08 October 2007

yogic self care and menstruation

To the men reading here: my last few posts have focused on the woman body. Please stay tuned...or just read on there's good stuff here...


A friend once added up all the hours of instructions given by Yogi Bhajan for a woman to follow in order to be happy, healthy, and holy. She joked that unless the hours in our day would suddenly increase, it would take two days just to complete one cycle of everything he suggested: yoga sets, meditations, exercise, self care, and care for others.

Such a blessing that we were given diverse "how to" guides for navigating life, especially for navigating our ever changing bodies. This last week, I've been reading a lot about yogic self care and menstruation. Here is an excellent habit to start:

From Yogi Bhajan's teachings: Following menstruation, it is very cleansing and enjoyable to take a yogurt bath. Yogurt baths relax the entire nervous system, clean the body of impurities, and leave the skin soft and radiant.

Preparation for Your Yogurt Bath

First get the yogurt to room temperature in a non-glass container. (the yogurt should be plain, completely natural with no additives. If you can make your own, the better.)

Your bathroom should be a comfortable temperature because you'll be laying naked for awhile. Take a large bath towel and place it into a clean, dry tub.

Nestle yourself comfortably in the tub, massage the yogurt completely into the skin, and include everywhere! Don't forget your ears, underarms, toes, scalp, and all in between bits. (perfect time for a yogurt douche)

After a period of time, the yogurt will change in texture and odor. Here's where I veered off the suggested course. The smell was way too unpleasant for me, so I rinsed after 15 minutes. Yogi Bhajan suggested that we take an hour for this bath. He said that we can put scented oil into our nostrils to curb the smell.

Rinse

Rinse your body and scalp well under a lukewarm shower. Shampooing the hair is optional, although a film of yogurt will be left following the rinse if you do not shampoo. End with a cold rinse. Dry your skin briskly with a towel. Put a little oil over your face, thighs and perineum. Other parts of the body can be oiled as well. (preferably almond oil, but in Egypt olive oil is the most available.)

Nap After

He said that it is ESSENTIAL that a one hour nap follow a yogurt bath and that upon rising, a glass of milk is taken. I didn't get a full hour nap, nor did I drink milk. I did have about 1/2 hour nap. When I got up, I felt fantastic. Everything felt in complete balance. And, my skin felt amazing...seriously AMAZING!

Yogurt baths can be taken often, but it is essential that one be taken following menstruation. For sure, this is one suggestion that I know I can fit into my routine.


** If your body is not in your control, your mind is not in your control, and your spirit is not in your control, how are you going to face the challenge of time and space? -- Yogi Bhajan **
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