It is incredible how much unsuspected good can stem from a negative situation, after what seems an eternal battle with myself and society at large. Trying to extract myself from the current psychological quagmire, I have followed the advice of a person I trust, someone who’s been by my side, heard every story there is to hear and who’s guided me right where I was afraid of going, for my own good, that is.
That’s how I found myself on the doorstep of a yoga teacher who also specializes in ayurvedic massages. I could have checked what these were before making the appointment and taking the tram to get there on time. But hey, I do enjoy surprises and I had a hunch this one was going to make it to the top of the epiphany list.
I was right. The moment the teacher, called Magali, opened the door, a strong smell of spices and herbs embraced me, pulled me inside the white entrance and wrapped me in a warm fog. I had to take my coat, scarf, gloves and whatnot off in no time given the temperature in the room. It felt as if the sun was rising on the beach. The lady who welcomed me called me using my first name - familiar, yet respectful since she took my extended hand and literally held it into her two warm hands for a few seconds. More than what we’re accustomed too. Her handshake was firm but positive and benevolent. I could sense it, together with a flow of energy unknown to me.
Her dark gaze was piercing, straight, lively yet kind: she was not judging like most stares who scan you from head to toe in Total Recall style. Her black eyes stood out against the white radiance of her shirt and the surrounding walls. What’s in a handshake, you may ask?
Pretty much someone’s world. I felt instantly welcome, hugged and understood. The moment she started explaining that ayurvedic massages are part of the holistic ayurveda therapy that listens and speaks to the mind and body, I gathered that this could finally be the right person at the right time for me.
Our meeting started with a dialogue. Comments, questions and answers and silences. At the end, she devised a massage session with herb-infused oils based on our conversation; my fears, my hopes, my present, my past… Obviously, that’s a lot, but unless you start somewhere, you’ll never get anywhere, I guess. So I opened up to the massage and the meditation session before it - yoga nidra.
This is a kind of sleep meditation that leads you to a semi sleep state while being guided by the voice of the teacher. Magali used repetitions and visualisation for our session. Visualization works beautifully with me since my mind can seamlessly view what’s being said - hypnosis also uses this technique and that too worked wonders with me years ago. Slowly but surely, my mind was resting and surrendering to a slower pace, shifting its focus from negative, unrelenting thoughts to an effortless visualisation of each part of my body, the ground and my roots in the earth. At the end of the 1-hour session, the teacher asked me to choose a sankalpa.
A sankalpa is a statement that I can call upon whenever needed to remind myself of where I want to go, what my purpose or desire is and who I am. Needless to say that for someone like me who does not like the term “resolution” this is a blessing: there’s no ego involved, no grinding efficiency involved or someone else’s needs, but a greater scale intention. The sankalpa is who I am, and my choices aligned with my destination. Every step of the way should make me progress towards the final desire.
Now tell me, have you ever tried yoga? What type of yoga? Does a sankalpa work for you? I am new to this world and yet, I feel like I’ve known it forever. Why do you think that is? Could it be because it’s leading me to discover something that was always inside me? This need to dig deeper, get in touch with the ground, its healing and feeding force?
What’s in a handshake.
Credits: Pinkpot (edited by TheDaydreamer)