Bathing Rituals From Around the World to Boost Your Bathtime Experience | ABI Interiors

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BATHING RITUALS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO BOOST YOUR BATHTIME EXPERIENCE

BATHING RITUALS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO BOOST YOUR BATHTIME EXPERIENCE

Image source: @abiinteriors for Soak Bathhouse

We take showers or baths to promote hygiene, but these acts also have a strong relaxing significance. Our days either start or end in watery warmth and give us moments of solitude and renewal. Our showers and baths have witnessed some of our great late-night ideas or the highest notes we can vocally achieve, and in return, they exchange our daily stresses for moments of tranquillity.

Though, in these stressful times, it can be harder to switch off. Has your bathtime been feeling lacklustre lately? Or is your mind stronger than the comforts of water pressure? To transform this daily routine into a thoughtful ritual, we have looked into what the rest of the world is doing when it comes to bathing.

From India to Finland, we have traipsed the digital globe to document five bathing customs from around the world in the hopes of reinvigorating your bathtime experience.

FINLAND

Image source: @dwell

The Fins have been expert artisans in the craft of bathing—specifically, the sauna. The first record of the Finnish sauna dates back 7000 years ago, and with now 5 million people in Finland, there are around 3 million saunas. Saunas aren’t an opulent luxury. It’s part and parcel of the national identity. 

The Finnish sauna regime involves taking a cold shower, sitting in a hot sauna, and then repeating that process numerous times. It’s believed that saunas can relieve stress and tension, improve blood circulation and immunity and maintain skin health.

 

RECREATE IT IN YOUR BATHROOM: 

As most of us don’t have access to a sauna in our own homes, we have to find a more creative way of reimagining the same process. For those with a separate bath and shower, it is possible to achieve an element of the Finnish sauna.

  1. Take a shower to remove any dirt and grime.
  2. Start filling your bath with extremely hot water, and add an essential oil of your choice. You won’t be needing to plunge your whole body into your bath, so make it as hot as you possibly can.
  3. Find a comfortable stool, and relax around the steam for a while.
  4. Once done, take a cold shower to help circulation.
  5. You can repurpose the bathwater (which should have cooled down by then) to be used in the garden or for soaking dirty linen. 

Ensure that you drink lots of water during and after this process to keep your hydration levels healthy.

 

ABI PRODUCTS TO REALISE THE FINNISH VISION: 

Image source: @abiinteriors for @thebeechmontchalet

We suggest the Scala Acrylic Free Standing Bath for its slim profile and high walls, which saves space and makes it easier to sit around the steam. The Oscar Floor Mounted Bath Filler is an elegant fixture to help bring a touch of glamour. 

INDIA

Image source: @moutainroseherbs

Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic healing modalities on Earth. Developed in India, the attitude towards bathing encompasses not only the physical body, but the spiritual body too. The belief is that everyone can generally fit into the different body/energy types, or ‘doshas’ — Kapha, Vata and Pitta. By bathing according to your Ayurvedic body type, you can feel more centred and balanced. 

The Ayurvedic bath starts with an oil massage to help encourage lymphatic drainage and circulation. It is believed the hot water also allows the oils from the massage to penetrate the skin better. Then, depending on your dosha model, different types of herbs, flowers, and essential oils can be put into a warm bath. 

 

RECREATE IT IN YOUR BATHROOM:

The Ayurvedic bathing ritual doesn’t require you to install anything elaborate. You may just need to pick up some ingredients. If you know what dosha you are, here are some of the items we recommend for your Ayurvedic bath:

Kapha: These types generally need herbs that are stimulating for their slow-moving bodies. Try elements such as ginger powder, rosemary, basil, mustard powder or vanilla in your bath. These ingredients are perfect for winter when our systems are colder. 

Pitta: Pitta doshas tend to feel warm and sharp, requiring coolness to balance this. Mint, rose, coriander, fennel, cardamom, and dandelion root are great to put in a bath. If you feel especially overheated in summer, try these to help cool off. 

Vata: Vata types are quick-witted and have a dry disposition, needing baths that can truly rehydrate them. Pacify with elements like cinnamon, turmeric, sandalwood, orange, jasmine and ylang-ylang. 

 

ABI PRODUCTS TO ELEVATE AN AYURVEDIC BATH SESSION:

Image source: @abiinteriors for @jdbuild

Keep your herbs and ingredients close for your Ayurvedic bath by installing a stylish shelf. Put our Vaada Extended Shower Shelf near your tub to add a dash of whatever you need at any time. 

RUSSIA

Image source: Kallerna

Russia’s banya bathing ritual has been around for over a thousand years. It’s essentially a steam room or sauna, with the first instances of the practice taking place in a small room lit by a woodstove. It is considered a bonding experience in Russia, and it cleanses the body thoroughly by opening up the pores and removing toxins. 

Often in the banya, bunches of birch, eucalyptus, oak or juniper are softened in warm water and brushed or hit against the skin to promote circulation and capillary strength. This is called the ‘venik’ in Russian. 

 

RECREATE IT IN YOUR BATHROOM:

Instead of building a sauna or steam room, take a hot shower instead. Hang a bunch of eucalyptus over your shower arm while your shower heats up. Then once at your desired temperature, run it under the water until it feels softened. 

Enjoy the aroma that is released, or commence your own venik experience by brushing the foliage over your skin.  

 

ABI PRODUCTS TO ASSIST WITH THE RUSSIAN BANYA:

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We believe the best accomplice to help you create a banya in your bathroom is the Finley Shower Rail Set. Its squared shower arm is perfect for hanging your bunches, and its option of a hand shower and shower head gives you more options in the bathroom. 

BALI

Image source: @thevagabondgoddess

Anyone who has watched a peer go to Bali has their online feed saturated with beaches, flowers and digital invitations to enter a state of relaxation. A common practice seen is the flower bath, and while it’s a glorious way to relax in the company of florals, it actually is an expression of Bali’s Hindu traditions. 

It acts as a cleansing ritual to purify the spiritual and physical body of impurities and negative energy. A typical bath includes either fresh or dried flowers, essential oils and sometimes herbs. 

 

RECREATE IT IN YOUR BATHROOM:

You will need fresh or dried flowers of your choice, Epsom salts, essential oils and a bath. 

Set the relaxing mood by ensuring nothing in your space causes distraction. Mess, grime or loud noises need to be removed for peace to blossom — clean your space to cleanse your senses! 

Then incorporate items that make you feel relaxed, candles, books, or music. Start by placing your feet into a small pool of cold water, and take some moments to centre yourself, perhaps with a cup of tea. 

Once you feel ready, fill the bath with water at your preferred temperature. Start mixing in your Epsom salts and essential oils. Once mixed, take the time to explore your creativity by arranging the flowers in a formation that pleases your eye. 

When completed, slowly submerge yourself and enjoy the splendour of flowers and the properties they contain.

Here are some common flowers used and how they can relax your body:

— ROSE: Hydrates and refreshes the skin

— LAVENDER: Calming and stress relieving

— LOTUS FLOWER: Aids sleep and reduces anxiety

— ORCHID: Contains antioxidants to improve the skin 

 

ABI PRODUCTS TO HELP BRING YOU TO BALI:

Image source: @abiinteriors for @projection_build

We suggest a convenient towel rail to brush off excess flowers when you finish with your bath. Our Cali Single Towel Rail nearby is an elegant detail that can enhance the spa-like feel. 

JAPAN

Image source: Aman Kyoto for Ignant

The Japanese onsen has attracted people from all over the world to embrace its contemplative and restorative environment. ‘Onsen’ translates to ‘hot springs’ and details precisely what the user will be relishing in. As the country is highly volcanic, it provides an abundance of natural springs, with distinctive minerals found in the water, which are said to flush out toxins, relax muscle tension, improve circulation and heal skin blemishes. 

Traditionally the onsen was outdoors, but many locations all over Japan adopt indoor facilities as well. 

 

RECREATE IT IN YOUR BATHROOM:

All you need to turn your bathroom into a relaxing onsen is to source minerals for your bath. This is what sets it apart from other bathing modalities. We recommend the Onsen Saru Bath Fizz, which you can find here.

  1. Take a shower to rinse off any impurities. We suggest using a natural body scrub to ensure that the minerals can better absorb into the skin. 
  2. Fill a bath with hot water. Make it a little bit warmer than you would for a more authentic bathing session. Onsen temperatures in Japan are around the 42˚C mark. 
  3. Start dissolving the onsen bath salts into the water. 
  4. Light some incense to engage the senses and relax. 
  5. Soak in the bath for about 15-20 minutes to avoid feeling dehydrated and tired from the heat. 
  6. Once finished, take a rinse but without soap so that the minerals stay on the skin. 

 

ABI PRODUCTS TO TRANSPORT YOURSELF TO AN ONSEN:

Image source: @abiinteriors for @ohana_beachhouse

‘Ukiyo’ translates to ‘floating world’ in Japanese, and the ethereal nature of its meaning inspired our Ukiyo Acrylic Free Standing Bath. Its circular shape feels cocooning and comforting, making it the perfect vessel to recreate the onsen experience in your home. 

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