I just got back from an awesome weekend at the Buddhist Retreat Centre (BRC) in the sleepy village of Ixopo, Western Midlands in the KwaZulu-Natal region.
A friend and I ventured up with no idea what to expect, just super keen to escape into the wilderness for the weekend. The retreat was held by the lovely Yasmin Lambat, a pilates instructor and Wellness Coach who is passionate about the Body Sensing technique.
Body Sensing is a a somatic therapy that uses a body centered approach to heal. It recognises the inexplicable link between our emotions (how we feel) and our physical wellbeing.
“Our biography becomes our biology” – Caroline Myss
As Yasmin explains on her website, “It works on influencing our fascia, the largest sensory organ in the body and our sixth sense. Fascia is a web of connective tissue that not only influences posture and alignment, but responds to mood, softening when we’re relaxed and tensing when we’re stressing. It forms part of our body’s intelligent network of communication, often responding subconsciously. Under physical and emotional stress, our muscoskeletal structure changes and the resulting chemistry leads to inflammation and pain.”
A lesson in Mindfulness
The retreat consisted of segments of theory/discussion, movement and meditation. The movement was very subtle, yet powerful. At first I struggled a bit to get into it, craving for more movement, but as the weekend progressed and I could feel the subtle effects of the movements I really started to appreciate the true value of the technique. Essentially it’s a practice of mindfulness and non-resistance, cultivating presence as we move and really feeling what’s going on in the body.
I particularly enjoyed the work we did with the solar plexus (manipura chakra). Yasmin taught us how to soften this area, something we should practice daily. It’s about working with the body (not against it) and getting in touch with how we feel, out of our heads and into our hearts, moving into a place where life becomes an effortless ease.
Definitely a weekend to remember… enlightening new insights, great company, rainy walks in the veld, zen gardens and did I mention the food… AMAZING!