Ripping into the Orange

Recently, I traveled to Tulum to do some yoga.
 
Yoga is everywhere in Tulum-from ‘Wine and Chocolate‘ yoga classes to Aura Readings to the popular ‘Bikini Bootcamp‘ which includes runs down the beach and low-cal, Gluten-free meals.
 
I attended two of these retreats and, luckily for me, found something quite different in the final one.
 
At the beautiful Utopia Tulum, I attended a retreat on the Chakras that included twice a day yoga on the gorgeous yoga deck which overlooks the ocean both at sunrise and sunset.  
Knowing the teachers-Christina and Monica-I expected something different from the typical hard-body yoga retreat with restricted meals, strict schedules, early bedtimes and solid regimen.
 
MonicaMonica is a Kundalini yoga teacher who is also a healer and Indigenous Medicine Woman who weaves in dance and ancient tribal  ceremony into her practice.  She’s also a bad ass who was raised in Santa Fe, NM around Cholos driving lowriders -so she’s a Goddess with an edge.
 
For our Sacral (Svadisthana) chakra-colored orange-she tapped into the sense of pleasure and the water element of this energy channel.  
 
After a practice focusing on groin and hip openers and tapping into the feminine power of sensitivity and surrender- she brought us into a circle and brought a bowl full of oranges (the color associated with this chakra).
 
Then, she asked us to pick an orange, smell it then tear into it.  She asked us to eat the orange sensually, in full awareness of it’s texture, sweetness and juiciness.  
 
Suddenly, we all started ripping into our oranges-tearing at them with our nails and our teeth.  She encouraged us to allow the juice to drip down, to get messy, to devour it like animals.
 
Then, after we’d finished our oranges-we stood in a circle and started to dance.  Not booty shaking dance but tribal dance- foot Utopia2stomping, pelvic thrusting, hands in the air in celebration of the feminine qualities of openness and relaxation.
 
We went out afterwards eating and dancing and yes, drinking Mexcal, and celebrated life!
 
Tulum is a powerful, sensual place that embodies the power and fluidity of the feminine.  I’m glad I found a yoga retreat there that allowed me to drop the masculine, goal oriented persona that defines my American life and find a place of sensuality and grace.
 
Also-I found this poem in a Bhakti poetry book there written in the 13th century by a low-caste Hindu named Janabai who refused to cover her hair and would go into the marketplace and play music.  She rejected habits that restricted women and believed in the passion and celebration of bhakti:

“Cast off all shame, and sell yourself
in the marketplace; then alone

can you hope
to reach the Lord.

Cymbals in hand,
a veena upon my shoulder, I go about;
who dares to stop me?

The pallav of my sari falls away (A scandal!); yet will I enter
the crowded marketplace without a thought.

Jani says, My Lord I have become a slut to reach your home.

Lakshmi

3 thoughts on “Ripping into the Orange

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