This article first appeared on PublicHouse.sg.
Last September, I attended a ten-day residential program, which is part of the Sexological Bodywork certification in Australia. Though this was the second time I was going through this program, I was returning as one of four assistant coaches. I felt it was important to connect with my community (sex-positive people who spoke my lingo), refresh my skills and acquire new knowledge.
We stayed at Gunnebah Resort and I was right: the entire trip was so good for me! Away from the hustle and bustle of urban living, as well as the pressures and stress of running a practice, I was able to let go and be a student again (for the most part). Besides attending daily lessons, I participated in the combination of breath and movement sessions. We were also given the choice to attend daily student-led wake-up exercises (I attended all of them). And the food (even from a self-proclaimed non-food-lover) was amazing! I never knew how delicious and creative organic food–especially fresh salads–could be!
At the end of the intensive, we were each asked what our personal and professional learning edges were. While I was sad with the impending separation with the group, I was struck by how at ease, comfortable, free and fluid I felt in my body. But of course, we had been breathing, dancing, exercising and eating right for a good ten days! Even my course mates remarked how different I looked: more relaxed, calmer, and definitely, more “centred”. What if, I wondered, I was able to continue this back in Singapore? Hence, one of the intentions I set was to truly enjoy being in my body through movement.
Upon my return, I set about looking for free-flow movement classes, much like what I experienced during sexological bodywork, where there is no agenda other than to move according to what your body feels like doing. It is pretty much like dancing at a club, not knowing what song is coming up next, except you were doing so not to show off, draw attention to yourself, or attract a prospective romantic or sexual partner, but for the sheer joy of movement, the joy of being alive even. I should not have been, but I was surprised when I could not find any in Singapore.
I was contemplating starting my own movement class more so for my own benefit than anything else, when I stumbled upon the 5 Rhythms sessions at The Substation. I had heard about 5 Rhythms from my fellow course mate, Steven, and was ecstatic about the find. However, the first class I could attend was Tuesday 10 January the next year (this was in December when I first enquired). I jostled and managed to get three of my friends to attend my first 5 Rhythms session with me, and we all loved it! By the end of the session, each of us got what we wanted from the session: our comfort with our bodies expanded considerably.
Now, I recommend it to everyone I know! All too often, I come across individuals who are so caught up in their work that they are very much stuck “in their heads”, where their only connection with their bodies is what goes on mentally. There is no fluidity in their movement and step. Their body is hunched as if the weight of the world is on their shoulder. Worse still, their breath is shallow and laboured. Because this has become an unconscious way of living, they are unaware of the tension stored in their bodies, and massages can only do so much. Just how does one actively “return to his or her body”, and enjoy being in their skin? When will they realise that their connection to their body has everything to do with being able to be open to feeling greater sensation, experiencing stronger pleasure and feeling more intense orgasms during sex?
First, the awareness and recognition that you (all of us do) need to reconnect with your body must be present. Next is the desire and willingness to be open, to try something new, be it a breath or movement class. And hopefully when you do feel better and recognise that there is definitive progress you will continue to keep up with the practice of being in touch with your body, not just your mind.
Your body takes care of you. Who takes care of your body? To enjoy your body, beginning to move your body without agenda is one possibility.
Dr Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com.