You do not see anything when you experience pure consciousness; you become everything.
― Sebastian Pole, Discovering the True You with Ayurveda
With winter in the air and a new year in our presence, it’s a great time to remember that each moment offers us an opportunity to make conscious decisions for our health and well being. Variable weather, extreme cold temperatures, dryness from external heaters, increasing moisture in the air, as well as shorter days of sunshine throughout winter can begin to add additional stress on the body and mind. The following nourishing ayurveda body treatments are a great way to support internal balance. These particular treatments pacify the current vata (space and air) dosha weather as well as the beginning stages of kapha (earth and water) dosha*.
Abhyanga: Detoxing and rejuvenating. Using a dosha specific warm oil, the whole body is massaged with medium pressure strokes, including the scalp, face and abdomen. Using long strokes on the long bones and circular strokes around the joints, an abhyanga promotes circulation in the flows of the body: arterial and lymphatic.
Shirodhara: Deep healing. This treatment typically begins with a modified abhyanga massage to open the body. Warm oil is then streamed onto the Ajna chakra or “3rd eye”. As one of the most meditative treatments, the nervous system is allowed to surrender as brain waves synchronize. Often times it promotes a gentle sleep that allows the mind to dive deep into the ocean of healing and return calmed and refreshed.
Nasya: Sinus and mind clearing. To prepare the sinuses and upper respiratory for opening, this treatment begins with a head, neck and face massage, followed by facial steam. Warm medicated “nasya” oil drops are administered into each of nostril while inhaling. The client is then advised to draw residual ama (toxins) into the back of the throat and spit it out. Depending on how prescribed, this treatment can be very effective several days in a row.
Marma Massage: Balancing. Working more specifically on the subtle body, marma massage includes holding specific energy points of the body after each body segment has been massaged in an abhyanga style. The therapist determines if tonification or detoxification of each marma point is advised. With roots in martial arts, marma points are powerful energetic and pranic energy junctures throughout the body.
A daily practice of self-abhyanga is also a wonderful way to keep the body nourished, loved and balanced. Even taking five minutes before or after your shower to apply a warm organic abhyanga oil to the entire body is highly beneficial.
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Wishing you an inspiring January! Follow your dreams, let your creativity flow and remember to be gentle with yourself.
*please note: ayurveda treatments can be tailored with product, rhythm and technique to pacify specific dosha imbalances regardless of the season; speak candidly with your practitioner prior to treatment for best results.