As I moved into the second half of my busy week at Rancho la Puerta the weather cooled down and it felt like autumn. It was a welcomed change for me as I am sometimes challenged to enter a 96 degree pool for hours when the air is plus or minus 100 degrees. This is high season at the Rancho and we do lots of Watsu and Aquatic Bodywork this time of year.
Guests love to receive Watsu when it's warm out because they get to exit the pool in comfort. I ended the week with my record total number of sessions, 29. That's huge for me! I did not partake in any extra curricular activities, and spent much time in self care... stretching, rolling on my tennis ball and magnetic roller, resting on my far infrared/negative ion amethyst crystal Biomat, receiving cranio sacral therapy, napping, eating well, replacing electrolytes and fluids, etc. It's the only way I'm able to make it through big weeks with much time in the water.
As I continue to learn and grow with every client and experience of facilitating aquatic bodywork, I'm always amazed at how absolutely different each session is. Every body is unique in its own ways. Some people glide through the water fluidly, and yet feel like they were stiff and holding back. Others hold on and are very stiff, yet feel like they've just relaxed more than ever. There is no telling what anyone will be like in the water, nor what they will experience while receiving Watsu. I have learned to be open to their experience, join and follow them through the water.
There has been an interesting shift in the pre-session dialogue I have with clients. About a year ago I started to suggest that folks visualize kelp waving in the currents, as a way to remind their bodies to be fluid during their session. All was fine and dandy until the other day when someone said, "Ew! No kelp. Where I live the lakes have seaweed and I hate stepping on it!" I asked what made her think of being fluid in the water... 'Mermaid'. So I started using the Mermaid analogy until it backfired... 'Really!?!" This other client preferred kelp, of course.
I don't know what possessed me to think that one analogy would work with every body. Now I ask each person what they think of when imagining fluid motion in water. Hello!
Take Rosy, below, for instance... I find her stunningly beautiful. Her movement is fluid and graceful, yet many people are afraid of snakes and find them ugly. When I took this photo she was slowly crawling right to me, and if I had not moved she would've crawled right between my feet. I stepped aside and let her move on in peace, admiring the way her body moved over the earth, wishing I could move with as much ease and flow.