“ If your compassion does not include yourself it is incomplete” ~ Jack Kornfield
Many of us find it easier to give love to others than we do to ourselves. We are often hardest on ourselves and tend to put our own health and wellbeing at the bottom of our list, something to attend to once we have taken care of everyone else. Does this sound familiar?
One of my favourite ways to increase self-love is to give myself a daily oil massage. This practice is known as sneha abhyanga in Ayurveda, which essentially means “anointing the body with oil”, however, the word sneha can be translated as both “oil” or “love”, so we can also look at this as a practice of anointing the body with love.
This ritual can be done before your daily shower, and only takes a few minutes. Simply take out your favourite body oil (or make your own with the recipe below), and place the bottle in a cup of warm water. Undress and stand on a towel so you don’t get oil on the floor, or stand directly in your tub.
Massage the warm oil onto your skin, using long strokes on your limbs, and gentle circular movements on your joints. While the practice only takes a few moments, do not rush and be sure to touch your body in a kind and loving way.
Step into your shower and continue to massage the oil into your skin under the hot water. You may use soap as desired, but I recommend allowing the oil to remain on your skin. The heat from the shower will help your skin to draw it in.
Towel dry and get dressed, wrapped in an embrace of warmth and self-love.
Simple Aromatherapy Massage Oil Recipe
This blend relieves stress and is gently uplifting. It also increases circulation and smells amazing. Put your carrier oil of choice in a small glass bottle, and drop the essential oils in. Place the cap on the jar and shake well before using.
- 2 oz’s of sweet almond, apricot kernel, jojoba or coconut oil
- 6 drops sweet orange essential oil
- 6 drops frankincense essential oil
- 5 drops marjoram essential oil
- 3 drop ylang-ylang essential oil
Written by Natalie Rousseau
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