I LOVE baths! I actually have cravings for them! If I want to truly feel pampered and reconnect with myself and my sense of well-being... for me nothing beats a good long soak with lots of bubbles, fragrant essential oils, rich butters, detoxifying salts, dried herbal tea concoctions....or whatever else my little heart desires. A bath in my house never consists of plain ol' water. It just isn't done!
The art of the aromatic bath has roots dating back to Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Her bathing rituals included soaks in fresh milk, rose petals, jasmine flowers and other exotic aromatics. Today, we use the very same ingredients to create a hydrotherapy experience that does much more than just help make us clean.
With the right set of ingredients, aromatic baths can be used as to aid your personal wellness for whatever it is you need to balance. For some, aromatic bathing is a deeply spiritual way to purify the mind, body and soul of negativity and prepare one to connect with deity/spirit/God.... For others, it can be a way to relieve stress, uplift mood, be a time for meditation or simply a way to pamper and nurture the skin.
A lot of mindfulness goes into a bath 'ritual'. It's not just running some water, throwing in some smelly stuff and sitting there until you're a prune. To get the most out of your bath time ritual, consider the following when preparing for your spaaaah time...:)
1. Choose your ingredients... What do you want to experience today? Are you trying to relieve stress? Is it your 'womany' time of month? Is your skin in need of some TLC? Did you pull a muscle? Overindulge during the holidays? By customizing the ingredients for your bath according to what you are trying to balance, you will get the most benefit from your experience. Some ingredients are better suited to certain times. Below are a few recipes to get you started. I encourage you to do lots of research on various ingredients before selecting them as they may not be for everyone.
2. Clear time...You can't have a relaxing experience and focus on your healing if you are running through your 'to do list' in your head! Find a time that fits your schedule best. It could be at the end of the day, once a week, on a day off...It doesn't really matter as long as you have time to be undistracted for at least 20 minutes. Try to make it a time when you don't have anything else really to do afterwards...before bed is my favourite time!
3. Set the mood... Light dimmers are awesome for this! Have low lighting so you don't have eyestrain. If you like, light up an aromatherapy candle or 2 in a safe area of the bathroom where they won't get knocked over. If using a scented candle, try to stick to aromatherapy ones that use essential oils instead of fragrance oils. And be sure they do not interfere with the scent of the aromatics you've chosen for your bath. Get your 'bath blend', towels, robe, slippers and after bath oil or moisturizer ready so you don't have to go searching for things. Last but not least, close the bathroom door.
4. Prepare your space... With everything ready, run a warm bath. Try to avoid making the water too hot as this will zap the skin of hydration and prevent you from having the most comfy experience possible. Put your chosen bath blend into the tub as appropriate. If using bubbles or herbal bath bag (under running water), if using salts, milks, bath bombs or melts (place into full tub just before getting in).
5. Prepare yourself... This is so important! You need to be in a state of receptiveness in order to absorb all elements of the holistic experience you are about to have. Take a few deep breaths of your blend as it wafts in the warm vapour. Give yourself a chance to clear your mind and find yourself in just that moment. Give thanks to yourself for allowing your body, mind and spirit this healing time.... okay, now you're ready to hop in! Do be careful entering and exiting if you've chosen ingredients that can make the tub slippery.
6. Enjoy the hydrotherapy... Feel yourself become immersed in this bevy of goodness... a cocoon, if you will of wellness. Breath deeply to let the essential oils into your limbic system and absorb into the body. Feel the sense of the ingredients going to work on the areas that need help. Feel the tension melting, muscles relaxing, mind calm, skin getting nourished. Be fully and completely in the moment. Use the time to meditate if you wish, reconnect with your energies focusing on your breath and feeding the body prana (life force energy). Feel the auric body as well as the physical be cleansed of any energy blocks, negativity, emotional blocks....
7. Finishing your ritual bath... Once you feel that you've achieved a sense of balance, clarity, calm and wellness, it is time to release the water. Remain in the bath for a bit as the water drains. Imagine all the 'junk' you just lifted from yourself sinking down through the pipes leaving only a being of perfect health. Imagine all that junk returning to the earth where the energy is made neutral. Feel yourself lighter, fresher, peaceful. Exit the bath carefully, pat dry with a towel. While your skin is still damp, apply your favourite after bath oil or moisturizer. Wrap yourself in a warm, cozy robe, put on your slippers and snuff out the candles.
Go make yourself a cup of your favourite tea, rest and bask in the beautiful warmth of wellness you've gifted yourself!
(Don't forget to clean your tub of any residue later on.)
Now THAT my friends is what you call a Bath Ritual! Happy bathing!
Ginger Milk & Honey Warming Bath
This sweet and spicy blend is a great one for warming up the extremities in winter and giving a sense of comfort
Use 1/2 cup per bath
1/2 cup milk powder (whole, goat or coconut)
1/4 cup honey powder
1/2 cup dead sea salt
4 drop ginger eo
6 drops cardamom eo
6 drops ylang ylang eo
3 drops clove bud eo
2 drops vanilla absolute
*Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Contains essential oils that may be irritating to sensitive skin. Use caution. You can reduce the amount of essential oil to half of desired.
Lavender Therapy Mineral Soak
Perfect for promoting relaxation and soothing the senses after a long stressful day
Use 1/2 cup per bath
1/2 cup dead sea salt
1/2 cup epsom salt
1/4 cup baking soda
50 drops lavender eo
Garden Soother Herbal Bath Tea
This lovely bath tea uses the natural aroma of dried plants and flowers for a delicate, yet effective aromatic experience
1/2 cup whole oats
1/4 cup calendula petals
1/4 cup plantain leaves
1/4 cup rose petals
1/4 cup lavender flower
**All rights reserved. Recipes here are the property of Alchemy Lifestyle & Wellness and may not be copied without written permission.