A Nightly Ayurvedic Ritual: Abhyanga (self-oil massage) is an ancient Ayurvedic practice. The benefits of applying warmed oil to your skin, especially after dry brushing, are quite wonderful. It’s toning to your muscles, enhances detoxification, softens your skin, calms your nervous system, releases fatigue, aids in sleep, improves elimination, lubricates your joints & is hydrating from within because the warm oil penetrates the deeper layers of your body.
I recommend doing this at night to help you drift off to sleep.
- Use between 1/4-1/2 cup oil during your self-massage.
I recommend an organic, high-quality oil. My personal favorites are body oils by Laurel Skin.
1. Warm the oil: fill a glass bottle & submerge it in a pot of hot water or pour a tablespoon of the oil in your palm & rub your palms together in circular motions for 20-30 seconds, until heat is generated between your hands.
2. Massage your arms-pay special attention to dry spots, elbows, wrists.
3. Add more oil & gently massage your abdomen with counterclockwise circular motions...this is the direction of your colon & the movement aids in digestion & elimination. Up right side, across abdomen, & down left side.
4. Bring oil up to your chest in long, slow strokes, towards your heart.
5. Add more oil to your hands and massage your back: really massage oil into shoulders, lower back, & other areas that hold tension.
6. Pour more oil into your hands & massage your buttocks & down your legs.
7. Be sure to oil your feet as well, as they’re often dry and callused. *put on socks & pajamas that you don’t mind getting slight oil residue on.
See our full list of rituals here.