I spent the last three days learning about, practicing and receiving some really wonderful Ayurvedic body therapies.
Intertwined with all the information, facts, practicals, theories, and healing, one thing touched me a bit deeper than the rest: snehana means love.
Snehana is Sanskrit for oleation, or using oils on the body. It is also translated as love. What a beautiful thing. As I thought about how the oleation process works for all the different therapies, I thought about how it mirrors the many different ways that love is integral in our lives. A simple thing, yet so encompassing, delicate, moving, lifting, changing, healing, central, infinite, unique…
For some of the therapies, oil is applied first. This helps to open the channels and allow the body to receive.
Translation: love opens you to receive.
It can act as a cushion, helping to soften the effects of some of the more obtrusive, sharp, heating, penetrating, rough or fiery medicines and treatments. Yes, love cushions. It’s a warm embrace, a smile on a sad day, a soft touch, an open ear; a friend who helps soften the hard blows in life.
Snehana acts as a carrier.
Maybe love brings things into our lives that we would otherwise not have the ability to receive or be aware of?
Snehana helps to loosen, creating movement and flow. Being oily and lubricated clearly helps us to stay loose in the bodily tissues.
And being in a state of love? Wow.
Living from your loving, natural state supports you to flow with the loving energy of the universe. To live with more beauty and grace, to be synchronized with the grand mystery and flow as the wu wei.
One of my new favorite Ayurvedic therapies, shirodhara, is to continuously pour a stream of oil over the forehead for 30 minutes. It has all kinds of amazing benefits. It calms the mind, creates focus, opens the sixth chakra, increases our intuitive ability, relieves: depression, insomnia, irritability, headaches, hair loss,and more. As the flow of love is strong in our lives, I imagine that it improves upon many of these things, just as the flowing treatment of oil.
One of the easiest and best ways to bring more snehana into your life is through a daily self massage, known as abhyanga.
If you’d like to learn about the benefits of self massage, and how to go about it, click here.
~ ~ ** It’s such a simple, grounding, enriching act of self love to give yourself. ~ ~ **
Life, love and healing — maybe it’s more about the softness, the flow, and opening to receive than we think?
Either way, I hope there is plenty of snehana in your life.