According to Ayurveda, there is no greater expression of self-love than lovingly anointing oneself from head to toe with warm, nourishing oil. The practice of a warm self-massage nourishes the skin and assists in the detoxification process of the body. By combining mindful meditation - a practice of focus and silencing the mind - and practice of a warm body massage, it helps to release stress and tensions in the body, increase inner happiness, and improve one's’ concentration and efficiency.
A warm self-massage, also known as Abhyanga practice, nourishes the entire body, assists in the detoxification process of the body, and helps to reduce stress and tension from the body.
Meditation is a practice that focuses on silencing the mind. Dating back to thousands of years, meditation is a successful exercise used to help release stress, increase happiness, and improve one’s concentration.
While there are various types of meditation that you can practice on a daily basis - we are going to explore a physical mindful practice with the Abhyanga massage as we try to focus and monitor how we feel throughout.
- 1/3 cup of the Ritual Body Oil(warmed)
Before you begin to apply the oil - take 3 slow deep breaths to center yourself. Focus on the way that your lungs fill with air. On each exhale, try to push all the air out.
Start by applying oil to the crown of your head and work slowly toward the neck using circular strokes. Spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp - activating pressure points.
As you do this - be mindful of how the warmth and texture of the oil feels between your fingertips. As you apply the oil at the crown of your head, repeat the affirmation “I am present” softly out loud or in your head.
Use long strokes on the arms and legs and circular strokes around the joints (elbows and knees). Tip: Massage toward the direction of your heart to boost the circulation of your lymph.
As you feel your muscles slowly contract, flex, and release, continue to be mindful of how the pressure feels on your body. Are you starting to relax? Is there a spot where you are more tense? Give it some more love.
Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions.
As you do this continue to breathe slowly and deeply - be mindful of the movement of your chest and grateful for this moment and every breath that we get to take.
Finish the massage spending a few minutes massaging your feet by pressing your thumb on the top of the foot at the base of the shin - dragging gently to your toes.
After you’ve completed the massage lie in shavasana and take 3 minutes to put every part of your body at ease, silence the mind, and focus on your inhale and exhale. As you do this, repeat the mantra “I lead with love” softly out loud or in your head.
Here are our favourite 5 Mantras for Self-Love that you can recite as an alternative:
- I love and support myself
- Everything that I need is within me
- I am present
- I lead with love
- I create the life that I desire