Please welcome the bodacious Beandrea to the Owl Dance and Moon blog! I asked this visionary/this sister of my soul to speak to the topic of “bodypleasure.” Stay tuned, as soon I’ll be talking about ec(o)stasy and its deliciously disruptive potential, as I see it…or, as Beandrea said so succulently, the “triune nectar” of “creativity, sexuality, and spirituality.”
It’s all about the hips
by Beandrea Terese Davis
One of my most vivid memories at a silent meditation retreat was of a woman’s hips. I sat on the aisle where the teachers walked to the front platform at the beginning of each 30-minute sitting period. One of the meditation teachers, a midwife from Canada, wore knee-length skirts and stockings each day. I couldn’t take my eyes off her hips as she walked past me down the aisle. She let them sway widely emitting a regal presence in the way she quietly strutted. I could hear the give in her stockings switch as she walked jovially towards the Buddha statue and bowed at her cushion.
There is juiciness in exploring the hips – the full pelvic tilt, side-to-side, front to back, in circles upon circles. When I am connected to my hips I feel connected to the Life Force within me.
In my Black woman-owned preschool my favorite teacher was Mrs. Donna. She led us in a dance every afternoon before naptime. The way she swayed her hips from side to side with her head leaning back and her hands in fists as her side filled me with delight. She moved with such passion. Instead of sleeping during naptime, I laid on my cot staring at the ceiling still entranced by Mrs. Donna’s hips as I heard the teachers watching As the World Turns in the lounge.
I hated practicing walking meditation for a year and then during my third silent meditation retreat it clicked in my head: “walking is all about the hips.” From then on I was hooked. As I lifted and lowered my feet in a slow, deliberate pace across the length of a room with white walls, I saw that the legs and the torso are actually extensions of the hips. I felt how the body’s movement is rooted in the pelvis, the anatomical and energetic center of the human structure.
Since May I have felt overly slugglish and constantly tired and have gained a dress size. Throughout my life whenever I have had a new medical doctor, she would take one look at my “prominent neck” and order a battery of thyroid tests. These tests would then come back from the lab showing nothing to be out of the ordinary with the doctor staring intently at my goiter-like neck in disbelief. An herbalist whose wisdom I value gave me an herb called Ashwaganda. She told me thyroid dysfunction is “an epidemic” in the USA and is often sub-clinical, meaning it doesn’t show up on traditional tests.
But at the same time as it feels like someone is sitting on my head, I can feel a soothing warm sensation in my hands and feet. I can feel the warmth of my skin inside a red bathrobe I bought from Sears. I feel light currents of cool air against my bare legs and my feet warm and protected inside purple slippers bought on the same day as the red robe.
Embodiment is one of the most delicious pleasures I know. When I’m walking I feel my feet in my shoes, noticing the cushioning between my feet and the ground. When I’m on all fours doing hip circles, I feel the sensations spinning out from my pelvis. The pelvic bowl is the crucible of my creativity, my sexuality, my spirituality. This triune nectar holds my ability to make form out of the formless, to choose to flow with life’s waters.
Try this: Move your hips! Move them side-to-side, front to back and connect those movements by making circles. Notice how you feel as you move your body in this way.
Then take out pen, paper, and a timer and free write about your experience, keeping your hand moving the whole time. Here’s to a world full of juicy hips!
Beandrea is a writer and healer who takes a lot of deep breaths. Her writing has been published in several national magazines including: Yoga Journal, Science of Mind, and Utne. She blogs about living an authentic life she loves at www.joyfullybea.com and loves receiving affirmation and intriguing inquiries.
Copyright 2009. Beandrea Terese Davis. Please check with author (firstname.lastname@example.org) before reprinting.
[I also recommend her piece, “Re-membering Pangaea :: the healing power of touch,” –scroll down to her April 22, 2009 blog post.]