Cold showers are a form of hydrotherapy and are known as Ishnaan in the East. They are one of the most basic yogic technologies Yogi Bhajan shared with us. The cold water stimulates the blood in the internal organs to rush out to the capillariies on the surface of the skin. This cleanses and energizes the glandular system and gives us the grit to meet the challenges we face.
"Showers should be cold. Cold showers preserve a woman as a woman; they correct imbalanced menstruation, prevent early menopause, skin problems and they help her to keep her glow."
1. Brings blood to the capillaries
2. Cleans the circulatory system
3. Reduces blood pressure on internal organs, flushing internal organs and giving them a new supply of blood
4. Strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
5. Contracts the muscles and causes them to eliminate toxins and poisons more quickly
6. Brings the power of resistance and resilience to the body
7. Strengthens the mucous membranes
8. Keeps the skin young and shining
9. Prevents the body from developing an extra layer of fat, which affects the liver
10. Balances all the glands
11. Circulation and nerve problems can be prevented by regular cold showers.
Note: When menstruating, women should not take a cold shower. A woman is advised to take showers with lukewarm water during the menstrual cycle.
How to Take a Cold Shower
Always precede cold showers with a massage of almond oil or olive oil. Be sure to massage the breasts, too.
It is recommended that a woman wear undershorts that cover her thighs while she is in the shower. This protects the sex nerve and the femur (thigh bone) from the sudden changes in temperature. (The femur regulates the production of calcium in the body and is very sensitive to temperature.)
After the massage, step into the shower. Let the cold water strike your body while you briskly massage the water into the skin. Move! Chant Sat Nam Wahe Guru! You should not stand continuously under a cold shower, nor should you do Breath of Fire to keep yourself warm. Instead, rub the skin vigorously.
Then step out of the water and continue to massage the skin. Then step back in, and be sure to stand under the spray and allow the breasts to be massaged by the water; continue massaging your entire body, step out again and repeat this process three or four times until you feel warm—even though the water is still cold. The capillaries open up and bring blood to the surface of the skin, making you feel warm.
When finished, dry yourself briskly with a towel. Of course, the ideal is a daily cold shower (ishnan), but Yogi Bhajan later encourages women to do it at least once a week—as a minimum requirement.
[Source: I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred, and Invincible, available through KRI]