Self love is different from self indulgence, it feels different, brings around different vibrations. It is a rendezvous with all fragments, discarded pieces, abandoned parts, ignored items of oneself.
„Down there, wash yourself down there, “mum´s words, whispered in a tone suggesting “down there” was some dark unknown place by accident belonging to the rest of me. There were special towels for the lower part of the body (usually of darker colours). Somehow, through generations, the information of shame/guilt/danger zone of the first two chakras has passed on me. Instead of loving/tuning to the pleasure/pain zone of water, I learnt to separate from it.
Let water wash over and cleanse the cultural prejudice, let the myths talk in clear voices and be heard.
We are coming from far and the journey is long. I recently participated in a yoga workshop with the central topic “pelvis”. Within the yoga context, we point to different body spots without shame, matter-of-factly. The skeletal beginning of the spine bears the name “sacrum”, sacral, sacred. In my surroundings, only tiny babies are admired with all their parts, and even refering to little babies’ private parts, adults often hush their voices and some awkwardness slips into the tone. I understand how much damage, abuse, power games, mutilations and humiliations relate to the first and second chakra, so it is understandable that there are rules and protocols that try to protect them. However, no rules and protocols can function in separation. Separation is an illusion. Plus, this is the zone of our security, of our roots and elementary support, the earth. Cutting off from, we cut off the primary source of vitality.
Back to the yoga workshop: anatomy theory and asana practice with a focus on pelvis are taking place in a stunning room of a foundation called Josefa, located in Ixelles, a few steps from the Toison d´Or Boulevard. It is a centre supporting and sheltering people who are traditionally referred to as “migrants”. There is no trace of sadness, humility and suppression here, the place is calm, pristine clean, a former convent with a beautiful garden outside the practice room. Stain-glass windows are contemporary and made by a Belgian artist Jean Francois Jans, from recycled pieces of glass. A flock of starlings is moving rapidly from tree to tree, knowing movement is vital at low temperatures. People who run this foundation work on erasing the migrant label, stating:
We are all migrants.
Yes, travellers, wanderers, visitors on this planet. How liberating, how smile bringing all this is. Yoga practice by Frederic who comes from the school of André Van Lisbeth. Ancient wisdom bridging this room with Rishikesh in India, binding contemporary seekers with ancient masters.
Frederic mentions an idea of a purely mental practice of an asana – without moving at all – which can have an even stronger impact. Not the first time I hear this, but after a long time. Yes, another liberation item and the subtle power of prana and consciousness. Trust, pace, sharing. Calming and fine-tuning senses, yoga stripped of its fashionable fringes, and nothing against them. There are no dogmas, there is freedom in discipline, I am leaving the room light and saturated.
Now I know why in huge glass office buildings, I have always felt lost and uneasy. People dressed to cover up, the wild animal leashed and longing to be unleashed. Men, women, and all in between, packed in elevators, hidden behind masks. Hey, what else could you do? This is not a jungle. Oh, yes, do not be mistaken, this is a jungle. Suppressed feelings ready to burst, we try to both control and channel them: sports, cheering, drinking, dirty jokes are the most obvious social ways. Shutting off, trying to control the down-parts, to control what does not need controlling, only loving. Sex, actually, has little to do with this. Or indirectly, yes. A paradox is that erotic content is marked 16+, or 18+. Because there are mostly two and three year olds involved – seeking acceptance, warmth, recognition, pleasure. A few of us have learnt to get connect safely, anchored within. Wondering how I used to navigate my relationship web deeply disconnected from oneself – One Self. A talking head, lost in the duality of graceful/shameful or/and in awkward silence. Ignoring completeness within, viewing only fragments of the other, another. But we are evolving, expanding and growing.
Out of the talking head, down to the whispering heart and to the forever moving, shifting, changing energy of the: Pelvis.
One towel is enough. Whatever favourite colour.