An Ashram and a Sex coach

woman dancing
Self, Sex

Sex is spiritual too, you know

I prefer the path of enlightenment through my sexuality than the seemingly dull and A-sexual ashram life I experienced.

I get it; the Ashram in South East India, a spiritual community and place of worship of the Divine, was a place where people came to find hope when all seemed lost. There was no energy for sensuality, sexuality or passion.

Let's get one thing straight, when I talk about sexuality, I don't mean the act of just having sex with someone. You can be full of sexual-ness, life-force, creative passion and not have sex. Sexuality is about your relationship to your own sexual energy, or your relationship to sexual energy in general. Do you allow it to be there between you and another person, without needing to make it mean you should have sex (or get married!)? Can you let yourself feel desire, lust, passion, turn on, just because you are alive and it's as natural as giving birth and breast-feeding a newborn? Are you giving yourself permission to feel pleasure in your body and that splendor that comes with the curve of your womanly thighs or the nape of your neck? This is all sexuality, and healthy sexuality at that.

And in the ashram... well, it didn't have an ounce of it. Head to toe white baggy "spiritual" attire, pale faces and sullen eyes, it even felt abnormal to smile in this environment. When the chanting and Kirtan (a call and response style of singing with the Guru and other leaders on stage) was happening, hundreds of slow bodies filled the auditorium and voices mumbled through the hymns. The words were filled with praise to the Mother (Goddess), which I loved, but followed by a kind of hopelessness of how wretched we are on our own and how death is coming.

This is how the whole ashram felt to me.

I felt like shouting out, "Hey! Wake up! You're not dead yet, life is here!"

I'm sure there were a few souls there, mostly passers by, that had a desire for life and the delicious, dirty deed (yes now I'm talking about sex!). I met and had conversations with a few of them; they had a certain spark that the dedicated ashram dwellers didn't embody. They always asked the question "So, what do you think of this place?" with a slightly raised eyebrow and a tone of curiosity...

"It's interesting." I replied to a 60 year old woman from England.

She cackled out loud, "’Interesting’ is a good way to put it, yeah!"

She leant in so the faithful ones couldn't hear, "Between you and me" she whispered, "I need to dance...There ain't no dancing or laughter here."

Ha! Now I let out a laugh that seemed out of place in a seemingly laugh-less space. "I know exactly what you mean."

On the day I was leaving I found a dance class taught by one of the ashram members. Perfect, I thought, we can move and shake a bit before we are in a car ride for 4 hours. Danny, a predictable white gay dancer from NYC led the class of 10 women. He was pretty open and blasé about the whole thing, "If you need to just do your own thing at any point that's totally ok, feel free to freestyle or stretch more. We're going to learn this choreography and then we'll do some other stuff at the end. First were going to chant to the Guru because she asked for me to teach this class so we should pay respect."

The choreography was something out of a teenybopper film clip complete with sweeping rainbow hand gestures and the classic step-together-turn and clap move. It was definitely G rated dancing. One of the final exercises was the “witness dance”, where half the room dances and half of the room witnesses, then you swap. This is an exercise I love and employ in some of my workshops, though taking it a step further for intimacy purposes, I have one woman dancing and being witnessed alone to a full song. I chose to witness first while my friend and a couple of the other women danced. I observed that though many were free in their expression (one seemed to be a trained contemporary dancer), none of them moved from their hips or sexual center, except of course my friend who is a fellow conscious sexuality coach.

When it was my turn to be witnessed I began to turn my hips, I love to dance through the chakras (developmental systems in the body), always starting with the root and sacral centers and moving up to the heart and higher centers and then looping the energy back down. In the spiritual community the lower chakras are often ignored and deemed as "lower" in a negative way. We want to live in the transcendental and "pure" realms, but we don't want to feel or deal with the stuff at the beginning...survival, money, sex, jealousy, fear, family, and trauma. We judge the higher states as better and the lower, more embodied and Earthy realm as something to be, well, transcended.

Indeed, that is all part of the path; to "enlighten", to move upwards and outwards like the reaching, expanding arms of a tree to the heavens. But if we don't develop and deal with our roots we will have nothing to stand on, we will become numb, disassociated, disembodied and will not be a grand tall tree firmly planted and able to aim high. Instead, we will be a tumbleweed in the wind, tossed about by life, our emotions and our fearful projections.

You gotta come back down to earth in order to reach up high to the heavens; over and over again.

Let yourself feel and come from your power place. It's about coming back to reality; that we have desires and that sexuality is spiritual too. Let yourself explore many kinds of spiritual paths, ideas and philosophies, but always come back down to the ground, where your creative power lives.

I witness a passion for being alive in those who embrace their desires and their sensuality.

Everything in moderation, and if you are not practicing moving those desires and lustful feelings up the chakra chain, then it's possible you could be playing it small with addiction, control, unruly fears, jealousy, anger and an excess focus on the material world too.   

But, Oh God; your pleasure and passion be a path to healing and enlightenment if that's what you seek!

As the sensual song of Marvin Grey goes,

"And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing, oh baby
Makes me feel so fine

Helps to relieve my mind
Sexual healing baby, is good for me
Sexual healing is something that's good for us!

Wake up, wake up wake up!”

Contact Lillie Claire Love for a free 20min phone /skype consultation to support you on your own sensual empowerment journey! Or check out her free Sensual Self Love Videos here!