Enjoy this Ayurvedic Ritual to help you stay warm and supple.
Massage is the oldest healing modality on the planet. In the ancient science of Ayurveda there is a practice of self-massage that helps to ground and nourish us. It is ‘Self Abhyanga’ or ‘Self Warm Oil Massage’ (massaging the body with large amounts of warm oil).
I really encourage you to try this as not only will it keep you feeling warm and looking young, it is also a delicious, calming and relaxing experience. It is a simple self-care exercise that you can introduce into your weekly or even daily routine.
There are numerous benefits to Self Abhyanga including the following:
- Soothes Vata Dosha
- Calms anxiety
- Helps build resilience to stress
- Increases energy and removes fatigue
- Helps to eliminate toxins by stimulating strengthening lymphatic flow
- Strengthens and tones skin and body
- Grounding and nourishing
- Helps with insomnia
Here’s how to do Self Abhyanga:
This massage is best done before your shower, either in the morning or before going to bed.
- Select your oil – As a general rule of thumb go with Coconut oil in Summer and once the weather becomes cooler and coconut oil begins to solidify switch to Sesame (Melrose Organic is a good one) or Sunflower oil. Remember, Coconut oil is cooling to the body and Sesame oil will warm you up. For an extra dimension to the experience, you may like to add an essential oil of your choice to your massage oil.
- Warm the room you are in and warm the bottle of oil in a bowl of hot water.
- Stand on a towel that you don’t mind getting oily.
- If you prefer the oil warm, sit the bottle in a bowl of hot water. Pour a small amount of oil into the palm of you hands and begin with a head massage, slowly massage oil into scalp in a similar way you shampoo. (If you don’t like having oily hair you can skip the oil here.)
- Use your fingertips to rub your scalp even gently tugging at your hair.
- Take some more oil into the palm of your hands and start to massage your face and then the neck, shoulder and arms, remember circles on the joints and long strokes on the limbs. Massage slowly and adjust the strokes and pressure according to area on body, i.e. more vigorous on soles of feet and limbs, slowly around face and abdomen.
- Continue over the rest of the body, with clockwise circles on the abdomen (to follow the colon) and upward strokes on chest.
- Spend extra attention on your feet; massaging the soles of your feet as well as the toes for a soothing experience.
- When you are finished you can either let the oil soak in and then rinse off in the shower or wipe the oil off with a towel.
- Sit quietly for 10-15min, drink some water or sip on herbal tea to complete the experience!
Enjoy the benefits this simple practice has on your Mind, Body and Spirit.