It is springtime and time to detox our bodies and minds. Here in Tulum we have not only the raw fruits and vegetables to help us do this but the added benefit of the steam lodge, the Temazcal (tem-es-cal) which can be found in various spas on the Tulum beach road. This mesoamerican steam ritual is conducted on full moon evenings but a local shaman who is trained in steam lodges. If you are looking for an incredible eye-opening experience, this is a great way to spend one of your vacation evenings in Tulum, Mexico.
What is a Temazcal?
Many indigenous cultures used steam lodges to cleanse both the body, mind and spirit. The Indigeous culutes of Mesoamerica which includes the Mayans used Temazcals regularly for ceremonial and therapeutic purposes. The steam lodge itself is shaped as a round house, made out of packed mud, concrete or in some cases layers and layers of palm leaves, a shape that represents the womb, where life begins. The structure has a door which is closed during the ceremony and a top window for the final stage of the cermony where the steam is released. There is a pit in the middle of the interior where the hot rocks are placed in four increments to create the steam. The rocks are combined with medicinal herbs and water infused with herbs is put on the rocks during each stage of the temazcal. Participants are cleansed with copal before they enter by the shaman, thank the four points of the earth as a part of the ceremony and then enter one by one into the temazcal making a circle around the rock pit.
What are the health benefits of a Temazcal?
The physical health benefits of the Temazcal include:
- cleanses the respiratory and digestive tracts
- tones the skin
- reduces stress
- improves blood circulation
- helps in weight control
- calms pre menstrual cramps and post-partum pain
- Muscular and osteopathic problems respond well
The spiritual benefits include:
- state of relaxation
- safe place for letting go
- an opening of the heart to the universe
- participating in a community practice
- cleansing of the mind and spirit
- place to state intentions
People choose why they wish to participate in this sort of cleansing ritual. Some participate purely for health reasons, some for spiritual reasons and many for both. The shaman leads the group in a series of rituals that will support either or both of your needs.
For the beginner, this is fun adventure that will open you to other detox experiences. It is up to you what you put into it and what you take out of it. Each time you participate in this ceremony you will find the benefits become more and your realization of the benefits are enhanced.
Where to have a Temazcal in Tulum
There are two temazcals in Tulum that regularly have temazcals. Copal has a Temazcal on their property in the jungle and conducts some deep and intense ceremonies. Maya Tulum also has their own shaman and he is famous for the results that he can provide for participants in his ceremonies. Both require reservations and if you have a group of 6 they will schedule your private ceremony. Each of these are fabulous and each will provide you with an authentic and rewarding detox. Add mayan clay to your next beach day and you will be rejuvenated and refreshed!
Tulum is a great place to take way your stress and really detox from every day life. The people, the culture, the PLACE is contributes to your overall health and wellness while on vacation! If you need a break, this is where you need to be!