How to Create a Spa Sanctuary
Instead of spending a fortune at your local spa, why not consider these simple steps for turning your own bathroom into a place for balance, centering, healing, refreshment, relaxation and renewal?
It isn’t difficult: All you have to do is trust your senses. Choose the most soothing colors, sounds, scents and more to make your bathroom the spa sanctuary you need for the good of your body and soul.
Tranquil aquamarine is a great color for the bathroom. The blue of sky is a restful choice too, because it is a clear and calming color. Green is a very healing color, and it contains a revitalizing quality—the energy of new life. And white, pure and pristine as it is, represents cleanliness in almost every culture. Choose a color to meet your deepest need.
Light is important. You can draw attention to the outdoor light entering the room by hanging sun catchers in windows and opening shades and curtains wide for natural light. If your bathroom isn’t private, try using half-curtains on just the bottom half of the window, so natural light comes streaming in the top.
Towels and shower curtains can have a comforting, all-natural look. Organic cotton or hemp shower curtains are the very best choice, since plastic shower curtains made from PVC emit compounds which can interfere with healthy hormone functioning.
The cleansing feel of water against your skin is so sensual. Cooling off with cold water on a hot day refreshes the senses, stimulates circulation and reduces inflammation. On a cold day, warming up with a warm shower or bath is womblike and may evoke deep memories.
Dry your body with the soft, welcoming luxury of a towel made of high-quality 100 percent combed cotton. Hold a wooden brash in your hands, enjoy a few drops of pure essential oil in your tub water, and feel the steam of the hot bath before you step in. Most of all, spend time enjoying the feel of water against your skin.
You can also tingle your sense of touch underfoot. Natural fiber mats or rugs feel best on your bare feet after stepping out of the shower or tub. The key to a good bath mat or rug is for it to be absorbent and skid-resistant. You’ll want to wash them frequently, so make sure the ones you purchase are washable. A natural fiber rug with a nonslip backing is ideal, because the natural fiber absorbs more water than a synthetic fiber, and the nonslip backing feels secure on the floor.
Few sounds are as calming as falling water. Filling a bath or running a shower sounds like a waterfall. After you turn off the water, the quiet is welcome. Listening to music can be nice in the bath, but just letting your mind go still—without much stimulation—can be a treat.
The ideal bathroom for health and revitalization is a room with the scent of clean air, rather than a chemical stew of fragrances from personal care products, cleaning product fumes, additives in grout, and a host of other odors from commercial products. If you desire fragrances, choose natural plant essences.
The most popular spas are built and furnished with all-natural materials. Bathrooms that reflect the natural world help you to feel connected to the Earth. Here are some suggestions for introducing natural materials to your bathroom:
- Plants give a sense of fresh air, natural beauty and herbal wisdom. They also absorb positive ions, replenishing the healthy negative ion balance. Try introducing real potted plants if you have enough light, or use dried plants such as potpourri or wreaths. Even images of plants (especially water flowers like lily pads) on cotton shower curtains, paintings, or photos, or flowers make of silk can help connect you to nature.
- Line windowsills and bathtub decks with shells, pebbles and stones you’ve collected from oceans, rivers and mountain paths. Just looking at sea shells can open your imagination so you can “hear” the crashing of waves on the shore, feel the heat of the sun and the sand on your toes.
- Stones and crystals can be powerful memory triggers when you see them. Rose quartz, for example, is supposed to be the vibration of unconditional love, and water seems to respond positively to that vibration. Choose a crystal you are drawn to and place it in the tub.
- Images of animals and wildlife can transport you to another place and another way of thinking.
Adapted from Home Enlightenment: Practical, Earth-Friendly Advice for Creating a Nurturing, Healthy, and Toxin-Free Home and Lifestyle, by Annie B. Bond (Rodale Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Annie B. Bond. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
By Annie B. Bond