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Self-Oil Massage (Abhyanga)

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OIL: Use Vatashamak oil or other available at Insights of New Orleans and prescribe by yourAyurvedic practitioner. OTHER MATERIALS: Plastic bottle, warm water, old cotton towel or mat. ATTITUDE: Try to cultivate a loving presence towards yourself. During the massage, make the movements slow, smooth and deliberate. Rushing will reduce the benefits by more than half. Step 1: Pour the oil into the plastic bottle; keep the large source bottle of oil shut tightly and in a dark cool location to prevent the oil from oxidizing. Step 2: Place the bottle in the warm water for 5 minutes or until the oil heats up to be warmer than your body temperature. Step 3: Stand on your towel or mat in a comfortably warm, draft-free room. Step 4: Squeeze the oil a little at a time into your palm and apply the oil to your body, working systematically from the left foot up your left leg to the navel. Repeat for the right leg to navel. Massaging the bottoms of the feet is best done at night and not in the morning. Step 5: Next, massage the oil into your left hand and arm, to the shoulder and then down to the navel; repeat for the right hand, arm and shoulder to the navel. Step 6: Now massage the lower back towards the navel. Now massage the oil into the upper back and towards the navel. Make sure all the upper body has been covered with oil. Lastly massage around the navel in a circular motion first clockwise, then anti-clockwise. This process should take about 5 minutes. Step 7 (Optional): If massaging your scalp, apply oil to the crown of the head and then work the oil into your scalp with your fingers in outward circles. This process should take about 2 minutes. Step 8: Wait 20 minutes for the oil to absorb into the skin. Now take a warm bath or shower, being very careful not to slip. Wipe excess oil off your feet before stepping off the towel or mat. Use a very mild soap and gentle shampoo to remove excess oil. Note that it is good that a very thin film of oil remains on the skin. Step 9: Dry off with a towel, then get into warm clothes or pajamas. Try to carry the feelings of warmth, softness and slowness with you into your day or into your sleep. NOTE: The towel or mat you stand on for Self-Oil Massage will get stained with oil. It may be best to stand on a surface that can be cleaned (tile, etc.). Do NOT put towels that have a lot of oil on them in a bin or basket – they need to go in a washing machine directly or dried out. Oily towels can be flammable and catch fire if they are left lying around in bins or baskets.

Abhyanga means the anointing of the entire body with warm, medicated oil. When

applied in a loving manner and for as little as 15 minutes a day, the oil penetrates

deep layers of tissue to provide a deep sense of stability and warmth. Abhyanga

restores balance to the body and mind, thereby improving sleep and supporting

overall health and well-being.

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