Here’s How to Make the Most Out of Your Shower or Bath, According to Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, bathing is a revered ritual for its wide range of therapeutic benefits: not only does it purify and cleanse the skin, but it also relaxes the spirit, soothes muscle tension, improves mental clarity and focus and balances the emotions. A simple bath can transform your day, filling you with energy, confidence and motivation while leaving your skin feeling hydrated and detoxified.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Oprah considers bathing her hobby of choice: baths cleanse, restore, and rejuvenate. And we couldn’t be more thrilled that our Pure Calm Wellness Bath & Body Oil Gift Set is featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2021 List, in part because we also know how important bathing is for our overall mental health and well-being.
Ayurveda offers a number of tips and practices for making the most out of every bath so that you can emerge feeling 100% revitalized. Here are 4 ways you can transform your bathing ritual to maximize its healing and rejuvenating powers.
Add essential oils to your bath
Different essential oils offer different healing and aromatherapeutic properties. By adding a few drops of selected essential oils to your bath, you can tailor your baths so that they target your own specific wants and needs. Lavender oil, for example, both improves mood and relieves pain and inflammation. Sandalwood evens skin tone and soothes inflammation, while geranium provides deep hydration and calms irritated skin. Chamomile, in addition to soothing the mind and improving sleep quality, lightens age spots and hyperpigmentation and reduces wrinkles. In short, there are essential oils that target every skincare and wellness need! If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend trying our Pure Calm Wellness Bath Oil, which includes a potent mixture of calming and hydrating Ayurvedic ingredients like chamomile, neroli, lavender and clary sage. To use, simply pour 2 tablespoons into your bath for instant relaxation and indulgence. You can even use it as a moisturizing body oil for supple, baby-soft skin.
One way to achieve instant alertness that also benefits your health is through Ayurvedic cold therapy, a process that involves massaging the face with cold water. You can also try out a contrast shower, in which you alternate hot and cold water for short periods (for example, 3 minutes of hot water and 1 minute of cold water). According to health coach Jim Curtis, "Contrast showers can boost mental and physical alertness, increase circulation, support the immune system, reduce inflammation, aid in muscle recovery, and really increase mood and energy.” In addition to boosting your health and increasing focus and clarity, cold therapy also brings an extra layer of radiance to your skin. While it may take a little bit of time to get used to bathing in cold water, the results are powerfully motivating.
You can extend your bathing ritual by preceding it with abhyanga, or Ayurvedic self-massage. This practice involves massaging essential oils (or our Absolute Essential Self-Massage Oil!) into the skin, body and scalp. In addition to being a transformative practice of self-love and intimacy, self-massage provides a number of health and wellness benefits: it relieves pain, promotes hair growth and boosts luminosity, promotes skin brightness and circulation, improves memory and mental function, fights off infection and irritation and more. If you find yourself pressed for time, even a few minutes of self-massage can make a major difference, making your bath feel all the more relaxing and transformative.
Another way you can enhance your bathing routine is by quickly dry brushing before jumping into the bath or shower. Dry brushing involves running an Ayurvedic dry brush (such as our Lymphatic Detox Dry Brush) against the skin in gentle, firm strokes. Dry brushing is crucial for promoting lymphatic drainage and maintaining the health of the lymphatic system, which in turn helps the body expel toxins and promote circulation. It leaves the skin lifted, glowing and rejuvenated and instills the mind with instant clarity and alertness. By dry brushing before your bath or shower, you can relax the mind and prep the skin for detoxification. By the time you get out of the bath, your skin will have an extra-powerful glow.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with an Ayurvedic bathing routine, check out our Pure Calm Wellness Bath & Body Oil Gift Set! Especially with the holidays coming up, it also makes a perfect gift for friends and family.