Monday 9 January 2012

Lie back and relax...

Okay, so this may surprise you but I don’t believe in January detoxing. I don’t believe in harsh resolutions.  I don’t believe in punishing regimes.  Sheesh, guys, this is January.  JANUARY!  Some of you are lucky enough to live in lovely warm places but for those of us who don’t, the last thing our bodies need is being brutalised right now.

I worry that by focusing on this idea of ‘detoxing’ as a short sharp process, we’re missing out on longterm health and wellbeing.  Far better, surely, to shift your mindset so you simply don’t want to tox your body, your mind, your spirit anymore?

And, anyhow, when it’s cold outside and lonely inside, the last thing you need is more stricture. Which is why I buck the trend and make January pampering month.  I don’t eat crap but I do tend to eat slightly more than usual; warm nourishing food. Alright, so that’s mainly dhal – because, dear God, I do love dhal.  Yes, I work out and I am beyond grateful that Zumba and Kettlercise have started up again.  But you wouldn’t catch me pounding the pavements at dawn (but, hey, if you enjoy it, go for it).

Those of you who know me will know I’m not remotely high maintenance.  Even if I weren’t broke I wouldn’t spend a fortune on clothes or stuff generally.  If I lost all my worldly goods tomorrow it wouldn’t really bother me – in fact, I’d likely feel quite liberated.  But the one thing I would lament would be my bath. 

I figure the world is divided between those who shower and those who bath.  Don’t get me wrong: if you’re hot and sweaty after a morning workout, the shower’s the place. But, come evening, my before bedtime ritual always involves a hot deep bath.  Immersion in water.  Total immersion in water – yeah, sometimes I go under and make like a mermaid…it’s a habit started in childhood and hard to break. J  But mainly I just float.
Y’know how I was talking about being solutions the other day? Well, water is the universal solvent.  A glass of water is charged particles dancing – a fandango of minerals and elements.  We are composed of 85 percent water and water makes up nine tenths of our blood, plasma, lymph, urine, saliva…even our cerebrospinal fluid, even our synovial fluid.

Check out any creation story and water will be there…  Check out pretty well any ancient culture and there will be rituals for bathing. Check out any form of spirituality and water flows through.  Look at the work of Japanese photographer Masuro Emoto who photographed the effects of loving words and prayers versus harsh and harming words and thoughts on frozen water crystals.  The thoughts that harmed produced forbidding whirls while the prayer created lacelike formations. Check out old Leonard Orr who discovered rebirthing in his tub.  Look all over the world – from the Mayan cenotes to the banias of Russia; from the Turkish hammam to the Jewish mikvah; from Hindu temple bathing to the Japanese cult of the bath.

Ah, I could go on and on.   There are a million and one ways you can bathe. A gazillion rituals and routines for physical health and psychological wellbeing.  Me?  I tend just to soak and muse; to relax into the breath and to let my mind wander in pleasant places.
Yes, I add unguents.  Of course I do. But never nasty synthetic stuff – I don’t get why anyone would want to bath in chemicals.  I’m supremely lucky in that I get sent a fair amount of bath products for testing.  Some I quietly lose to the local raffle but some I just adore...

These are my keepers...  

Aromatherapy Associates – I still adore their Deep Relax bath oil but lately I’ve been quite turned onto their Support blend (lavender and peppermint) 

Ila-spa – Sheer, total decadence.  Their rose Bath Oil for Glowing Radiance is an all-time favourite. One of these days I must also test out their salts. 

Weleda – Seriously good prices for lovely pure scents.  Their lavender is a world away from sickly synthetics – deeply calming. 

REN – It’s the Morrocan Rose otto bath oil here – divine. Complete the experience by using their scrub beforehand for silky skin. 

Connock London – Their soothing bath oil is heaven – a more exotic scent than the others with oils of kukui, macadamia and tamanu. I massage this one into my skin first and then soak in the bath – it leaves the whole body decadently soft. 

Taer – This Icelandic company has a range that looks as beautiful as it smells and feels.  I’m in thrall to the Glacier Bath Oil that somehow makes your body feel hot and cold at the same time! Not to be used during pregnancy or if you’re breastfeeding.  

Think those are the main ones. Having road-tested Pukka Herb’s ( new ayurvedic skincare range (it’s excellent) I’m really hoping they will come up with some bath goodies soon.

However, if you can’t run to purpose-bought potions, never fear.  If I run out, there’s no way I reach for the synthetic stuff. I’d rather use a couple of drops of essential oil mixed with a little milk.  Or pop a few drops of essential oil (lavender or citrus scents work well) on a handful of salts (a mix of sea salt and Epsom salts works well).

Then just lie back….and dream…   Happy January. 


Sandie said...

Yes, I'm with you on this one - showers are for mornings, baths for evenings... or, to put it another way, showers are functional but baths double up as a therapeutic indulgence. Bliss.

Ren Warom said...

Mmmm, bath. I do like a nice bath oil but, uh, being shy in the pocket I usually only use the patchouli I also use as perfume.

It's super relaxing when I use it and my skin smells lush afterwards. I use a base of peach kernel oil and, I am telling you, that stuff leaves your skin super soft.

Cheap and cheerful but oh so good! NOM.

Viv said...

A good addition to any bath is a popsock filled with oats, tied and hung over the tap. Drop in a few drops of essential oil, sorted.
I like baths and showers equally, just like I like cats and dogs equally.
I'm craving another trip to Bath, now and swimming in their healing waters at the Spa.
I am with you on the Ila spa stuff, though I will never be able to afford that lovely cream I won.

Jane the Booklady said...

I love baths. At uni somebody had written on the grimy wall beside the bath ' Baths make bad days bearable'. I do so agree.
The water crystal pictures are wonderful and so inspiring too.

Big Fashionista said...

Oh I love love love a bath

Zoë said...

Bath is my favourite indulgence too. Also eating a lot of porridge at the moment, it sticks to your ribs and makes you feel warm and satisfied right through.

My other fave thing is to swaddle myself in cashmere. I have a huge knitted cashmere shawl and I wonder around in the evenings and take it to bed - I am dreading the day it becomes too old and tatty to use as I cant afford to buy another!

DD's Diary said...

I'm a Weleda fan too .... and I'm definitely not planning any brutal January regimes. Bring on the pampering, as far as I'm concerned! Happy New Year hon xx

Beautyshop said...

A bath with ILA products is just right in the winter - but also in the rest of the year ;)
Greetings from germany