Bathing is so scared in Japan that you are required to cleanse before you enter the bath or hot spring. Socializing is as much a part of the ritual as is scrubbing and cleansing. When there’s a need for peace and serenity, women retreat to their home tubs. You can create a Zen bathing experience; all you need is the right state of mind.
What you’ll need:
Loofah, bath soap or gel, shampoo, thick towel, candle-pampering aromatherapy diffuser, sage, high quality loose green tea leaves, teapot, myrrh, frankincense, or sandalwood.
Turn on your shower and adjust the water to tepid (a soak is a later part of this ritual, so begin with a cooler shower). Hold a loofah under the shower stream until it is pliable. Using your favorite bath soap or gel, gently scrub your entire body (except your face). Use upward strokes, working toward your heart. You may shampoo your hair if you wish. When you’re finished scrubbing, get out of the shower and pat your body dry with a thick towel.
Draw a hot bath – not scalding, but hot enough that you’ll have to ease in very slowly. While the bath is filling, light a candle-pampering aromatherapy diffuser and place it on the floor next to the bath so that the scent will travel past where you rest your head. Choose an essential oil known for its ability to bring your body into balance and restore your physical and emotional equilibrium, such as clay sage, myrrh, frankincense, or sandalwood. Once the bath is filled, turn off the water and ease into the tub.
In Japan the tea ritual is seen as a way to escape the stresses of the day-to-day living and experience inner peace. Put some high quality loose green tea leaves in a tea ball; place the ball in a teapot and pour simmering water over it. Let it steep for three to six minutes. Focus on your inner tranquility as you enjoy this healthy brew. Non-fermented teas are high in antioxidants.