The Ceremony Of Rebirth
If you’re of the mindset that you must rid yourself of the old before welcoming in the new, then you’ll probably understand the reasoning behind the ancient Temazcal (meaning “house of heat” or “temple of warm stones”) ritual that involves sweating out toxins, both literal and figurative, before welcoming in your new intentions.
Aztecs and Mayans must have seen the value of purging through a good sweat when they conceived of the practice, which is said to heal the mind, body, and soul, and to improve circulation, cleanse your respiratory system, invigorate muscles, clear your skin, refresh your mind, and uplift your spirit. The ancient healer-led ceremony involves a sweating session inside a shelter filled with steaming hot stones and is still common in many parts of Mexico and Central America today. All guests at Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita, which is committed to wellness with a focus on spirituality, can choose to partake in a Temazcal ceremony with resident Shaman, Luis Salazar—it is complimentary with the hotel’s Endless Privileges amenity package.
Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita's Temazcal ritual is intended to give participants the feeling of yolewa, a happy heart.
The Five Stages
The one-hour ceremony begins with a blessing from the Shaman, who then leads guests into the Temazcal structure—a shelter filled with hot stones, and framed by bright green Scaevola shrubs. Shaman Luis proceeds to guide participants through the curative rite involving aromas, herbal steams, and chanting. Although it may be difficult for first-timers to think of anything else, the ceremony is not just about the physical sensation of sweating. “It is a space where you can find philosophical and liturgical elements. It is an entry point into the pristine worldview of our universe,” explains the Shaman.
The ceremony is rife with symbolism, including the shelter itself, which represents the womb of Mother Earth and the opportunity for rebirth. Shaman Luis guides participants through five symbolic stages on their journey, with different elements representing the sun, the Earth, water, fertility, death, rebirth, integrity, and fullness.
And if the ritual is successful, participants emerge feeling renewed and at peace. “The ceremony is a physically and spiritually enriching experience for guests,” says Shaman Luis. “It results in a state of yolewa, a happy heart.”