Health & Beauty
Discover the healing power of the freezing cold
A cold shower may only be something you resort to if your AC is on the fritz or by chance your hot water tank is broken. But, in fact, it might be worth considering adding it to your weekly wellness repertoire.
I was first introduced to the idea at a Kundalini yoga class. Kundalini was introduced in 1969 by Yogi Bajan as a deeply healing form of yoga that's known as the "yoga awareness". In addition to kriyas (a series of postures, breath, and sound), there are many lifestyle recommendations that are part of its teachings, including hydrotherapy.
To find out more if I should be turning the icier temps up, I consulted a Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, who shares how to turn your daily showers into a self-care experience
What's your approach to showering?
"I see shower time as something to be cherished. As I start my spiritual healing journey a handful of years ago, showering went from being something I did quickly and somewhat mindlessly to a ritual of true intention and care. Each part of showering for me now is a mindful act. Every product I use is clean and has a scent that opens me up. I have a water filter on my showerhead. I choose music that supports wherever I am that day. There are still many areas on the planet where fresh, clean water is not available, and I try to be aware of this as I turn on the water and let the shower run. Water is a natural cleanser that cleans our energy and resets us."
How do you incorporate the Kundalini practice of cold showers?
"Some Kundalini yogis take cold showers daily, or every other day, but that's always felt like too much for me, so I take a cold shower about once a week. I do it when I feel strong inside, like I am ready to be challenged, or when I am in a place of utter resistance and need a good waking up! On the other hand, on days where my energy is low or I need nurturing, a cold shower can feel like too much, so I opt for a hot shower instead. Additionally, its possible to line up shower temperature with a woman's cycle."
What are the benefits of a cold shower?
"One major benefit is that it brings blood flow to the skin and cleans the circulatory system, so it encourages a healthy glow. I have hormonal acne, so when I'm not in balance, it shows up on my skin. Routine cold showers are known to support detoxing and hormonal balance because cold water is said to contract muscles, causing them to release toxinx more efficiently. It also is known to stregthen mucous membranes and balance the glands. This is something you actually feel after taking a cold shower, and don't we all love to feel and see the results from our self-care efforts?"
Any tips for cold shower newbies?
"Cold showers aren't an easy practice for anyone, so it's normal to feel intimidated by the idea. You can work your way into it, bringing down the water temperature slowly and only staying in the water for moments at a time. It's recommended to massage the body with oil before a shower, and to keep moving and massaging while showering. If anything, at least the movement will distract you from the cold. Eventually the body will warm itself up as a result of the increased blood flow. If you make it to that point, you've done well!! Treat yourself to a well-made, organic cotton towel to dry off after your shower. It will feel like such a treat."
"Ultimately, we need to get to know and listen to our bodies. You'll know if taking cold showers supports you or not. It may feel counterintuitive at first, but try it at least three times to determine whether it's something for you. It gets easier with time. *Always consult your health team prior to trying if you have underlying medical conditions."
Until next time/A la prochenne!
** Articles from Balance Redesigned/Balance Bath Company should not be considered medical advice. If you have questions about your health, please consult a medical professional