TEMAZCAL

Also known as Temazcali (steam bath). 

It is a ritual steeped in pre-Columbian astronomical and anthropological knowledge, offering a high therapeutic value. 

Physically, it's a steam bath with herbal remedies to help eliminate toxins and balance various metabolic processes. Among its many physical benefits include: stimulation of the lymphatic system which is one of those responsible for the cleaning and purification of body, skin tone, cleansing of the respiratory tract, improves blood circulation, relax the nervous system to decrease stress and anxiety, improves bone problems, cleansing of the digestive and urinary tracts, helps the expulsion of kidney stones. The high temperatures also facilitate the cell revitalization and repair. 

Temazcal structure of hemispherical shape represents the womb of our Mother Earth in which the volcanic stones called grandmothers wisely have the genetic code of the history of our planet. Thus, besides the physical benefits, this experience can help us to break boundaries, overcome fears, unlock emotions and free us from false beliefs. When you enter a wet, warm, dark place (uterus) you are immediately connected with our emotions and after the experience we free of old burdens and more open heart and mind. 

This ceremony is presided by the goddess Temazcaltoci, goddess of health, the mother who welcomes us to facilitate the union of man and land in a spiritual rebirth. The “temazcalero” directs the ceremony with the support of the "man of fire", who is in charge of the fire, to heat the stones grandmothers and introduce them inside the temazcal. It has four times or "doors" in which it is completely dark (where people sing, pray and speak) that represent the 4 elements, the 4 directions, the 4 stages of life... 

Attending a Temazcal regularly is a personal development process that begins with a somatic balance and culminates in a spiritual rebirth in which, each is responsible for how to deal with their worst enemy: oneself. 

In recent times, the practice of Temazcal is spreading dramatically not only in Mesoamerica but also in the West. In fact, it is one of the preferred practices among some fans of the New Age. However, it should be noted that sweat lodges (temazcals) are not all equal. Often, the temazcals are closer to a pleasant spa session disguised as a pre-Columbian knowledge than an intensive holistic work. For this reason, I hereby present a series of photographs of a Mexica temazcal, a warrior temazcal, a “conchero” temazcal that retrieves the basis of past practices to connect us with all the ancient wisdom. 

BEFORE & AFTER

THE RITUAL