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5 Tips for Bath Ritual Hygiene

If you are like me, you did not know a thing about spiritual hygiene, especially not bath ritual hygiene. When I started taking regular baths for self-care in 2012, I used that time to relax and get clean. Little did I know I was doing it all wrong. Contrary to popular belief, bath rituals are not meant to be a substitute for your daily washing. No one wants to sit their dirty body in a tub and see that brown ring form around it. Gross! As my Great-Aunt Shirley and community midwives would tell me, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

There is a reason this saying is so common throughout the African diaspora. We used herbal baths for healing after giving birth, to bless newborns, to prepare for rites of passage, and to release stagnant and unhealthy energy. Ritual baths were modalities for realigning with our higher selves and elevating our vibrations. Below are 5 tips for incorporating bath ritual hygiene into your practice. You can incorporate these tips no matter where you are in the world! If you are new to baths as rituals, you can download my free water ceremony guide. I include more steps for making this a weekly practice.

You do not have to be of African descent to practice bath ritual hygiene. I encourage you to look into your own ancestry for how you can use water, baths, and rain traditions that stem from your bloodline.

1. Clean your body and tub before

Washing your body before taking bath might seem redundant but it is important. Your ritual bath is not the time to clean your body. It is a time for tuning in, connecting with the water, relaxing, and realignment. Therefore, take a shower with soap and a washcloth. I know not everyone takes daily showers or uses washcloths, but you need to clean your body regularly. Otherwise, the ritual aspect of the bath is somewhat dimmed. After your shower, clean your tub, preferably with salt or Florida Water.

2. Declutter your space

Bodily hygiene is often connected to how we keep our physical spaces clean. In preparation for your ritual bath, declutter your space. Take out the trash. Open a window and let fresh air remove the stale air. Wash the dishes and laundry. Make your bed. Clean out the fridge. Water your plants. Reorganize your desk. Make your space welcoming once you finish your bath.

3. Cleanse your herbs, flowers, and tools

Gather everything you want to bring into your bath. Sometimes I use plant medicine at the beginning of my bath. Take them to the ocean, or river, or simply smudge them with incense or smudge stick to clear their energy. You get to decide. There is no right or wrong choice. This is your bath. Do what feels right. If your materials are actually dirty (covered in dust or dirt), wash them with soap and water before you spiritually cleanse them.

4. Charge your water with intention

Do not skip this step. Your intention means everything for a bath ritual. You can say a prayer aloud or focus your attention on the water and set your intention silently. I like to set an intention for my herbs as well. Once you get to this step you are ready for the spiritual bath. Soak in the water without expectation. Exit the water when you feel ready. I would recommend at least 15 minutes and then soaking longer as you become more comfortable. More practices for before and after your bath are available here.

5. Use salt to clean your tub afterward

Once you are dry and moisturized, clean your tub again. This time with salt to remove any lingering energy. Now your bathtub is ready for you to use in your daily shower or bath.

I would love to hear about your first bath ritual experience after using these tips. Let’s connect!

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