Planting Seeds with Arno L’Hermitte
I learned a valuable lesson today. A slightly painful, but strongly re-awakening one.
You can have the best intentions, and the greatest willingness to learn…but some times you’ve got to admit that it’s not the right time for you to participate in a certain class or workshop.
With over 30 different options to choose from each day – and that is just the day-time schedule; it is hard not to get overwhelmed by the broad program of a festival like this. Some of us have a strong feeling – or fear – of not wanting to miss out on anything – I’d like to re-phrase that for you.
Instead of thinking about all that you weren’t able to do, even though you’ve added it onto your must/want/desire list a long time ago, can you think about what kind of experience you would like to have? What do you want to take home at the end of this event? How do you wish to feel, next Monday – and how can you get to a space of contentment?
- Anastasis sure seems to be content!
Knowing about his extensive experience with bodywork and healing, I knew I really wanted to attend Arno L’Hermitte’s Thai Massage workshop today. After a couple of more intense yoga classes, learning about (and receiving!) basic massage techniques seemed to be a perfect end of my day.
I sat down in the Healing Pavillion, and connected to my partner – alongside who I’d just practiced during Deera Dewi’s class. We’d both walked over to this garden-area straight after Savasana, eager to get started. As I put my stuff aside, she relaxed back down on her back. I would give an hour-long massage first, and receive later.
Arno showed us how to move- in tune with and around each others body. Flowing from side to side, lunging, swinging back and forward, we learned how to use our arms, thumbs, feet, fore-arms – even bellies and chest – to bend our partner into different positions, using our body weight to apply pressure.
As I move my partner around, I sense her resistance. I know I can ask her to let go more, to surrender – but the body does not necessarily do as the mind is being told. Which is when I realize how it is actually my body, and my mind, that is resisting here. My eyes open up to the fact that I’m empty – slightly overwhelmed and dehydrated – and not in the right energy to provide another being with healing touch.
Massage is like a dance – a connection of breath and movement, between two people. It does not feel honest to me to get onto the dance-floor panting and limping. So I apologize to my partner – and her physical body -, ask her if she’s okay with continuing the practice with somebody else, and decide to pack my bag.
Arno’s workshop proved to me the value of listening to your own body; to tune in with your energy level, to sense if there is any tension you’re holding, and the importance of being grounded and emotionally and energetically prepared before offering any kind of bodywork. These are key skills taught in any training, and make a lot of sense. After all, as you step into each others field, and become one body, you can not provide relaxation or healing when your own energy is blocked.
You can not share what you don’t give to yourself – we all need to put in the work ourselves first. By showing up on our mats, setting clear boundaries, taking a nap or sipping a coconut. Contentment sprouts from proper self-care – I trust you’re planting seeds.
Written by : Saar Grolleman