Forrest Yoga and Intentions: Pleasure

The first thing I noticed that really deepened my practice was this idea of setting an intention at the beginning, and working every moment and pose in line with that intention.

We have all had difference experiences in our lives, and it has been through these intentions that I have really begun to explore what lies deep inside- what truths I hold within my own cell tissue- and what beliefs I hold within my body, that ironically DO NOT hold true for me.

One of the truths I firmly cemented into my body over the years was this ridiculous idea that pleasure is bad- that if something feels good I should not indulge. This has been instilled in me while growing up through religious teachings, school, elders and what my parents’ parents’ parents’ were taught and came to believe.

I attach an incredible amount of shame to pleasure: an obvious but rather taboo example would be when watching a movie with the family, and a sex scene comes on, the immediate reaction is to switch channels or cover your child’s eyes. The message this sends is that sex is taboo, ‘naughty’, ‘bad’, and that this kind of pleasure is shameful.

Pleasure around food is another one: there are new fad diets every year, and every magazine cover fills you with shame telling you “you are fat, you are not good enough”.

In addition, nowadays meals are bought pre-packaged, for our convenience in our very busy lives. We take very little pleasure in growing our own nutritious and unsprayed greens, or supported the local farmers at the market and buying organically. ¬†There is so much pleasure in picking your own crop, washing it under cold water, feeling the texture and soaking up the rich smells of whatever you are making. It’s hands on, it’s healing and its pleasurable! There is no guilt attached when eating in this way! And there shouldn’t be: the body needs fuel. Good fuel!

Eating SHOULD FEEL GOOD. That’s what nourishment is.

These are two big false beliefs that I have been working with, and I have been using Forrest yoga and ceremony to do it.  For me, one of the yummiest ways to invite pleasure into the body is through the hips, and through breathing nourishing ujjaji breath. I add the things that immediately send warmth and goosebumps through my body- music, nature, the sounds of birds or running water, rain, a warm bath, being in water, cinnamon, the smell of frankincense or cederwood. These all bring me pleasure.

It sounds crazy, but it took me FOREVER to know how to make myself feel good in a healing and nourishing way.

Pleasure is GOOOOOOD. That’s why is feels good!

So do something today that feeds and pleasures your body and spirit! And maybe tomorrow, repeat.

For we all deserve pleasure in our lives.