The world we live in today is very much focused on a climax. All you have to do is look at a billboard, and there it is, smack bang in your face, pronounced, prominent, and completely without mystery, sex, climax. It seems to me that in a life where everything is rushed, the act of sex has also become something to just get over with so you can focus on other things. There is one element that seems to have been forgotten in life… sensuality.
Sensuality has become a lost art in the current fast paced world. It is no longer appreciated and most of the time, it is not even part of the picture. To be completely honest, I never really thought much about it, but it is something that was encouraged when I was a traditional dancer, and it is something that has come up a lot recently in yoga. So much so, that it has raised some questions in my head.
What is sensuality? Is it an art that you can learn? Or is it something that some people are just born with? Is it something that is only apparent in sex or is it something you can take into life? My yoga instructor Muzzy has been speaking a lot about being sensual in our practice, and I think he has hit the nail on the head with this one. He explains sensuality as moving consciously and slowly, with breath and a gentleness that can only be harnessed with inner strength. Seen from that perspective, sensuality is something we can take into every aspect of our lives.
At 21, what I wanted was to have a job and be in a relationship. There was no savouring of any moment and there was no self discovery involved. It more about the being in a job than what the job was, and more about the relationship than who the relationship was with.
Now at 32, my priorities have changed a bit (I hope). With work of course there is no choice. Everything is frantic, everything is urgent and manic, and sensuality really has little or no place in it. In relationships and the rest of life however, I think we do have a choice. Of course I would like to be in a committed relationship. I would also like to savour things a bit more. Right now I wonder why I spent my entire life rushing into things. Where was the fire? What was I working towards? Do any of us know for sure?
Life is this beautiful wonderful journey, and although everything tells us that we should be in high-flying corporate positions and married with two kids by 35, we really don’t have to. Although the media says that we have to be in committed relationships to enjoy Christmas and Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t it be better to be in a relationship with someone who really is worth committing to?
When all our friends are set on what they want to do, is it wrong for if we want to take a deep breath and explore something new? And once we see it, is it wrong if we want to breathe in this journey and see the sights along the way? When we meet someone, is it about “possessing” them or is it about getting to know them to be sure that we want them to “possess” us? Is it about the commitment ceremony or about that slow journey before hand?
So how do you live a sensual life? According to what I learned on the yoga mat, this is how – Take deep breaths. Spend time with yourself. Be humble. It is only when you realize that you don’t know everything that the world will open up to you. Don’t stop learning, even though it has nothing to do with your career. Teach. Give. Reach out. Marvel at the world. Allow people and things to touch you. When you meet someone, just be happy to take the time, a month, or two, or six. Be there so that you remember the first time he takes your hand, the first kiss, the first fight. Savour him, so that months later when the night is cold and dark, you can wake up and remember how he felt. Remember that strength doesn’t mean force. Don’t be afraid to laugh and cry. Remove labels from emotions – they are not bad or good, they just are. Wear your heart on your sleeve once in a while. A bit of pain makes future pleasures sweeter. Enjoy your space when you are alone, and from there you can create space for someone else. Set good intentions, but don’t rush to get there. Move slowly – enjoy every breath, every pulsation, every touch. The journey is every bit as important as the destination. The climax will come. There is no rush to get there.