Ayurveda Abhyanga Self-Massage

Ayurveda is a way of nourishment I learned about during my studies at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  But it really wasn’t until my Doula Studies that Ayurveda and self-massage became a lot more than an exotic way of using herbs and foods to feed any specific body type. For women going through Postpartum, Ayurveda offers a rich, warming, nurturing diet. Because that is exactly what Mama needs in this time to heal from birth, level out hormones and possibly feed a baby. This also applies to any women going through miscarriage postpartum. I wrote about it before: It makes so much sense to pair the comforting and nurturing quality of food with what we need in our life, don’t you think? It’s an act of self-care to look out on how we can best serve ourselves when things are chaotic. Food can ground us in transitions if we choose the right ones on our plate and for our skincare. 

That’s how I learned about Abhyanga. The time that I set aside in the morning to practice Abhyanga has turned into the most restoring moments for my skin and mind. In this self-massage, I use warm oils like sesame or coconut – depending on what my mood is and my senses crave.

Since I started I experienced some great benefits like softer and glowy tighter skin. If you are anything like me, tools that turn you towards your physical being are a great way to connect. I am still re-programming from the idea that methods of self-care are here to make us look and feel thinner, younger, tighter. I don’t mind the benefit but I don’t want it to be my motivation anymore. My daily Abhyanga ritual helps me integrate this. So let’s look a little deeper into the beauty this massage offers. In case you don’t know your Ayurveda Dosha yet, you can do this test and learn more about your personal constitution and even specify the Ayurveda Abhyanga Self-Massage here to your individual needs.

Let me share my ideas for your personal Ayurveda Abhyanga Self-Massage:

OILS TO USE | There are specific oils to use for each of the three doshas and constitutions. Jojoba Oil is an allrounder and sesame is great during the colder seasons of Autumn and Winter. I pour some oil in a cup and heat it in a hot water bath.

HOW TO ABHYANGA MASSAGE | I do this ritual after my morning shower when my skin is still a bit wet. I place a comfy large towel on the floor and put on my favorite music. I leave out my head during most of the massages because my curls are appreciative of too much oil.  So instead I begin with my face an massage a bit of the oil in a circular motion around my forehead, temples, and cheeks. As in any facial massage, I use upward movements.

From here on I massage my arms, breasts, belly, legs, and feet. I use long strokes and massage towards my heart. We want to move the liquids in the body and the heart is the place to turn to for this.

RELAX |Once I am finished I like to lay down and stretch out for a moment. While the oil can absorb I set my intention for the day. Then I take an old towel and gently dry off any access oil. I let my skin do the rest while brushing my teeth and doing my hair. Once I’m ready to get dressed my skin feels warm, nourished and has this special glow.

VIDEO | Watch this video to see a detailed step-by-step massage.

Excited to hear how you like this message and if it helps you, too.


#FeelingIsHealing by Maria Christina Gabriel


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