This yogic technique relaxes the nerves and lowers the metabolism, cooling and refreshing body and mind. It stimulates a relaxation response similar to the “Diver’s Reflex” found in other mammals – for example, the stimulus of cold water on diving seals lowers their consumption of oxygen, allowing them to stay underwater longer.
It is beneficial to take a “half bath” before Yoga postures and meditation. Relaxed digestion of food is aided by a half bath before eating. Curiously, it invigorates oneself if taken first thing in the morning, yet allows deeper, calmer sleep if taken last thing at night.
What to do
- Wash hands.
- With cool water (no soap needed), wash from knees to feet and from elbows to hands.
- Take a mouthful of water and hold the breath in, splashing water in the open eyes 12 or more times.
- Splash water onto the face and behind the ears and neck.
- Cup water in the hand, tilt the head back and gently tip the water down each nostril (blow or spit it out) 3 times.