
cabinet (like a hinged coffin with a hole for your head) is surprisingly comfortable. It
was made by aboriginals on Steam Boat Island, a small island off Vancouver's rainy,
mystically beautiful coast. This little island is famous for artisans and is also home to
singer Joni Mitchell.

Vita heated more oils and herbs, comfortable with her ancient art. Then she lay ice-cold
cloths gently across my forehead, stomach and genitals. Closing the cedar steam's lid, she
popped a straw attached to iced spring water into my mouth, and left me to steam away all
my impurities for exactly 15 minutes with only the natural music of whales for company.

Vita returned with a cheerful: "Would you like to be immortal and live forever?"

"Sure, who wouldn't?" I felt immortal at that moment, cosseted, steamed, oiled,

"Well you can." Vita spoke with authority and I moved languidly back to my place
on the massage table. My masseuse, so knowledgeable in the ancient ways, covered me with a
silken powder made of barley and began to brush the powder and the last of the earthly
toxins away.

"You mean reincarnation?" I said, disbelief the overtone in my voice.

"No, I mean actually live forever."

Vita finished her gentle brushing and sloughing of my skin. By now I was so exquisitely
relaxed, nothing seemed unattainable, yet nothing seemed important.

"It takes study," she said.

But my 90 minutes of physical pampering and spiritual enlightenment was over, so my chance
to become immortal must wait until I can visit Chateau Whistler Spa and Vita, teacher and
massage therapist, once again.

Spa Whistler

Year round, men and women relax and rejuvenate in the hot, bubbling indoor and outdoor spa
of the Chateau Whistler. They swim in and swim out of the indoor-outdoor pool or soak
their bodies in hydrotherapy baths bubbling green with sea algae. Salt glow massages,
beauty treatments, Shiatsu, aromatherapy and Aryuvedic steam and massage invigorate,
relax, warm up the body and chill out the mind after a day of muscle toning hiking,
golfing, tennis or cross country, downhill or heli skiing.

For spa info call 1-800-401-4081 or (604) 938-2086 or e-mail href="mailto:thespa@whistlerweb.com" data-cke-saved-href="mailto:thespa@whistlerweb.com">thespa@whistlerweb.com


For more BC information go to travel.bc.ca