Indian Bathing Rituals to Elevate Your Shower Experience
When was the last time you truly felt rejuvenated after a bath?
Today, baths and showers have become synonymous with a quick wash-and-go that’s only meant to clean our bodies after a long day. Sure, we might throw in a couple of extra shower products every now and then, but the truth is that showers have become a very mundane and rushed part of our daily routines.
For centuries, bathing has been considered a sacred and essential part of the day in India. Just as water is considered a divine element, the act of bathing holds a superior status in Indian culture for its ability to purify, strengthen, and relax the body. According to Ayurveda, bathing isn’t merely a routine but a ritual that goes far beyond cleansing the body. When performed in its true spirit, the Ayurvedic bath or snana is a therapeutic practice with the ability to cleanse the body, energize the mind, and soothe the soul.
Indian bathing rituals are rooted in centuries of tradition and Ayurvedic research. One major difference between them and the showers we are used to today is the intention. The traditional Indian bathing ritual is a mindful and holistic experience that places immense emphasis on being present and conscious during the process, making the bath itself an intimate and intentional act. It encourages a meditative state, coaxing us to slow down and pay attention, building a connection between ourselves and our surroundings. It offers a special moment of solitude where we can tune out of our busy schedules - a true luxury in our fast-paced lives.
The Ayurvedic bathing routine can sometimes encompass many steps that may not be easy for us to practice on a regular basis. However, by just incorporating a few elements of these bathing rituals in our daily shower routines, we can reap immense benefits both physically and emotionally.
Ayurvedic Oil Massage
The pre-shower oil massage, also known as abhyanga, is a crucial part of the Indian bathing routine. This practice is followed among Indians even today and has even gained popularity worldwide.
The oil massage involves using a blend of pure oils infused with herbs to gently but firmly massage the entire body. Special attention is given to sore muscles and stiff joints to alleviate pain and bring about a deep sense of relaxation and calm. The oils not only moisturize but also nourish and boost circulation, leading to clear, glowing skin and healthy hair.
Allocating just a few minutes before your shower to massage your body with oil can make a world of a difference. Made with a nourishing blend of cold-pressed oils along with saffron and gold, the UMM Skincare Body Oil is a perfect choice for a full-body massage.
Use a Gentle, Natural Cleanser
Before the advent of harsh soaps and detergent-based body cleansers, natural cleansing ingredients were used to clean the body and hair. These cleansers would usually be used in the form of a freshly ground paste or a powder that is mixed with water, milk, or oil and rubbed onto the skin. Ingredients like turmeric, herbs, and clays are commonly used, which leave the skin with an uplifting, earthy fragrance.
The UMM Skincare Bar Soap is infused with nourishing oils, goat milk, shea butter, herbs, turmeric, multani mitti, and essential oils to give you all the benefits of using a natural cleanser in the convenient form of a cleansing bar. Rinse with lukewarm water to soften the skin without stripping it dry.
For a finishing touch, we recommend spritzing an aromatic floral water such as rose water on your skin to boost your mood. If you have very dry skin, you can rub a few drops of oil onto damp skin to seal in the moisture and keep your skin supple and naturally radiant.
The next time you step into your shower, try to envision it as a sacred, healing practice that you owe to yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for the extra care.