TRADITION: Temazcal ceremony

TRADITION: Temazcal ceremony


The Temazcal is a type of “sweat lodge” cultural ritual used to keep a healthy body, calm mind and a tenacious spirit. It originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica and in those days it was a daily life practice. Today, it is still used for spiritual and health reasons in many parts of Mexico and Central America; essentially as a way to be reborn, by balancing participant’s wisdom, awareness and will.


The ceremony takes place inside a circular dome in temperatures up to 104ºF. Before entering, the Shaman blesses and cleanses each person with copal tree smoke. Inside, the group spends anywhere from 2-5 hours with the Shaman, while heated volcanic rocks are placed in the center pit, and the door is covered with a blanket sealing in the heat. Medicinal herbs are poured over the stones to create a “steam bath.” Led by the Shaman, the group sweats it out while chanting and inhaling the fragrance of the herbs, purifying and cleansing the mind, body and soul.


  • Detox & de stress. The Temazcal intense heat helps relax the muscles and nervous system, stimulating the respiratory and the digestive systems to eliminate toxins and fat. You’re basically sweating out all the impurities (mental and physical) for a healthier, relaxed body and mind.
  • Clearer skin. Speaking of sweating it out, the elimination of toxins through sweat naturally cleanse the skin of impurities. The herbs placed on the volcanic coals emit an aromatic vapor, thus acting as an “herbal steam bath.” In turn, your skin is able to soak in the medicinal herbs with deeply nourishing and regenerative effects. 
    • Heals insomnia & depression. The Temazcal also releases negative ions into the air, which can help boost energy and alleviate depression. Negative ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge and are created through air molecules breaking apart— in the case of the Temazcal, through moving air and water. Once the negative ions reach the bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood-enhancing chemical, serotonin. Source:
    • Improve mental performance. Regular exposure to elevated temperature levels can substantially increase the production of Norepinephrine, a hormone which increases attention span.
    • Spiritual cleansing. The heat in the Temazcal can help you get into a deep state of meditation, connecting you to your inner world. Here, you are able to process and release emotions and discover a sense of inner harmony, alignment and rejuvenation. 


    The word temazcal originates from the Aztec "calli," meaning house, and "temas," meaning vapor or steam.
    The Temazcal architecture: It is a circular dome made of stone. Tradition says it is Mother Nature’s womb and that each person enters again to be reborn and rejuvenated.

    The volcanic stones: The stones are creating the medicine (heat) inside the Temazcal. In the ceremony, they are called “grandmothers” because they were the first ones to settle the world.

    The fireplace: It is used to heat the volcanic stones or “grandmothers” just before the ceremony. In the ceremony, it is called “grandfather”.

    The ceremony draws on the:
    • four stages of human life: infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood
    • four elements: fire, water, earth, air
    • four seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter
    • four cardinal points: north, east, south, west


    This ancient ceremony is prevalent in the Riviera Maya, and is offered in indigenous villages and day spas throughout Mexico.

    We will be providing an option to participate in a Temazcal ceremony at our upcoming Tulum retreat. Book here.