I have been attending a workshop by Ustaad Bah’uddin Dagar, where Ustaad, made an observation about sanskaar. When we say sanskaar we tend to think of values or upbringing with an underlying infliction of conservative outlook. But sanskaar, is more than that, it something that gives an individual his outlook to himself, world and his relation to the world, this includes the physiologic, and psychological aspects.
The sanskaar start from before birth, according to ayurveda one needs to take care before pregnancy that is basically talking about planning a baby that would involve create the mother, and the environment in which the child is to be nurtured.
Then there are sanskaar during pregnancy. This is something I will vouch for with my personal experience. The emotion, the thought the sadhana that the mother imbibes during pregnancy is definitely the child’s legacy. Abhimanyu is not a figment of Vyasa’s imagination but a physio-psychological fact.
Have you seen a dancer depicting a baby the first thing they show is a baby being carried, then placed in a cradle the more innovative one’s will show you a baby massage. This is a practise done away in many houses, but believe me it is necessary.
Why is a massage necessary?
- It helps to prevent dryness and easy transition of skin texture from the womb to the external environment.
- Gives suppleness to the skin.
- The muscles are toned
- Bone is strengthened,
- Touch creates a sense of security in a child.
In children over 3mnts, the massage helps to release trapped gas and even constipation.
What is the massage done with, in the coast of course coconut oil; the best oil to use is the oil that is locally produced and used is everyday cooking.
The most important aspect of the massage is the bath should be only after about 45mnts of the massage. This allows the oil to be absorbed by the skin, if the child is left uncovered in an area mildly exposed to sun; it activates the natural production of vitamin D3.
Traditionally massages need to carry on everyday at least until the age of 5. And at regular intervals after that. Remember the Sunday tail-abhyanjana before we became, civilized global citizens and Sunday came to mean sleeping late, and bingeing on food?
Coming to the oil used, in the west coast traditionally coconut oil is used. This is fortified with Shah Jeera and turmeric.
Actual massage techniques – in the next blog.
Inputs from Vaidya Archana Gaonkar