What is Temazcal?
Temazcal is an ancient Mexican purification ritual intended to bring healing to the body, mind and spirit. Incorporating the four elements, the four cardinal directions, medicinal herbs and hot steam, Temazcal can help groups and individuals achieve new levels of relaxation, healing or team building.
Sweet-smelling smoke rises from a pyre of volcanic rocks, and the scents of copal, or tree sap, and fresh sage mingle, signaling the start of one of Mexico's oldest traditions: Temazcal.
One by one, each person is prepared to enter the lodge by being cleansed with the smoke of burning sage, a practice long observed by indigenous nations, from the Aztecs to the Sioux. As the mission of Temazcal is to purify the body, mind and spirit, the sage helps neutralize each person's energy field, bringing the group to the same level and preparing them for a deeper experience.
Once inside the hut, group members become silhouettes against the cool brick wall, and the loose sand beneath conforms to bare feet and legs. So begins Temazcal.
Each person introduces him or herself and states his or her intention for the ritual. Intentions may range from healing tired muscles to balancing the spirit for individuals and from enjoying a bonding excursion to achieving unity in the case of groups.
For an experience without one collective purpose, mint and spearmint are the main herbs, and they're used with sage and rosemary to create a balancing effect. A period of silence follows the placement of the rocks in the center of the hut, and participants are encouraged to say what's on their minds, sing, say a prayer, offer a meditation or express whatever strikes them at the moment.
Temazcal may mean different things to different people. The beauty of the ritualbeyond the release of physical and emotional toxinsis that, although it's done in a group, it is a highly personalized practice that brings purification and restoration to anyone who's interested. For more information, contact Vistazul Suites & SPA.