Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Who else feels disconnected from their body?
I’d say I care for my body~ I fuel it with the right foods, drink plenty of water and herbal tea, fit in physical movement when I can… but am I connected to it? I don’t think so. There’s not much of a reason for me to get personal with my body throughout the day. I try to connect to it with activities such as dance and yoga, and in those moments I do actively feel love for my body, but it feels like I’m just scratching the surface. Judgements still seem to wiggle their way into my head when I glance in the mirror. We keep our bodies clothed and concealed, seeing them only as the shape of fabrics that hug and hide our shape in just the way we want. I want to grow comfortable to see my body in all its raw authenticity and to appreciate it as more than just a body, as I’m sure we all aspire to. So, how does one go about gaining that?
My new favorite practice ~ Abhyanga!
Well, I’m here to share with you a practice from our third session that has directly helped me towards this goal. The class topic was about how we can better support our bodies through touch and movement. Though all of these practices allow you to grow more in tune with your physical needs, my personal favorite is Abhyanga.
Abhyanga is a loving, self massage that's done with a plethora of oil. You slather yourself up in the oil from head to toe, intentionally massaging with care and attentiveness.
What I love so much about it is that it's just as mentally beneficial as it is physically. You’re forced to see your body for the rawness that it is, watching your hands move lovingly across your skin. This can be uncomfortable and emotional as you’re face to face with your body, but that's the beauty of this practice. Too often do we find reason to hide our bodies from ourselves and other people.
Your body isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s meant to take care of you, and Abhyanga is a way to show that care in return.
It’s a chance to show love to the parts of your body that are often neglected. It is a beautiful act of self love to incorporate into your daily routine. A full body Abhyanga takes about 15 minutes or so and will likely leave you in need of a shower given you’re covered in oil, so that can be done when you have the time. (I’m aiming towards doing it weekly!) But, a simple face Abhyanga is easy to do daily and still helps with promoting circulation, boosting collagen, and is a chance to check in with yourself.
If this interests you feel free to look up the physical benefits of Abhyanga for your body since I mainly focused on the mental benefits, which is my favorite part :)
Head over to Haylee’s blog post on Abhyunga for a video on how to do it!
Written by our lovely intern Hailie from inside our Seasonal Stromme: Skadi - click to learn more about our seasonal workshops and programs!