Mind, Body, Spirit, Sex and the Senses!

Sarah Shivani Williams loved every minute of Sarita workshop at the Mind Body Spirit festival, from joining polarities, dancing sex and spirit and awakening the senses…..
I thought twice about travelling up from Bristol to the Mind Body Spirit festival in London. I wanted to go but work had been pretty intense over the past few weeks and my energy levels were definitely flagging. But I wanted to do the Tantra workshop, and all work and no play and all that…
Sarita began by explaining that Tantra works with uniting opposites, and that we can see these polarities not as separate qualities, but more like the two banks of a river where they seem opposite but underneath the water they are one. I’ve struggled for years to reconcile the two different people that live inside of me – the wild, crazy, loud party animal and the much more quiet, insular and reflective self. Since discovering Osho’s work, I’ve been better able to accept all aspects of my personality and working with Tantra is happily reinforcing that for me. Tantra also teaches that the unity of sex and spirit produces a powerful energy for transformation and that there is no right and wrong, just opportunities for growth. I like this lack of judgement.
The faces of the group revealed eager anticipation from some and nervous trepidation from others – just what had they let themselves in for? To break down any barriers we were invited to dance individually from our sexual centres, connecting with that raw, potent, creative energy. Then as the music dipped to a slower, softer sound, Sarita encouraged us to dance from our spiritual centres and connect with source energy.
Next we performed the same exercise – dancing from our wild and passionate sides and then softly, meeting our partner’s gaze and connecting with their essence, changing partners as we moved around the room. After dancing with those dichotomies I already felt more alive with energy zinging around my body.
In pairs we were then led into the meditation of the five senses. This began with the male partner lying down and being blindfolded. To stimulate his sense of smell, the women wafted tissues under his nose that had been impregnated with different aromatherapy oils.
Taste was the next sense to be kindled as we fed our partners slices of apple sensuously and with great sensitivity. Sarita suggested that the guys explore their sense of taste by connecting with the tree the apple grew on, the orchard it stood in and the sunlight that gave it precious energy to grow. We are connected to everything and everybody on this Earth but we rarely stop and give ourselves time to appreciate these connections.
Playing with sound, the female partners were invited to hum, sing or whisper in our partner’s ear. I found this the hardest to do as I didn’t have any poems memorised or lines rehearsed. But looking inside my heart I found the words to say. Exploring touch we softly stroked hair and bodies from head to foot, from heaven to earth. And on removing our partner’s blindfolds we inspired their sense of sight by dancing for him like Shakti dancing for Shiva. I enjoyed this part the most as my body’s desire to move had been re-awakened by the dancing earlier, and there’s nothing like a seductive snaking of hips to bring out the goddess in me.

Me and my friend Loan at the MBS Fayre

On switching roles, I was surprised at just how much stronger each sense became when I tuned into them. Skin was much more sensitive to touch when sight was “out of sight”. And I really could taste the sweet rain that watered the apple tree.
I had to duck out of the workshop early in order to catch my bus back to Bristol but I left there feeling so much more juicy and alive. This valuable playtime was the perfect antidote to too much work lately and I wouldn’t want to be accused of being a dull girl now would I?
Shivani Sarah Fox
Shivani’s weekly radio show, Vivacity, is broadcast on Wednesday’s at midday on BCFM 93.2 in Bristol. Tune in or go online to listen and podcasts are downloadable a few hours after the show.
Check out Shivani’s blog.

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