The term for Ayurvedic self-massage is “Abhyanga”, which brings a glow to our skin, reflecting the ever-glowing, shining nature of our indwelling spirits. Its benefits are that it wards off aging, nourishes the skin and body. To perform, take coconut oil in a bowl and place it inside a bowl of boiling water. Apply to your feet and work it all the way up.

Have you ever walked out of your favorite spa wishing you could somehow make enough money to always feel the way you do when you step out of a spa? While there were no “spas” in the ancient times when Ayurveda was revealed to Rishis (sages) living in the Himalayas and faraway forests of India, these Rishis have discovered an incredible daily ritual to make you feel like every day is a spa day — regardless of your annual income.

Ayurveda’s Health Solutions:

Though many people may only associate the word “Ayurveda” with fancy, expensive spa treatments, Ayurveda is actually a complete medical science of life. The word “Ayurveda” derives from the Sanskrit words “Ayush,” which means “life” and “Veda,” which means “knowledge of.” And the beauty of Ayurveda’s wisdom is that it truly touches upon every aspect of life. From psychology to managing difficult diseases like psoriasis to practical home remedies, to seasonal, dietary and lifestyle recommendations to prevent diseases, to guidance on how to attain the ultimate spiritual goal of Self-Realization, Ayurveda offers health solutions at every level: body, mind and soul.

Abhyanga: Powerful Disease Prevention Tool

There is an entire sub-branch of Ayurveda called Svasthavritta, which specializes in health consciousness, and teaches many spa-like rejuvenating self-care practices to help people actively increase their health and prevent disease. I feel so fortunate I have learned Svasthavritta practices at Vedika Global, and it is now a joy to teach them to beginner Ayurveda students at Vedika. One of the first daily health rituals I teach as part of dinacharya (Ayurveda’s recommended daily routine to live in harmony with nature) is the practice of self-massage.

The term for Ayurvedic self-massage is “Abhyanga” a beautiful Sanskrit word that is comprised of the word “Aba” meaning “glow” and “Ang,” which means “limbs.” Abhyanga literally brings a glow to our skin, reflecting the ever-glowing, shining nature of our indwelling spirits.

The Benefits of Abhyanga:

An ancient Ayurvedic medical text called Ashtanga Hrdaya describes the manifold benefits of Abhyanga. Chapter Two, Verses 8–9 of Ashtanga Hrdaya Sutrasthana reveals:

The advantages of the oil massage are that it wards off old age symptoms and exertion, bestows good vision, provides nourishment to the body, and equips one with a long life, good sleep and healthy skin.

The daily practice of Abhyanga also has a powerful effect of mitigating what is known in Ayurveda as the Vata Dosha, a state of matter consisting of air and ether elements.

Vata Dosha is what goes out of balance in us when we feel stressed, don’t sleep enough, skip meals, travel or exercise excessively. In addition to its physical health benefits, Abhyanga has the added power of calming the mind, by calming Vata Dosha. Having had deep Vata Dosha imbalances when I first encountered Ayurveda, I can definitely attest to the degree of stability, grounding, strength and calmness I feel when doing Abhyanga. Since I have been doing Abhyanga, my joints also crack much less and my skin is clearer. When I was a teenager, people used to think I was in my 20s. Now that I am in my 20s, people are asking me if I am in my teenage years. I truly feel like my own bathroom has become like a magical spa, and my oil supply like a fountain of youth I have been fortunate to discover while I am still in my youth.

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