Abhyanga: Healing Ayurvedic Massage

One of the Yoga Illumined teacher training weekends is dedicated to Ayurveda, the ancient science of health and healing that is a huge complement to Yoga practices.  In fact, many of the tenets of Ayurveda and Yoga are the same.  Kerry Meath-Sinkin, pictured, of Timeless Health Solutions, teaches a portion of the Ayurveda weekend.  A great friend and practitioner whom I rely on for Ayurveda knowledge and personal consultations, she has taught me many simple things to help balance my body and mind in the busy day-to-day of modern life.

Kerry Meath-Sinkin, Ayurveda, Yoga Illumined, Castle Hill, Sumukhi, Kristina Lanuza, Zoe Mantarakis, Yogafly, Austin, Texas YogaOne of the things I can’t live without is Abhyanga – which is a self daily oil massage.  Banyan Botanicals has a great video that teaches you how give yourself Abyanga here:  http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/sm .  Oils you choose depend on your constitution and time of year.  My constitution is almost equally Vata-Pitta dominantly – which is Air-Fire so I use coconut oil for most of the hot Summer months of Austin and sesame oil for the colder months (although it’s mostly warm in Texas so coconut oil becomes the one I use most of the year).

Kerry likes to give Dr. Vasant Lad’s visual as to why daily Abhyanga is so helpful.  He gives the image of a dry stick – dipped in oil and likens the body’s muscles, bones and skin’s response to the oil massage as very similar.  Abhyanga has definitely kept my skin soft and young.  As we get older, Vata and dryness becomes more dominant so the more we oil and hydrate the body, the less dryness takes over. Banyan Botanicals gives the benefits of Abhyanga on their website:

Benefits of External Oleation

(Outlined in: Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdayam, the great three Classical Ayurvedic Texts)

Benefits of applying oil to the body (abhyanga):

  • Imparts softness, strength and color to the body
  • Decreases the effects of aging
  • Bestows good vision
  • Nourishes the body
  • Increases longevity
  • Benefits sleep patterns
  • Benefits skin
  • Strengthens the body’s tolerance
  • Imparts a firmness to the limbs
  • Imparts tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
  • Stimulates the internal organs of the body, increasing circulation
  • Pacifies vata and pitta

For more information, and to order oils and herbs for Abhyanga visit Banyan Botanicals website: http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/sm

 

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