The Good

Michael Ducharme

Michael and I were not doing this.

Yesterday morning Michael and Katie rubbed coconut all over my body and gave me pleasurable sensations for two hours. It was fantastic and unforgettable. It all started when I went to visit Michael at Yoguini’s Spa. As Michael talked to me about the different services Yoguini’s offers, something about his soothing voice and his ice blue eyes convinced me I needed a massage. I didn’t want a massage. I needed it. So I made an 8:30am appointment.

I show up late as usual and Michael and I talk for a while about Colombia, el Valle, Panama, people, et cetera. Co-owner Katie was also there. Michael is a very giving person and told me that giving is the key to permanent joy. So I’m going to try to start being a giving person to see if I too am filled with permanent joy. Right now I am not doing very well on the giving front. I have not yet decided how I will go about being giving, but maybe I’ll think about this on a long bus ride. Anyway, after some conversation and a hot cup of rose tea, Michael informed me that I would be receiving a four-hand massage, which was a combination traditional and yoga massage and if that was OK with me. I said it sounded lovely. So I am taken to the massage table where I lie on my stomach and put my head in the head hole.

The four-hand massage meant that Katie massaged me on one side and Michael massaged me on the other. I did not realize this was to be a full body massage, otherwise, I would have prepared. Neither did I realize that a yoga massage includes having your limbs stretched. But I soon realized ALL body parts were being massaged and stretched. I should have known something painful was going to happen when Michael started saying (in his very soothing voice) “Inhale deeply, exhale deeply.” Then Katie started moving my legs into positions that they have not been in since I was six months old and could put my foot in my mouth. I didn’t want to tell Katie or Michael that I can’t even touch my toes so rather than tell them to stop, my eyes popped open in my little head-hole and if Michael’s feet had eyes, they would have seen this face:

The effects of a yoga massage.

The effects of a yoga massage.

Despite the much-needed but painful stretching, it was an amazing two hours. Yes, TWO HOURS of being massaged, all in the name of business. Afterward, Michael made me some lemon/eucaliptis/strawberry tea and Katie served me some homemade cinnamon bread with homemade peanut butter. Yoguini’s will definitely be getting a [find] and * in the upcoming Frommer’s guide. After the tea and bread, Michael offered to take me to some off-the-beaten-trail spots in el Valle, which included a hostel owned and run by a 101-year-old lady named Maria Candelaria, who is apparently a natural medicine expert who knows the name of every fruit, vegetable, herb and weed found in el Valle. Despite having deep wrinkles, round glasses and wearing one of those dresses older ladies always wear in rural Latin America, Dona Candelaria didn’t look a day over 75. A testament to her natural medicine knowledge, I’d say.

Those were the positives of my day.



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2 replies

  1. Hahahahaha…. I laughed SO HARD reading this. Well, the third paragraph and your picture. What does ALL body parts really mean??? But mmm, I want a massage too.

  2. Well, I was just expecting a back massage…

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