If you've ever practiced yoga or breathwork, you've experienced firsthand the benefits of Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old holistic medicinal practice that originated in India. "I think the simple tenet of letting go of what you don't need, and refilling your cup with what brings you life is foundational to Ayurveda — and can be practiced on a daily basis more easily than people think," UMA Oils founder (and Ayurvedic expert) Shrankhla Holecek tells Refinery29. Besides being more attuned to your body and breath, Holecek — whose family has practiced Ayurveda for centuries, including as the family physicians for India's Royal family — founded her brand, UMA Oils to encourage people to experience Ayurvedic medicine from their own homes.
"Ayurveda ... is rooted in the ancient belief systems about the constitution of the human body, and its close relationship with the environment it exists in," Holecek explains. "In devising solutions for an ailment, Ayurveda addresses all aspects of your life — diet, lifestyle, exercise — along with medicine, which is entirely natural and plant-based." UMA, in particular, uses Ayurvedic practices to inspire a range of luxurious beauty oils with aromatherapeutic properties. One duo in particular that we're shouting out as the best Valentine's Day self-care gift for yourself or someone special: UMA Oils' Pure Calm Wellness Bath & Body Oil Gift Set, which features two jumbo sizes of the brand's Wellness Bath Oil and Wellness Body Oil. (UMA's duo is a splurge at $204, but we have an exclusive 25% off discount when you shop on-site with us.)
The bundle gets its power from a fragrant, antioxidant-rich blend of oils that includes sandalwood, jasmine, chamomile, lavender, vetiver, and vitamin E — a heady, aroma-therapeutic mix that promises to alleviate stress and deliver an intense dose of hydration to skin. “I'm a bath junkie,” wrote a reviewer named bo finn. “I love body products and have tried everything out there. This is very different from a salt or others I've used, but in a great way. There are no bubbles or anything — just a very aromatic bath experience, and the aroma actually stays on your skin all day.” A reviewer named Sally concurred: “[The oils’] fragrance is like no other! I’m buying these ... again!!! So recommended!”
"Valentine's is a great reminder to recommit to loving yourself, loving your body and mind — every day," says Holecek of this extra-special duo. "The Pure Calm Body & Bath oils help you stay true to that commitment through February and beyond, fostering an ongoing love affair with yourself through a beautiful two-fold ritual." Here's how it works: Add a few drops of UMA's bath oil to enjoy a relaxing soak. Once you're out of the tub, anoint your skin with the luxurious body oil, which in Holecek's words, "lingers as a beautiful reminder of that inner light that always helps you sparkle."
"I believe the need for treatments that come from ancient medicine such as Ayurveda are needed now more than ever," Holecek says. "People are desperate to seek solutions that go deeper than solving for mere symptoms. You’re spending less time checking in with yourself, and many of us are far out of balance by the time we realize it." (Same.) As such, consider this as your invitation treat yourself to some daily mindful moments that transform routine into ritual.
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