The Truth About Sesame Oil

Two highlights of yoga teacher training last weekend:

1) Someone told me I was “easy-going.” This has never happened to me and may never happen again so I am going to savor every moment of this. Also, perhaps I became too easy-going in point number 2.

2) When your teacher tells you to try massaging sesame oil on yourself as an ayurvedic therapy tip and to help with sore muscles she does not mean to use toasted sesame oil that you find in the grocery aisle of whole foods.

Our teacher had brought up the tip several times of rubbing sesame oil on yourself and getting in an Epsom salt bath. Eager to try everything my teachers recommended, I ran to whole foods during our hour break and grabbed a bottle of sesame oil from the oil aisle. I thought to myself, “toasted sesame oil must be what she meant when she said sesame oil, how many sesame oils can there be?”

That night in my post-yoga daze I decided to try it out to really immerse myself in all I was learning and the yogi lifestyle. Perhaps this was a warning sign to take this transition slower. I opened the bottle and noticed that it smelled quite pungent, but I thought perhaps this is what yogis like to smell like.

After spilling the oil on the sink and haphazardly rubbing it on myself and jumping in the bath I started to doubt my initial instinct. As I am googling sesame oil on my phone in the bath Shaun gets home and walks in noting that it smells kind of odd in our apartment.

Our bathroom and my body officially smelled like an Asian restaurant. Shaun closed the bathroom door telling me he was getting hungry standing in there. I was getting extremely nauseous sitting in the bathtub and did not know what to do with my oily self so I waited for the bath to drain trying not to vomit. I proceeded to take a shower in which I scrubbed my skin raw and then disinfected our entire bathroom. As I was lighting various candles in the bathroom and bedroom I could not get over my stupidity and repeatedly smelled my skin and everything around me to make sure I no longer smelled like Asian food.

After dinner that night I finally was able to laugh at myself and Shaun commented that he understood my frustration after I “basically basted myself.”   

In my new yogi attitude I am trying to remember that there is a lesson in every situation. I learned my lesson to think carefully before rubbing cooking oil over your body and maybe think for a second before blindly following your teacher’s advice. Additionally while frantically trying to make my body not smell like sesame chicken at least I had the silver lining that my most ridiculous moments make the best stories. 


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