How to Practice + Benefits of Self Massage | Abhyanga
Ayurveda enriches our lives with its natural health benefits and numerous practices of self-care and self-LOVE. To care for yourself by cooking, meditating, keeping a clean home, and exercising is an act of self-love that takes time and effort. The time you take to care for yourself will keep you from prescription drugs, visits to the ER and many health challenges.
One of the most rewarding Sadhana practices Ayurveda has to offer is Abhyanga!
What is Self Abhyanga?
The word for “oiling the body” in Sanskrit, is Snehana, which means “TO LOVE”. Self Abhyanga is a warm herbal oil massage that has amazing benefits:
- brings nourishment to the tissues
- deep relaxation to the muscles
- calms the nervous system
- reduces anxiety, anger, and depression
- promotes a restful sleep
- increases circulation and reduces cellulite
- helpful for managing weight
- moves toxins to the digestive tract for elimination
- opens chakras or energy channels that are blocked
- decreases common skin irritates such eczema, psoriasis, dry, flaky, itchy, hot, oily skin.
What type of herbal oil should I use?
I recommend using a herbal infused oil that is customized for your body type or season that will create the desired action. I sell customized oils, so stop by our clinic and pick up an 8oz bottle.
During the vata season (Late Fall and Winter) use sesame oil which is warmer. During the kapha season (Spring) I recommend using a lighter oil such sunflower. And, during the pitta season (Summer) coconut or sunflower oil is nice. Add essential oils to bring in beneficial aromas that lift your spirit!
What do I need to do a Self Abhyanga?
- Personalized oil
- Pot or warmer to warm oil
- Dedicated clothing and towel
- An open heart and awareness
- Devotional music
How do I perform a Self Abhyanga?
- Warm your oil using a small crock pot or pot/stove. You can also place your oil in a sink of hot water.
- Massage oil in fast vigorous motions over long bones, circular motions over joints, in an upward and down motion on abdomen, and inward/outward motion over breasts.
Kapha: Start from the feet and move upward (*less oil is needed)
Pitta: All motions to the heart and center of the body
Vata: All motions from head downward
- Try to do your Abhyanga before yoga and meditation in the morning and allow the oil to stay on your body as long as possible.
* Enjoy this time with your Self!
* Embrace positive thinking while performing your Abhyanga!
* Repeat positive affirmation!
* Smile and love your Self up!
* Embrace the existence of Mother Earth and the Divine within you!
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