Abhyanga

Warm Oil Massage

After your dry brushing, it's time for Abhyanga, a full body, warm oil massage before showering.  This is Ayurveda’s most important and powerful preventative medicine and rejuvenation procedures!  Massage is important to reconnect the physiology with the underlying biological intelligence.

Ideally, about 5 – 10 minutes should be spend each morning on massage, but it is better to do a briefer massage than to skip it all together.

Recommended oil:

Vata:  Sesame

Pitta:  Sunflower or Coconut

Kapha:  Corn, Seasame or Mustard seed oil

Heating the oil:  Place the squeeze bottle of oil in a container of very hot water and place on an electric cup warmer.  As this is a light massage, you’ll use a scan quarter cup of warm oil.

Start at the head and work towards the feet.  The proper motion is back and forth over the long bones of your body and to use circular motion at the elbows, shoulders, chest, stomach and lower abdomen (clockwise).  Spend proportionately more time on the head and the bottoms of the feet.  When you have more time, work deeper into sore or inflamed areas of the body to provide extra nurturing.

Showering.  Keep a thin, almost undetectable film of oil on the body, as this is very beneficial for toning the skin, balancing Vata and keeping the muscles warm during the day.  Therefore you should wash with warm water, not hot, and use as little soap as needed.

Drying off:  Pat dry with a towel.

Kirsten Erickson, C-IAYT, E-RYT200, RYT500, iRest® Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher, Yoga Wellness North