AYURVEDIC CASTOR OIL BATH
So here I am, in Goa, India in case you didn’t already know (ps. Follow me on instagram – claireowellness – for lots of pictures of my travels).
It’s such an incredible experience to spend time with yogis from all over the globe. We sip chai, talk asana and pranayama, we swap practice notes and share tips for the best thali (south India style food) in town.
We also share little yogic practices that contribute to our experience. You see, this is quite a unique opportunity. We get to do nothing but practice yoga. In our normal daily lives despite yoga being an important and fixed part of our ritual, it is usually followed by a busy schedule – work, social life, family, responsibilities… But here, the practice is everything. And we have time to indulge in any other yogic practice that we normally don’t have the luxury to enjoy.
One such practice is the infamous Castor Oil Bath. A traditional Ayurvedic practice that has been on my ‘must-do’ list for years! Here in India I get the opportunity to enjoy it multiple times.
First some background – what is a Castor Oil Bath?
What is Castor Oil? (thanks Wiki!)
Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (technically castor seed is not a member of the bean family). Castor oil is a colorless to very pale yellow liquid with mild or no odor.
Ok, so let me run you through my recent experience with my first castor oil bath.
It was a Friday evening and I had finished dinner with friends. As Saturday was a day of rest I decided that despite it being late already that I would try the Castor Oil Bath.
I decided not to go crazy, being my first time and all – I’d heard and seen the very strong effects that can happen.
Now, just to clarify you aren’t actually bathing in castor oil, but the name comes from the Indian style of washing – rubbing yourself down with soap and then pouring water over you to rinse down.
I heated the oil before rubbing it on the crown of my head and then proceeded to rub it into the body, concentrating on areas of pain, the joints and large muscles.
This took around 10mins. Then standing under the hot shower I continued to rub the oil deeper in before lathering up soap and shampoo to rinse off.
I prepared for bed and settled in for what i hoped would be a super overnight and the next morning was when the real fun started. I felt a deep, lethargy come over me as I was lying in bed and then a sense of grogginess. Not in a bad way, but quite powerful. As I slept, throughout the night I would wake only for a moment and found it white difficult to shake that groggy state.
By morning I literally felt stoned. I felt slow, peaceful, calm, quiet, sleepy. So I spent the morning doing nothing – sleeping, breathing, meditating… Or just sitting simply in silence.
It is incredible. Not to mention the lower back pain I was feeling that totally vanished by morning!
If you are keen to try it here is a great link with instructions and lots of detailed information:
Pamper yourself: DIY castor oil bath
I’m doing it again tonight and I can’t wait for that blissful, peaceful feeling.
Saha to you,
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