Last night, a friend invited me to a Tantric Yoga class. I have done Yoga off and on for years, so I expected more of the same poses and chants.
I could not have been MORE wrong!
This class was not about holding the warrior pose, and we never went anywhere near child pose or down facing dog.
This class was about coming in contact with other people...their hands, their gaze, their energy, their joy and their sadness.
And that is hard for me.
I have, over the past few years, learned to give and receive hugs. I have learned how to accept and give the two cheek kisses that are a part of the Middle Eastern culture. And I like them both...something that I never thought I would.
But this was far deeper. We had to walk, stand, sit, dance and move while looking into our partner's eyes. We had to maintain that gaze and intensity through laughter and tears, movement and stillness.
It was scary and hard....and incredible. When my partner cried, I felt her sadness...and my helplessness. When we danced, I had to focus on someone else and trust my body to move as I wanted it to without checking my reflection in the mirror. I had to dance alone in front of everyone, accept and return intense, direct gazes and namaste from complete strangers, and allow my eyes to speak for my soul as I opened up my own fears and weaknesses to people I met only minutes before.
It was exilerating, calming, challenging, frequently way outside my comfort zone, amazingly inspiring, and ocassionally rather uncomfortable.
I can't wait for the next meeting!