Most of ayurvedic traditions focus on massage and especially massage with warm oil. There’s numerous benefits that will differ depending on the oil chosen. Also, the warmth of the oil help its assimilation by the skin and tissues all the way down to the cells.

‘Abhyanga’ is the name given to this type of massage with warm oil.

Oleation of the body is called 'Snehana' which means taking care of the body with love. So, beyond the benefits, you are taking time for yourself and this is very valuable. Give yourself some love and attention!

Massage is part of the daily routine prescribed in Ayurveda. This is also a time that you offer to yourself quietly. It can be done at night before going to bed to promote sleep or in the morning before starting your day. It can take 1 to 2 minutes up to 15 to 20 minutes depending on the time you have.

Choose the oil that suits you best. Generally, promote cold pressed organic oil. Cold-pressed sesame oil is considered the most penetrating. If it’s too heavy or creates too much heat for you, you can try almond, sunflower or coconut oil (or mix two of them).

Place your oil in a container that will then go into a bowl of hot water, to heat it up to a temperature just above the temperature of the body.

If you have little time, massage your feet, sacrum, neck and shoulders. If you have more time, massage your entire body (including the head) in a circular motion around the joints and long strokes along the bones.

Keep the oil on your skin from 5 minutes to all night if you wish (if you have oil on your hair, put a towel over your pillow). The benefits will linger. After, take a shower or a hot bath without using soap, to open up the pores of the skin. Again, the oil will penetrate to a deeper level.

The benefits are numerous:

• Cleans and revitalizes the body
• Softens, smoothes and makes the body compact
• Restores a good complexion to the skin
• Lubricates, nourishes and strengthens the deep tissue
• Pacifies the nervous system
• Mobilizes toxins from the body to evacuate them
• Promotes sleep
• Pacifies the aggravated dosa
• Maintains the agni (digestive fire)
• Harmonize the flow of prana (vital energy)

Here’s a short video to guide you on this new experience!


Eléonore, trained in the Iyengar yoga tradition, has been teaching yoga since 2008. Later, she completed an advanced 500h training in Kripalu yoga, in the United States. She has been practicing Thai Yoga Massage since 2009 in Montreal and is a teacher at Lotus Palm. Her passion for knowledge of the human body and a better art of living brought her to anchor her education in Ayurveda. She completed her 250h training at the Kripalu Institute and continues her education regularly. She currently teaches workshops to adapt your yoga practice according to Ayurveda.

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