Aura spa

Aura spa at Renaissance lobby

By: Guest Blogger Kelly Berry

Aura spa right inside the walls of VIDA makes it a little bit easier to treat yourself. Every Tuesday VIDA members can take advantage of 60 to 90 minute massages and facials at 15% off the original cost. For all the tools and tips for planning that amazing spa day, staycation, or personal day from work (don’t worry your secret is safe with us), we spoke with relaxation expert LMT and RYT, Layne Curry. Here’s what we found out:


What is Aura spa?

Aura spa is a full-service spa tucked away inside VIDA at U Street, The Yards, Metropole, City Vista and Renaissance locations. While the spa is conveniently located within some of our busiest locations, visitors can expect to feel transported from the vibrant energy of the club and the city outside to a quiet and serene place. The spa conveys a softer side of VIDA with dim lighting, candles, aromatherapy, tranquil music, and detox water. It’s a place to unwind and recharge from the busy Washingtonian life.

Layne Curry

LMT Layne Curry

Lots of options, how to choose?

The spa offers massages, facials, exfoliation treatments, the list goes on. If you’re struggling to decide which options are best for you, here are some general guidelines and things to think about:

One of the favorites for Fall is the Detox Body Cocktail, which includes, 1) a microbead scrub to exfoliate, 2) a sea mask to replenish moisture into the skin, and 3) a body butter to seal in all that goodness! Layne recommends this treatment if you are looking to balance your skin and reverse some of the effects of post-summer sweat and sun damage. All Aura services use Biotin products which are all natural and formulated for sensitive skin. The Detox Body Cocktail features a Baltic Sea mask that when heated naturally balances skin texture and adds moisture to areas that are in need of some H2O.

The signature Swedish massage is great option if you are looking to improve circulation and focus on the relaxation aspect. Pressure is light to medium using long flowing strokes, and aromatherapy of your choice is also included in this treatment.

If you’re looking for a way to alleviate more chronic stress and tension, Deep tissue massage might be your best bet. Strokes are slow or more forceful to tap into the connective tissue and trigger points in the efforts of repairing muscle damage from injuries or to relax tight muscles fibers that form from overuse. Something to think about as Layne reminds us, “Most of us sit at a desk all day in a flexed position and then head to the gym after work, go hard challenge the body – which is wonderful – but then we go back home and sit. That can be double trouble and cause muscles to seize, tighten and cause chronic pain. An excellent way to balance is through massage. Good for the muscles, good for the mind.” If you’re a health nerd like us and want to learn more about the effectiveness of massage to relax body and mind, check out the NIH study here.

Another great compliment to a regular workout regime is the Sports massage, sometimes referred to as the “massage for athletes”. This treatment is similar to the Swedish but geared to athletes seeking to prevent or treat an injury by adding stretches. When muscles are more subtle, you are able to prevent injury and avoid the muscles from becoming short, tight and tense. As Layne explains, “Just like yoga, foam rolling or deep stretching, massage makes the body more adaptable to change and stress. When fascia and muscles are lengthened and open, the body can better manage the stress and demands you put on it without becoming compromised. However, while foam rolling and stretching can do a lot, only massage can get to the harder to reach areas, like under the shoulder blades, into deep hip rotators and close to the spinal vertebrae. Also, when you are passive in the stretch by relaxing on a table, that makes a huge difference to the result!”


What to expect & how to prepare

If it’s your first time to the spa, no special preparation is necessary, except for booking your appointment of course. One note of caution, if you’re dealing with any fractures or wounds, let your body heal first!

Other things to keep in mind, have an open dialogue with your massage therapist. They do have magical powers but they’re not mind readers. Be clear with expectations when speaking to your massage therapist before the session. If you are experiencing tension or pain in a specific area say so! Clear communication will make sure that you get the most out of your session.

Ready to book your appointment? Visit to make a reservation at either the U Street, Metropole, City Vista, The Yards or Renaissance locations.

If you want to book an appointment with Layne Curry, you can find her at the U Street location, which also has a sauna and steam room directly connected to the spa. When not at the spa, you can find Layne teaching restorative and power flow yoga classes as several VIDA locations.