Tranquil Space Yoga

Although it lacks the amenities you find at other day spaces, Tranquil Space gets a massage right.

When you walk into Tranquil Space Yoga’s new home on 17th Street near DC’s Dupont Circle, it’s easy to miss the spa. The first two stories house a boutique and three studios, which bustle with yogis. When I told the friendly receptionist I was there for a massage, he asked me to fill out a form, then led me up two flights of stairs to the tiny spa.

Called the Lotus Lounge, the waiting room is a small alcove with a white couch and wicker coffee table. Pink sponge-painted walls and glass chandeliers give the space a warm, boutiquelike feel.

The receptionist went back down to man the cash register at the boutique and left me alone on the third floor. I wasn’t offered a robe or slippers as I waited for my massage therapist, and the only reading material was one issue of Yoga Journal. While some day spas leave snacks out, all I saw was a tray of green apples and a water cooler with lemon slices.

The three treatment rooms are just as small and simple. After my massage therapist, Erin, left me to undress, I realized there wasn’t anywhere to put my clothes, so I folded them into a pile on the ground. When she began the deep-tissue massage ($100 for 50 minutes), my worries faded away.

I had told Erin that my neck and shoulders were full of tension. She started by having me lie face-up, asked me to do some deep breathing, and spent a long time slowly warming up my muscles. She struck the perfect balance among kneading knots, stretching muscles, and gently rubbing my pressure points. Her touch was firm enough to drive out cricks but not so strong that it was painful. As she pulled on my arms, I felt the stretch in my neck and shoulder blades. I briefly dozed off as she rubbed the arches of my feet.

In addition to the typical offerings—deep-tissue, Swedish, aromatherapy, and hot-stone massage—the spa also has more off-beat services such as astrology readings, henna body painting, and ear candling.