Yoga Sept. 2005

In India,bathing represents a cleansing not only the of the physical body but also of the spiritual self. Many purification rituals are associated with bathing;it is believed that ritual bathing in the waters of anges River will purify the soul. In the simple ayurevedic context, a bath taken in the morning following self-massage is likened to bathing in Ganges.

In addition to claensing body and spirit, bathing is also associated with numerous other benifits to the mind and body. The Ashtanga Hridayam, one of the ancient ayurvedic texts,tells us that bathing improves sleep,appetite,sexual vigor,life span, and enthusiasm. The royal queens and princesses in ancient India were bathed in milk and fresh herbs to moisturize their skin until it glowed.To these day in India,special ingredients are stirred into a hot bath to customize it for dosha,time of year,or other considerations.E.g.,in the north,mustard is added to bath water in the winter months for a warm dip that balanceshapha dosha,which can become aggravated in the late winter and early spring.

Bathing rituals are also believed to significantly impact health,especially over a long term.e.g.,warm water is believed to strengthen the body,while the face and head should be rinsed in cool water,as these area that natually releases heat. Applying hot water to the head is believed to disurb the releases of heat from the crown,thereby weakening the hair roots and encouraging emotional irritabilitiy and "hot-headed-ness."So while you can relax in warm shower or bath,remember to wash your hair and face with cool water.Try the recipe for your dosha,or the one appropiate to any imblance you are feeling.The mixtures can also be made with a little water or ground into a paste for use as a shower scrub.

Pitta fresh herb & flower bath

An herb and flower bath is perfect for smoothing easily irritated pitta.You will be natually perfumed with the fragrance of a Vedic garden. This is especially good in summertime,when pitta infuence is at its peak.Add 1/2 cup marigold,rose,or jasmineflower petals and a handful of cooling fresh herbs such as mint or coriander to your bath.Adding a couple of table spoons of lemon juice or white vinegar will help balance excess oil and get rid of blemishes.

Kapha mustard & fenugreek bath

This combination of herbs is herbs is traditional in the cold winter and winter monsoon season of the Punjab region. Use year-round,but especially during the late winter and through spring,when kapha influence is at its peak.Add 3 tablespoonfuls ground muster and 1 tablespoon fenugreek powder to your bath.

vata milk & rice water bath

The tadition of bathing in milk was begun by qweens and noblewomen in ancient India.Milk contans protains that are vital for nourishing the skin,and rice starch softens the skin, and rice starch softens the skin and relieves stress.In a bowl,mix 1 cup powderedmilk with 1 cup rice starch.Stir in 2 tablespoons of rose water for fragrance and softness.dissolve the paste in your bath.

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