I had an hour to myself this morning so I decided to take the time to try and do something nice for myself.
I’ve been feeling disconnected lately. Out of touch with “myself”. Remember yourself? That person that you used to journal about and whose hair you used to brush.
I recalled that at my yoga teacher training (one of them anyway) there was some Ayurvedic training around daily practices one can do to maintain inner balance so I googled “Ayurveda, oil, dosha” and a few other key-words and found what I was looking for:
Oil pulling or oil swishing is an Ayurvedic practice where oil is “swished” or “held” in the mouth for 20 minutes every morning before breakfast.
Practitioners of oil pulling claim it is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Its promoters claim it works by “pulling out” toxins, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation.
The blog I was reading from told me that after her 45-minute daily meditation practice, it’s beneficial to swish coconut oil around the mouth for an addition 20 minutes while you curl up and reads your Vedic texts. This all sounds lovely and I have no doubt it would feel tremendous but considering I don’t have an extra…blah blah blah I won’t even bother finishing this sentence.
And then a text came through:
So back to my self-care regime. I continued reading and found another daily practice that sounded lovely and invigorating.
There is no greater expression of self-love than lovingly anointing ourselves from head to toe with warm oil—this practice is called Abyanga. The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth.
Steps to Follow for Self-Massage:
- Warm the oil
- Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room
- Apply oil first to the crown of your head and work slowly out from there in circular strokes—spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp.
- Face: Massage in circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws (always moving in a upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears, especially your ear-lobes—home to essential marma points and nerve endings
- Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular strokes on the joints (elbows and knees). Always massage toward the direction of your heart
- Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side
- Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet.
- Sit with the oil for 15 minutes so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower.
- When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently. Blot the towel on your body instead of rubbing vigorously
Enjoy the feeling of having nourished your body, mind, and spirit and carry that with you throughout your day.
Fuck me, can you imagine how great that would feel? Pouring warm oil…all over…a fuck…there’s warm oil spilling everywhere. FUCK. I guess just can’t imagine after 65 minutes of meditation and oil pulling I’d have the energy to stroke myself for another 20…anyhoooooo.
And then another text from another friend came in:
Here’s the interview she was listening to when she almost died. (A minister and I talk about how to have compassion for assholes). It’s 45 min, so finish this story and then come back to it when you’re doing your self-massage.
I had sisters. I got this.