Ayurvedic Practices

3 Self-Care Tips to Borrow from Esalen

Start the year healthy, grounded, 
and refreshed with these transformative self-care tips from Esalen, the iconic retreat center in Big Sur, California.

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1. Scrub away the old

Get glowing with Esalen’s signature body scrub. In the shower, scrub your skin from the neck down with a mix of 1 cup each sea salt and baking soda (add two drops lavender oil for extra calm). Next, sink into a bath infused with a pot of herbal tea, such as comfrey leaf; rinse off with cool water. “This removes impurities and cleanses your auric field,” says Deborah Anne Medow, Esalen’s healing arts department manager.

See also 6 Spa-Quality Toxin-Free Face Masks

2. Release tension

Most of us store stress in our jaws and around our eyes, so Medow recommends a facial self-massage to let it go. Lie on your back and rub your hands together to generate heat; place your palms over your eyes. Bring your fingertips to your third eye and move them across your forehead in opposite directions a couple times. Next, run your middle fingers under your eyebrow ridges, gently around your eyes, and back up over your eyebrows. End with small circles where your jaw hinges and “you store everything you wish you’d said, but didn’t,” says Medow.

3. Gather energy

Esalen guest yoga teacher Janet Stone stays grounded at the retreat with Bhumisparsha Mudra, or “earth-touching gesture.” From a seated position, place your right hand on your heart, and your left fingertips on the earth in front of you. Close your eyes, inhale, and send energy into your hands. On the exhale, feel nourishment from both your heart and the earth.

See also Janet Stone’s Tips for Reserving Energy—Making a Don’t-Do List