Ritual bath yoga
by Rose Moore, October 9, 2021
Ritual bath, that sounds like a pretty woo woo concept doesn’t it? I started taking ritual baths after I got out of hospital a couple of years ago. My body was so worn from the effects of my tense anxieties. Doctor said to take relaxation baths regularly.. I was not a bath person. Like a cat, I didn’t like to get wet. Bathing was purely for cleaning my outer self and getting along with the day. I would even get sick in hot tubs, so it was never a big thing for me to be in water.
I am glad I made this ritual part of my life
It started as a ‘any time I needed it’ exercise. It would be a bath bomb, a tray, and my audio book playing for an hour or so. Sometimes just water and I would close my eyes. Just be.
At some point I no longer needed them ‘all the time,’ and it became a weekly ritual.
Ritual by the way, what a weird word right? It has such religious connotations. Not always true though! You’ll see that in my ritual bath you can either use your religious backgrounds to pray in the way that works for you, or you can use my ideas in a secular way. It doesn’t matter.
The ritual is for self care, not for your lord. That dude is welcome too, that’s all I’ve got to say about that! 😀
Ritual baths are not for washing your body. To wash your body is a different experience. One that you can do every day on the regular. This is a different experience. A ritual bath should occur when you are already cleansed. I recommend taking a shower the night before, otherwise it may overwhelm you to have so much time under water in such a small amount of time.
A warning: Don’t let the bath be so hot that it makes you sweat. Hot water at the beginning will help the salt dissolve, but once it is, make sure your bath is luke warm.
The importance of a pre-cleanse has to do with the nature of your tub. You’re going to be laying in a relatively small amount of water. Any grime you bring into the bath will eventually settle at the bottom. The less grime, the easier it will be for you to come into the present moment.
Another note about your tub—clean it the day before your ritual bath. You can easily do this before or after your pre cleanse shower Preparing yourself for this special Saucha experience is worth the effort. The more time you put into this exercise, the more relief you will feel in the end.
SAUCHA means purity
I am a yoga teacher, so everything I think about and want to share ends up back in yoga. Yoga has 8 limbs, meaning 8 different practices in order to find inner peace. It’s not just the physical postures. Suacha is one of the niyamas, or as I like to say, yoga self care practices. If you can cleanse and groom regularly, finding inner peace becomes easier.
No wonder I feel so icky when I’m depressed and it gets harder to get under water. Right? Has anyone else ever felt this? The grime begets the depression, the depression begets the grime. Therefore you might feel better after a shower. Your body is thanking you for taking that difficult step during your low points.
Other yoga teachers like to emphasize the fact that saucha does “not just mean the obvious purity of grooming, it has to do with attitude, blah bah blah”
To this, today, all I have to say is this:
Patanjali would have liked it if you groomed yourself.
We all would
SO! Don’t forget the saucha ALSO means the obvious practice of cleaning your body.
Thank you very much for your time, now allow me to move into our big theme for the day:
The Autumnal Ritual Bath
Here are a few archetypes I was inspired by for this bath
Persephone and Parvati
- Persephone: Goddess of the harvest, or fruits, and of the underworld. Husband of the devil, allowed out from spring to autumn. She is known to be depicted next to pomegranates, apples, oranges, grains, and flowers
- Parvati ( translates to ‘she of the mountain’) wife of Shiva: he Hindugoddess of fertility, love, beauty, bravery, harmony, marriage, children, and devotion; as well as of divine strength and power
Bathing is a basic way to purify your skin, calming anxieties, revitalizing your energy, soaking in goodness from our vitamin charged bath amenities
Ayurveda blends of aromatherapy
Put these things in your water:
- Skin safe oil
- Magnesium salt to mix in the water
- Dehydrated milk to mix in the water
- Orange blossom to float
- Flowers cut at the bud to float
- Tea bags – black tea (at least two)
- Sage leaf to float
- Orange peels to float
- Apple slices to float
- Honey to mix in the water
- Crystals of your choice
- Tea bags – soak them in the warm water for a moment, squeeze the excess liquid, and place over your eyeballs during facial meditation
Make an oat face mask or I use Aveda oat mask. To make your own
- Oat mask – pulse dry oats in a food processor until it is milled. Combine in a bowl with dehydrated milk. Mix in a separate bowl egg white (for oily skin) or whole egg (for normal to dry skin) one tablespoon at a time until you create a thick paste. You can add crushed (or milled!) herbs and essential oils for your custom scent.
- Lip moisturizer (I like to use a skin serum with CBD. It soaks in quickly and keeps your lips plump)
- Pull hair back loosely into a braid, let it soak in the water as well
- Cleanse face, exfoliate if needed, serum, then generously apply oat mask to entire face down to your shoulders
- Apply the tea bags to face
- Relax into your tub
- Meditation in your bath for 25 minutes
- Plunge face into water and rub it all off
- Rinse with salt free water
- Continue ritual bath
Honey salt Exfoliating scrub
the skin exfoliation this comes last. When you enter your bath your skin is at its regular stasis of moisturized. As you soak in the tub, your skin will begin to plump, and your dead skin cells will start to separate naturally. Allowing yourself to soak first will allow the most dead cells to separate, making a scrub like this a gentle experience. You don’t have to rub yourself raw
- Mix Magnesium salt and honey. Towards the end of your bath, scrub the mixture all over your entire body. I like to use gloves so that my hands don’t get too raw
Why do I recommend crystals with your ritual bath?
Some people believe that crystals have healing properties. The minerals, rocks, and crystals below are a combination I created for this bath in order to achieve a few things:
- Opalite (must not be placed in the water)
- Because it glows under certain lights and its getting dark out this autumn
- To connect you to bigger bodies of water
- It also glows under low lights
- Clear quartz point
- Gorgeous clear addition to any rock art installation
- Purple & blue agate
- Remind me of the royal status of Parvati and Persephone. How can I embody these reagal virtues into my life?
- Green aventurine
- Super charge your heart chakra to ease your ego as you bath in meditation
- To quell fear and open for receiving. Don’t dunk it in the water
- For possibility, and again to connect you with bigger bodies of water
making it happen
You can make this experience as complicated or easy as you would like. When I take the time to prepare a day ahead and make all of these goos, the process can feel like I am at a spa. its worth it. easy or complex.
also, pick a time of the day where you know you’ll have a moment alone.
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