> back to articles
Ayurvedic Massage (Abhyanga)
massage offers many benefits. If done in the morning, it helps you
to start your day off relaxed, which is essential in maintaining balance.
When done at night, it promotes a restful nights sleep. It doesnt
when you choose to do the massage, but you will receive the optimum
you do it every day. Since the quality of Vata is dry and cold, a warm
oily massage provides an ideal balance for Vata types, though all types
notice increased health and vitality, especially during Vata season.
soothes the nervous system and the endocrine system, since skin produces
endocrine hormones. It rejuvenates the skin, promoting a youthful appearance.
also eliminates toxins and tones the muscles.
are different oils for each dosha, (you can check the chart to see
which particular oils would be best for you) or you can purchase specific
that have a sesame oil base and a combination of special herbs designed
you begin, warm the oil to skin temperature. The easiest way to do
this is to keep a small plastic squeeze bottle filled with oil, and
bottle in a bowl or cup of very hot water. Wait a few minutes for the
reach skin temperature.
the oil warms, lay out a towel to protect the carpet or floor from any
oil that may spill.
you are ready, start the massage at your head. Drizzle a small amount
of oil onto your scalp and massage it in with the palms of your hands.
clockwise, circular motion. Then gently massage your face and ears.
have oily skin, avoid those areas that are prone to breakouts. Massaging
ears is excellent for balancing Vata.
some oil in your palms and massage your neck, then move to your
shoulders. Use a circular motion on your joints - shoulders, elbows,
knees - and
long up-and-down strokes on your limbs.
gentle on your torso. Use large, clockwise motions to massage the chest
and stomach area.
around to massage your back as best you can without straining.
massage the legs, ankles, and knees. Using the palm of your hands,
vigorously massage the feet.
is best to leave the oil on the body for 20 minutes before washing it
in a warm, not hot, shower or bath. You can use this time to meditate
your Yoga exercises. If you dont have time to wait, thats
fine. Its much
better to do a quick massage than none at all.
Specific Massage Oils:
Soothing for Pitta
Stimulating for Kapha