Last summer, at a festival, I was browsing through the pamphlet of workshops and saw the word: massage. Need I say more? I was clearly immediately in.
The workshop was lead by an incredibly inspiring and confident yogi named Shiva Rae. She passed around bottles of Ayurvedic oils and taught us the ancient art of Abhyanga: self massage.
I was in a small tent in the hot dessert applying oil to my feet and legs as women shared their vulnerabilities. It could easily sound cheesy or woo-woo, but the air in the tent felt warm and loving.
I continued this practice on my own at home, and it became a beautiful new connection to myself and my body. Our attention is often in our minds or focused outward.
Rarely do we allow our full attention to be lovingly placed on our bodies.
Consider beginning an Abhyanga practice for a few days and see how it makes you feel.
- Choose oil that works for your skin and warm it up if you can.
- Take your clothes off and sit on a towel.
- Start at the top of your head (the crown, your seventh chakra) and give yourself a scalp massage.
- Move down to your face starting at your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws moving in a circular motion. Don't miss your ears.
- Move down to your arms and legs.
- Then massage your abdomen and chest.
- Finally finish up at your feet being sure to give them a good amount of loving attention because there are a lot of nerves there.
- Allow the oil to seep into your pores for 5-15 minutes longer.
- Take a warm shower but don't use soap to take the oil away.
Be sure to honor and love yourself as you are massaging your body. It's a very beautiful and intimate experience that most of us have never had in our lives.
My body is beautiful.
Don't forget to shake that booty.