Cold showers and the benefits of cold water therapy (Ishnaan)
A brief cold shower in the morning is the healthiest and most effective way to start your day, according to yogis. A hot shower is also fine, but rather at a different time of day.
What are the benefits of a cold shower?
Cold showers have a wide range of benefits:
- Keeps the skin radiant
- Opens the capillaries
- Detoxifies organs
- Keeps the composition of the blood healthy
- Activates the glandular system
- Strengthens the entire nervous system
- And, every cold shower that you take is a victory in itself!
How to do it (step by step)?
Imagine it to be a Kundalini Yoga Kriya. Don’t step under the cold water with your whole body directly. Take it slow; even though your mind would like you to rush through it.
Start with the extremities of the body: legs & feet. Rub the feet. Use your feet to massage your feet, calves, shins and knees. Massage the right foot with the left foot and the left foot with the right foot.
Do not aim the cold-water stream on the thighs, as this can have a too strong effect on the calcium-magnesium balance of the body. As well as for the reproductive organs, they don’t need the to be exposed directly to the cold stream.
Then, bring your hands, your arms and your shoulders under the cold water and rub them. From there, move the cold-water stream to your navel, abdomen, chest and your back. And at last, your face: eyes, nose, mouth, ears, cheeks, but not the forehead or your hair. (In the morning, this can be too ‘shocking’ for your system and will make you sleepy, instead of waking you up).
You can repeat this cycle two to four times. After 1 or 2 minutes of actively massaging and showering you can come out of the shower. You can also start with 30 seconds, or stay under it for 5 to 10 minutes – that’s up to you! Rub yourself dry with a towel and wear nice warm clothes. After the shower, do your Kundalini Yoga & Meditation practice and have your breakfast.
That’s it, you’re ready to start the day!
Tips & Tricks
- Do not take cold showers during pregnancy or menstruation, fever, rheumatic disease or heart disease.
- Before you take a cold shower you can massage the body from head to toe with pure almond oil (optional). This will protect you from the cold, and stimulates the excretion of toxins through the opened pores and nourishes the skin
- Massage yourself while you are showering. Pay special attention to the lymph nodes under the armpits, because it helps you to prevent colds.
- Women are advised to pay extra attention to their breasts: massaging the breasts during a cold shower stimulates circulation and has a preventive effect on breast cancer.
- Water between the eyebrows and upper lip stimulates energy.
- When cold water is focused on the forehead, then this can make you extremely sleepy (a good technique before bedtime).
- Water aimed on the forearm has a healing effect on the stomach.
- Water aimed on the area between the elbow to about (5 cm) above the wrist corresponds to the digestive tract and stimulates digestion.
- The area above the wrist (2 centimetres) corresponds with the heart.
- The wrist itself corresponds to the liver.
- The fingertips stimulate the brains.