My friends called me insane for voluntarily standing in a cold shower but I’m telling you, I’m hooked. I have never felt so much energy let alone radiant. Yes, radiant. Ishnaan is much more than just jumping into an ice cold shower and standing there; there is a process to it and this mindfulness allows you to start your day fully present. Here’s the break down.
What is Ishaan?
The ancient Indian term for cold showers is Ishnaan; it refers to when the body creates the temperature that it can beat off the coldness of the water. The process of Ishaan is deeply rooted amongst Yogis to helps maintain hormonal and glandular balance for youth, radiance, and happiness.
What is the correct way to do it?
(I follow a process I learned from Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji (I know a name longer than mine…), qualified and an expertise in hydrotherapy.
Turn your shower on to ice-cold. I set my timer on every morning and wrote down the duration every single day to keep myself accountable (otherwise this blog post wouldn't exist). Next, I massaged coconut oil all over my body.
I started off with wetting my hands for about 15 seconds, then quickly moving to my arms, then feet, then I followed the process below (not chronologically, I emphasized on certain areas depending on my day, allowing different areas of my body to be in and out of the water on a rotation)
-If you put the water between the eyebrows and the upper lip, you will be very energetic
-If you massage the upper arm under a very cold shower from your elbow to just below your shoulder on your upper arm, you are aiding in curing your stomach.
-From your elbow to about two inches above your wrist corresponds to your digestive tract
-The wrist corresponds to your liver and the finger tips correspond to your brain.
-let the water hit your chest and go all the way down and stay under it for a while, you are totally changing the chemistry of the blood from unhealthy to healthy. While standing, I used my feet to massage my calves.
What are the benefits?
When the cold water hits your skin, all the blood from way deep inside your body rushes to the surface in self-defense, vastly improving your circulation on the spot. All capillaries are opened up and all deposits and toxins are cleared out.
-helps clean the circulatory system
-provides flushing for the organs and a new supply of blood
-increase circulation (I literally feel the movement once I step out) hence the ‘radiant glow’
-assist in anti-aging
-strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
-contracts the muscles to eliminate toxins and poisonous wastes
-strengthens the mucous membranes
-generates an endorphin rush, balances hormones, and puts you in a great mood
So I wanted to keep going after 13 days but many women take a break during their time of month due to sensitivity which is what I did. But I started back up right after, been doing it this week, and very much plan on incorporating it into my life as much as possible. 2 more things. First, I had someone ask how I wash my hair and soap my body…I still take hot showers, I just do it at night time. Second, you are not freezing and shivering the whole time; because the capillaries open up and bring blood to the surface of the skin, you begin to feel warm after a few minutes. Give it a try, and let me know about your experience firstname.lastname@example.org side note: how great are these shower photos...the struggle was very real.
(Read more at sikhdharma.org/)
The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. I am not a doctor or registered dietician nor do I claim to cure any cause, condition, or disease.