Shower thoughts: Bathing, a traditional meditative and therapeutic ritual


Express News Service

Try to remember the last time you did not take a quick shower, but gave yourself into the gentle pattering of water. Calming, wasn’t it?

In ayurvedic traditions too, bathing is not seen as a chore, but as a meditative and therapeutic ritual. It is meant to be slow and deliberate, focused on cleansing not just the body, but the mind and soul as well.

“To optimise the benefits of the shower, use hot or cold water depending on specific health disorders,” says Noida-based ayurveda acharya Ravi Duggal, who makes recommendations based on specific health conditions.

For those suffering from acid reflux, bloating, liver inflammation, nausea, and excessive sweating, cold water does wonders. It increases prana (the life force responsible for energy, stamina and vitality) in the body, and subsides agni, the element in charge of digestion. If anxiety and anger issues are troubling you, cold showers can be a lifesaver, for it improves blood circulation, calms the nerves and stimulates the release of feel-good hormones.

On the other hand, those who complain of allergies, brain fog, and tightness in the muscles should consider a hot or warm shower. Even ailments like sluggish bowel movement, weight gain and dehydration can be mitigated by raising the temperature in your shower.

“It improves flexibility and improves the range of muscle motion while healing soreness. A hot shower can improve sleep and appetite while enhancing mental clarity,” says Duggal.

Bathe Right

● Whether a cold or a hot shower, bathing the right way maximises the benefits offered by both
● Snana or bathing is a significant ayurvedic ritual meant to be undertaken before sunrise and sunset
● For best results, make this a slow, deliberate process, but not more than 10 minutes
● Start by placing your hands and feet first underwater, then the rest of the body
● Use natural products; avoid chemical ones
● A five-minute massage with sesame or almond oil before the bath will add value to the process.

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