This week's post is inspired by michelle kailash deslandes, who spoke about sacred sexuality at our last full moon women's circle. It is also inspired by this past weekend when i attended a yoga workshop with meghan currie, one of my biggest inspirations. being in her presence is always a complete joy, for lack of a better word. What i love about her classes, besides her exquisite language and creative sequencing, is that she is constantly reminding her students to feel eeeeeverything. she reminds us to run toward what we may want to run from and to always enjoy our breath.
as i begin to process all the juiciness of a weekend with meghan currie, i realize that the most delicious and nourishing combo out there is sensation + breath. in my eyes, they are the real power couple.
whether we are moving on our mat or moving through our day-to-day life, sensations are constantly bubbling to the surface and stirring at our deepest levels. whether we notice them or not, those primal sensations are always buzzing below the surface of our skin, carrying with them valuable information. I talk a lot in my work about courting our inner muse or getting to know our inner wise woman or intuition.
i believe that sensation is the language of our inner wise woman.
if we can start to build a language around sensation and use the breath to stay present in our sensory experience, we can begin to hear what that deep, wise, ancient voice within us is saying.
Let's use some food imagery, because, why not?
Imagine a piece of butter in a warm pan. The heat of the flame starts to melt the butter and spread it over the whole surface of the pan. Ingredients are added to the pan and as those ingredients soften, their flavors intensify. The cooking process helps us to better chew and digest those ingredients so we can integrate and assimilate their nutrients. The melting butter, the primed pan, the cooked ingredients, the heightened flavors-- it all started with the heat from the stove.
I've found that this food imagery totally works when it comes to our tastiest combo: breath and sensation. Now imagine the heat of the stove is the breath. The awareness of the breath begins to connect with sensation (butter) and melt it until it spreads all over our body (the pan). Breath not only spreads the sensations over the surface of our body, but the breath opens up our channels so that sensation can melt into those deeper layers. Ingredients are added to the mix (emotions, feelings, stories, etc.) and the sensation-- much like butter-- starts to intensify all of those ingredients and soften their textures. We taste all of the ingredients. we chew them. We digest all of it-- all the familiar flavors, all the foreign flavors, all the yummy flavors and all the questionable flavors. But because heat and butter--breath and sensation--are present the whole time, we have the opportunity to experience the dish in its entirety. We realize it wouldn't be that dish without every single quality, every last component.
breath + sensation are the power couple because they allow us to soften into our whole experience and open up to parts of ourselves we may have never known before. they help us run toward what we want to run away from, growing stronger in the process. they are the path to discovery, to a more intimate and dynamic relationship with self. they are the keys that unlock the doorways to the thousands of channels running through us.
Lay flat with one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. begin to breathe deeply, tuning into sensation. When your mind interrupts, come back to a physical sensation. Notice your belly rising and falling with each cycle of breath. Notice new spaces being carved out by the breath. Notice tightness, constriction, holding, resistance. Notice heat, cold, tingling, pulsing, vibration. Feel everything. Feel. Feel. Feel. digest. Notice any shifts in energy or if you can feel a new channel opening, another little magnificent river flowing inside of you.
And I mean get really into it. Describe it however you'd like. Butter melting in a pan, honey being spread over your belly, a ball of heat stuck in your low back. Use your exquisite, sensual language to bring words to sensation. Inhale them into your bones and then exhale to flush them out. Inhale to soak it up and exhale to spread it through all of you.
I'll give you an example from my own practice. Whenever I come out of a backbend I feel my heart open. But can I go further? When I come out of a backbend it is like my heart is breathing in fresh, crisp air. It is like my chest is aerating and letting in fresh oxygen. Can I do deeper? Well, I guess you could say when I come out of a backbend and lay still on the earth, digesting the aftermath, it feels like there is an essential oil diffuser inside of me spreading peppermint essential oil through my whole body, through my blood stream. I feel this cool, refreshing sensation run through me like a gust of wind, like my whole body-- at once-- is sighing.
that's the kind of language i am talking about. have fun with it. once you start to build words around your other-worldly sensations you can spot it when it bubbles to the surface. when i feel that cool peppermint run through my veins, you bet i stop dead in my tracks and feel eeeeeeverything. I feel how good it is to feel. I feel how juicy life is. I feel how intelligent my body is. I feel alive. I feel her, that inner wise woman who holds all my passions, all my untended wounds, all my qualities. that woman knows how to turn me on, how to light me up, how to get me to taste every single bite of my experience.
Now, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section! Take a moment of quiet to close your eyes and tap into sensation. Notice one sensation you're feeling and describe it. Really roll with the description and use your imagination. What does it look, feel, taste, smell or sound like? I can't wait to hear your unique, exquisite language in the comments!
thanks for being here and sharing this sacred space with me. i am so grateful for you!
honoring your whole experience,