Abhyanga Massage: the perfect Valentine’s self-giving

Feb 15, 2024
abhyanga full body massage, super luxury

The price is to live for. Here’s what it is, how to do it, and its side effects. 


I’m away again, this time on a first time second family trip to Cancun. By that, I mean with my boyfriend, his children and their children. 

Trips increase Vata: an Ayurvedic word that, when you’re feeling out of balance, gives name to the energetic qualities associated with anxiety, ungroundedness, forgetfulness, and a lot of movement. Trips break routine and causes us to compress our to-do lists into much shorter time frames and play catch-up when we get back. If you feel stressed just thinking about it, that’s your Vata buttons getting pressed. While being surrounded by ocean and warm temperatures decreases Vata, managing emails, communications, and family dynamics can bring it back up if not careful. 

What does this have to do with Valentine’s Month?

This is an excellent time to check in and make sure you are including yourself to the what can I do for the person I love equation.

So what do I do for myself, especially as I prepare for a trip? While there are a number of things I do, I want to focus on this one luxurious practice I do when I’m home. 

It’s called Abhyanga.

It’s super grounding. It calms not just the Vata imbalances but also Pitta and Kapha (don’t worry if you don’t know what these are). I find it even more important to indulge in Abhyanga while home when I’m traveling a lot, and when there’s a lot going on at home (and at the moment, for me, there are). Abhyanga delivers a sense of calm that counting to ten backwards or attempting the box breath under stress and busyness can never achieve. It can mitigate the need to pull out your stress tools to begin with, and that’s because the effects of Abhyanga seep deep into your skin - no pun intended - and straight to your soul. 

What is Abhyanga?

It’s a warm oil self-massage. It’s one of those things that if you don't think you have time for, you especially need it. Once you get into the rhythm of it, you’ll find that you don’t have time not to do it. You’ll find that it actually creates time. It’s a golden goose that lays golden eggs.  

The oil is the carrier for the herbs contained in them, and they pull the toxins out of your body through the skin. The herbs are magical. They heal, nourish, and balance your internal systems. The act of self massage is an act of self love. It’s an expensive spa at the cost of a bottle of one of these amazing oils divided by a dozen applications. And you get to bring the spa home. You get more than healthy results. You get to create a sacred space that is your home that’s blessed with peace, health, and balance.

What’s involved in this act of self love?

It takes about 5 minutes to heat up water and then the oil by placing the bottle into the hot water. During this time you’ll set yourself up: get into your bathrobe and lay a large clean towel on your bathroom floor. Optional: I light a candle and play soothing, uplifting music. Like this one:


Pour some warm oil into a small glass or ceramic bowl. It takes about 5 minutes to apply the oil to your entire body, from head to toe, massaging it into every square inch of your body, in circular motion around the shoulders, stomach, knees and joints, and longer strokes around the longer parts of your body. Not in a rushed way, but in a loving, I’ve-got-time-for-myself way. The energy you put into it is the energy you seed.

Sit for at least 15 minutes and let the oil and herbs do the work. This is a good time to meditate, do some pranayam (breathwork), play mantra and chant along with it, or simply feel the music soothing your body. No emails or t.v. shows. Only the healing, uplifting energy you want seeping into your pores. 

To end: While this is happening, I draw a bubble bath and get into it afterwards. You don’t have to do this; it’s simply a bonus. If you don’t, take a clean towel and gently wipe the excess oil from your skin. You can shower afterwards, and if you do, I’d advise you to wipe the excess oil first. It’s easier on your drain depending on how much oil you’ve used. I apply liberally - I can’t resist indulging on the warm oil.  

How much and how often to indulge

How much oil to use? As liberally as you wish, though it doesn’t take much. Just refrain from being too stingy with yourself out of trying to make the bottle last. You’ll know from how you feel about how much you’re using; go with that.

How often? You can do this once a week to every day, in the morning or at night. I do it twice a week as a part of my bedtime ritual. The more Vata imbalanced you feel, the more you will benefit from doing this frequently. 

The important side effects you’ll want to know about

  • You’ll notice that your general sense of calm has increased

  • You’re skin will become silky soft and your need for lotion will decrease dramatically

  • You’ll begin to master the art of time management and pacing by successfully implementing a luxurious and healthful practice such as this


Happy Valentine’s Month!


Loving you, 




(much like this blog post!)