‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the season…the season of colder and harsher weather has undeniably arrived in the past few days with dropping temperatures and strong winds. The days are becoming shorter, colds and flu viruses abound. As a result, many of us feel a much greater need of self-care to invigorate and lift sinking spirits.

Yet, alas, ’tis the season also of busy holiday schedules. Parties and work functions need to be attended, holiday preparations to be taken care of, cards are waiting to be written, gifts to be purchased or made.

How is one to navigate these seemingly conflicting needs?

Enter Abhyanga, an Ayurvedic oil massage one can perform at home as a part of one’s daily hygiene routine. As an ancient Ayurvedic classic text promises:
The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.

Here is how to do it (courtesy banyanbotanicals.com):
  • Put about 1/2 cup oil in an 8 oz. squeeze or glass bottle. Make sure the oil is not rancid.
  • Place the bottle in a sink with very warm water until the oil is pleasantly warm.
  • Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room, on a towel that you don’t mind ruining with oil accumulation. Make sure you’re protected from any wind.
  • Apply the oil to your entire body.
  • Massage the oil into your entire body, beginning at the extremities and working toward the middle of your body. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints. Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side. Massage the body for 5-20 minutes, with love and patience.
  • Enjoy a warm bath or shower. You can use a mild soap on the “strategic” areas.
  • When you get out of the bat, towel dry. Keep a special towel for drying off after your Abhyanga because it can eventually get ruined, due to the accumulation of oil.
  • Enjoy.

Ideally, you would choose your oil according to your constitution (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). If you don’t know your constitution, you may use sesame or almond oil during this cooler and harsher season.

Anne Thiel is an Ayurvedic practicioner and sees clients at the studio so call 202.328.9642 to book a session with her.

One thought on “‘Tis the Season

  1. Jennifer

    December 8, 2010 at 4:20am

    Thanks Anne! I always enjoy your ayurvedic tips.

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