What is Abhyanga?

Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic massage technique that involves the rhythmic application of warm oil to the body. The word "Abhyanga" comes from the Sanskrit words "Abhi," meaning "into" or "in the direction of," and "Anga," meaning "limb" or "body part." 

Oh, and it’s pronounced [uhb-YAHN-guh]

Incorporating Abhyanga into your wellness routine can be a transformative experience, offering numerous benefits for the body, mind, and spirit.

Physical Benefits
  • Nourishes the Skin Abhyanga deeply moisturizes and nourishes the skin, leaving it soft and supple. The oils used in the massage penetrate the skin, providing essential nutrients and promoting a healthy glow.
  • Improves Circulation The rhythmic strokes of Abhyanga enhance blood circulation, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients are effectively delivered to various parts of the body. Improved circulation also helps in the removal of metabolic waste products.
  • Supports Lymphatic Drainage Abhyanga stimulates the lymphatic system, aiding in the detoxification process. This helps in reducing swelling and improving the body’s immune function.
  • Relieves Muscle Tension Regular practice of Abhyanga can alleviate muscle stiffness and soreness. The massage helps to promote overall physical relaxation and flexibility.
  • Enhances Joint Health By lubricating the joints with specific types of oils, Abhyanga helps to maintain their flexibility and range of motion. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with arthritis or other joint-related issues.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety Abhyanga has a calming effect on the nervous system. The soothing touch combined with the warm oil helps to promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
  • Improves Sleep Quality The relaxation induced by Abhyanga helps to support the overcoming of insomnia and achieving restful, rejuvenating sleep.
  • Enhances Mental Clarity Regular practice of Abhyanga can have a calming effect on the mind helping reduce mental fatigue and enhancing cognitive functions.
  • Promotes Emotional Balance The holistic nature of Abhyanga helps to balance the doshas, which in turn, harmonizes emotional states.  (What’s a dosha? See “PS.” below)
Spiritual Benefits
  • Cultivates Self-Love and Awareness Taking time to care for your body through this deeply nourishing massage practice can lead to a stronger connection with oneself.
  • Balances Energy Flow According to Ayurveda, Abhyanga helps to balance the flow of prana (life force) within the body. This balance is crucial for maintaining physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual growth.
  • Aligns with Nature’s Rhythms Performing Abhyanga regularly can promote a sense of harmony with the environment and the universe.

Embrace the nurturing power of Abhyanga and discover a deeper connection with yourself and the world around you. We’re thrilled to now offer a full range of Ayurvedic treatments. Learn more about Kayla’s unique services


Abhyanga at home

You can extend the profound benefits of professional Abhyanga treatments by performing them at home. Here’s a basic guide:

  1. Select an oil that suits your dosha or current health needs. Commonly used oils include sesame oil (for Vata), coconut oil (for Pitta), and mustard or almond oil (for Kapha). We also carry Rasananda Ayurveda Body Oil and lovely combination of all 3 dosha oils (What’s a dosha? See “PS.” below).

  2. Gently heat the oil until it is comfortably warm to the touch.

  3. Start by applying the oil to your head and scalp, then work your way down to your feet. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular motions on the joints and torso.

  4. Spend a few minutes massaging each part of your body. Be gentle but firm, ensuring the oil is absorbed into the skin.

  5. Let the oil sit on your skin for 15-30 minutes to allow maximum absorption.

  6. Take a warm bath or shower to rinse off the oil, leaving your skin soft and nourished.


PS. Dosha 101

In Ayurveda, a “dosha” is a fundamental concept that refers to the three energies believed to govern the physiological and psychological processes in the human body. These energies are derived from the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) and are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a unique combination of these doshas, which defines their constitution and influences their health, behavior, and temperament.

Vata Composed of air and ether. Governs movement, including circulation, breathing, and nerve impulses. Characteristics: Creative, energetic, adaptable, but can be prone to anxiety and irregular routines.

Pitta Composed of fire and water. Governs metabolism, including digestion, absorption, and body temperature. Characteristics: Intelligent, ambitious, and driven, but can be prone to irritability and inflammation.

Kapha Composed of earth and water. Governs structure, including bones, muscles, and fat, as well as immune function. Characteristics: Calm, steady, and compassionate, but can be prone to lethargy and congestion.

Balancing these doshas is key to maintaining health and well-being in Ayurvedic practice. An imbalance in any dosha can lead to various health issues, and treatments are often tailored to restore harmony among them.

Our Practitioner Kayla Berry not only performs Ayurveda Bodywork, including Abhyanga, she see clients for Ayurvedic Counseling


Ayurveda at Boketto

In addition to overall harmony and vitality, Ayurveda treatments offer a holistic approach to health and wellness— focusing on balancing the mind, body, and spirit to achieve optimal well-being. These treatments, rooted in ancient wisdom, emphasize natural remedies, personalized diet, and lifestyle adjustments tailored to individual constitutions (doshas). By addressing the root causes of imbalances rather than just symptoms, Ayurveda promotes long-term health and disease prevention. The benefits include enhanced digestion, improved immunity, reduced stress, better sleep quality, and increased energy levels.

Learn more about our NEW Ayurveda Bodywork & Consultation offerings
We also have always provided the Ayurvedic practice of Abdominal Massage