When I was a little girl my grandmother would force us kids to have a freezing cold water rinse post hot bubble bath. Force is a strong word, let’s just say it was understood that there would be no way out of that cold rinse and there was really no use complaining about it. Strangely enough she also insisted that we dry our tiny bodies off with a hand towel…the full size towel was meant for wrapping around the head to dry hair only, and that was that. I recall asking her why once, why the cold water, I only remember her responding something about Okinawa, something about the Sea.
She also advised that I never sleep with underwear on, as it was important to air my “omanko” out at night 🙂
Eventually we children graduated to giving ourselves our own cold water rinse, supervised at times by grandmother of course…I carry the tradition on to this day, on my own..there are days when I don’t do it: when my moon comes, when I need to be asleep…when I need to be a nebulous cloud of energy spreading all over the place, etc etc. I just ask the body + spirit…”cold water rinse today?” and then go from there…Anyhow, grandmother is in her 80’s…she still has beautifully glowing tight skin even though she is an old island lady living years in the dry Arizona desert…she still does yoga in her kitchen everyday too.
I am glad she shared this gift with me, though unpleasant at times, I recall, even at that young age, the unspoken understanding that I was building resilience, learning how to work with my fighting mind, learning how energy worked. I grew into a woman who has no problems dipping into snow melt, and I would say that is some kind of super power in itself.
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