How To Practice & Benefits Of Self Massage ~ Abhyanga!

Authored By: 
Christina Vargas

Ayurveda enriches our lives with its natural health benefits and numerous practices of self-care and self-LOVE. To care for yourself by cooking, meditating, keeping a clean home, and exercising is an act of self-love that takes time and effort. The time you take to care for yourself will keep you from prescription drugs, visits to the ER and many health challenges.

One of the most rewarding Sadhana practices Ayurveda has to offer is Abhyanga!

What is Self Abhyanga?

The word for “oiling the body” in Sanskrit, is Snehana, which means “TO LOVE”. Self Abhyanga is a warm herbal oil massage that has amazing benefits:

  • brings nourishment to the tissues
  • deep relaxation to the muscles
  • calms the nervous system
  • reduces anxiety, anger, and depression
  • promotes a restful sleep
  • increases circulation and reduces cellulite
  • helpful for managing weight
  • moves toxins to the digestive tract for elimination
  • opens chakras or energy channels that are blocked
  • decreases common skin irritates such eczema, psoriasis, dry, flaky, itchy, hot, oily skin.

What type of herbal oil should I use?

I recommend using a herbal infused oil that is customized for your body type or season that will create the desired action. I sell customized oils, so stop by our clinic and pick up an 8oz bottle.

During the vata season (Late Fall and Winter) use sesame oil which is warmer. During the kapha season (Spring) I recommend using a lighter oil such sunflower. And, during the pitta season (Summer) coconut or sunflower oil is nice. Add essential oils to bring in beneficial aromas that lift your spirit! 

What do I need to do a Self Abhyanga?

  • Personalized oil
  • Pot or warmer to warm oil
  • Dedicated clothing and towel
  • An open heart and awareness
  • Devotional music

How do I perform a Self Abhyanga?

Warm your oil using a small crock pot or pot/stove. You can also place your oil in a sink of hot water.Massage oil in fast vigorous motions over long bones, circular motions over joints, in an upward and down motion on abdomen, and inward/outward motion over breasts.

Kapha: Start from the feet and move upward (*less oil is needed)

Pitta: All motions to the heart and center of the body

Vata: All motions from head downward

Try to do your Abhyanga before yoga and meditation in the morning and allow the oil to stay on your body as long as possible. 
* Enjoy this time with your Self!

* Embrace positive thinking while performing your Abhyanga!

* Repeat positive affirmation!

* Smile and love your Self up!

* Embrace the existence of Mother Earth and the Divine within you!

About the Author: 

Since 2005, Christina Vargas has been teaching yoga and sharing her gift for helping others live a life of balance as an avid yogi and certified yoga instructor. It was when she returned from teacher training and was introduced by a friend (now husband) to Ayurveda that her life was changed forever. Discovering this healing science that has been practiced in India for more than 5,000 years was the catalyst for SimpleVeda.

At SimpleVeda, Christina offers one-on-one Ayurvedic consultations, iRest | Yoga Nidra, dyads and meditations, yoga, personal chef services and other forms of Vedic Counseling in which she takes a holistic approach to helping clients adjust their lifestyle to achieve balance, reduce stress, and lessen chronic and acute health conditions. She is excited to help clients assess the areas in their lives in which they seek balance most. Through instruction, education, and guidance, Christina offers clients personalized service that results in happier and healthier lives — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Witnessing her own personal healing journey with Ayurveda and how the science of Ayurveda has changed her clients’ lives motivates her each day. She is a believer that living a lifestyle of Ayurveda and Yoga is for everyone! With two kids and a busy lifestyle she knows first-hand how simple this routine can be and what a difference it can make on one’s well being. She will help you understand your unique body type and guide you in making simple changes to your diet and daily habits. Clients appreciate her ability to guide and support them through the complex world of diets and fads.

Christina and her husband reside in the Dallas area and have two children, a dog, chickens, and 2 beehives.

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