In the previous article we talked about the main approach of Californian Massage: optimizing sensory awareness. Today we are going to focus on one of the essential aspects for this to be possible: the origin of the movement.
The hara, located a couple of fingers below the navel, constitutes the center of vital energy – there where we are connected to our mother during gestation – it constitutes the link to existence. A person present in this center feels safe, confident and courageous, because he or she is supported by life, rooted and in touch with his or her Self.
Osho spoke of the process of knowing hara as a journey to the center of being, a journey that begins with the body and moves down from the head to the heart, and from the heart to the hara.
If a person acts from the hara, he will move through life effortlessly, because the hara is the engine, it is where movement is born. The energy is there, you just have to listen to it and respect it, allowing yourself to be guided by the direction it takes. Without forcing, without going against the grain, without generating conflict.
One way to develop awareness of this energy point is to breathe deeply into the abdomen. Breathing superficially leads to or generates insecurity, nervousness, anxiety, emotions get out of control in this context, creating a lot of instability. That is why deep breathing and other exercises help to return to the center, to silence, serenity and vitality.
In Californian Massage, the movement arises from the hara, it does not begin or is not performed mechanically from the hands or arms, but from our center. The therapist works effortlessly by involving himself with his body in each pass.
This is greeted with a feeling of greater spaciousness and freedom. It helps to generate confidence, totally necessary to let go of the control of our body and give it to the masseuse/therapist, surrendering more and more to a deeper relaxation.
The therapist moving from a place of grounding can gradually increase the pressure, only shifting the weight of his body to the contact zone, in a gentle, attentive and respectful way with the rhythm and limit of the person. More intensity implies more breathing, and this is determined by the person, to what extent he/she can afford to open up at that moment. In this way, there is no pain to endure, as there is no strength and no resistance. It may “hurt” but it doesn’t become a struggle between you and the pain to see who can do more, rather it moves with compassion towards liberation.
This way of moving, without effort and without force, is as important for the one who receives it as for the one who gives it, since it avoids overloading and self-harm.
During the first part of the training, this is one of the key aspects to which most attention is paid, and the one that will accompany us throughout the learning process.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY MARIA LUCAS FOR VERDEMENTE MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2016.