I Love Cold Showers

I used to get really chilled during the winter, even here in Florida.  It seemed like any time a breeze hit my back, I immediately sneezed and my nose ran.  It made me feel so weak and sickly to be that sensitive to cold.  One fall, as the chill air was setting in, I felt my cold sensitivity developing again and thought there must be something I could do.  That’s when I decided to make cold showers, an ancient yogic health practice called ishnan, part of my daily life.

The yogis recommend you first massage your skin with oil, such as sunflower or sesame.  I use olive oil; it’s very good for the skin.  Next, you get into a really cold shower and you vigorously rub whatever part is in the flow of the water, like your arm, your back, etc., stimulating circulation.  The idea is to do this until you begin to feel warm.  It opens up your capillaries and increases over all vitality. Try to keep the thighs out of the stream of cold water because our femurs are a place where a lot of our blood is produced and the cold can affect mineral balance.  The Kundalini yogis recommend chanting “Wahe Guru” which roughly translates to “God is great, I see the light” when you jump in the cold water.  You may just shout, “Oh my God!”  especially in the Winter.  It’s good to towel off with a rough towel to exfoliate the skin at the end.

I cheat a little.  I turn the water on with faucets set at the hot temperature I prefer, and jump in right away to the cold water, but as the water warms up, I am relieved.  I then wash under warm water, and at the end, switch to an invigorating cold again for a while.  This seems to do the trick, and I believe I get cleaner in a hot shower, so I get the best of both worlds here.

For the last year and a half, this is how I shower almost all the time, and I feel great!  I don’t get the sniffles like I did anymore.  I have an internal heat and vitality.

My skin is healthy from the oil massage.  Winter never gives me dry, itchy skin anymore.

This shower technique helps shake off the doldrums and wake you up.  It is an attitude shifter.  It can also be used to flush your system.  I have seen two posts on a Kundalini yoga yahoo group about people reacting adversely to Novocain and using a cold shower to snap out of the fog it put them in.  My friend is a recovering addict and he took an herbal tincture that was in alcohol and he said it made him crave being drunk.  I suggested a cold shower, he heeded my advice, and he said it snapped him out of that mind-set.

So give it a try.  You may just find you love cold showers!  I do!

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