Ayurvedic bath rituals

Beauty for body, mind and soul

Article by Kerstin Rosenberg, Ayurveda specialist, book author and lecturer at the European Academy of Ayurveda.

One of the easiest and most relaxing ways to enjoy and regenerate your own body are Ayurvedic beauty baths. Especially for people with little time and a lot of stress, they offer a pleasurable way to build up new vital energy and radiance. The well-balanced recipes strengthen the Ojas balance, accelerate cell renewal and brighten the mind. Thus, true beauty can unfold from within the self.

The ingredients of the Ayurvedic beauty baths consist of essential oils, milk, honey, vinegar or medicinal herb essences and are a ceremony of physical and mental relaxation. Through regular bathing our life energy starts to flow again and we gain a deep connection to our own emotions. Our skin is particularly receptive from the early evening onwards to the nourishing active ingredients of the beauty baths described.

Bathing according to type: The right additives for Vata, Pitta and Kapha

For the Dosha-balancing effect, Ayurveda recommends warming baths with precious essences to relax, let go and recharge Vata. Especially the enrichment with essential oils like rose, sandalwood and lavender balances Vata in a soothing way. The inner Pitta fire is soothed by cooling ablutions. A bath with peppermint, jasmine and sage not only harmonizes the entire Pitta principle, but can also heal impure or inflamed skin areas. Kapha likes to luxuriate in well-tempered baths, which are enriched with precious perfumes, oils and essences. For a metabolism boost and vitality injection, there is nothing better than an activating herbal bath with rosemary, patchouli and some lemon.

All baths should be enriched with natural oils only and enjoyed for no longer than 15 minutes. If the water is over 40°C, it has a tiring and energy-sapping effect. A temperature between 35°C and 39°C is optimal. A beautiful atmosphere with candles, flowers, scented lamp and decorative accessories enhances the regenerating and refreshing effect of our bathing ceremonial.

Recipes: Ayurvedic beauty baths for the home.

Milk and honey bath For a skin like velvet and silk, make a luxurious bath substance of milk, honey and a little rose essence. Take two cups of fresh whole milk (for Vata cream) and mix it in the bath water with one cup of mountain blossom honey and 4-5 drops of aromatic oil of roses. The skin becomes soft, supple and gets a radiant, youthful glow after this bath.

Vinegar bath We feel fresh and free after a vinegar bath. Simply add 30 ml of fruit vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the bath water. If we enrich this with a little basil or mint essence, we receive a holistic renewal and revitalisation for body, mind and soul.

Practical instructions: Ayurvedic bath ritual for a relaxing evening

To get rid of all the stresses of the day in the evening and to come to rest (without snacking), a relaxing and sensual oil bath helps: Create a quiet and protected atmosphere in which you can make yourself really comfortable with candlelight, a scented lamp and beautiful music. Now we can simply lie down in the hot tub with a nice oil mixture and enjoy.

Even better, on the other hand, is to combine the bath with a little oil massage ritual: Start with a gentle body oiling. The best massage oil to use in the evening is an Ayurvedic dhanvantri thailam or St. John's wort oil. Warm the oil slightly and spread it very gently on the skin. Start at the abdomen and use the whole palms of your hands and lots of oil to sweep over the abdominal wall, hips, chest, to the shoulders, arms and hands. Always take so much oil that the skin is fully wetted with it and you are coated by the warm oil. Now go again from the belly over the back, the hips, the buttocks to the thighs inside and outside to the knees, calves and the feet. Pay special attention to your feet, as they carry a lot of weight and are put into tight shoes and socks all day. Oil your face, head and hair as well and massage your scalp with your fingertips, similar to washing your hair.

Leave the oil on your skin and in the meantime, fill a bathtub with pleasantly hot water. Add some sea salt or crystal salt to the bath. Lie down in the bath and breathe in and out in a deep and relaxed way. Feel how your body expands and loosens up in the pleasant warmth. In the tub, massage the oil and salt from your skin by gently rubbing your whole body in the water with your hand or a soft brush in small gentle circles.

After about 10 minutes, slowly get out of the tub. Use a small, slightly harder towel to dry your body vigorously and remove any remaining oil from your skin. Afterwards you should go to rest and enter into a deep and regenerating sleep through the pleasant relaxation.