Feeling: IN TUNE (THOUGH LARGELY OUT OF IT)
I’m a taut believer that people come into your life for a reason, be it for long haul friendships, short term alliances, to teach one an important lesson or to catalyst or spark a change.
When I was prepping for India a friend put me in touch with a colleague of hers from work (teachers at Cam High) who had strutted about some of the southern side herself. After a few emails back and forward, we organised to meet up and have a yarn in person.
It was fab to talk to someone who’d actually done it to garner some much needed tips and titbits, as I had been wading blindly through Google results up until then. As soon as I met Philippa, I liked her; she emits this warm and genuine energy that has you completely calm and comfortable in her presence.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and my breaking down frenzy over whether to Contiki guide or not to Contiki guide (I promise I’ll stop talking about this soon). (That’s a lie. I will often refer to it as it is now one of the experiences in my life which shall always be considered when making life choices).
Anyway. I had written up the withdrawal email and couldn’t bring myself to send it; instead, I saved it in drafts and went to take the boys for a walk (the schnauzers I must clarify, not a hoard of males as it sort of sounds). I was agonising as I walked through the school pathway to the field (firmly downcasting my eyes so as to avert them from the prominent “NO DOGS” sign) and had just sent out a, “Please just give me something so I can know what to do” to the universe, when I looked up and saw Phillippa setting up her yog matt under a tree.
We said the usual hi’s and hello’s, whereupon she asked me what I was up to. When I filled her in (I.e., absolutely catharsis-ed my soul to her in a full and frank divulge) she simply said, “Do what feels right for you. You will figure it out.” (And a bit more other stuff which we shall get to).
I went home and sent the email, and it was the biggest sense of relief I’ve ever felt since the day back in year 3, Our Lady of the Rosary School and Mrs Belcher’s class, when I arrived home after an extremely long day of holding in my wees (I didn’t like unfamiliar or public toilet seats. Mate, if my seven-year-old self had been capable of forseeing the state of the squatters I’d be using in the not-too-far-away future I would’ve defined the OLRS facilities as extremely plush and luxurious).
At the time (in the field with Philippa, not in the school toilets) Philippa told me about a form of class she took called chakra healing in dance. I got her number to talk some more about it, and a couple of days later when she txt to see if I’d made my decision, we starting discussing a good time to meet up to bust some moves and sort out my seven energy centres.
(Insert:for those of you unsure or a touch vague on what a chakra is, here’s a very succinctly concise little low down.
So the word “chakra” is of Sanskrit origin, translating as “wheel” or “disc”. Each person has seven of these swirling wheels of energy, which align the spine from the base through to the crown of the head and correspond to the major nerve centres of the body. It is essential for wellbeing that all seven chakras are open, aligned and fluid, as blockages mean energy is unable to flow. There’s a lot more to it but there’s the gist).
So. Que yesterday afternoon, 4pm.
I took along my special friend Danielle (more to come on the Bevins clan at a later date), who is very much on the same sort of discovery/healing/what not path as I am. Although we had a vague-ish notion of what to expect, we were sort of unsure as to what this chakra dance healing would entail.
It was beautiful.
Philippa welcomed us into a candlelit room where we engaged in a brief meditation, gave voice as to why we were there and gave us a little overview on what the class would involve. Pretty much, we would dance, lose ourselves in the songs as we worked our way through each of the chakras to specially designed music. Lots of focusing, visualisation, being present and just letting go.
And so it began.
I must say, the first few moments had me a little amused as I felt my moves being of much similiar style to those I had busted out at the Stables (bar, not horsey homes) about 12 hours previously under the influence of a fair few wines. But after I managed to eradicate such images from my mind, it became quite the confronting situation.
Only being Dani, Philippa and myself and our eyes being closed, no self consciousness lingered or lurked which was fab – I thought I might get my awkward on and not progress past a bout of feet shuffling. I was surprised to find that I got into it straight away with only the merest of feeling like an idiot for all of a minute and a half.
I was shocked at how disconnected I felt from my body. As we started with the base chakra, Muladhara, I felt cumbersome and out of sync with myself, like a drunk Hagrid trying to do a cartwheel. My fingers felt so foreign, my limbs detached (metaphorically mind; arms and legs are still firmly fixed to the old torso), and I was in awe of how far I’ve gone backwards since I returned from the SS – after intensive yoga in the ashram, I would feel every tingle in my toes, every current in my capillaries; I want to get that sense of harmony back.
After seven or so minutes dancing to the first chakra, we moved into the second: sacral chakra, or svadhisthana, just below the tummy button and above the pubic bone. The music changed to a different melody and I found myself swaying and doing odd things with my arms (quick flashback to 3am and thinking I looked pretty sexy as I did the same – very unsexy – sort of movements to Disclosure). Again, another seven minutes or so focusing on this one before moving up to number three. This continued until we passed through our third eye and onto the final wheel of the crown chakra.
By this point I can honestly say I was immersed in it. Though there were times I found myself straying to thoughts such as, I need to message so-and-so and ask them what airport they fly out of and, I wonder how much cheaper a mandala mindful colouring in book is on Trade Me?, for the most part I caught myself pretty early on and let the intrusive thoughts flit away. By the time the music stopped, I was feeling a lot more connected to myself; not to the degree I have felt and prefer, but definitely less intoxicated Hogwarts gamekeeper attempting acrobatics than I did initially.
Philippa then invited us to sit down upon a cushion (one each, I should clarify; we weren’t all upon one pillow) where we were given a blank circle and a selection of pastel crayons to detail our own mandala. (Insert: for those unsure or unknown as to what a mandana is, it is an intricately – or simply, can be either – designed circle representing the universe).
It was surprising; rather than automatically reach for my favoured pinks and yellows, I was drawn (fab pun) to illustrate (and again) my state of being with lilacs, purples, navy blues and whites. I did swirls and spirals and symbols and significant sayings, and although it looked like an artwork a three-year-old would bring home from kindy I felt a real kinship to it.
We then blew out our candles, turned on the lights and had a wee chin wag about how we had found it, sharing as much or as little as we wanted. I wandered home feeling calm, serene and aware of fingertip tingles.
While being involved in classes or experiences or any such similiar sorts of things as this is slowly becoming a bit more mainstream and a little less considered a “hippi hobby”, there is still a significant sense of scoffing when in some companies. I myself admit that although I’ve always felt a strong link to the more spiritual side and an immense interest in this sort of science, even a year ago I doubt I would’ve be open to or even able to engage in such lark as chakra dancing.
But I’m starting to realise that for me and my healing, meditation, mantras and bopping about to mindful melodies is hurdles more healing than a cap full of capsules. As “they” say, pharmaceuticals are masks; just what ist he root cause of all these maladies from which humankind suffer? I’m not in any way turning my nose up at anyone taking pills to aid in recovery and feel goodness, but for myself, I choose meditation over medication.
I hardly know Philippa, yet in a couple of times of turmoil I’ve looked up and there she is. When I return from the EEE we are going to make it a regular thing, so anyone else who may want to give it a go feel free to message me.
If it’s not your thing we can always have an introductory dance at the Stables to dip the toes in first, so to speak. I promise after the first actual class they’ll totally be tingling.