Magic hands & yoga glow
At Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Salon and Spa in Guildford, you can book for a massage then truly recharge your batteries at a yoga class
There’s nothing I love more than getting off the freight train that’s hurtling me through life and just stopping for a moment – whether that be to have a relaxing massage or to clear my mind at a yoga class.
Up until a year ago, I was a dedicated yogi attending classes every week. But somehow work, family and life seems to have shoved that aside, and these days its a rare treat to unroll my yoga mat. It’s even more rare I find the time for a relaxation massage.
But I recently spent a couple of hours at the Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa in Guildford where I first had an aromatherapy massage, before floating into a yoga class. If I’d had more time, I’d have spent the whole day there and finished with a cut and colour.
And that’s the beauty of the Lifestyle Salon and Spa, there’s no rushing from one venue to another – it’s all there in the same building right on the High Street.
I’ll admit, I was feeling a bit indulgent – and there’s no doubting this is a luxury experience. If you’re not familiar with Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Salon and Spa in Guildford, the hair salon is on the ground floor, with the Spa and Studio upstairs.
My massage was booked with Aveda Therapist Veronika Vrbiarova, recommended because she has “magic hands”. Before we started, Veronika asked which areas I felt needed attention (always the same: neck, shoulders, lower back).
Six cards had been laid out on the massage table and Veronka asked me to choose three based on my feelings. My choices were Harmony, Expressive and Grounded. Each of these corresponds to a scented massage oil, and when I was changed and lying on the table, Veronkia asked me to breath deeply to inhale each scent. I liked Harmony, which is Chakra 4 Anahata (or the heart chakra), which is a blend of Australian sandalwood, mandarin and palmarosa oils. It smelt divine.
True to recommendation Veronika’s hands truly did work magic, and the knots and aches in my back and neck disappeared. I’m sure the Harmony oil helped with the relaxation too, and I left that treatment room feeling blissfully relaxed, nipping up only one flight of stairs to the studio on the third floor.
The studio is small but perfectly formed with space for up to six yoga students and the teacher. These yoga classes are small and intimate. I went to the 45-minute lunchtime yoga with Beth Peak. There were four of us, plus Beth, and we filled the space without being cramped.
This is a great class for those who want to practise yoga, but who are short on time – and despite it being just 45 minutes, Beth put us through our paces and included a couple of minutes of relaxation at the end. Beth teaches Vinyasa yoga, but her style is playful and fun, and she encourages you to explore poses and be yourself.
For me, having just had an aromatherapy massage, I benefitted from the calming and relaxing scented oils that were still on my skin. I left the studio and spa feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated. To de-stress and regain balance in just under two hours is time very well spent.
The studio also offers 60 and 75 min classes at various times throughout the day, and there’s no need to bring your own mat, as everything is provided. There are various packages and membership deals, including the Pure Bliss Duo offering a yoga or pilates class plus an express spa treatment for £20.