Monday, October 03, 2011

one of my fave self care practices

It's self massage of course. I think learning this practice and actually making it a habit made going through my year long ayurveda course worth it!

So simple. So great. Especially this time of year.

According to ayurveda, a full body self massage (abhyanga) is relaxing, nourishing, and revitalizing. The massage helps with circulation, helps keep skin supple and moisturized, increases energy, and promotes sleep at night. It’s also a very sensual and enlivening thing to do for oneself.

What you need:
• 2-3 ounces of massage oil (organic sesame oil is great this time of year)
• Towel to sit on

Step 1: If your oil is in a glass bottle then pour into a plastic squeeze bottle. Run hot water into your sink and submerse the oil for a couple of minutes. Just long enough to warm the oil.

Step 2: Get undressed and place a large towel on your bathroom floor to stand or sit on.

Step 3: You’ll start your massage at the crown of your head. Using about a tablespoon of oil, vigorously rub your scalp as if you are shampooing your hair making small circular strokes.

Step 4: Move to your face and ears using more gentle strokes. Work with the forehead, temples, down the sides of your face, to your ears.

Step 5: Massage the front and back of your neck, using oil as needed.

Step 6: Massage the arms. Use up and down strokes over limbs and circular strokes over joints (shoulder, elbow and wrists).

Step 7: Use gentle circular strokes to massage the chest and stomach, using extra oil as needed.

Step 8: Without straining reach behind your back and massage the back and spine.

Step 9: Vigorously rub your legs as you did your arms, making circular strokes on the joints (hip, knee, and ankle) and up and down strokes over the limbs.

Step 10: After massaging the legs spend some time on your feet. Massage the toes, the feet, and rub back and forth over the soles of your feet with both hands.

Step 11: Sit comfortably, breathe deeply for five minutes.

Step 12: Take a warm bath of shower, not washing the oil off. Pat yourself dry leaving a thin film of oil on the body.

There you have it! Do this several times a week and you will feel oh so good. Promise. Let me know how it's going.....

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