I am free to revel in my senses
Before I discovered Qoya, I had never heard of the term “sensual movement”. Never outside of the people saying “taste this!” or “smell this” or “touch this” had I been invited to engage in my senses in a more conscious way.
Whilst I knew what I liked to taste or smell – my awareness of the pleasure my senses had bought into my life was never really something I had thought about or considered. I knew that if I didn’t have them, then an element of my life experience would be significantly impacted, but I never really credited my senses for the depth of experience that they offered me.
In Qoya we are often prompted to slow down and to feel more. And to actually do this, to actually “feel more”; we have to engage with our senses. The next class prompt is then something like “ how can you make this movement feel even better?”
So a huge light bulb went off in my head when I finally had the AHA moment that if I bring my awareness to my senses then I can consciously engage with the level of pleasure that I am experiencing in any given moment. Just by allowing myself to run my hands on my own body, I could make the movement feel better for me.
For a long time now pleasure has been given a very jaded rap often being associated with “being naughty” or “dirty’. The idea of pleasure was solely linked to sex or sexual acts and in our patriarchal society, this perception (especially for women) has been dosed out with a huge spoonful of shame.
So the recognition that to be sensual was not so much about being sexual but really just about slowing down to engage consciously with my senses, opened up a whole new world of curiosity and exploration for me.
When pleasure is “just” the outcome of us engaging with our senses and our senses are gifted to us when we are born into this physical body, then who are we not to engage with them? Why would engaging with taste or smell be shameful? It is not shameful to enjoy chocolate so why is it shameful to enjoy touch? Given we are born into these bodies, then who are we not to be sensual beings? We have been given then organs, and these features to engage fully in the world, so why would we not want to revel in the pleasure we can find through utilising them?
And while it would be remiss of me to not mention that sensuality and sexuality are often tied together and fuelled by each other. For me, my sensuality has nothing to do with another person and is only to do with my own relationship to what feels good to ME. No one else, can tell me what I taste or what touch feels like. It is only my own interpretation of my senses and the feelings they create in me, that I will ever truly know.
I know that tasting dark chocolate brings me pleasure, smelling frangipanis brings pleasure, hearing champagne corks pop or kookaburras laugh all bring me pleasure. A pleasure that is not reliant on anyone else.
So what does it mean when we talk about sensual movement?
Well, it’s really exactly there in the two words. We move our bodies using our senses as the guide.
In sensual movement, we begin to explore what it feels like when we truly invite ourselves to slow down and become connected to our own senses through movement.
We explore what it feels like when we move with the intention of opening ourselves up to our senses and the present moment, by focusing not on what it looks like but only on what feels good to us. Knowing that there is no way for us to do it wrong, but trusting that we are doing it right when it feels good in our own bodies.
If you were to slowly let chocolate melt in your mouth, what does your body want to do?
If you are to gently run your fingertips over your curves, how does your body want to move?
If you were to breathe in so deeply the smell of the ocean, your favourite flower, your coffee, how does your body want to move?
From this place of connection, we practise surrendering our thoughts and judgement and just let the body follow, moving in ways that allow us to celebrate all the gifts that our physical bodies offer us every day.
Want to give it a go?
Here is how I start my own sensual movement practise:
- Find a quiet safe space
- Pick a song that you know your body will love
- Pick a sense and start to use your mind to experience that sense in your mind’s eye.
- Visualise your favourite smell, taste, touch, sight (song you already have covered!)
- Breathe deeply and fully experience that sense
- Close your eyes, and slowly start to circle your hips to start the movement going… circles are always a great way to start..
- Let your hands connect with your body anywhere that feels good, let your fingertips be curious, let them roam.
- Slow down, and just let your body be led by the experience of the sense. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply – letting all sensations arise and move through you. Hold on to nothing.
- Remember there is no way you can do this wrong, but you will know you are doing it right when it feels good to you.
Let the body revel. Be free.
I will be offering Sensual Movement for Beginners classes at the upcoming Superbloom Festival at Abbotsford Convent: April 13/14, 2018.
I would love for you to come to revel in your own senses with me.