Most people in Japan tend to bathe at night. A morning bath is a rare thing and is usually done when vacationing at a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) or an onsen hot springs resort. Among the Japanese, the asa buro is considered the ultimate luxury in ryokan bathing.
I rarely take morning baths myself but it is slowly becoming part of my Sunday mornings. It is easy to see why a morning bath is seen as being so luxurious. It really is a wonderful thing to do for yourself when you can carve out an extra early 40 minutes or so. The energy of the early day brings a feeling of a calm peacefulness. Even better if you are awake when the rest of your house is quiet. Being that early baths are such a rarity, you do feel like you are treating yourself to something very special.
A Morning Bathing Ritual
My fragrance of choice for an early morning bath is Zen Morning which tells the story of an early morning bath at a Kyoto ryokan and is an aromatherapy blend for mindful energy. I love how this exotic citrus fragrance with touch of Japanese mint subtly energize helps me greet the day.
Mist: I begin by misting the air with Zen Morning Aromatic Sake Mist.
Dry Brush: Next I dry brush my entire body. Since it's morning I usually will do this with more of a faster sweeping motion than I would in the evening. This stimulates rather than soothes.
Wash: I take a quick shower with Zen Morning Luxury Body Wash. I love to turn the water on cold at the very end. By alternating between the hot and cold water, the blood rushes to the skin which is not only invigorating but also creates a healthy glow.
While the bath is filling up I read while sipping on green tea. I prefer jasmine green tea or sencha in the mornings.
Soak: After emptying a packet of Zen Morning Luxury Bath Salts into the water I shut my eyes and relax. This is one of the few times I will bring a book into the bath. I always keep lemon ice water near by and sip it while bathing. If I need to cool down I will sit on the side of the bath for a few moments before sliding back in.
Nourish: I complete this beautiful bathing ritual by massaging Zen Morning Hikaru Oil from my toes to the back of my neck. Once done, I'll mist a bit more Zen Morning Aromatic Sake Mist on my shoulders.
Yuagari (After Bath)
I love when I am awake by myself after a morning bath. I usually will sit on my windowsill and mindlessly watch the East River. The tide is usually low in the morning and boats of all sizes glide past. Sometimes I will have another cup of tea and maybe read a bit more.
Early morning rituals are so important. When you have a few extra moments try to take advantage of it, even if it involves a bit of planning ahead. I find that having these moments sets a wonderful tone for the week ahead.