My Favorite Self Care Ritual

I can’t remember exactly when I was introduced to Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic practice of massaging your own body with warm oil, but it quickly became part of my daily self care routine. As a person who seems perpetually Vata imbalanced, this simple act of self love calms my mind, soothes my body, and gives me a ‘time out’. This is definitely an Ayurvedic practice I recommend to EVERYONE!

Benefits of Abhyanga include:

  1. Nourishes the entire body, decreasing the effects of aging
  2. Imparts vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
  3. Lubricates the joints
  4. Increases circulation
  5. Stimulates the internal organs
  6. Assists in moving the lymph, aiding in detoxification
  7. Calms the nerves
  8. Improves sleep
  9. Enhances vision
  10. Makes hair grow and become softer
  11. Reduces wrinkles by softening the skin
  12. Pacifies Vata and Pitta, also stimulates Kapha

The Practice

As a general guideline, use long sweeping strokes on the long bones of the body, and circular movements at the joints. Always massage toward the direction of your heart. Massage the abdomen in large clockwise, circular motions. Food grade oils are perfect.

  • Best oil for Vata (cold climate or if feeling cold): sesame
  • Best oil for Pitta (hot climate or if feeling hot): coconut
  • Neutral oil (in between seasons or when you’re not sure): almond oil