One of the pillars of Japanese self-care is bathing daily for relaxation and well-being.
Often taken in the evening, the bath is seen not as a luxury, but as an essential part of a balanced life. For thousands of years, these daily bathing rituals have been considered the ultimate way to relax and to rejuvenate after a long day. It is this holistic, mindful approach to bathing and self-care. Immersing yourself in a fragrant cypress tub one can experience purification and inner peace.
I can’t think of a better way to quarantine during the winter. Can you? You might ask why am I writing about a Japanese bath for TaoStyle? Simply because I lived there for a short time and experienced the elegance and beauty of the lifestyle that has forever changed me and want to share with you the essence of Wabi-Sabi – the view or thought of finding beauty in every aspect of imperfection in nature.
It is about the aesthetic of things in existence, that are “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is my aesthetic value that I give credit to having lived in Japan. And besides Taos is so Wabi-Sabi!
It was walking on the mesa in Taos when I found the beauty of imperfection with its rigged edges of decaying sage bark and prickly pear patches that necessitated that I step with mindfulness to avoid a falter. It taught me the wakefulness of my surroundings. It is with this intention that we can prepare for our bathing rituals.
The slowing down, the stepping away from technology, we can seek solace and peace in the healing waters.
We can prepare our bath with Kintsugi, the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Instead of pottery, we can use shards from the desert. I invite you to adorn your bath with a dead sage branch and candle. Perhaps find an age-old board that can be used as a caddy to place your bathing ritual items on. Harvest some yarrow and willow and sage leaf to garnish your Kintsugi.
Next add essential oils to your bath (20 drops) of cypress, lavender, or bergamot to strengthen and heal lungs and boost immunity. It is refreshing and invigorating too!
You can also add minerals to the bath with a blend of sea salt (2 Tbsp.) and Epsom salts (1 cup). Magnesium is helpful to calm the nervous system as well as detoxify and replenish your body. I recommend Cid’s Food Market to buy organic sources.
As you gather and prepare your bath do so with a sattvic mindset. According to Ayurveda, sattva is the quality of nature that brings about balance, peace, purity, and clarity. Doing so you become the Kintsugi.
This is a guest post fromToni Leigh, Ayurveda herbalist, product developer of organic skincare; Owner of desertblends.com
Desert Blends products are available in Taos exclusively at Cids
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