Autumn Abhyanga Body Oil Blend

Every time the air starts to get chilly I go back to doing regular Abhyanga. This practice of a pre-shower oil massage not only keeps my skin really moisturised but calms and grounds me. According to Ayurveda the autumn aggravates the Vata dosha which exacerbates dryness and restlessness, and that the best way to counter this is with things that are warm and moist.
Taking a couple of minutes to massage warm oil on the body is also about being aware of the body and giving it a little kindness and attention. This might sound a tad cheesy, but when you consider that a big part of the beauty routine is about criticising and fixing (whether directly or indirectly) you'll realise that Abhanga is one of the simplest ways to foster body acceptance.

A friend of mine who is a busy mom of three small kids says that on many days the Abhyanga is the only kind thing she manages to do for herself, and that her body cries out for it when she skips it.

My Abhyanga oil:

Last winter I mixed untoasted sesame oil with lighter oils, this year I finally tried out pure sesame oil and found that it is not at all heavy or sticky. I added just a bit of St John's Worth macerate that I made in the summer. Into the bottle I add a couple of chunks of ginger and a couple of cloves or their warming properties. Since I'm not such a huge fan of the smell of sesame oil, I added a bit of mandarin essential oil (orange-y scents lifts the mood).

You can use any oil you like, or you can use one that is good for your Dosha (Ayurvedic type). I like the Dosha quiz on the Banyan Botanicals blog, it's in line with what I have been told by an Ayurvedic practitioner. Also I found many of the blog articles really interesting reads.

Oils for Vata: Sesame (untoasted), almond, wheatgerm
Oils for Pitta: Sunflower, coconut, neem (especially after too much sun), almond
Oils for Kapha: Olive, sesame (untoasted), corn, coconut, safflower, mustard (great for joint pain but very stinky).
Oil for all three: Jojoba
Or you can use the one for the season, for example coconut oil is cooling and is great for the summer, sesame is warming.

I use an old Dr Hauschka bottle, but you can use a plastic squirt bottle -- the kind that sauces come in. DM has one for (I think) scalp treatments. I find that the DR Hauschka bottles are sturdy and don't break easily, also it has a press nozzle which means I don't have to unscrew any caps and this pretty much cuts down any risk of it slipping from my hands.
The advantage of glass is that I can easily warm up the oil -- I fill my sink with hot water and put the oil in it, the glass conducts the warmth well. In 10 minutes the oil is slightly warm. 

I explained how to do Abhyanga in this post.  In the next post I'll talk about a special trick I discovered to remove the excess oil from the skin!

Also tomorrow I'll be announcing the winners of the Haute Flair Parfait Affinitas giveaway, so stay tuned!

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