Trying the magical Temazcatl Azulik – the Maya Temazcal in Tulum
Tulum is one of my favorite places in Mexico, that’s for sure. Not oly because of the breath-taking beaches with crystal clear sea and white sand, or the famous Maya Tulum ruins right on the cliff, but also because of the whole atmosphere and the jungle around.
In the Maya Spa in Azulik, they offer a regular temazcal experience – a sort of a pre-Hispanic sweat lodge ritual (sometimes also spelled temascal with s) which was built as the second temazcal in Riviera Maya.
But we did the special temazcatl and it was my first time doing it with a pool of water in the middle.
The word Temazcatl comes from atl in nahuatl which means water – there is known to be just one more temascal with water somewhere in the middle in Mexico, some 30 min from Cuernavaca in Tepoztlan (one of the so called Magical Towns in Mexico called Pueblos Magicos.)
My cabaña was the last one so I had to walk each time around both temazcal and temazcatl which only increased my excitement.
I could not wait to try temazcatl.
There’s always a first time, right?
photo credit: this is the only photo n the post that belongs to Azulik, all the others are mine
So what is the magical Temazcatl Azulik?
First, our temazcatl guide Ixchel, the very beautiful native girl working also at the reception, did the smudging – cleaned us up with smoke. I knew this method already from my previous temazcal experiences. The smudging serves to cleanse the individuals from all the negative energy and thus the healing can occur.
One by one, a man after a woman and so on, we clock-wise entered the sacred circle to say thanks to the cardinal points. We began at the West, then North, East and South giving our thanks to different elements they represent, such as South represents Faith. A conch shell was sounded and the whole experience could start.
We entered the circular dome of temazcatl one by one on our knees, each one of us saying ”To our relations” in the Maya language and sat in a circle around the water pool.
Ixchel was the one sitting the closest to the door and the little window/hole through which the volcanic stones were going to be inserted inside.
The temazcal/temazcatl means the Mother’s Womb and the hot volcanic stones we are getting inside to heat us up represent our Grandmothers (called abuelitas in Spanish) who have been here for years together with our other ancestors. The stones are like the Grandparents who could tell us a lot of stories.
The heat works as the channel through which the negative things leave our body leaving space for the positive ones.
We did 4 ”doors” (puertas), so opened the doors totally four times. Each door represents a different thing and during each door we accept new stones to continue heating our bodies which might reach up to 40 Celsius degrees.
1st door = confidence
2nd door = emotions
stomach = anger
brain = thoughts
throat and mouth = words we say
A wise person once said: ”Use your words to make this world even more beautiful. Use them to give more beauty to others.”
3rd door = warriors
We were allowed to scream as much as we could to release the bad energy when connecting to our warriors.
During the third door we also sang a little bit all of us following the words of Ixchel giving thanks to all the four elements. One of the songs – Tierra es mi cuerpo – was the same like the one we sang in temazcal in Hidden Garden in Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica, awesome memories!
”Tierra es mi cuerpo,
agua es mi sangre,
aire mi aliento, y
fuego mi espiritu!
Madre Tierra vuelve al hogar, en el temazcal …”
The song in English translates into:
“Earth my body;
Water my blood;
Air my breath; and
Fire my spirit!”
During the temazcatl, the water pool in the middle went from hot to cold, the other way round than the air inside. Every door was warmer and warmer and while at the first one we were asked to sit straight, in the other 2 we could put our head in between the legs, lay down, or refresh ourselves with water from the middle (this is the difference to the regular temazcal where there is no water pool to cool into.)
The many petals of different plants were making the sweaty experience at least a bit romantic and made me use even more of my senses when I could touch them with my hands or feet when feeling too hot.
In the third door we also got a cup of tea. ”I give it to you with love.” ”I receive it with love.” we were telling to our friends on the right side of us when passing a cup to each one of us.
After the last four door we all sat in the water pool to finish the magical temazcatl.
The plants we hit ourselves with was mostly a mixture of camomile and basil. Then we got a cold water shower in the end from a water container and finished the temazcatl again in the circle giving thanks to everything and everyone.
The very last thing we did was to hug other participants of the temazcatl.
I left like a brand new person. More connected to nature, to my inner self and to everyone around me.
I left full of love and compassion.
For a few minutes I could even feel the compassion for the mosquitoes who thought they could have me for dinner.