A Closer Look at Dough Dam Basti

Greetings All!

As we approach summer, we look forward to seeing all of you at one or all of our upcoming special summer intensive courses.  

This year I would like to share a little about one of my favorite courses I teach each year – Dough Dam Basti!!!  You may be asking “What is a dough dam basti?!”  Well, to begin with, Basti means bladder or container that holds something – typically fluid, like the bladder in your body.  The name “Dough Dam Basti”, however, is simply describing the fact that the dough material (traditionally made of urad dhal – black gram flour) is typically made into round and other various shapes to hold medicated herbal oil combinations.  We use black gram flour as it has been used throughout time for this therapy.  Creating shapes with the dough alone is therapeutic and a creative process for the practitioner!  

There are lots of possibilities when working with placing dough dams on the body.  The main purpose is to place medicated oil on a particular part of the body in a very specific way.  This creates a very powerful therapy.  In the workshop, we will focus on the main chakra bastis, as well as the low back basti (Katti Basti), the adrenal basti, the urinary bladder basti, and the eye basti (Netra Basti).  Each of these bastis is potent therapy and works very well combined with the bliss therapy package or marma therapy.

One of the most unique qualities of receiving dough basti therapies is the wide range of experiences that one may observe.  Often the types of experiences are similar to what people share when receiving a Shirodhara.  The main difference is that the oil is not streaming over one spot, but typically stationary, and yet the actual experience of receiving may feel very dynamic. Having vivid visions, lucid dream state, deep relaxation, and what could be called “out of body” experiences are all normal things that people often share as having experienced.  I have been working with the dough dam therapies for the last 12 years in my practice, and in short, I can share that they are special gifts to be able to offer your clients.  You really have to experience them to understand the depths that these therapies touch.

This year in addition to learning how to make dough dam bastis and their locations, we will also include the use of singing bowls and special essential oil combinations and color explorations that assist in awakening these special energy centers (Chakras). We are also going to be incorporating some movement and energy “tuning” work before each bodywork session.  For all of you who have taken this course previously, you may want to come again to brush up on your dough dam making skills and to incorporate some of the new qualities we are adding to the therapy offering!  Your clients will love it!!!

Some of the qualities people share as a result of receiving these therapies are: peace of mind, new inspiration, warm “yummy” feelings in their heart, and simply a more abundant feeling within themselves – a sense of wholeness.  The ancients shared that these traditional ayurvedic therapies were also in the category referred to as Rasayanas and added to the longevity of a person’s life.  Over stimulation of the mind is one of the primary factors that vitiate the vata dosha.  Many of the classic Ayurvedic oil therapies, address calming and centering the mind by utilizing the warm organic nourishing, heavy qualities of rich natural oils.  Ayurvedic body therapy accomplishes this by applying rich oils like sesame and sunflower eternally.  Simply put, when the mind is less distracted and not overburdened with unwanted input, you feel more centered and relaxed to perform and be present with what’s important to you in your life and you are available to offer your dharma – your service – to all those who are a part of your family, your community.


Ragaia Belovarac