Sweat it all out in an ancient Mayan steam bath that comes with plenty of physical and spiritual benefits.
A temazcal is a traditional Mayan sweat lodge, kind of a Mayan sauna, used by many indigenous people not only in the Riviera Maya but throughout Mesoamerica. In the Mayan culture, it was part of every major ceremonial center and used as part of a curative ceremony to purify body and mind. For example, after a battle or for healing purposes. While the body rids itself of toxins, the spirit is renewed through the ritual.
It all takes place in a small, circular domed hut, made of stone or mud and some are next to a cenote, where you can cool off afterward. Also, cenotes often were sacred places for the Maya. The structure represents a womb, symbolizing that you are reborn when you come out after the ceremony. Throughout the Riviera Mayan and the Yucatan Peninsula are many such temazcals.
In its center is a pit with hot stones. The shaman performing the ceremony will pour herbal water over them to create steam and increase the heat. You sit or lie on the earthen floor as the entrance is closed with a heavy cloth, for the steam to stay inside and to shut the light out (if you are claustrophobic you might want to sit this one out…). Sweat it all out to the sound of chanting, drums sometimes, and the fragrance of herbs! It is a unique experience for each participant and definitely requires an open mind.
The temazcal ceremony has many health benefits: it cleans the digestive tract, improves the blood circulation, your body will be relaxed and stimulated, it clears and softens your skin and it’s really helpful in treating respiratory problems. But it’s also meant to clean you spiritually, to help you leave behind toxic thoughts and behaviors. The temazcal was also used by pregnant women as a preventive and healing medicine during labor.
But a temazcal is way more than just healthy sweating. The process you’re going through during the ceremony is supposed to help you connect with your inner self and get a better understanding of your own process and mind, about opening up to receive ancient spiritual medicine.
If you are visiting Playa del Carmen and would like to live this special experience, we are happy to help organize a temazcal ceremony for you. Guests of Playa Palms Beach Hotel can contact us prior to arrival or ask our concierge once they arrived at the hotel.