Under The Duvet - Extract
I might have looked like I was just prancing around a room with ten others, but what I was actually doing was, “Activating Kundalini energy flow in my body, creating a safe, sacred space for healing sexuality.” So now for you.
Tuesday night, Temple Bar, SynergyDance - I had no idea what to expect. Speaking to the teacher, Danielle beforehand, she talked of Tantric energy and using dance to release sexuality and bring heightened awareness to mind, body and spirit.
Because of the activating sexuality bit I’d brought Himself, a man who has no time whatsoever for anything even vaguely New Age. He pleaded to be absolved from going, but all I could say was, “You either come with me, or you accept that I may not be responsible for my actions on the bus home.” He came with me.
Riddled with preconception as I am, I had expected the class to be full of outré characters. Au contraire, dear reader. It was an abject lesson in humility. They weren’t part of the crochet-your-own-yoghurt crew, they were perfectly normal looking women (and one man.) Not only that but they were all slim and attractive - something must be doing them good. To try to find out more about the class I buttonholed one pupil, a woman with the down-to-earth friendliness of an off-duty nurse. “It’s great fun,” she told me, “especially the dancing in the second part. You can let go and make a right fool of yourself.”
Then Danielle arrived - and my God, what a babe. She was slender and beautiful and completely relaxed with her body. (Although if my stomach was that flat and my legs that toned, I’d be completely relaxed with my body too, I thought enviously.)
The first hour of the two-hour class involved lying on mats on the floor for a yoga-type visualisation. It was actually wonderful. Danielle talked us through a relaxation process starting from our heads and working right down our bodies. The language was lyrical and mystical - much talk of energy, third eyes and golden light radiating from our hearts. When she exhorted us to feel the heat in our base chakra, Himself leant over to me and hissed, “Where’s my base chakra.”
“Your bum,” I whispered back.
It was blissful and not even the tinkle and clatter of the restaurant kitchen over the road could impinge. “Pass us up dem plates dere, Keith,” a disembodied voice ordered, and I simply snuggled deeper into the golden light.
But then things took a turn for the uninhibited. To release anger and frustration suddenly we were pounding the floor and ululating like recently bereaved Algerians. Well, everyone else was. I wasn’t bad at the floor-pounding, but let myself down badly at the ululating. Next we were shoving out our leg like we were kicking a door down in Starsky and Hutch. “Out!” we shouted at the tops of our voices. “Out! Out!” The regulars were doing it without a trace of self-consciousness. I got as far as mouthing the word but my up-tightness wouldn’t let me actually articulate it.
I was aware too of the silence emanating from Himself beside me. I couldn’t, just couldn’t look at him, then by accident my eye snagged his and we exchanged a flash of mortification so searing that it was almost visible.
And then came The Dancing.
This was the bit I’d been dreading. I am Irish, therefore I am inhibited. I don’t even like the bit at Mass where we have to exchange the sign of peace with the person beside us so the thought of ‘expressing’ myself through free-form movement made me break out in a sweat. What if someone saw me?
We began by ‘being’ orang-utans, moved on to picking imaginary berries, then discarding them and I have to admit to enduring one of the worst twenty minutes of my life. Woodenly, miserably I shoved my lumpish, unrhythmic body around the room. On every rotation we passed the clock and I silently begged it to hurry up.
Next we moved on to dancing like the elements, beginning with fire.
“Sparkle like a flame,” Danielle called, waving her arms in a manner that could only be described as flame-like.
I wondered if this was what was going to end my marriage, but to my great surprise when I snuck a look at Himself, he was making like a flame like there was no tomorrow. All the others were giving it loads as well.
“Stay grounded,” Danielle said anxiously, and her concern wasn’t misplaced because seconds later one of the Flames (my husband) went careening into the stereo. He didn’t even miss a beat and next minute he was dipping and flowing like a river. (We’d moved on to water.)
Mid-prance we passed each other. He twinkled wickedly at me and grinned, “Do you feel like a shag?”
“No,” I replied, “I feel like an eejit.”