Friday, 22 February 2019

Sex, Pleasure, Intimacy and Yoga...

This week I was chatting with Sarah Rose Bright who is a sex, pleasure and intimacy coach.  She has a vision to bring her work to yoga studios and we chatted about our work and I was surprised by the level of synergy in our work.

She works with women to bring them back to their bodies so they have confidence in their own sensuality.  So do I.  Although I work with both men and women many of the tools are the same although some of my practices I do reserve for women.  We move our bodies and notice what feels good.  One of the poses that is most easy to do this is the all fours position or "cat"  We move our bodies in a range of ways with the all fours as the base - maybe swinging our hips or circling the shoulders all the while checking in with what "feels good" - this is a practice Sarah does in her workshops.

We check in every class with how we are feeling using the seasons - I relate this to the menstrual cycle. Winter = bleed Summer = ovulation.  I often make specific reference to the feeling of power and energy that can come with ovulation.  Sarah also helps women tap into their feelings.

In class breath is a constant that can help us feel a certain way.  An even breath can bring a feeling of equilibrium.  We often close our eyes place our hands on our bellies to feel our breath.  Breath is also used in Sarah's work.  On occasion in class we massage our bellies, even more often we will massage our feet, or our neck and shoulders - sometimes our faces.  On occasion I give guidance on how to massage the breasts (not during inner winter) and encourage women in the class to do this in their own time without their bras- also encouraging them to understand their breast better - to follow the natural changes that occur throughout the cycle - the times when they feel more sensitive... in Sarah's work she has the breadth to take this further but the basis is the same.  Touch is a gateway to feeling.  Touching ourselves in a way that brings pleasure is a gateway to more.

One of my favourite meditation practices is the Heart Womb practice (adapted for men to be the Heart Gut practice) . This is a deeply powerful practice for women with or without wombs.  A woman who attends my classes said she felt it to be deeply healing as she had experienced a hysterectomy and it allowed her to reconnect to that space.  We use the practice of breathing into the heart and the womb and making the energetic connection to enhance our creativity, be grateful to our wombs for all they have given and to forgive ourselves for the pain that part of us may have given.  I do not know if womb connection is part of Sarah's teaching but I like to think it would be.

On days when men are not present in class I may create a breast and yoni yoga nidra.  Yoni is the yogic term for "cunt" a term that was hijacked as a swear word but that simply means - labia, vagina, and clitoris - our "lady landscape" . In nidra I use breath to connect the heart, breast, yoni and third eye.  It is a practice I enjoy for myself and that I love to share.  Again it can be a profoundly healing practice for women - I have been told that by a woman who had experienced breast cancer and loved the practice for bringing love back.  Breast and yoni love are part of the self love process involved in work like Sarah's.

She asked me if I felt brave doing this work - and I don't - I teach what I practice and I regularly practice all of the above so it feels totally natural to share it with my students.  I was trained in "Women's Health Yoga Therapy" by Uma Dinsmore Tuli and since then my teaching naturally follows that pattern.

Yoga has a little talked about history of "me too" It is a beautiful and sensual practice that has been hijacked by men who have used it to take advantage of young women.  I have certainly been to yoga classes led by attractive men and taking part in a practice that can make you feel so good can be a natural gateway to danger.  I feel very privileged that I am a strong woman with no inclination to follow that path and that I have had the most wonderful male and female teachers who have honoured my femininity and sensuality.  I am delighted that Sarah feels called to take her work into the yoga community.  The world would be a more beautiful place if we all connected more to our sensuality.

You can find my classes at www.finchleyyoga.com and my facebook @finchleyyoga1

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