Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world, emphasizes rest, balance and relaxation as preventative and restorative medical practices. Allowing the body to rest and repair itself naturally is not just a luxury, but a necessity for well being.
In this Guest Blog Post, we are excited to share the knowledge that Corinna Maharani of Maharani Ayurveda has to share about the benefits and principles of Ayurvedic Medicine. In this article she shares an awesome tool kit, complete with ingredients and directions for creating your own at-home Ayurvedic spa treatment. Enjoy!
Corinna invites you to return to your bliss (in less than an hour)...
I love my work and have been operating my very own Ayurvedic practice in Santa Barbara for over fifteen years. It is my honor to support my patient’s health and well-being. It is also wonderful to see how more and more people are embracing the vast wisdom that Ayurveda offers us. Ayurveda is the oldest medicinal system in the world and is often called “The Mother of all Healing” Its wisdom was derived many thousands of years ago in the Vedic civilization of ancient India and it is based on balancing energies within the body to bring about wellbeing. Because it offers a wide variety of healing modalities, spas everywhere are adopting Ayurvedic services in their menus. But you do not have to go far or spend lots of money to benefit from Ayurvedic treatments. In fact, Ayurveda can easily be adopted in your daily life and its many techniques can support your well-being tremendously.
Growing up in Germany, a country where spa visits are commonly considered preventative medicine, and self-care is a popular concept, I was always drawn to home-spa treatments. Taking time to relax and regain balance is time well spent! Research has shown that stress plays a huge role in instigating disease. Ayurveda believes that cleansing techniques, such as the ones described below, can help remove toxins from the body, which will lead to better health and over-all wellness. But what makes these home-spa techniques truly Ayurvedic is their calming effect on the nervous system and the balancing impact on the body’s chemistry.
The following is a list of the ingredients for my “Blissful Ayurvedic Home Spa.” It stimulates all the five senses, provides deep relaxation and a complete sensory experience. in less than one hour. I suggest you turn off your cellphone, light some candles and warm your bathroom. Play some relaxing music, as it helps deepen the process, and pour yourself a big cup of herbal tea.
The supplies that you will need can easily be found in your kitchen or local health food store. They are as follows:
- Dry-brush, or loofah
- Massage oil
- Epson salts
- Baking soda
- Aroma oil for bath water (Lavender or other floral scents)
- Chickpea flour (Also called Graham flour)
- Aloe vera juice/gel
- Green tea bags
- Clay powder (green or white)
Preparation: Premix the two facial potions described below and keep all material close at hand. Run your bathtub and add ½ cup Epson salt and ½ cup baking soda to the water. Add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender , or rose, if you desire a scented bath. Drop your bottle of massage oil into the bathwater, to warm the oil while you are getting ready.
STEP ONE: Dry-brushing. Start your home-spa treatment by waking up your cells through dry-brushing the skin with a natural loofah or dry-brush for about 3 minutes. Sweep the brush from the feet upward, always in the direction of the heart, and again brush from the hands toward the direction of the heart. Try to reach the back area as best as possible and use gentle, upward strokes. Be a little more delicate on the front side of the trunk and on the skin around the breast and tummy. The lymphatic system is purified by this technique and the immune system enhanced by the brushing of the skin. Notice how invigorating this feels! Your skin softens, tactile response enhances and toxins in the lymph fluid begin to release.
STEP TWO: Self-massage: Massaging your whole body with oil feeds your entire skin and further helps to release toxins that have accumulated in your body over time. It relaxes the mind, improves circulation, and supports the health of the skin tissue and joints. Stand on a bathmat or towel and pour a small amount of the warmed massage oil into your hands and begin massaging your body, from your head down to your toes. If you want to skip oiling your scalp, just start with your shoulders and move downward from there. Use circular moves on the joints and long, sweeping strokes on the long bones. Pay special attention to your hands and feet. You can choose an Ayurvedic massage oil that is suited for you or you can use any good quality oil such as sesame oil, coconut oil, almond oil etc.. Spend about 4-5 minutes massaging the skin and enjoy this classic Ayurvedic therapy, known to be a relaxing and luxurious experience.
STEP THREE: The bath: Oiling and bathing of the body is in many parts of India considered a sacred ritual and Ayurveda values the bathing experience for many reasons. Bathing after an oil application helps the absorption of the oils deep into the skin and the warm, salted water releases tensions held in the body. To make the bath even more enriching, submerge into your warm bath thinking only relaxing, happy thoughts while applying your facial now.
STEP FOUR: The facial treatment: Apply a lovely facial scrub, followed by a nourishing facial mask, to leave your skin looking radiant and glowing. Ayurvedic scrubs are mild and not abrasive and can be used every day to stimulate circulation, new skin growth and to cleanse the pores. They refine the pores and even out the skin tone while returning the skin’s healthy complexion to a glowing luster.
Facial scrub recipe: Mix 1 teaspoon chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel or juice, and the content of one dry green teabag into a smooth paste.
Gently massage the scrub over the entire face, using circular motions, avoiding the more delicate area around the eyes, then rinse the face and dry it with a hand towel. Next, apply a facial mask (see below) the purpose of which it is to deeply moisturize the skin and nourish it with vital pro-biotic, vitamins and minerals. It stimulates the deeper layers of the skin to create new, youthful skin cells, balances the skin’s PH and makes it more resilient to fight environmental toxins.
Facial mask recipe: Mix 1teaspoon yogurt, ½ teaspoon clay powder, ½ teaspoon honey into a paste and apply to the face. Allow the mask to be absorbed by the skin for several minutes. Yogurt is made of lots of living cultures that nourish the skin. The clay is a rich source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, silica, calcium, potassium and zinc and the honey is rich in minerals and vitamins which help nourish and protect the skin. Lie back in your bath, let the mask absorb while you give your hands and feet a little massage, relaxing like a true Ayurvedic queen, or king.
After your bath, your tub may need a little rinsing out, but you may decide to do this later. Savor your present relaxed state; just put on some loose fitting loungewear. Pick up your favorite photo album, a book, or indulge yourself with some fine poetry. My favorite poet is Rumi, the 13th century Persian mystic, and I read his poems often to my patients after their treatment. You are deserving of rest and relaxation. Enjoy!
“There comes a time
When sea and land come to rest.
There comes a time
When even the heavens withdraw.
There comes a time
When weary travellers
Need to rest from the journey.”
You can contact Corinna Maharani at http://maharani.us/
An for a great list of her services, click here