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Benefit of Self Massage in Ayurveda – Garshana and Abhyanga

As the seasons change, so to should our self-care practices. Seasonal practices support us in staying in harmony within ourselves as our environments shift. According to Ayurveda, we are entering Vata (Fall/Winter) season. Vata is a combination of the elements Air and Ether. The qualities of these two elements together are: cold, rough, subtle, mobile, dry, light and can show up as brittle nails, dry hair, constipation, bloating, anxiety, fearfulness, and dry skin.  


Because like increases like and opposites create balance, during the cold months of Vata season we want our focus to shift to warm, heavy, and stable foods, activities and self-care practices.  

Our go to practice to stay grounded and warm is garshana and abhyanga. Garshana is a traditional Ayurvedic dry massage that refreshes and stimulates the skin and lymphatic system, enhancing blood circulation and the release of accumulated toxins. Garshana gloves are a much more gentler option opposed to a dry brush to exfoliate the skin to prepare the body to receive oil. They can also remove static electricity from the skin!  

Perform long strokes on the limbs and circles around the joints, and create a large circle up the right and down the left at your belly. This will help remove dead skin. Avoid any sensitive areas or broken skin. Start with the feet and make your way up toward your heart. The direction of the stroke should always be toward your heart as this helps drain lymph back to your heart. 

Massage from your feet upward, continuing up to your torso and onto your neck, and massage from the hands to the shoulders.  


Follow your garshana practice with abhyanga, or self-oil massage, using our warming Fall Harvest body oil.  It’s base includes our ghee and sesame oil, which are nourishing and warming for the body to balance the cold, rough qualities of the season. Sneha is the Sanskrit word for oil, and it also translates as love. Therefore, while we are massaging ourselves with oil, we are offering ourselves love. 

To perform abhyanga, place our Nourish body oil in hot water to warm the oil and melt any solid ghee particles. Perform long strokes on the limbs and circles around the joints and belly. Be sure to massage the feet and underarms as well. Allow your body to soak in the oil before stepping into a warm shower, about 15-20 mins which is the perfect time to practice some meditation:) Then as you shower, allow warm water to open your pores and carry the oil deeply into your skin and tissues (whereas cold water closes pores and hot water is drying.)  Allow the water to rinse off any excess oil without using soap to scrub it away. When you exit the shower, simply pat dry with a towel leaving a small amount of oil on your skin to continue to nourish.

When pressed for time, try using our Ayurvedic Body Scrub which provides the benefits of exfoliation and hydration all in one!

We look forward to keeping you warm and nourished all season long.  

Happy Fall!  


  1. Joanna on September 8, 2018 at 11:57 am

    adore you!!!

  2. Lynn on September 9, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Awww, Joanna! xoxoxo thank you!

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