Ishnaan is the beautiful science of Hydrotherapy.
As yogis we wake up in the Ambrosial hours (4-7 am) for Sadhana (daily spiritual practice). But we are not just jumping out of bed and sleepily walking over to our yoga mat hoping for the Kriya (yoga set) to wake us up. We start with our morning with Ishnaan (cold shower) and I love it! Okay, I can hear ya, she’s crazy, right!?! Who wants to wake up that early to start with and take a freezing cold shower on top of that? Well, I do. My body feels so incredibly alive and awake (no coffee required to jump-start my adrenals).
Close your eyes for just a moment (after you finish reading this paragraph) and imagine that you’ve just finished a hot shower, then connect with your main organs, heart, liver, lungs and kidneys and begin to feel its blood supply. Begin to bring your attention to your skin and notice how open and clean it is. Then begin to rub Almond oil on your skin. Beginning with your arms and upper body, don’t forget your back. Continue putting the Almond oil on the rest of your body. Put on a pair of shorts to protect the genitals and thighs (calcium). Now, be brave and in your conscious mind turn on the cold water. Smell the change it makes in the air that once has steam from your hot shower rolling through. Stand next to the stream of as-cold-as-you-can-get-it water and bring a mantra to mind (I like Waheguru). Begin chanting your mantra as you start rubbing your hand/arm and dipping it into the cold stream of water and continue with each part of your body, chest, stomach, armpits, back, legs etc… Feel your blood rush with excitement to your skin and grab up all the fresh oxygen from your open capillaries. As you blood rushes back to your organs you begin to feel warm under the cold water and you begin to question whether or not you actually turned on some warm water. Be sure to get all parts of your body 3 times (the magical number).
When you are done with your cold shower, towel off and dress warm and wrap yourself in a blanket. Sip on a warm cup of yogi tea (or your preference), settle in to your morning Sadhana.
Ladies, remember NO cold showers when you have your moon cycle or are pregnant.
Tips that really help!
Almond Oil – seriously it helps cut out the coldness, plus it has added vitamins! Try the cold shower without and with – see for yourself the difference.
Chanting a mantra – I use WaheGuru.
Shorts – you’re protecting your calcium in the thighs and your genitals. It’s not a requirement, but be sure that area of your body comes in contact with the water last.
I really like listening to Yogi Bhajan talk about Ishnaan, Sadhana and Japji. Enjoy!