Most of the daily routine centers on what you do the first two hours of the morning. This includes tongue scraping and the oral care habits we discussed in the previous article called ‘A Lover’s Morning Routine‘. Now we’ll learn how to nourish the rest of your body with easy self-care.
Before you do anything (except perhaps go to the bathroom and scraping your tongue), you should drink a tall glass of lukewarm water. This first-morning drink helps to encourage peristalsis, hydrate your inner skin (your gut) and flush out toxins. When your inner skin is hydrated, your outer skin will show it. I add ConcenTrace mineral drops to make the water extra digestible. Trace minerals also render water more alkaline, not to mention tastier (which is why Evian tastes so good). If your body has been fasting from water for at least 8 hours, give it what it wants: pure, alkaline water.
For the scoop on special water recipes, tips, and tricks, including how to lose 10 lbs without trying, check out my article on the Top 5 Water Tips.
Next, the morning routine proceeds to the bathroom, where we hydrate and nourish our outer skin with oleation. The Sanskrit word for oleation is snehana, which also means loving– making daily oil massage an act of love you give yourself or your beloved. One of my favorite ways to practice snehana is in the shower with a homemade scrub. In the summer, I use sugar plus my favorite oil- coconut or sunflower- with a few added drops of essential oil (like orange or mint). You can also use a customized oil for your constitution such as “Pitta Massage Oil” or the more exotic Monoi Oil, which is made with macerated tiare flowers and is in my opinion the best summer body oil in the world! In the winter, I make the body scrub with salt and sesame oil, or if you’re keen, half salt and half baking soda, which really scrubs and heats the body, moving lymph tissue and encouraging detoxification.
To make the scrub, fill a watertight container with a dry mixture (salt and sugar or salt and baking soda), then add oil and mix together. Your scrub is ready when the oil has mixed completely with the salt/sugar and there is a bit of extra oil on top.
Once you’re in the shower, turn on the hot water and warm-up for a few minutes. You can also soap off and shampoo yourself at this time (though never use hot water on your head and eyes- you’ll lose your hair and vision according to Ayurveda). When your pores have opened nicely, turn off the water and scoop some oil scrub, applying to the body starting with your head down. If you don’t want to put it in your hair, simply start at the neck and proceed with long strokes on your long bones, and clockwise circular strokes on your joints. You can really work up a sweat doing this, especially in the cold winter months, massaging the oil scrub into your skin until your skin is slightly reddish. This can even be a form of passive exercise, or at least a warm-up for your joints and ligaments before your normal exercise routine.
When you’re ready, turn on the hot water and keep massaging your body until all the salt/sugar comes off. You’ll be left with a thin layer of oil, which you can then towel off as needed. I prefer not to wash this with soap, as the oil is your own special 'Under Armor' protection against the ravages of winter and daily stress. Of course, if you’re wearing a $1,500 Armani suit, you may want to avoid staining it with sesame oil…
Oil is your own special 'Under Armor' protection against the ravages of winter and daily stress.
In the third part of this article, we’ll cover more secret tips and recipes. If you don’t want to wait, you can get them now in my new book Sex, Love, & Dharma, where I detail these and countless other nuggets of wisdom from the Vedic tradition, including how to make your house a home, and how to use astrology in the bedroom. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts… please leave a comment below!
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