Abhyunga, or self-massage has been one of the most supportive practices for me in my own healing journey. At the bottom, I made a video so you can see how this massage practice looks for my visual learners. I will also write out a few pointers of the basic principles and strokes :)
First off, why do abhyunga? And what is it?
This practice is a way to check in with yourself every morning (or night), relax the mind and body and literally give yourself some TLC! I first noticed the physical benefits of this practice In any type of massage (including self-massage) you are moving the lymph, giving tactile care and feedback to areas that are sore and supporting your circulation. This is innately injury prevention! After practicing for about a month I became aware of how meditative and calming this practice is as well; It is like a hands-on body scan meditation.
In this moment Abyhunga became so much more for me.
It is a way I can begin to re-write my subconscious in my mind and body. As I do this practice I am mentally offering myself love and healing using verbal affirmations and through my physical touch. This is pivotal for the whole system to be able to shift how we relate to ourselves.
Often it is easier to cognitively shift our thinking, but it much harder for the rest of our body to follow through.
How to do it
1. Heat some cold-pressed coconut oil (this is tridosha oil) over the stove to warm it up
2. Set out a mat, towel or area you don’t mind getting a little oily
3. Use the oil to massage! Be generous!
4. Let the oil sit on your skin for at least 14 minutes to absorb the healing properties
-always use strokes that work against gravity and promote circulation
-upwards motions, right to left and circular around the joints
-follow what feels good to you and take your time!
-breath into your massage and send love with your touch
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