Though it may call to mind thoughts of soaking in a claw-footed tub set up in a field on a summer evening while basking in the lunar light, moonbathing doesn’t necessarily involve immersing yourself in hot water. 

Proponents of the ancestral Ayurveda practice claim it increases Vitamin D levels, relieves stress and tension headaches and promotes overall wellness. And that all sounds pretty appealing after a year of lockdown.

Moonbathing stems from a time long ago when our ancestors were more connected to nature, allowing them to live with greater peace and tranquility, according to says Silvia Velasco, spa director of Se Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, a luxury all-inclusive spa resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which offers moonbathing to resort guests. “If the moon moves the seas and our body is composed mostly of water, the moon has the ability to move our interior completely,” she explains. “It is important for our wellbeing to connect with this [satellite] that is so powerful and influential for our body and our planet.”

How to do it

To replicate the experience at home, start with a conscious meditation about your body, being mindful of pain or discomfort in any area, then focus on that specific area in order to accept it and pamper it. If it’s a full moon, write something on a piece of paper that you want to let go, then burn the note. Repeat a mantra or intention of affirmative words, including “om” if that feels comfortable.

Next, make an exfoliating scrub from honey and sugar, and apply it in a warm shower. Rinse off, add flower petals or essential oil to warm water in your tub, prepare your favorite flavor of tea, sip and soak while repeating your affirmation or intention. If it’s a new moon, Velasco recommends setting a piece of quartz in the tub, which is said to help with spiritual growth, awareness, and wisdom. 

Alternatively, if you don’t have a tub or don’t wish to soak, boil water with your choice of aromatic herbs or citrus peels, with or without a few drops of lavender or sandalwood oil. After your shower when the bowl of water has cooled slightly, add flower petals to the mixture, then rinse with the water while repeating your intention or affirmation, whether it be for love, peace, tranquility or abundance.

For an even more simplistic variation, you can fill a bowl with water, add basil, honey and rose petals, let it set under the moonlight for an hour, take a sip and pour the remaining into a drawn bath. And if you want to completely eschew a water element, she suggests laying down on a blanket under the moonlight, sitting beside a widow exposing your skin to the moonlight or taking a walk on a moonlit night for at least thirty minutes.

No matter how you practice it, the moonbathing ritual allows you to focus on yourself, let go of the things you no longer want in your life and open the door to what you want to receive, Velasco says. The best time to partake in moonbathing is during a new moon (to renew yourself) or a full moon (to set yourself free); with three Supermoons occurring this year (April 26, May 26 and June 24) it’s a quite auspicious time to add it to your wellness repertoire.

About Kelly Magyarics

Kelly Magyarics is a travel, food, beverage and lifestyle writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Her work appears in publications including Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, Wine Enthusiast, Lonely Planet, Food Network, TripSavvy, Global Traveler, Liquor.com, Alcohol Professor, Chowhound, The Gourmet Insider and Northern Virginia Magazine, among others. She also holds a Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and is a wine and spirits educator. You can reach Kelly through her website, kellymagyarics.com.

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