Our morning routine sets out our intentions for the day. If we prioritize our health, happiness, and vitality when we awaken, then we take those positive feelings with us through the day ahead.
An effective and popular way to start the day off correctly is with hydrotherapy, or ishnaan in Kundalini Yoga.
What is Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy, in the simplest terms, is the act of taking a cold shower in the morning. The intention of this is not to simply clean the skin, it actually has a far more profound impact on the body and its systems.
When the skin is exposed to the cold, our core temperature begins to drop. In order to protect the vital organs, blood rushes away from the skin to avoid further heat loss, and into the organs to help to keep them warm. This serves multiple purposes, all of which have a positive impact.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
The benefits of hydrotherapy are wide reaching. Firstly, this movement of blood through the capillaries is thought to flush the blood vessels of toxins throughout the body. This also helps to keep the capillaries strong.
As a result of this movement, the circulatory system is thought to become better regulated, and the body finds it easier to dispose of toxins. This can help to monitor blood health, and even strengthens the glandular and nervous system.
The process of hydrotherapy benefits the body in so many ways, it is unsurprising that people report that it makes them feel more energized than coffee, and improves their quality of sleep at night. Other benefits include:
- Improved concentration
- Heightened senses and sensitivity
- Support for digestion
- Helps hair to grow strong and healthy
- Keeps skin radiant and young
How to Try Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy can be daunting to someone who has never tried it before, but it really is as simple as turning the shower down to a cool setting, the cooler the better, and jumping in. Here are a few helpful hints to make the process easier.
1. Warm the bathroom first. This can make the chill feel less intimidating, but the difference in room temperature and water temperature can even help to make the effects of hydrotherapy more profound, just like using an ice bath after time in the sauna.
2. Once you have the water flowing, start by just putting in the hands and feet, moving up to arms and legs, and once you feel acclimatized go in with the full body. It is not a race, take your time until you feel comfortable.
3. Wear shorts to protect the tops of your legs. The femur bone is important in regulating the calcium and magnesium balance in the body, so it is best to avoid getting that area too cold.
4. Give a victory shout, if the mood takes you! Wahe Guru! or something similar helps to connect the heart and lungs to the process, and allows you to release pent up energy.
5. After you finish, get dry with a rough towel to help the skin to shine, and encourage the blood to return to the surface.
Hydrotherapy is a straightforward but immensely effective addition to any morning routine to bring vitality to your day and to improve the body’s overall wellbeing. Give it a go today, and see how it can benefit you!
See also: Morning Meditation to Energize Yourself