In need of a little self-care? Who isn’t?
We’re over the usual wellness routines, so today we’re here to give you a few soothing self care tips that really do stand out from the crowd. Ancient rituals, used by cultures across the world for thousands of years – that you can now practice in the comfort of your own home.
Onsen – a Japanese Bathing Ritual
In Japan, nearly every one of the 127 million citizens indulge in Ofuro, an ancient Japanese bathing ritual, each and every night. Many make their way to an Onsen (a natural hot spring but plenty of others enjoy the practice at home, with a shower first to wash and then a deep, hot bath. The idea is less wash and go and more mindful relaxation, to very deliberately cleanse away the stresses and strains of the day, for a peaceful evening and fresh start tomorrow. Here’s how to perform your own Ofuro:
Create Your Ritual
Setting the scene is an essential part of Ofuro, as it is about the experiencing of bathing as a whole – surroundings included. So, first of all you need to ensure that your bathroom is a place devoted to complete release and relaxation. Remove any clutter, light candles, switch off the lights and run the water as hot as possible to steam the air. Now is the time to add in your favourite essential oils or KLORIS CBD bath salts too.
Place your favourite bath/shower products in a beautiful container and set it aside in a cupboard in another room, along with your clean towel or robe, for when you’re ready. Bring these essentials items, and nothing else, into the room with you when you enter for your home onsen.
Wash the Day Away…
The bath itself is for soaking only, any actual washing should be done beforehand, ideally in a shower. Traditionally, the Japanese do this part sitting on a wooden stool and use a wooden bucket to pour water over themselves but how you do it is up to you! Just bear in mind that this is all part of the ritual, so take time over washing your body, feeling any negativity drain away.
Japanese baths are designed for sitting in, fully submerged up to the neck rather than lying down, so they tend to be much shorter and taller what we’re used to. However, it’s easy enough to completely submerge your body in a deep bath, so make sure you’ve put in enough water to do this. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and clear your mind. Take this time just for you and soak up every minute.
Wake up with Yoga
Yoga is a wonderful way to gently soothe and revitalise yourself, particularly at a time when we’re unable to get outside as much as usual. Treat yourself to a new morning routine, waking yourself up with satisfying stretches and calming breath work that can double up as meditation time. Here’s a sequence even beginners can enjoy:
- Start in child’s pose (5 breaths)
- Move through Sun Salutation A (4 rounds)
- Move through Sun Salutation B (4 rounds)
- Rest in Standing Forward Bend (8 breaths) and move through 1 vinyasa flow
- Transition into Warrior I and move through Vinyasa (2 x)
- Transition into Warrior II and move through Vinyasa (2X)
- Make your way to the mat and move into Seated Forward Bend
- Rest in Corpse Pose for 5 minutes
DIY Crown Chakra Massage
Scalp massage, or acupressure with hair oils, has been used for thousands of years as an Ayurvedic wellness ritual, believed to boost circulation, bring balance to your body and even nurture the crown chakra – our connection to universal energy or life force.
Whatever your take on it, this easy-to-do DIY scalp massage is one of the most soothing ways to spend 10 minutes of your day. If you can rope someone in to doing it for you, even better!
- Warm a small amount of oil in your hands. This could be your favourite hair oil, but olive oil or coconut oil work just ask well.
- Begin at the front of your hair line. Press firmly in the centre and fan your fingers out gently pulling them through your hair and applying gentle pressure to your scalp.
- Repeat the motion, but this time moving your hands back a little from the front as your starting point. Keep that gentle, even pressure in your fingertips throughout.
- Continue to do this step, moving further and further back until you have covered your entire scalp.
- Now, bring your fingers back to the centre of your hairline. Work your fingertips back again, but this time make small, circular movements with your fingers along the centre top of your head.
- Repeat this step, but place your fingertips slightly further apart now. Repeat the circular motions from front to back as before.
- Keep going back to the start but with your fingers moving further out each time until you reach the tops of your ears.
- When you reach the top of your ears, pause for a moment and use a little extra pressure here for added tension release.
- Do the whole thing again, but this time lightly use your fingernails rather than fingertips.
- Once again, repeat, but instead of using nails, use your thumb and forefingers to pinch tiny sections of the scalp as you move down the side.
- To finish, place your fingers at the nape of your neck behind your ears and apply deep pressure here, pushing your fingers up over your scalp until they intertwine at the top of your head.