I had never been to a spa before. Mainly because I was under the impression that I would have to undress in front of a stranger, which was a scary thought! Oh and I’m so ticklish, so the thought of convulsing into giggles on a massage table had always held me back from trying a massage. But when a sore back was proving to be pretty unbearable and was making me feel particularly old-ladyish, I decided it was time to pop the cherry. The promise of a relaxing massage at the end of a hectic week sounded too good. So when my friends suggested Zazen - The Boutique Spa, I made immediate plans to go there for a therapy session.On the day of my appointment, I found myself standing in the reception area of the beautiful spa, feeling more nervous than necessary. I didn’t know who my therapist would be and I really wasn’t comfortable with the thought of a large, unknown man massaging me (and my rolls of fat)! So I was really relieved when the receptionist asked for my preference. I tried my best to sound confident, like I do this all the time, unlike the clueless 27-year old spa virgin I really was! I was led to the therapy room and my nervousness mounted.The therapy room was spacious, there was a washroom with a shower, a steam room and of course, the massage table. I was also provided a comfy robe and soft slippers. The therapist who led me to the room said she would wait outside while I changed. I felt so glad that I did not have to undress in front of her! The undressing commenced but then with some rising panic I began to wonder, “Do I have to completely strip for the massage? How is this going to work?” Half-undressed, I grabbed the robe I had been given and wrapped it protectively around me as I made my way to the door of the room. As I slowly peeped out like a thief looking for an escape route, I was a bit taken aback when a smiling face suddenly asked me if she could help. It was my therapist. I asked her what I was supposed to wear under my robe and she told me that I’d find disposable underwear on the massage table. What a relief!So, newly equipped with fresh disposable (surprisingly comfortable!) underwear under my robe, I called out to my therapist. She came in and instructed me to disrobe and lie down on the table on my stomach, As I was feeling quite comfortable by this time, I did as she instructed without much hesitation.My therapist then asked me about my problem areas - where it hurt and how bad it was. When she began with the massage though, I started feeling ticklish! I didn’t know if I could tell her this or not. As I started squirming around a bit, she asked if she was hurting me. With a shy giggle I told her how ticklish I was. She laughed as well and promised to try her best to avoid my tickle zones. She also asked me if the pressure she was using was alright (it was perfect!) and if the temperature of the room needed to be changed for me (it didn’t!).Initial moments after the massage began, it was a bit painful. As it was my first time getting massaged, the knots around my shoulders really needed some kneading! A lot of awful sounding grunts escaped my mouth which led to a lot of giggles from my therapist! But the massage actually started to ease my sore back. It was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep! Was I allowed to sleep? Oh my god, what if I snore? At that moment, as if she were reading my mind, my therapist told me that I could close my eyes and sleep if I wanted to and that she would wake me once the massage was over.After the massage was done, my therapist brought my robe over and covered me. She told me that when I felt ready I could get up and walk to the steam room. The steam room had a simple seating area where I could sit and let my pores open up and soak in all the massage oils. It was unbelievably enjoyable. After the steam room session ended, I was told that I could shower and change into my own clothes. The warm shower after the wonderful massage and steam session was really the icing on the cake! And just when I thought the pampering was over, the therapist asked me if I would like some herbal tea and homemade cookies! Suppressing tears of joy, I said yes.I came out of the spa feeling more relaxed than ever and also like such a boss! I had faced my fears and survived my first spa experience. And the best part was that my back felt much better. The entire experience was so relaxing. I assured them that I would be making another spa appointment again soon and strutted out feeling way more confident than before. Zazen was a good option for me, a spa virgin. My only regret is not going to a spa earlier!* This is a sponsored post for Zazen Spa. Zazen Boutique Spas are situated at prime locations in Mumbai, Pune, Lonavala and select tourist locations.