How to Abhyanga ~ A Yogi’s Guide to warm oil massage

March 24, 2023


Warm oil massage and Springtime!

Right now is a beautiful time of year when the world smells good, nature is sprouting and love is in the air.

Springtime + Self Care time = sweetness in you!

The self-care practice I am referring to at this time is warm oil massage or Abhyanga ~ an Ayurvedic term for the practice of self-oil massage.

I have made a video for you on how to give yourself a warm oil massage. In this video, I answer the most common questions I hear about this Ayurveda practice, such as:

  • When is a good time to give myself an oil massage?
  • What are the benefits?
  • What do I need to get before I give myself a warm oil massage?
  • How much time will it take?
  • What is the best massage oil to use for Abhyanga?
  • Can I do a self oil massage at home?

Check out my video on how to give yourself a warm oil massage.

There are a lot of benefits and I have listed them below. But before you read the list, I want to share this original Ayurveda text from the 1st-millenium BCE, it explains the how-to’s and the benefits of Abhyanga~

नितà¥à¤¯à¤‚ सà¥à¤¨à¥‡à¤¹à¤¾à¤°à¥à¤¦à¥à¤°à¤¶à¤¿à¤°à¤¸à¤ƒ शिरःशूलं न जायते| न खालितà¥à¤¯à¤‚ न पालितà¥à¤¯à¤‚ न केशाः पà¥à¤°à¤ªà¤¤à¤¨à¥à¤¤à¤¿ च||८१||

बलं शिरःकपालानां विशेषेणाभिवरà¥à¤§à¤¤à¥‡| दृढमूलाशà¥à¤š दीरà¥à¤˜à¤¾à¤¶à¥à¤š कृषà¥à¤£à¤¾à¤ƒ केशा भवनà¥à¤¤à¤¿ च||८२||

इनà¥à¤¦à¥à¤°à¤¿à¤¯à¤¾à¤£à¤¿ पà¥à¤°à¤¸à¥€à¤¦à¤¨à¥à¤¤à¤¿ सà¥à¤¤à¥à¤µà¤—à¥à¤­à¤µà¤¤à¤¿ चाननमॠ| निदà¥à¤°à¤¾à¤²à¤¾à¤­à¤ƒ सà¥à¤–ं च सà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤¨à¥à¤®à¥‚रà¥à¤§à¥à¤¨à¤¿ तैलनिषेवणातà¥||८३||

न करà¥à¤£à¤°à¥‹à¤—ा वातोतà¥à¤¥à¤¾ न मनà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤¹à¤¨à¥à¤¸à¤™à¥à¤—à¥à¤°à¤¹à¤ƒ| नोचà¥à¤šà¥ˆà¤ƒ शà¥à¤°à¥à¤¤à¤¿à¤°à¥à¤¨ बाधिरà¥à¤¯à¤‚ सà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤¨à¥à¤¨à¤¿à¤¤à¥à¤¯à¤‚ करà¥à¤£à¤¤à¤°à¥à¤ªà¤£à¤¾à¤¤à¥||८४||

सà¥à¤¨à¥‡à¤¹à¤¾à¤­à¥à¤¯à¤™à¥à¤—ादà¥à¤¯à¤¥à¤¾ कà¥à¤®à¥à¤­à¤¶à¥à¤šà¤°à¥à¤® सà¥à¤¨à¥‡à¤¹à¤µà¤¿à¤®à¤°à¥à¤¦à¤¨à¤¾à¤¤à¥| भवतà¥à¤¯à¥à¤ªà¤¾à¤™à¥à¤—ादकà¥à¤·à¤¶à¥à¤š दृढः कà¥à¤²à¥‡à¤¶à¤¸à¤¹à¥‹ यथा||८५||

तथा शरीरमभà¥à¤¯à¤™à¥à¤—ादà¥à¤¦à¥ƒà¤¢à¤‚ सà¥à¤¤à¥à¤µà¤•à¥ च जायते| पà¥à¤°à¤¶à¤¾à¤¨à¥à¤¤à¤®à¤¾à¤°à¥à¤¤à¤¾à¤¬à¤¾à¤§à¤‚ कà¥à¤²à¥‡à¤¶à¤µà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤¯à¤¾à¤®à¤¸à¤‚सहमà¥||८६||

सà¥à¤ªà¤°à¥à¤¶à¤¨à¥‡à¤½à¤­à¥à¤¯à¤§à¤¿à¤•à¥‹ वायà¥à¤ƒ सà¥à¤ªà¤°à¥à¤¶à¤¨à¤‚ च तà¥à¤µà¤—ाशà¥à¤°à¤¿à¤¤à¤®à¥| तà¥à¤µà¤šà¥à¤¯à¤¶à¥à¤š परमभà¥à¤¯à¤™à¥à¤—सà¥à¤¤à¤¸à¥à¤®à¤¾à¤¤à¥à¤¤à¤‚ शीलयेनà¥à¤¨à¤°à¤ƒ||८७||

न चाभिघाताभिहतं गातà¥à¤°à¤®à¤­à¥à¤¯à¤™à¥à¤—सेविनः| विकारं भजतेऽतà¥à¤¯à¤°à¥à¤¥à¤‚ बलकरà¥à¤®à¤£à¤¿ वा कà¥à¤µà¤šà¤¿à¤¤à¥||८८||

सà¥à¤¸à¥à¤ªà¤°à¥à¤¶à¥‹à¤ªà¤šà¤¿à¤¤à¤¾à¤™à¥à¤—शà¥à¤š बलवानॠपà¥à¤°à¤¿à¤¯à¤¦à¤°à¥à¤¶à¤¨à¤ƒ| भवतà¥à¤¯à¤­à¥à¤¯à¤™à¥à¤—नितà¥à¤¯à¤¤à¥à¤µà¤¾à¤¨à¥à¤¨à¤°à¥‹à¤½à¤²à¥à¤ªà¤œà¤° à¤à¤µ च||८९||

One who practices warm oil massage on his/her head and face, alleviates head-ache, premature graying, and alopecia, while strengthening the cranial bones significantly. Hair roots become stronger, senses become clearer, the facial skin becomes smoother and experiences sound sleep and happiness.

By using a warm oil massage on the whole body, the skin becomes beautiful, drying disorders are relieved, and tolerance to hardship and physical strain is enhanced. Massage is exceedingly beneficial to the skin, and therefore, should be practiced regularly. A body that has become accustomed to oil massage is not liable to be afflicted with injury due to external trauma or strenuous physical exertion. A person, by applying daily oil massage, becomes smooth and plump, strong and good looking, while slowing his aging process. [Cha.Su.5/81-89]

You can find this original text and more from the Charaka Samhita, online here

And here is a list of the benefits we will experience when you practice this regularly and over time. Begin now and enjoy!

  • Softens and smoothes skin; wrinkles are reduced and disappear
  • Improves muscle tone and gives energy to the tissues of the body
  • Enhance consistency, tone, and overall skin appearance
  • Boosts stamina and soothes the nerves
  • Helps you get better and deeper sleep
  • Supports the healthy functioning of the internal organs
  • Improve the eyesight
  • Supports the nervous system and thereby removes tension and stress
  • Decreases the effects of aging
  • Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the tissues of the body
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Improves circulation
  • Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification

Check out my Video on how to practice warm oil self massage or Abhyanga here.

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