Weekend Self Care: Dry Brushing

Out of all the self-care rituals I’ve learned from dabbling in Ayurveda, I think it’s safe to say that dry brushing is my favorite! This practice (technically called Garshana in Ayurveda) helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and improve blood flow, which in turn can get you feeling more energetic and leave your skin glowing. They also say that dry brushing is an excellent way to help rid your body of toxins that have accumulated (if you’re a believer in that kind of thing), as well as decrease the appearance of cellulite. But, regardless of the health benefits, dry brushing just feels amazing!

Ayurveda practitioners recommend that Kapha-dominant people dry brush daily, Pitta people do it several times a week, and Vata people only 2-3 times per week, but if you have no clue what any of that means (more on the doshas in a future post), don’t worry about that part! If you’re feeling sluggish or lackluster at all, dry brushing is a great way to get the energy flowing through your body and an even better way to make yourself feel pampered. A good dry brushing session followed by some self-massage (Abhyanga) can also do wonders for your frame of mind if you’re feeling lonely or down, which is a little tip I found very useful this past winter.

To dry brush, all you’ll need is a natural bristle brush (meant for skin), a loofah, or an exfoliating sponge, all of which you can find at any health food store — I even found one in Tel Aviv! The ideal time to dry brush is in the morning because it helps get you going for the day, but for purposes of self-care, you can really do it whenever the mood strikes. Starting with your legs, make long sweeping strokes from the feet upwards (brushing in the direction of your heart) and be sure to use enough pressure that you feel a pleasant exfoliating sensation. Make sure you get the soles of your feet, too! When you reach your stomach and joints (such as your knees, hips, and elbows), use a circular clockwise motion. Use long strokes brushing from your hands up your arms, and be sure to get your back — my favorite part! Since the skin is more sensitive on the face and chest, avoid those areas, but everything else is fair game and it’s going to feel AMAZING. To finish, rinse off in the shower to get rid of the dead skin and impurities, and then emerge feeling glorious!

Get some movement in this weekend for your body and mind, but also remember to cut yourself some slack, too. I’ll see you next week!

 

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