You’ve heard of face yoga—but have you ever had a yoga facial?

A wellness retreat to Bali (a.k.a the ‘Island of the Gods’), is never complete without indulging in the Indonesian island’s health-focused cuisine, partaking in an invigorating yoga class at sunrise, and of course, pampering yourself with an authentic Balinese massage.

While I’m more than happy to revel in Canggu's up-and-coming dining scene and spend my days in the spa, yoga isn’t for everyone—especially for couch potatoes like me. That's why Spring Spa’s repertoire of treatments, some which incorporate yoga techniques to soothe both mind and body, were particularly tempting.

What stood out was the Spring Signature Yoga Facial, a new treatment developed by founder Ina Bajaj and her team of spa specialists. I’ve heard of face yoga—anti-ageing facial exercises that have been the rage in the past two years (even Meghan Markle swears by it for a toned and sculpted visage)—but the yoga facial was a first. Would I have to twist myself into physically-challenging poses while a therapist massaged oils onto my face? Would it be a spiritual experience? I was about to find out.

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The Welcome

Spring Spa has three locations in Bali—a rooftop terrace spa at Seminyak’s The Village Mall, which was awarded Asia’s Best Day Spa in the World Spa Awards for three consecutive years; a luxurious two-level spa opposite The W Hotel; and a standalone day spa in Canggu, on Batu Bolong.

Stepping into Spring Spa Canggu was unlike any other spas—it almost felt like I was entering a social club, with families and groups of friends hanging out in the lounge and sipping on kombucha.

Designed by Saatchi & Saatchi, the minimalist space is in tune with the free-spirited personality of Canggu, with lots of open spaces, huge glass doors, bamboo furnishings, and vibrant pops of colour.

CEO and founder Ina shared that she wanted Spring Spa to be an inclusive space where friends or family (even the kids) can visit together, even if they are not doing the same treatments. So if you’re done with your 45min manicure and your friend is still in the massage room, you can simply sink into a lounger and bop to smooth island tunes spun by the resident DJ during the wait. 

Past the reception, a pond stretches across the spa, with an open-concept salon and private treatment rooms built around the centrepiece. 

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The Treatment

The Spring Signature Yoga Facial is a 60min treatment that blends facial yoga techniques with deep lymphatic massages to tone and detoxify your skin and facial muscles. Inspired by anti-ageing facial exercises and traditional yoga movements, the muscle movements and manipulations of the unique facial are designed by Ina and her team of spa specialists, who are also yoga practitioners. It is essentially a “work out” for your face to lift and enhance your facial contours, without you having to move a muscle yourself.

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The Technique

To start, the yoga facial began with an almost spiritual touch.

The therapist guided me into meditative breathing with a Tibetan singing bowl, lulling me into slow, rhythmic breaths before she began to work on my face, gently cleansing it and removing dead skin with an enzyme gel exfoliant. Then, an antioxidant superseed facial oil was applied before the massage began.

Spring Spa uses Votary’s skincare range in its treatments. Founded by Arabella Preston—Kate Middleton’s makeup artist and former beauty editor—the beauty brand is known for its line of all-natural botanical oils and skincare products that lend a dewy glow to your complexion.

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By the time my therapist began to press on pressure points on my temples, I was already drifting off to sleep, surrendering my mind and body to much-needed rest.

Then, it was time for the facial mask, an avocado paste that is anti-ageing and hydrating—perfect to counter the unforgiving Balinese sun. While it worked its magic, I was assisted with light stretches on my legs, shoulder, and neck. After cleansing the mask with a warm towel and applying hydrating facial oils, the hour-long facial came to an end (all too soon) like how it started—to the harmony of the Tibetan singing bowl. 

Perhaps yoga isn't such a bad idea, for my face at least.

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The Week After

The whole treatment was as simple as it could get—no chemicals and high-tech machines, just natural oils and skilful hands—and yet, I've never felt so relaxed in a long time. And while there was no deep-cleansing and extraction involved, my skin was lit with a dewy glow for the rest of my two days in Bali.

Unlike some massages or treatments that can cause redness or breakouts, my complexion remained clear for the following week, though I felt that the rejuvenating effects were soon lost to late nights and staying in air-conditioned rooms. Like yoga, I suppose mental wellbeing and consistent practice is key—good skin doesn't come in just one day.