Renewal Time

January 31, 2009

Winter recalls hot soups, warm drinks and generally restorative practices gearing up for our eventual bloom and blossoming in the spring and flourishing in the summer. One long evening, maybe this weekend, take the time to fully enjoy this restorative time with the following self-nurturing practice:

Warm up some sesame, jojoba, sweet almond oil or other oil you would like on your skin in a double-boiler. I found a little glass pitcher and put it in a pot of boiling water to warm up the oil slightly- be a little creative. Please avoid the microwave if you can.

Using a couple of towels you don’t mind getting stained with the oil, place them in the bathroom- one for a little bathmat, one for sitting and drying off. Make sure the bathroom is warm and has no drafts or windows open. Get undressed and sitting on one of your towels start massaging the oil into your feet being generous with the oil. Be loving to yourself, really paying attention to massaging each part of your body ending with your face. You will get greasy and oily- try to enjoy this rare experience. Massaging helps cleanse the lymph glands and circulation. Once you’ve done every crevice and even your back as much as possible, start the shower getting it comforatbly warm. Slowly and carefully step in the shower- mindful that your feet are greasy. This is not a shower to cleanse, so only use soap on parts that need it if necessary. We want to let the oil soak deeply into our skin with the help of the warm water. You’ll feel water slide over your skin…silky slippery skin. Allow yourself to play, to continue massaging. When you’re ready, pat yourself dry. You’re skin will be very supple and soft. Make yourself a nice warm tea or a tall glass of water and retire to your bed to curl up under the blankets. Spend the last of your waking moments reflecting in a journal or reading- quiet time with yourself. Let yourself go- light some candles, put on some nice music, whatever you need today.

In the morning you will feel nourished and refreshed. When you step out into the cold your skin will be warm and hydrated unlike ever before. This is a very addictive practice -I am doing it weekly. Enjoy!

This is an ayurvedic practice called abhyanga if you would like to learn more about it.


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