THE glow OF
HI! HOLA! I'm Mischaela
The Glow of Wellness Blog was created to share my expertise and experiences with holistic and spiritual wellness treatments and traditional and intuitive healing in all forms.
I dream of a world where spiritual wellness treatments are pursued with the same enthusiasm as the classic Mani-Pedi!
My best friend recently returned from a trip to Bangkok, Thailand and Calcutta, India with too many tales to recount here. However, one tale I want to recount is the wonderful spiritual wellness treatment she put me on to called “shirodhara”. She described a charming scene in her luxury hotel spa suite where a guest can luxuriate around from station to station in the suite, experiencing a number of incredible spa treatments ranging from purely indulgent to purely spiritual and everywhere in between. I was most intrigued by the treatment of shirodhara because it sounded deliciously indulgent, and mind clarifying all at the same time. For someone like me, who is both always looking to unwind and always looking to gain an edge in business and in life - this seemed intriguing indeed.
The name comes from the Sanskrit words “shiro” which means “head” and “dhara” which means “flow”. The name makes perfect sense given that shirodhara is a spiritual tuneup for the third eye; often regarded as the very seat of human consciousness. Shirodhara is the method of third eye massage, through either pouring drips of water, milk, or buttermilk... or by pouring drips of oil onto a laying patients third eye - located in the pineal gland within the forehead. The rhythmic nature of the drips - if administered by a particularly in tune practitioner or by a times device can be synced with the natural rhythm and wavelength that the third eye vibrates at. In addition to the rhythm, the central focus on the third eye helps the individual receiving the treatment to focus on their third eye which helps to strengthen it. This treatment can be offered alone, or can be part of a specific panchakarma treatment detoxification regimen. In Ayurveda it is also common place to select an oil for the treatment which has properties which balance the client's dosha.
According to Ayurveda Next Door's write up, "Stress, according to Ayurveda, is a state of imbalance of prana vayu, sadaka pitta, and tarpaka kapha. Shirodhara reestablishes the functional integrity between these three doshic subtypes and thus helps alleviate stress."
Beyond just the metaphysical tuning this treatment provides, it also helps to regulate function between the hypothalamus, pineal gland, and pituitary glands. Disruptions in these areas of the body can lead to imbalances and afflictions commonly known in the Western world as shift worker sleep disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, and simple jet lag. As these disordered sleep or disordered fear response conditions are caused by disregulation of the hypothalamus, pineal gland, or pituitary glands...it stands to reason that oil massage of these areas can help regulate the body into a clock work cycle which provides relief from these conditions.
The massage is highly regarded as one of the most valuable treatments in Ayurveda because it calms the overworked mind. Calming the mind and relaxing the body is absolutely essential in terms of balancing the mind, body, and spirit to maintain their ecosystem and thusly their seamless connection. Although I have never had this treatment, I look forward to experiencing one soon. Here’s to manifesting that into my life!
One of my favorite of the 90s supers is the incomparable Christy Turlington. Her effortless beauty and unique look contributed to her enduring career as a supermodel and the Christy of legend in the now famous Cindy, Christy, Naomi, Claudia, Linda group of megawatt model babes.
Christy has made it public knowledge that she’s a huge proponent of Ayurveda. The ancient Indian pursuit of prolonging the life and using natural remedies to treat aging afflictions as well as a method for holistic preventative medicine. Ayurveda is an art and a science built around balancing an individual based on their distinct physical, emotional, and life rhythm. The former supermodel also pairs her Ayurvedic practice with meditation and a devout adherence to yoga. Turlington even went so far as to cross over into entrepreneurship by creating her Ayurvedic inspired skincare line, Sundari. Christy began Sundari back in the year 1999, but parted ways with the brand in 2003 for undisclosed and publicly unknown reasons.
The model wasn’t always so holistic, she started smoking at age 13 as a young model. She didn’t quit until she was around 26 years old and beginning an undergraduate degree at New York University in Eastern Philosophy and Comparative religion. The model famously stated she’d rather gain ten pounds and lose her modeling career than to be down ten pounds and unhealthy and addicted to nicotine and smoking. She is now an outspoken voice regarding COPD, a disease she lives and copes with.
The former model is a practitioner of Ashtanga yoga, a style of yoga known for its methodical attention to specifics. The name, meaning “eight limbed yoga” is Turlington’s favorite style because it is yoga built on discipline and fortifying the inner self, rather than chasing flexibility goals like many modern yoga practitioners do.
In an interview, when asked if she pursues yoga for fitness reasons or for spiritual ones Christy Turlington said “Yoga is a spiritual practice that has incredible physical benefits. I look at it as a lifestyle, a way of living that connects me to me. You know, the word "Yoga" means union. It's like everything in Yoga yokes or unites you to something higher, the highest part of yourself.
What I did for a living for so many years separated who I was from what I did, and Yoga has brought back all the parts of me. Yoga puts me in a place that is a little bit less about doing and more about being, which enables me, in fact, to do more.”The statuesque Turlington practices yoga in her home three mornings a week, and tries to take two classes a week.
In an interview with Time magazine she relayed her views on yoga the practice versus yoga the workout. “"I was interested in cleaning my body on a deeper level. Yoga really purifies your organs and blood. You feel that. You feel that circulation of energy. But the real lesson yoga gives you is learning how to be present."
Even though Turlington studies all six branches of yoga (and views her charity work and anti-smoking activism as seva— "service," an aspect of Karma Yoga), she's not critical of the popular exercise-oriented yoga boom, other than to worry some about the lack of standardization among teachers.
"Gym yoga isn't always the healthiest thing. I talk to so many people who say they've hurt themselves in a class and will never go back.
"I have friends who simply want to have a yoga butt. And there is such a thing. They're just interested in the kind of body they're going to have, although not everybody's going to have a Madonna body. I've been to lots of yoga classes, and there are a lot of different kinds of yoga bodies. I'm amazed at the strength and suppleness I see that some people have underneath very voluptuous shells."