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The Ayurvedic Art of Oiling the Body

My earliest memories of Ayurveda are through my young nose...

I remember the smell of herbs which were crushed and placed inside my cushioned bed to keep away bugs and invite sweet sleep - dried tulsi leaves mixed with fresh or dried bay leaves with a hint of crushed camphor.

I remember my five-year-old body being massaged with an oil that smelled so heady that it made me giggle - sesame oil cooked with night jasmine.

I remember my mother applying a paste on my measles scabs so that there was no pain and no scars whatsoever - red sandalwood and red lentil paste.

My mother's hands were gentle when they massaged my soft child body with a mixture of gram flour (besan) softened in the cream of whole milk with added turmeric and saffron strands. The aroma of that mixture was enough to lull me into quiet contentment, as I would settle down and fold up my childish exuberance into a little ball of slumber and peace under the early morning rays and gentle administrations of motherly concern and love.

Not a single part of my growing body was left un-loved or un-massaged by my mother, who cooked Ayurvedic oils to perfection.

When I became a mother myself, I would apply warm, healing oils to my son's growing body and scalp.

I even massaged my dogs when their joints acted up. They would yawn, stretch and lick me infinite "thank you's!"

As an Ayurveda teacher for the last 20+ years, I have helped countless students reclaim their health through the potent practice of self-massage (abhyanga).

Learn more about the Ayurvedic art of oiling the body in my online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda, where I teach extensively on the types of oils to use, as well as exactly when and how to use them.


Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda, Vedanta and Yoga. She is the driving force behind Vedika Global, an online not-for-profit wisdom school and worldwide spiritual community, and the author of best-selling book on the Vedic art of min​d​ + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017) and forthcoming second book with Sounds True to be released in 2020, Sovereign Self. Acharya Shunya is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga. Receive her free online teachings and browse her current eCourse offerings here or see more about her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel where she holds live Global Satsangs once per month. Study Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya in her online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda.

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