Among various oils used for massaging, mustard oil is the best. Mustard oil is commonly used in India for cooking, applying to the hair, etc. It is also used for massaging the babies as well as by wrestlers and old people. It is healthy and invigorating oil. Since it has a warm effect on the body, the yoga practitioners are advised to apply it only during the winter season, not during summer.
When it is applied to the body, it penetrates through the pores and imparts elasticity and strength to the muscles, bones and nerves. It soothes, cleans, gives a good, tanned complexion to the body and makes the skin healthy. It also helps to remove the wrinkles and dryness of the skin.
How to use it? Take some oil on the palms and smear it on parts of the body and give light rubbing till it is partially soaked. Apply it all over the body and leave it there for ten to fifteen minutes. In that time, part of the oil will be soaked by the body through the pores.
You can clean the oil from body in two ways. First take a shower without using soap and rub the body using either warm or cold water, then wipe out the oily remnants from the body with a dry and clean towel. As the oil is wiped off, the body would gain a clean and smooth look.
The second process is that after smearing oil, use gram-flour paste as a substitute for soap. Apply that past all over the oily body and rub it with palms till the paste is fully mixed up with oil. After the rubbing wash it oil with either cold or hot water. Gram flour paste will clean the oil in a more thorough and satisfactory way than soap can do it. By so doing, you have the benefit of both oil and flour. This can be regarded as a beautifying treatment, as it enhances the natural look of the skin.
This application of oil and cleaning with the past should be done on alternate days, or once or twice a week but not every day. If someone prefers to use soap in between the application of oil and paste, there is nothing objectionable. In case soap is used, the choice should be made in such a way it is nature and the condition of the skin of the users.
Remember that you are following ‘a system of self-treatment’ without relying on or using medicine. Therefore, it is important that you understand it first for satisfactory results. Keeping in mind the contents of this chapter, select the section of your concern and begin the practice of yoga.