Working With Abhyanga

What is Abhyanga?

Abhyanga (abi-yang-gah) is a word that has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine. Abhyanga means massage with oils. Whether this massage is through a practitioner or self-massage.. Those that love Abhyanga say this practice aids in their joint health, nourishes the tissues of the body, and brings aggravated constitutions back to balance. Others also claim that Abhyanga improves the condition of dry, coarse hair and flaky skin.

In a culture that is constantly shouting self-care at us, how can we examine what self-care actually means for us? 

The team at Boketto puts a lot of love into building routines and rituals for ourselves. Crafting sustainable and loving (to ourselves and the planet) routines that support everyday well-being. What does it mean for you?

We recommend taking a moment. 

How to Practice Abhyanga

Step 1: Pick an oil to work with (can be a neutral oil like almond, or one specifically made for the face & body)

Step 2: Warm the oil between your hands in a way that feels natural

Step 3: Intentionally, massage the oil into your face, chest, belly, or on dry spots—with strokes moving towards your heart

Step 4: Take a deep breath and allow yourself this moment to integrate

Step 5: Finish the practice with a simple message of love for yourself, the ingredients used in the oil, and for your community. Can be spoken aloud or quietly in your mind.

Oils to Practice Abyanga With 

A few of our favorite makers put lots of love into the creation of their oils. We suggest trusting your instincts when choosing an oil—day-to-day, and when purchasing go for what you gravitate to and delights. We asked our team their picks: 

Allison, our Movement Teacher, takes her moment with Aba Love Apothecary 

Aba Love Apothecary was created by Aba Gyepi-Garbrah. Aba is a Certified Aromatherapist and her love of plant medicine led her to a discovery of exotic flowers, precious oils, sacred woods, and resins that were rich in telling the stories of nature's secrets. In addition to holistic skincare, these discoveries led her to share her knowledge through private-label consulting, teaching, and botanical perfuming.

We love Aba Love’s line of Oils, Anointing Oil, Toning Oil, and Crown Brightening Facial Oil to use daily for moisturizing and bliss. 

Jennifer, our Creative Director, works with Monastery Made 

Athena Hewett created Monastery Made in the Greek Cyclades. It was there she first experienced the power of aromatherapy and natural skincare. Her grandmother pressed oil from their own grove and mixed sage, chamomile, and rosemary into tonics to purify and heal her skin.

In 2011, Athena opened a skincare studio in San Francisco to treat her patients with different methods of oil cleansing, water-free moisturizing, and alcohol and salt-free skincare.  Alongside her practice, Athena introduced a collection of products. These products are made from the finest ingredients in nature to enhance skin health in a sustainable and delicious way.  

Shop Monastery Made

Jelena, our founder, reaches for Nucifera 

Nucifera was created by Meredith Baird Figone. After experiencing skincare setbacks, Meredith dove into research. While researching, she discovered that so many beneficial plant-based ingredients were either underused or non-existent. 

That’s when she began experimenting and found so much magic in the healing powers of plants. This prompted Meredith to experiment with other natural ingredients and the differences they made were far beyond what I expected. Nucifera crafts everything in small batches. Each ingredient is sourced meticulously. Nucifera believes in “beauty simply!”

Looking for more ways to work with oil? Explore How to Oil Cleanse here.