Since pre-Hispanic times the Temazcal experience, which consists in a steam room and purification rituals, has been part of the spiritual traditions for health and purification all over Mexico. Ancient cultures, including the Mayans, have always included the temazcal in their traditions. Additionally, in some archaeological areas, it’s still possible to see remains of ancient temazcals.
What is the Temazcal Experience?
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. In ancient times it was normal use that women recently after giving birth should undergo the temazcal post-purification in order to get “cleansed.”
Traditionally, the shaman has been commissioned to do the “cleansing” of people through prayers, incense and touches with leaves and herbs. This is followed by the hot steam bath inside the temazcal and hereby achieving a purification and a detox of body and soul.
The ritual is today still practiced according to the ancestral customs and there are temazcal experiences both in Cancun and Riviera Maya that offer the ritual to anyone interested. Even several of the gran resorts have their own temazcal as part of a spa. A great place to learn about the Maya worldview and way of life is at the Cancun Maya Museum.
Why You Should Experience a Temazcal
You should consider this wonderful experience to have a purification of body and mind as an extra activity during your visit to Xcaret. It will definitively allow you to enjoy your vacation in a renewed way with much more energy and wellbeing.
Or contact Amstar today or ask the Amstar representative in your hotel to gladly help you locate a temazcal/spa. S/he will make reservation for the ritual and for your transportation. Even more, contact the Amstar meetings and events team to schedule a VIP visit just for you and your group!
—This is an update of the original October 2016 post. Main photos by Xcaret.