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RakSa - Spa Review

An Urban Oasis of Healing

by Sylvie Greil

Turquoise Treatment Room at RakSa, one of seven, based on the seven chakras
Turquoise Treatment Room at RakSa, one of seven, based on the seven chakras

When we're feeling achy and out of sorts, a therapeutic massage or other luxurious spa treatment is a great way to restore body, mind and spirit. But sometimes, we forget that there are a slew of less familiar healing modalities at our disposal, from reiki to cranial sacral unwinding therapy and even shamanic energy healing and past life regression. And yes, sometimes, getting a mini Tarot reading can be as beneficial as talking to that expensive psychotherapist.

We recently had the pleasure of visiting RakSa in the heart of Culver City, CA. Rak means "love" and Sa means "fulfilled wishes." Together, the two mean "to heal" and at RakSa healing is what you get in a toxic free, eco-friendly, biodegradable environment.
This intimate healing hub is the vision of Apinya Pokachaiyapat, the petite, soft-spoken founder who has studied yoga and math, engineering and creative writing, vipassana meditation and reiki, and for whom all of her learning synergizes in this innovative space, where seven treatment rooms are named after the seven chakras (body's energy wheels).

This small oasis of wellness offers yoga classes on a gorgeous, eco-friendly bamboo floor, a delicious café with macrobiotic food, and the above mentioned treatments along with more "conventional" options such as Thai massage, facials, acupuncture and reflexology.

Yoga Room at RakSa in Los Angeles Lovely Cafe at RakSa in Los Angeles
Airy Yoga Room
Lovely Café

In our most neutral, journalistic state of mind we approached a modality we had never tried before, cranial sacral unwinding. The astonishing, intuitive, instinctual practitioner Syndee Frumkin immediately tapped into our deepest issues, brought them to light and nurtured them in the most gentle way that left us uplifted, calm and energized at the same time. She accomplished this via dialoguing with us, applying a gentle touch to body parts such as the legs, pelvis and neck, and through energetic "listening." For instance, as concerns the physical, she immediately noticed that our pelvis was out of balance and one leg lower or “longer” than the other. She also asked lots of questions and came up with helpful answers that matched our emotional state.

Craniosacral therapy (CST) was invented by osteopaths who base it on the idea that cerebrospinal fluid can be manipulated to create profound well-being and cure a host of issues such as migraines, stress and pain syndromes. Each practitioner practices slightly differently, based on their own understanding of the therapy, but often they will gently touch and massage parts of the skull, neck, fascia and other body parts.

This healing session was followed by a mini Tarot reading, which we entered skeptically, but which addressed the very issues that had arisen when practitioner Syndee gently held our calves. Trippy? Or serendipitous? Whatever happened, and however the logical mind wants to define and explain it, deep healing took place and a deep sense of bliss and well-being enveloped us. Our homework? Gratitude practice. And it is only to the credit of Apinya, her carefully selected staff, and her harmonious space. Its three-color combination used throughout — yellow, turquoise and grey — represents sala (yoga etc.), wellness (reiki, acupuncture etc.) and the café with local, organic and vegan options with a Thai twist.

Even though the space is small, it is peaceful and invites you to linger to check out RakSa's own line of clothing and delicious-smelling Erbasia products (only available here outside of Thailand) and to sip a chai tea.

As Apinya says: "I feel like this project chose me and I received a lot of help. My background in math and engineering gave me the confidence to look at real estate and read blueprints. But most of all, I want [this place] to be accessible to all kinds of people while staying true to traditional teaching like shamanism and "real" yoga. I want to bring my gifts to this, keep it sacred and hold space

10846 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

(Updated: 11/01/11 BH)

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