THE TEMAZCAL – AN ANCIENT RITUAL TO PURIFY BODY AND MIND

by Dorte Nielsen

Since pre-Hispanic times the Temazcal, which consists in a steam room and purification rituals, have been part of the spiritual traditions for health and purification all over Mexico. Ancient cultures, including the Mayan culture, have always included the temazcal in their traditions and in some archaeological areas it’s still possible to see remains of ancient temazcals.

In former times, it was normal use that women recently after giving birth should undergo the temazcal post-purification in order to get “cleaned”.

Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya offers a meditative and purifying temazcal ceremony in their distinctive oval torito, which represents the womb of Mother Earth.

The sauna of steam for the temazcal ritual is a kind of oval “oven” with enough space for several people. This steam oven symbolizes the womb of Mother Earth, and the spiritual part of the ritual works with the four elements: fire, water, earth and wind.

Traditionally, the shaman has been commissioned to do the “cleaning” of people through prayers, incense and touches with leaves and herbs, followed by the hot steam bath inside the temazcal. The result? A purification and detox of body, mind and soul.

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The shaman at Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita Rivieray Maya leads vacationers through the ancient temezcal ritual.

The ritual is today still practiced according to the ancestral customs and there are temazcal places both in Cancun and Riviera Maya that offer the ritual to anyone interested. Even several of the major resorts have their own temazcal as part of a spa.

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After a cleansing with copal smoke, participants in the temazcal ceremony at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort end with a plunge in a natural jungle cenote.

You should consider this wonderful millennium experience to have a purification of body and mind on your next well-deserved vacation. It will definitively allow you to enjoy your vacation in a renewed way with much more energy and well-being!

Dorte Nielsen works for Amstar dmc, a destination management company dedicated to providing world-class destination services and inspiring travel experiences to individuals, groups  and meeting planners. As the leading DMC in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, Amstar dmc has more than 25 years of experience offering innovative and dependable destination solutions for everything from tour circuits and memory-packed destination weddings to customized V.I.P. itineraries and major corporate meetings.

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