Be your own Ayurvedic Masseuse!
Practicing Abhyanga, Self Massage, is the perfect way to nourish, moisturize, and bring comfort and balance to your whole body. Whether you're prepping for a busy day, or you're winding down for the evening. You’ll feel amazing afterward and it will become second-nature and a regular act of self-love you can look forward to every day.
Abhyanga is a massaging the body with a voluminous amount of oil, often medicated with herbs, into the entire body.
AS YOUR MORNING RITUAL
After getting up warm your oil. I usually use sesame oil. The warmth opens the pores, allowing the oil to move into the tissue where it can be most nourishing.
Afterward, you’ll take a warm shower without soap to gently wash away the oil.
Be careful as it might be slippery with thrill under your feed.
STEP BY STEP on how to perform Abhyanga:
Heat the oil in a pot. You can place the pot in hot water. The oil should be warm and not too hot.
Sit or stand on an old towel - use always the same. Make sure the temperature around you is warm and cozy.
Start with your head, scalp, face, and ears down the throat and neck.
Continue at the extremities and working toward the middle of your body
Stroke slowly over the long bone and body parts. Work on the joints with circular movements. Stroking clockwise has a calming and balancing effect. Apply the oil in the direction of the growth of the body hair, this has a relaxing effect and balances a restless Vata air element.
Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine, moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side. The oil should be absorbed for 10 to 20 minutes.
Keep yourself warm and wrap a terry towel around your head. Bathrobe or house-suit should be made of the same material or pure cotton.
During that time you can read a book, meditate, do a breathing practice or prepare your breakfast.
When you get out of the bath, towel dry. Keep a special towel for drying off after your abhyanga because it will eventually get ruined due to the accumulation of oil.
Put on a pair of cotton socks
Tip1: Spend an extra amount of time on your scalp, face, ears, hands, and feet.
Tip 2: Afterward, apply a high-quality essential oil to your wrists and neck can further support balance.
Tip 3: If you have difficulty falling asleep, rub your head and feet with warm sesame oil before going to bed. Even better: Take an aroma bath with lavender or rose oil before you rub your feet with sesame oil.
If dry brushing is part of your routine - abhyanga comes after that.
Benefits of Abhyanga:
Massaging melts away tension and stress from the muscles. It is grounding and calms the nervous system in hectic times - done regularly it can be life-changing!
If you are feeling anxious and vulnerable, abhyanga provides a feeling of security
And in times of insecurity and self-doubt, it provides you with a big portion of self -love
Just as the word oiling in Sanskrit - means “to love”
Using a dedicated oil, Ayurveda believes that you increase the effect. Health benefits from implementing a daily oil rub into your morning or evening routine include:
Musculoskeletal and nervous system health
Proper circulation and lymph drainage
Improved sleep patterns
Softer, stronger skin
Decreases the effects of aging
Firm, strong limbs
Tone and vigor for the body’s tissues
Nourishment for the whole body
Beside of all the incredible benefits, Massaging yourself is a great act of self - love. Enjoy it. You deserve it! It’s well worth your time.
Which oil is the right one for you?
First of all, I recommend trusting your senses. If you smell the oil and it doesn’t ‘feel right’ - don’t use it. And use only that kind of oil on your skin you would also put in your mouth.
In general, when it comes to an Ayurvedic oil massage it is recommended to use an oil that suits your constitution.
If you are not sure - Sesame oil - is a good choice. It supports you with warmth and a grounding, calming quality.
If you feel hot and in the warmer seasons - coconut oil is a good choice - only warm it gently
If you feel a bit sluggish and hard to get going try almond oil
Oils for Vata
The primary qualities of vata are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile.
Oil: Sesame, Ghee, Sunflower, Jojoba, Almond
Oils for Pitta
The primary qualities of pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, spreading, and liquid
Oil: Coconut, Ghee, Sunflower, Olive, Jojoba
Oils for Kapha
The main qualities of kapha are oily, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft, and static.
Almond, Sesame, Corn, Mustard Seed, Safflower
When not to do Abhyanga
It is not recommended when you are pregnant or having your menstrual cycle, great physical discomfort, or by those who have an acute illness or medical condition.
Tip: Everything that gets in touch during while or after your Abhyanga practice like towels, socks and clothes should be older as the oil will most likely not get away completely after washing
I am hosting regular Magical Morning Workshops Online, including practices like Abhyanga. Sign up here to stay updated.
Thank YOU, gorgeous!
I hope you got inspired about how I like to start my day.
Remember, incorporate new routines and healthy lifestyle habits step by step, with ease and joy!
Your turn: What is your favourite morning routine? I'd love to hear how you support yourself first thing in the morning! Let me know in the comments below.
Stay healthy and keep shining,
P.S. Wanna have a little support for free? Start your day the right way. Join my morning meditation. Get yours here.