How does sitting in a cement sweat lodge for 45 minutes with 15 other strangers in Tulum Mexico sound to you?
Revealing? Cleansing? Terrifying? Well, yes to all of the above. It is called Temezcal, and it was an experience worth its weight in gold. Or should I say sweat?
Despite the uncomfortable description, this Mayan (one of my favorite indigenous groups to study) ceremony was a wonderful way to start 2022. It helped me welcome not just a new year, but a new me. I remember after we exited the lodge, our group went around and shared our how we felt in one word. The first word that entered my mind was bird. I just felt lighter and that I had more space for newness and change.
I don’t want to give too much away, I know some of you perpetual betas, may want to try it, but I will share a little bit. Obviously it was very intense, so if you have health contraindications, proceed with caution.
Temezcal includes four 15- minute sessions each devoted to different cleansing rituals:
-1 An acknowledgement of Madre Tierra (the mother earth) and source of our blessings
-2 A blessing to your inner child (a concept sadly, not much discussed here in the States)
-3 The hottest session by far, with very active singing, and focused on clearing negativity
-4 Luckily this session was completed with the door of the lodge open and represented the welcoming of your new, purified self
I would be remise if I didn’t mention our Mayan priests that guided us through Temezcal. They filled the lodge with burning lava rocks, led our chants, and blessed us with herbs like grapefruit, tea, rosemary, and lavender. Their spirits were both so innocent and giving, I felt comfortable immediately in their care.
One of the most interesting conversations was when they shared the work Mayan healers do each year. I mean think about it, these guides are working with strangers all year, hearing, feeling, cleaning the energies of complete strangers. That is quite a bit to take in- I would need a release too. Then I heard what it entails: Deep in Mexico, they spend 4 days in a Temezcal sweat lodge, without food or water, and some bloodletting. I guess some things should stay in the middle ages huh?
Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments below ! And please share, what do you do to start your new year on the right foot?