Whether it’s at the end of a long, hard day or as a special monthly ritual, a bath can be a sacred time to cleanse not only the body, but also the spirit. Cultures throughout history have used baths for various purposes, such as community building—think about the Romans and Greek baths, for example, or the hammams of Turkey or Morocco—or for religious reasons, such as the Jewish tradition of a mikveh bath. A bath is a way to cleanse, to detox, and to relax. Here are a few ways to turn the simple pleasure of a long soak into something of an even more transcendent experience.
Light up Create your sacred space by encircling your tub area with candles. Choose natural candles made from soy or beeswax candles, rather than the artificially fragranced, regular scented varieties, because those release the toxic chemicals benzene and toluene. If you have small children or pets, flameless candles are a perfectly fine alternative and cast the same soft, relaxing glow. Turn the overhead lights off so you are bathing solely by candlelight.
Go with the flow Get the water started, and make sure it’s warm, but not too hot. Extremely hot water can dry out skin and put stress on the heart. As the tub fills, take a moment to express gratitude for the fact that you have enough water to fill a bath, when water is in short supply for many people around the globe. Send good energy out to those who need clean water.
Add essential oils Mix about five drops of lavender, ylang ylang, or this year’s trendiest essential oil—frankincense—into a carrier oil, such as jojoba, and pour this into your bath. Avoid oils such as peppermint and wintergreen, which can be irritating to the skin. According to the Aromahead blog, you can also mix the five drops of oil into a cupful of milk and then pour the whole thing into your water, as the milk’s fat will bond with the oils and dispense it evenly to nourish the skin.
Or get salty Bathe in water containing Himalyan pink salt, which is high in minerals, including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. It soothes muscle soreness and may be absorbed by the skin. Use the fine grind so that it will easily dissolve, and be sure to drink lots of water when you get out of the tub.
Or try a digital detox. Pur soma makes a Digital Detox Blend from raw, vegan ingredients that it claims is specifically formulated for EMF exposure. It contains French green clay and French grey sea salt. Pur Soma recommends you drink a big glass of water before you get into the bath, soak with the salts for 20 minutes, then get out and under a blanket to sweat and rest to continue the detox. (Presumably you should refrain from Instagramming while doing this last step…)
Soak and Blot Enjoy your peace and quiet, soaking for 40 minutes or so, then blot off with the fluffiest towel in the house, and apply a favorite lotion. Cozy up in a soft robe, and prepare to face the world in a much calmer way.
Enjoy your bath ritual whenever you feel you need to recharge, but remember that you can turn to a spiritual bath to mark occasions, such as a full moon, a menses, a life change (new job, promotion), or if you need to mentally cleanse a bad experience.