Designed exclusively for the spa at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles by British brand ila, the Kundalini Devi massage draws on the rich blend of healing practices in Seychelles, and is billed as "Your Seychelles awakening". It's certainly a great treatment to choose if you've just arrived on the coral island of Mahe and need help to start relaxing. A bit of vocabulary to ground you: In Sanskrit, "ila" means "earth", and the organic skincare range uses natural plant and mineral ingredients. In Hinduism, "kundalini" is the word for the dormant divine energy which, it is said, lies like a coiled snake at the base of your spine. When awakened, this energy travels upwards through your chakras, increasing your vitality and awareness.
Whether you subscribe to the kundalini as being the fount of spiritual enlightenment or not, I can report that the Kundalini Devi treatment itself is heavenly. Full stop. It focuses on your back and is extraordinarily relaxing. The treatment starts with the burning of sage smudge sticks followed by exfoliation with Himalayan salts, which smell delicious. Once you have showered off the salts (in a shower room itself so divine I had to tweet about it), you return to the treatment bed for a short (well, two-hour) journey to Nirvana.
- The shower room looks onto jungle
My therapist, Diya, gave me a light-to-medium massage and touch pressure, not too painful across my straitened shoulders, along the marma points across my back, and up and down my legs. The massage uses the ila body oil containing juniper berries and rose geranium, which means you have further celestial scents, and you also enjoy lots of head massage (a treatment for which I have elsewhere declared my undying love). The application of hot Himalayan salt and marigold poultices along the spine, on your neck and on the top of your head completes a profoundly de-stressing experience.
Top tip: The Kundalini Devi treatment is both relaxing and soothing. I recommend it as a true "Seychelles awakening" at the beginning of your holiday, enabling you to leave the cares of your everyday events behind and start enjoying the laid-back life in your hillside retreat.