Body as an instrument of self-knowledge – 5 Questions Part II

Posted by Sabine on November 30th, 2011

Q. In the modern way of life both men and women are exposed to numerous stresses which often bring about the confusion with regard to the traditional sex roles. What are your observations in that sense and how can we overcome those conditions?

A. Traditional sex roles become less and less defined in our hyper masculine world of survival.  We all constrict and become more machine-like under the constant bombardment of stress.   Speaking especially about women I have seen how we overwork our masculine muscle to provide for our own ‘security’.   At first we might have had a lot of fun exploring and establishing our power in the male arena by making our own money and creating an independent life for ourselves and frequently our family.   Women have often accomplished more stability than men.  But this success can not ever touch most women’s deepest heart and our soft bodies tighten to an unhealthy degree.  The disillusionment comes when we don’t know how to swing back and relax into “The Power of Feminine Pleasure” [which is the working title of the book that I am writing] on a daily basis.

A woman in her masculine force naturally does not feel attracted to a man who is less masculine then she is and the sexual polarity for a great relationship might get lost.  We women have to take responsibility and learn how to invite our feminine back in.  In turn our feminine is what empowers the masculine in men.

In Radiant Embodiment I help my clients to experience the male/female aspects of their body and we build bridges for the “ultimate inside marriage” with right/left/front/back/upper/lower body awareness and integration.

Personally in my work and in my marriage I often search for the more feminine or the more masculine energy in each moment and find a balance.  For instance; I am a self employed one-women-show and while I completely hold my client or my students and the space and mostly give the direction of the session [masculine].  I also completely offer my deep feminine intuition, my nurturing touch and my heart and compassion [feminine].

When my, also self employed, husband comes home totally exhausted and stressed he may ask me to give him some time to recover his balance by himself [masculine].  Feeling into my body and his I might take the lead and offer another solution [masculine] and if he let’s me take over he trusts my guidance [feminine].  Then he receives my hands-on nurturing [feminine].  His tanks fill up sooner or later and he naturally takes the more decisive active role [masculine].  In this moment it’s my turn to learn to surrender and trust his direction.  When his direction is not serving the purpose, he has to feel his mistake himself.  I only need to express my feelings about that but not my judgment of him.  I learn to stay in my heart and relax into my deepest feminine trust in life without emasculating him.  This is how we balance to encourage each others natural feminine and masculine energies and have grown tremendously in our love and marriage.

Stressors will not go away.  They are here as opportunities for learning and loving.  It’s how we deal with the blows.  When we stay connected to the sensations in our body we are never in the past or in the future where bad experiences and false expectations trick our mind.  We stay here now in this present moment which is the open invitation to expand as the love we are.

Q. How can couples that you work with overcome the lack of communication in the relationship?

A. First of all acknowledge that you are two completely different people – that’s why you were attracted to each other in the first place. So, don’t try to turn your man into your girlfriend, or your girlfriend into your buddy.

Second: Don’t take anything personally! [Don Miguel Ruiz – The 4 Agreements] http://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319

Third: Go for a walk to talk.  When the body is moving and the breathing is deepened – even a little bit, the thinking also expands and can be expressed much more easily and grounded.  Even longer pauses feel natural.  You may find beautiful visual interruptions to ease the conversation and you both get a physical sense of moving forward.

Fourth: Don’t talk – touch!  As I have mentioned before little babies don’t talk – they sense everything through their whole body and they cry or tense up if they are held by somebody who is scared for instance.  That same high sensibility is still inside of us adults.  It lives just underneath all the protective walls we put up over the years.  So when we invite the other to a foot massage or a shoulder rub, and this touching is done gently and respectfully while listening into their body, both of you will relax and feel connected on the very primal nonverbal level.  A deep communication can grow from here.

Fifth: I often show couples how to lie down in spooning in the evening and breathe through their chakra system to harmonize their energies before any sharing of the events of the day.

Sixth: The more ‘feminine’ partner is usually the one who can communicate easier.  Find common ground with daily things and find the relatedness to your immediate physical experience.  Share only your sensations and feelings, not your thoughts and judgments.   Give the other space to digest your info. You might ask them about their own sensate experience.  This is how you invite your partner to enter into their own body and become present with themselves first.  I see this as a useful prerequisite before getting into a deeper sharing with each other. Your communication will be less emotional, clearer and more connected.
Q. Can you describe to us the exercise that you implement in order to renew the personal energy?

A. Of course my first answer is: Pleasure in any form – but that does not mean you get to “pig out”!

I am talking about feeding all of your senses with rest, self care, bathing, soothing your skin with essential oils, cooking with lots of time and good friends; what ever gives you a sense of ease; listening to music, creating art, restorative yoga, body work – passively receiving touch – ask your partner or friends for nonsexual holding and nurturing, [see my Foot massage DVD and Manual, 20 Ways to Please the Other http://radiantembodiment.com/?duka=dvd] Being in nature – I am in my garden many times a day between clients; breathing with wide open arms at a wide open window, funneling the sun into every cell of your body; gentle hiking and anything horizontal and slow that makes your whole body smile.

When we finally listen to our body as to a baby’s cry and begin to give it the long overdue nurturing, lots of us may have to initially experience a much worse drop of energy.  In this ‘good mothering’ that I describe your body will soften and slowly release the old rigidity that held it together successfully surviving for too many years.   Now you get to feed it with delicious touch and good nourishing “activities” for quite some time before its depletion is quenched to overflowing and your natural zest for action jumps up.  This break-down-to-break-through is a healing crisis. It may even happen to somebody who’s intensely practicing yoga [which comes from a more masculine, structured and controlled tradition] without listening deeply to their body.

I hope I was helpful to you in describing how I have learned that our human bodies just need to be honored with self compassion and feminine nurturing in spite off our minds fear and throughout our whole life to reconnect us with our divine self.

With love and light

Namaste

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

 

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

Body as an instrument of self-knowledge – 5 Questions Part I

Posted by Sabine on November 30th, 2011

Daniela Stefanov http://www.vibrantsilence.com, interviews Sabine Grandke-Taft October 15, 2011

Q. In Yoga, the body is an instrument to gain an insight into the Self. I see a similarity between the practice of Yoga and your work in the general sense. Would you be so kind as present to us the Radiant Embodiment approach?

A. Thank you for noticing Daniela.
Yes, there are similarities, because Radiant Embodiment is a touch and movement process that teaches awareness and furthers insight into the wholeness of our Being through the physical body. To offer you and your readers a more inclusive picture I would like to start with a brief history for how Radiant Embodiment came to me.

I have studied yoga off and on since I was 25; a few years after I became a Physical Therapist. Yoga began to undo my extremely rigid and mental approach to the “correction” of the body. At the same time I was studying to specialize in physical therapy with infants and children. This brought me to the roots of human development and the huge impacts of childhood on all aspects of a person. I worked for seven years with babies and children using Sensory Integration and Bobath Therapy and these kids were my best teachers ever. Babies cried when I did not feel deeply enough into their needs.
A few years and a divorce later I was drawn to become a Feldenkrais® Practitioner [Awareness though Movement® and Functional Integration®] which deepened my growing curiosity about my Self as a body.
During those years I was fortunate to work very closely with a therapist and our group in Bio-dynamic Body Therapy. The profound nurturing that I received during the holding and symbiotic melting with other bodies for countless hours finally reached and soothed the old emptiness in my core. This somatic approach to psychotherapy filled the gap for me and I realized the vital importance of touch for growing and healing on all levels.

These early experiences were the cradle for Radiant Embodiment.
After immigrating to California in 1998 and having the absolute pleasure of living at the Esalen Institute on the Big Sur Coast for three years I began to give “my own” bodywork sessions ever freeing myself from the old limitations of ‘proper’ bodywork and allowing my whole body and spirit to flow while I was touching an-other. My own embodiment was well on its way and I relaxed into trusting the journey on which my hands and body would take me and my client.

The spiritual aspects of Nature, Native American rituals and Tantra training as well as becoming an assistant for David Deida in his work on Sexual Spirituality and living in India and Australia later on have just expanded and deepened my approach. I began to recognize and integrate the feminine/masculine energies of each body and psyche into my work.

Working with thousands of individuals and couples over the years I found one deep longing at the root of every body: “I want to FEEL loved and connected.”
Our body is what makes us real here on this planet; but for most of us the journey to heal the gaping wound of our perceived disconnection from our source/god/love/the ‘Onlyness of Being’ begins by looking everywhere else. We look for spouses, teachers, gurus, journeys, we try groups and trainings.

As in work or social life, in sports and even in yoga I have witnessed too many misuse their body as a tool to get fit, or get rid off something, or get strong or better than others to feed the deep inner hunger.

Radiant Embodiment is the gentle journey to find ‘home’ within the vast wholeness of ourselves and to heighten our awareness of the sacredness of our body. The vehicle to help us re-connect our own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body is Pleasure. Pleasure is what moves babies to explore their own body and the world. Pleasurable sensations are what keep our curiosity alive. Pleasure is the key to learning and growing. But all too often we had to tighten up and numb our highly sensitive and skilled nervous system early on to survive. After a few years we have suppressed our pure and natural joy in pleasure. Pleasure has become a taboo and is associated with overindulgence, laziness or purely sexual gratification.
For me our ability to feel pleasurable experiences is the basis for recovering the clear sense of who we really are. The Self get’s realized through embodiment.

I named my bodywork ‘Symphonic Touch®, Integrative Movement Massage Process’. As in my Radiant Embodiment workshops I combine individualized Symphonic Touch sequences, Feldenkrais movement and more of the over twenty healing modalities that I studied including Cranio-Sacral Rebalancing and Somatic Experiencing – Trauma Resolution to guide my clients toward noticing pleasurable differences on their physical level first. Symphonic Touch is a total support for each individuals exploration and unfolding of whatever is held inside.

Our sessions are conversations, verbally and often non-verbally, between my listening touch and guidance and their expanding perception of sensations, movement and breath; as well as of the ever changing flow of thoughts and emotions. Through this kind of nonsexual nurturing presence my clients and students recover their ability to feel themselves fully again and develop Self compassion. This regenerates their innate healing capacity, their natural sensuality, their radiance and joy for life inside this body.

We are sentient Beings fundamentally grounded by our sensations and therefore we are able to awaken as embodied consciousness.

Q. Because of the fact that the modern man is alienated from his roots, from the ancient essence in himself, and thus from his very self, as a Yoga instructor, I find the meaning of practice in trying to connect again what has been alienated. As I get to know your work, I find a similarity in this sense so I would ask you to favor me with opinion and way of thinking.

A. I absolutely agree with you, Daniela. Expanding on my previous answer; for me our roots, our connection to source is our body with its incredible abilities to feel sensations, emotions and yes also intuitions. This is the only real experience of being alive and present. But our hyper masculine western control dharma has uprooted and replaced a lot of that groundedness and innate sense of safety that we carry inside each cell. It’s not just that we have lost touch with our body and the natural ebb and flow of nature. The unpredictable [feminine] nature of life has become too scary for us because we are buying that we are supposed to be forever young and sexy. J. Krishnamurti http://youtu.be/VOMJmNDV4Cg so brilliantly stated: “There is only love or fear”.

Discarding our instinctive embodiment from the natural life–death–life-cycle did not just cut us off from trusting our inborn gut feeling. Relying solely on our mind also made us easy prey for the uncompromising profit greed of the consumer industry and organized religions. We are becoming total control freaks. Fear of life and a frantic desire for any superficial relief from feeling IT has our world spinning.

Yes, return to your body, find gentle pleasure, caress yourself back to this moment and feel how you begin to breath again, expand, flow with the blows of life and how love is you. Be in nature, receive the aliveness around, the light and shadow, the perfection and find a place to rest inside outside. Resting in listening to our body allows us to find our essence.

Published in magazine  Ziveti zdravije “To Live Healthier” in Belgrade

Undercover Yoga 4 Become and Exhaler III

Posted by admin on April 30th, 2010

340 words will take you about 2 min reading time and about 8 breath

Blogging Body Bliss turns one year old.

Seems like it’s just beginning to walk…
My kitten also turning 1 caught her first not 1 but 2 mice today. Sorry for the mice, but
as promised let us celebrate ‘growing up’ to full pleasure with the

‘Nothing happening’ Meditation

What is between the inhale and the exhale? 

Make the famous U-Turn and allow your attention to focus inwards.

From the bottom of your exhale take your time and feel …

   –  nothing is the limit

nothing –

[In 1993 at my first daylong encounter with this question it took me hours of agonizing focus to even admit to my mind that nothing is what I was looking for]
YES!

Now I invite you to play with dropping into “nothing happening”, into the realm that IS between our constant doing [even if that’s only in- or ex-haling]. I invite you to hang out in the deliciocity of ‘space’, where you just areuntil your next inhale.

Your body’s ease and relaxation is re-membered as well as your minds peace-full-ness and overall wellbeing. It becomes ‘pleasure pure’ when you allow nothing to happen!

Notice your next inhale filling you, tipping over into the releasing exhale and than dive, fly, slide and evaporate again into nothing happening, the world between the worlds.

You can feel for and observe your whole body as it beats with your hearts pulse, a gurgle in your gut, the softening of shoulder tension, an internal releasing and sinking into your bones.  Your sense of the immediate space around you may change. That’s “all”.

After these few moments your next inhale will come cascading in naturally with fresh ease.

This is the ‘walking’ meditation of your waking workday, the box stop for your racing mind, the safe heaven in the dentist chair, the instant hammock vacation for your whole body.

When nothing becomes everything
Your curiosity about your deeper you and remembering this precious space at the bottom of each exhale allow you to enter into the freedom of sacred sanity of a human-being (in contrast to the up-tightening body of a human-doing that we, all to easily, try to squeeze ourselves into and be proud off).

In his book ‘A New World’ Eckhart Tolle was asked which one of all the self-improvement workshops a person should take.  He told them that taking a few conscious breaths every day would be better… and cheaper.

With a big smile and thank you for exhaling

Sabine

I love to hear from you and invite your feedback, comments and your own experiences.
My gratitude for non-stop learning goes to all my clients and teachers and I trust You also will benefit from reading and feeling.
You ONLY have to let the soft animal of your body love what is loves
– Mary Oliver

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

 

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

nothing …is the limit

Undercover Yoga 3 Become an Exhaler II

Posted by admin on March 27th, 2010

Become an Exhaler in bed in the morning

666 words will take you a good 3 minutes to read

Let’s, at least, imagine you are in bed and are deliciously awakening with greater ease as I taught in my December article Undercover Yoga I.

If you have also read and explored the February 2010 BBB you deserve the treat now; before breakfast.

This morning allow your next exhale to become slower again. Follow its sensations all the way to the end and feel what happens.

 1 of 2 things happens

You have either taken a long time observing your very slow and steady exhale and really “exhausted” the oxygen content in your blood to such a degree that the inhale comes surging in as if you turned on an inner vacuum.
(To be precise, it is not the lack of O2 but the abundance of CO2 that triggers inhalation)
…Or you followed your slower exhale to its end but less extensively and you dropped into a moment where ‘nothing’ was happening; the natural pause between exhale and inhale.

Exploring the opposite to reach our goal with even more ease

There is also a pause at the end of your inhale as the body turns around to release the air back out.  Can you find it?

In our stressed bodies though, that one is often misused for holding our breath and tightening our muscles even more.  This default pattern/stress response is exactly what I hope to soften within your nervous system by alerting and shifting your awareness to focus on the whole-body-pleasure that lies in an extended exhale.

The genius of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ Method offers itself at this point to expand your brains sense of what I am proposing.  

Please do tighten up (your shoulders and chest, neck and jaw) on purpose as you inhale normally and hold it right there for just a moment…  Release your breath easily as you release your muscular tightening.  Be gentle and “Stay within the limits of pleasure!” – as Mia Segal my first Feldenkrais Trainer always said.

It is key here not to force anything so your experience will inform your cognition positively.  Try to do it with even less effort the next time.  Good!  Play with it another 2-3 times, each time finding more ways to do less.

Now feel into your body for any changes in the way you lie in your bed.  Your body’s inner organization increases with this kind of gentle exploration.  Paying attention to details in this way allows our inner intelligence to release unnecessary muscle action.  

You may find places like your neck, back or shoulders that have sunken more into your pillow or just a general sense of feeling nicer, without needing to put any specification on it.  Feeling around for any shifts as you rest (even if you do not notice anything different) is boosting your awareness and deepening your learning. 

If you know what you do – you can do what you want – paraphrasing Dr. Feldenkrais

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Nothin’ happenin’

 After this little [de]tour to get to our goal of naturally deeper exhales I like you to play with that slower exhale a few more times.  You might really begin to like it, especially the space created by the pause.  As you explore and hang out in ‘nothin’ happenin’, notice what is happening to your whole sense of your self.

That Healing Feeling 

Breathing normally now, permit your attention to spread throughout your whole body with ease. What do you notice first?
Still that old tightness? Energy follows attention, so gently find and keep your focus and receptivity with the good, expansive, warm, spacious, lighter, flowing pleasurably releasing sensations.
Each time you look for those healing feelings you become a little bit more familiar with your bodies’ natural ability to let go.

If you have already done a few of these mindful exhales last night, [see BBB Feb.2010] your body more willingly shows your mind now how it can release even the relentless grip in your neck and shoulders, your forehead, jaw and belly, as well as around your back and hips.  

Welcome your self healing capacity!

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading.

With a smile

Sabine

For next month’s 1st Birthday Celebration of Blogging my Body Bliss I might offer the “Nothin’ Happenin’ Meditation” to you

I love to hear from you and invite your feedback, comments and your own experiences.
My gratitude for non-stop learning goes to all my clients and teachers and I trust You also will benefit from reading and feeling.
You ONLY have to let the soft animal of your body love what is loves
– Mary Oliver

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

 

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

Undercover Yoga 2 – Become an Exhaler I

Posted by admin on February 27th, 2010

629 words will take you about 3 min, to read and give you a whole night of sweet sleep

Become an Exhaler I – in bed tonight

Expanding on the delicious morning ‘let-go’ from my December BBB Undercover Yoga 1; here is what you could play with tonight when you are softly covered in your bed. 

For just a moment feel into what’s normally happening to your breathing when you remember you hear or see something stressful on TV, Radio, on the road, at the office, something happening with your child, or when that person is on the line. 

You probably recount a quick inhale “hhiiiiii” and than – – – you kept it right in.  Your chin slid backwards and tensed up your neck slightly more with tension spreading into your shoulders and (at least) down your whole spine.  Any further breaths go by un-noticeably and there never seems to be a release through a deep exhale. Hhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh…

 

If you just embodied what I was describing – that HHHaaaaahhh – “valley”, was very nice and needed, wasn’t it?

I was describing a very mild enactment of our ancient startle reflex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startle_reaction that has become a “normal/default” tension pattern piling up inside throughout each day.  You may not have felt much of this until you begin to pay attention to these tightening responses that accumulate throughout your body over time.

The startle reflex developed as a survival skill through thousands of years of evolution beginning with our animal ancestors. I see it as part of the freeze (play possum) strategy to avoid “being lunch”.

This clever and automated response obviously worked or we would not be here. It is still run by your “reptilian brain”. 

It is a very useful reflex for some of those extreme life threatening situations we do encounter, but not very supportive when our “normal” daily stressors themselves become its constant trigger. In other words: when quick inhalation-tension without satisfying exhalation-release has become just another pattern that’s adding even more vigilance to our western stressed-out bodies and minds.  OOOaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh

Just on the side; here’s another interesting food for thought.  Ask somebody to exhale – they inhale first…. But that’s for another blog

 “Exhalers live longer” –

This is one of the most foundational ideas I explore with all my clients. 

Allow your exhale to be your main focus.
The slower we breathe – the longer we live – they say in Yoga.

For tonight’s comforting exploration your exhale does not need to be longer or stronger. Just notice your normal exhale!  Curious isn’t it?  Exhales automatically become longer when we pay attention to them. No strength needed - just sensing. You may find a release in your body, a let go, a softening of your chest and belly – and then – just an empty space —-before the next inhale cascades in ….

Your bed right now is the luscious haven of opportunity to set your internal stage for the whole night. Feel your body, bones, organs and muscles in the warm embrace we already explored in the December BBB. 

Notice how noticing a longer/slower exhale relaxes you, even if only a tiny piece of your body softens. That’s it!

Your heart rate will slow down as well. Good!

Play with it again. You can feel how your bodies weight sinks towards your mattress, how your shoulders are moving away from your ears to where they can rest. No need to keep your head up any longer. (In Germany we say:  keep your ears stiff… same up-tightness)  This frees up your neck and even your jaw, your spine, your belly and your pelvis.

Luxuriate in another exhale. Can you feel how you are beginning to let go deeper? Look for a sense of slow flow and softening inside your tissues as you rel-ease your day.

 I wish you a good night and very sweet dreams!

 With a delicious exhale

Sabine

Onward with Undercover Yoga
Next months Themes include: 

Become an Exhaler in the morning
Schlappe Noodle Fun
Life Spirals
Touch for Pleasure
Ocean Motion in your Hips 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

Light for your Mind

Posted by admin on January 31st, 2010

 Before I’ll offer more Undercover Yoga to you this pressing theme offered itself.

 578 words will take your about 3 min to read

 This winter my client Roxana experienced a heavier load of the bleak depressed feelings many of us dread repeatedly during this season.  The “Happy Holidays” are not so happy for many of us often based on our family history in combination with THE weather and too many clothe, keeping us away from direct skin contact with [our] nature.

light above Jan 1st 2010

Roxana noticed how the darker shorter days made her feel just like that – emotionally darker and physically collapsing inside her chronically problematic spine.  The “usual” stress she manages more or less well now had cut her off from feeling her light.  Her painful im-pressions piled up on one another until one more finally broke her strength to cope.

The De-pressing of our Well-Being 

Because of Graduate schools’ strain and added psychotherapy, which led to the re-incarnation of her unresolved traumatic experiences, Roxana had dropped her self care.  She had stopped her long walks in nature that had given her a sense of groundedness.  She gave up cooking and stuffed herself from the fridge.  She also drank more wine to relax her growing tensions which only supported her dis-embodiment.
Sounds familiar?

 “If it’s not one thing – it’s your mother”……

Her straight-A achievements couldn’t help when finally her mother’s demand for Roxana’s face at several parties [that included long air trips] pulled her even further outside her sense of self.

Especially during heightened pressure we women learned to pull-our-selves-together for the world.  Forced by hyper masculine ‘normalcy’ we are numbed against the human nature underneath our skin.  We vacate our body and crunch into our mind only narrowly surviving.  We separate from what moves our spirit and abandon the nurturing self-care we depend upon.

That day at my office Roxana just managed to close the door before  her  dams broke.  When she offered her desperate hope to just die her body trembled with exhaustion and angst.�
She had just come from her therapist leaving a very difficult session of profound insight into the lack of interest in life.  Than she hit massive traffic and was late for our session.  Roxana felt like a total failure and was ready to give up.

Touching for Life

I held her gently and long. I moved her achy body to reconnect with her awareness mainly guided by the Feldenkrais® Method.  As we ‘touched’ on all her overwhelming issues, her body began to soften and expand. Roxana’s breathe deepened and her head could let go.

When she left she was glowing from inside, she felt calm and present all the way through her feet.  Roxana was emanating the beauty, vulnerability and softness that comes from finding our inner connections, our true strength of aliveness.

 Sabine Limantour Beach Christmas Day 09

Later Roxana reported how this treatment had freed her from her minds life-less prison.  She was able to feel her whole self again. Her body gave her a spacious sense of being HOME.  The self-compassion that followed gave her desire to go out to the beach where she buried all of 2009’s burdens.  She had fun cooking and certainty that she could get through the next family gathering with a healthy ability to find the positive.  

Roxana’s journey highlights again that our body, not our mind, can contain life’s challenges. Our minds re-membering of our body’s vast capacity for well-being in the midst of overwhelm can return when we keep taking loving care of it first. Hugging and touching every day keeps us connected to our real power.

Thank you for your attention

with pleasure
Sabine

Onward with Undercover Yoga
Next months Themes include: 

Become an Exhaler
Schlappe Noodle Fun
Life Spirals
Touch for
Pleasure
Ocean Motion in your Hips 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman is a Mystery…

Posted by admin on November 25th, 2009

736 words – about 4 min reading time

A Woman is a mystery – that can guide the wise and open Man – Rumi

A Womyn is a Mystery... Rumi Calendar 11.09

I believe feminine energy can slow us and our self-destruction down.

To ask you bluntly: How different do you think the world would be if our mind set on overdrive [masculine] could cool down enough to realize It has an amazingly real physical body? Female or Male, your really amazing and ever changing [feminine] body carries your mind around to experience our world more wholly.

 

Women and men develop the sort of masculine force that grows more exclusively when there is [or was] reason to for self protection. Most of us have been negatively affected by our immediate and/or larger world since we were conceived and collectively worldwide during at least the past 18 months. For most the future does not look so restful rosy either. Experiencing threat automatically gears up our mind to labor in high action mode. Self-preservation has us either drifting in numbness or act with anxiety and aggression. Driven by our alarmed survival instinct we tightly parade all our striped muscles to be ready for fight or flight or freeze at all times.

This is not living life. This is surviving it!

 

“Always look for the third possibility…”- I learned from Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. http://www.feldenkraisguild.com/method/a_biography_of_moshe_feldenkrais/

Pleasure Pig looking outside the box 

 

 

 

 Let’s have a look!

 

 

 

 

As Saniel Bonder http://www.sanielandlinda.com/calls it: “The Hyper Masculine Dharma” is ruling our daily life. Aggression, violence and force are represented by 2 ½ times more brain cells in men’s heads. That is why in difficult times fear and stress are ruling.

But unfortunately not just in men. Women have learned to flex their masculine intensity pump very successfully; sometimes quiet domineeringly. Our [mental] world seems to turn faster and tighter, creating more pain and suffering each day. This fear of loosing control [masculine] takes over and does not let us go easily.

People look driven drained and hungry for real life.  

 Disgrunteled Pleasure Pig, San Francisco 09.09

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what I found – my third possibility.

Our global painfully intimate experience can also centrifuge us from twirling outwardly between our glooming past and uncertain future in-ward into this present moment where we notice our self and body here now. “Hey Buddy! Welcome! I miss you so much…!” – could be the first embrace when you begin to suspect your body and breath again.

“You are out of your mind!” the little controle goes off. 

Smile… With your body encounter come your feeling senses, your gut-feeling-wisdom, your soft-heartedness, your sure-footedness, your strong backbone and your true exhale of relief.
With awareness of your body comes your trust in the Life–Death–Life-Cycle[Women who run with the wolves- Clarissa Pincola Estes] each moment anew and cumulative.

 

To me it feels natural that mostly women are [re-]connecting with and expressing our spirit and souls em-bodiment. I wrote in Septembers’ BBB that in contrast to men women have their brains tuned more toward the art of connection and emotion. In contrast to the male principle our female brain centers and nervous system more readily obtain notions by perceiving physical experiences.

 

I certainly can not exclude myself from us women spinning all to easy in overdrive far too often and more and more and faster. So I was very surprised and thankful when just the other night my husband was the one who brought home a deeply relaxed and opening view to all of the tightening problems in my head… His Yoga class that night had been a rare two hours of restorative poses… aaaahhhhhhhh!!!

 

Reminding myself of this ‘whole’ other ‘half’ of my human [and not just easeful feminine] capacity to feel life’s events more wholly as invitations by including all physical senses I re-member my power to choose my experience. mmmmhhhh!

 

I am writing my book on the Recovery of Feminine Radiance because I know women have an easier access and connectedness to our body: The mystery that can guide the wise and open men… A Woman’s innate effortless flow and pleasurable softness as her body are also giving each one of us the challenge and the opportunity to invite our own radiant ease back in and to share our exquisitely fulfilling wisdom from ‘this side of life’ with others, women and men through our body.

 

“Life is but a dream dadu dada. Life is but a dream dadu, dadu, dadu, dadu dada. Life could be…..”

 pleasure pig in Pliss

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look for the third choice with a smile.

 Until next month

Happy Holidays

Sabine

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

Disguised Pleasure

Posted by admin on October 26th, 2009

PLEASURE in 500 words?

Contemplations on the most important experience of our life

501 words will take you less than minutes to read 

Since the early springtime I was invited to teach 2 workshops in New Zealand.

What a wonderful exciting intense work pleasure! The 9 month of planning and re-planning, organizing and promoting zoomed by like that jet that was going to get me there in just 13 hours.

Auckland

 

 

 

 It was the 21st of September – that day I always remember… [- Rolling Stones]

On that Monday morning of my flight – All my bags are packed; I’m ready to go… [- John Denver] I finally got phone contact with the organizers in Kiwi Land. They still had nobody signed up for the weekends AND only 2 people who signed up for the free introductory evenings — I had been under the impression those had filled up…

 

Under new  im-pressions my bodies’ enthusiastic flow of achievement evaporated at the inhale. I experienced myself go physically through the Startle Reflex first phase [Ex-Tension]. I finally ex-haled ex-hausted [phase II, Languish] I closed my mouth – I sat down.

 

Now my mind desperately began trying to wrap itself around the Unexpected, the Impossible. Only my ‘old friends’ jetted in – self-judgment, failure, inadequacy…  Before they could take complete crippling control over the unusual beckoning void inside my head I also perceived  a new voice like a beam of life light – Self Compassion!  AAAAHHH!

 

“BUT what about my trip, the new country……..!” – My mind kept interfering  with notoriously agaonizing  disbelief.

I heard myself laughing– Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans… [- John Lennon]

 

The unbearable space of freedom dawned on me.
3 weeks of unscheduled time?!

This jolt in the plow line of my field of professional desire returned me to feel this present moment. I landed at the heart of life.

 10 min later I called back to cancel my trip.

There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in… [- Lenard Cohen]

 

Another few exhales later my mind integrated enough into my body, noticing space inside, feeling my feet on the ground and my whole spines’ smooth unwinding. I made another phone call.

Was it the September, my readiness, the crack, divine planning or all together? The Big Sur cabin where I have had the absolute pleasure last year to write on my book was available for a full 2 weeks! YEAH!

P1010128

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the week I had left to get down there I released more illusions on running my life, relaxed, reconnected, repacked. I was also able to schedule just enough individual sessions and classes to earn exactly the amount for the cabin rent.

 

Only when I sat in the harvest moon bathed bathtub on the deck of my cabin in the Red Woods over the deep canyon I remembered how sometime during the busy frenzy of this summer I had wished for the money and time to write on my book this year.

“Be careful what you ask for!”

P1010076

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I learned to trust the mystery of the river of life.

 

With smiles of gratitude

 

Sabine

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

 

 

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

Pleasure II in 500 words?

Posted by admin on September 29th, 2009

Contemplations on the most important experience of our life.
501 words takes you about 3 min to read

Returning from the 15th Annual Pacific Women Circle Association Crescent Moon Retreat on Vancouver Island  [http://www.pwcacamp.org/index.html]  I strongly  feel the need to keep writing about expanding our minds automatic association of the words “Pleasure” and “Touch” with Sex.

I feel the urgency to bring alertness to our painfully limited, and by the way hyper-masculine, one-way fantasies that put physical pleasure immediately into the sexual amphitheatre, as if that’s our only playground to enjoy touch sensually. ? Ouch!

In last months Blogging Body Bliss I mentioned our gender based brain differences biologically stirring men to link life’s experiences 2,5 times easier to sex. So why do women fall into that same cul-de-sac around ‘getting some’, or not?

I spend a full-blown pleasure week with 60 remarkable women, dancing, laughing, celebrating, teaching, singing, learning and trusting the mystery that unfolds in each moment because we were softening our bodies. Creating art on all levels with everything just because we did it with the awareness that comes from slowing down in the sacred circle we created. Even crying was received as pleasurable because women were releasing tensions, trusting one another enough to open, feeling held and safe enough; finding and releasing into serenity resting inside our bodies; allowing the warm and spacious container of the great-er mother to nurture us inside and out, all around.

On the opening night I offered a circle massage sequence; asking each woman to get really close to each other, do a ¼ turn and reach for the shoulders in front with soft paws. To my great sadness many of the women had not been physically touched and nurtured for sooo long, some for many years.

Bhutan, Paro Palast
The initial nervous giggles from our unusual closeness with touch quickly turned into sighs of release, purrrrrrs in delightful surrender and in the end swaying full body smiles.
From the lakeside the warm rays of the setting sun melted our tensions tangibly into the grass underneath our bare feet.

That cold-blooded grip of our fear of intimacy softened just enough to allow us to feel more freely and to begin to perceive our own humanness and with that each others divinity. Tired exhausted women felt energized, tense stressed-out women landed inside their bodies and released their suffering minds. Everyone relaxed those boundaries that we so tightly install inside and around ourselves in this unfriendly intimi-dating world of the survival of the fittest.

We began to date intimacy. We had entered a sacred space to trust the touch for another woman; a hug, a little massage, even a smile; we let it in stilling our feminine hunger for real connection. Giving and receiving touch at the same moment with 60 women let our awareness grown beyond any usual suspicion.
Ads 005

Let you own awareness deepen with each experience. Notice how your body will flow naturally with more nurturing gentle and loving pleasure.

Free yourself from a male brain anatomy imposed stereotype of perception and invite men into the endless space of your whole body deliciocity.
With a smile
Sabine

 Thank you for reading

 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

 

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to
www.RadiantEmbodiment.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

The SERIOUS Deliciocity of Foot Pleasuring Massage III

Posted by admin on July 13th, 2009

JULY 2009

1784 words will take you about 9 minutes to read

A 3-piece of writing about our incredible feet and how caressing them grows us deeper into life and love and presents

 

III. How?

At last, the practical instructions on touching each others feet.

No more excuses left- you can do it, especially YOU who’s read all three pieces.

 

If pleasure is so good for everything how can I have more of it?

Answer: You give what you want to get!

So, if you have never received a full body – or ‘just’ a foot massage, I highly recommend it and even urge you to gift yourself a.s.a.p. Ask around for a great  and nurturing massage therapist and receive a professional treatment first. After you have felt how deliciously fantastic it is to let go and receive - just do it – create that space for somebody else!

Your curiosity has already begun to open your heart. There’s no reason for thinking that you can not pleasure your own or somebody else’s feet just with your touch. Even if you only hold that foot – that is so trustingly laying in your hands, warm it and allow your good intensions and your heart to flow out of your soft-ening palms and into their whole body – you are creating magic for both of you.

Precautions

In general do not massage the feet of a person with cancer, infectious disease or fever. You might cause those processes to be exhilarated because of the stronger blood circulation inside their whole body that will occur when you kneed their feet. But this should not keep you from lovingly holding, warming and caressing there feet. During pregnancy the areas of the inner and outer ankles as well as the lower legs should not be worked on.

In some very sensitive or simply stressed people a good deep foot massage can ignite a cleansing response for the whole body. Even a little therapeutic pressure on the feet might provoke a strong reaction of their autonomic nervous system. The first sign shows up as sweaty wetness of their hands and/or feet. This is when you stop what you are doing and just hold the feet with your thumbs gentle resting on the solar plexus point in the center of the sole of their foot. Please see photo.

solarplexus point

Hold those places still without pressure until their nervous system has relaxed again and the sweating has dried up. This is called ‘the Motorcycle Grip’ – I always imaging riding the Harley through the desert. My leaned back spacious mindset allows the person also to relax and feel safe inside again. This kind of your presence will be very helpful.

Should you keep stimulating, those people might feel anything from slight dizziness to strong dizziness, feeling hot or cold or both and all the way to vomiting and diarrhea – this is called a ‘Healing Crisis’ generated by the autonomic nervous system. Generally very good! BUT I would not suggest to anybody Giver or Receiver to slide down that road unprepared unless you are with an experienced reflexology practitioner and a deep cleansing is necessary and freeing.

Beautiful Moments

My friend Aleeta’s body was cancer ridden. On my visits we would snuggle up together on the couch so I could hold and caress her swollen sore feet and her body got more comfortable. During those moments we were able to drop into deep intimacy. A place where our physical nurturing relaxed our minds enough and her and my initial fear of death softened. We both felt a sense of space, ease and deep connection in a bigger experience of life and death.

Here are some practical tips for you

Invite your Receiver – you don’t have to be shy. After all you are inviting them for a real treat. “Would you like to receive a foot rub? I just read these articles about it and I invite you to be my guest…”

 

Your Pleasuring Session

O.   Relax – be warm and cozy – as always – the setting is important – this can be very simple with a blanket covering your sitting or reclining partner and a towel under their feet if your use oil. It feels good to be touched by clean warm hands. You can play more elaborate with a hot scented foot bath, candles and soft music, wine, bonbon and on from there.

wine bottle foot print (Small)

Before you begin any kneading and when you end your session apply a few connecting strokes to the lower legs and feet.

It is healing to support the flow of life energy streaming up and down our body through the invisible Meridian System. Here you can get a good look at it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.acupressure.com/charts/large-chart.htm

Here is how the Meridian Stroke goes: Gently, from the knees stroke down the outside of both legs, over the outer ankles and off over the 4 outer toes. Than; stroke up from the big toes over the inner ankles and up the inner legs towards the knees. Turn and stroke down the outsides again. Do this a few times. The rhythm and flow of these easy strokes will help both of you to get here.

Now you can play on with any or all of the touch techniques below.

1.   Always touch with a listening touch!

2.   Trust your gut feeling – your loving touch can not do anything wrong!

3.   Touch how you would like to be touched – begin lightly, and remember
your own wonderful experience or delightful fantasy with foot massage.

4.   Be curious without judgment –

  • Where is this foot soft, hard, tight, rough, smooth or flexible?
  • How would you like to touch this area? Firm, deep, soft, light or just holding and warming it? What does it need?
  • Play with fast heating rubs with the little finger side of your hand and steady slow circles with a thumb or other fingers.
  • Gently uncurl those toes – holding them on the sides – lengthen them
  • Where do you want to stretch and bend – expand?

5.   Play with long strokes or ‘kneading dough’ stationary with big soft hands
or just with your fingers.

6.   It’s never to deep, it’s only to fast…

7.   Ask them to tell you how it feels. Ask them to use words at first and later
just to use sounds. Let your partner’s pleasure guide you. Mmmmmhhhhh!

By the way – this is how we can learn to communicate what we need and how during sexual play as well as in other areas of our relationship.

8.   Stay within the limits of pleasure! Make it easy and simple!

9.   Notice your own breathing and relaxation before theirs. We all tend to
tighten our breath and body in new or in intimate situations, [read
about that in my April 2009 Blogging Body Bliss on Breathing your
own breath]

10. You can use oil [olive oil from your kitchen’s great] or massage cream or special foot balms or salt/sugar cream scrubs or nothing but love – no shocks with cold squirts or aftershocks with stains. Please warm up the lube in your palms and put a towel under.

11. Relax, exhale, this is about pleasure for both of you. When you feel your
partner’s body soften, see their face relaxing and their breathing
deepen;   just let it in. This is their gift to you and lets you feel how easy
you can connect on a really nourishing level. The more you can allow
yourself to feel the pleasure the more your partner can let go and�
receive as well.

12. Keep massaging painful areas but more lightly and less pinpointed –
imagine your touch is spreading and diffusing built up tension like�
honey crystals melting in warm tea – have some and also lot’s of water.

13. Find your ever changing rhythm – enjoying your self is priority!

14. Slow down – allow!

15. End with Motorcycle Grip [under precautions] and Meridian Strokes.
[explained above]

 You are always touching the whole body when touching feet

Some very special places on the foot

I said before that all of our body is represented in our feet. Please have a look at the map again.

footreflex zones (small)

Here are some places to pay special attention too.

1. The Meeting of the 3 Rivers

This point is located 4 fingers wide above the inner ankle – you can find it there where your circling thumb seems to be able to drop right into a little dent on the inner shin bone. The point is usually quiet tender and can really hurt when pressed harder. This acupuncture/acupressure point got its name in Chinese Medicine because the power lines of the liver, kidney and spleen meridian are meeting here! Do not press on it when your partner is pregnant, but do disperse its tension when she has any menstrual problems, including cramps and foul moods. This area is a wonderful place to help with balancing our whole menstrual process.

2. The Pelvic region

The spaces of the inner and outer heel represent the whole pelvic region including our sexual organs, ducts and muscles. As described above do not work here when your friend is pregnant, but do work here for all issues related to menstruation and sexuality.

The line between the inner and outer heel across the front of the ankle is representing the ovarian tubs or seminal ducts as well as the lymphatic system of the pelvic region.

All these places are often tender to pressure and can respond with whole body bliss and delight when they begin to relax through your touch and attention. This said – the area offers itself as a fantastic zone for sensual foreplay.

3. The Swim Skins

Here I mean the webs between the toes. The lymphatic drainage system for the head is represented here. So if your person/child has a cold or the likes, this area might be extremely painful. You can support the healing process when you gently stroke and pull on the skins to release their tension. GENTLY! Especially if they are running a fever.

4. Kids

Cleaver moms have told me how little foot rubs calm down their overwhelmed kids, balance their energy and allows them to finish the homework in peace.

Summarizing
the potential of the Deliciocity of Foot Massage I’d say you are:

–         Creating a safe place to become present and connect and talk real

–         Relaxing and reviving every inch of the body

–         Easing a bad mood to shift into simple deliciocity

–         Heightening the ability to experience pleasure sensuality and
sexuality; authenticity intimacy and sanity

–         Creating a wonderful space for healing and growing on every level

–         Helping to save the planet

Enjoy your play and the deepening of your relationship with each person you touch.

Sabine

 

Disclaimer

Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to

www.RadiantEmbodiment.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/sabinegrandketaft

Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.


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