WHY YOUR BODY IS CRAVING THE HEALING POWER OF TOUCH

In a world where we’re starved of genuine connection, Kumi Sawyers is a passionate advocate for the healing power of touch … Intro by Ruby Warrington.

A few months back, I had a “High Times Massage” with Kumi Sawyers, an NYC body-worker and yogini who’s work I’d be following for a while. Kumi uses a CBD massage oil in her sessions, and it’s fair to say I was feeling literally zero pain (or even all the edges of my being) when I floated off her table. But it wasn’t just the cannabinoids.

Kumi is a natural born healer; there is magic in her hands. And she believe the missing piece in many a wellness journey, is that we all need to be touched. When we sat down for her to tell me more about this, here’s what she had to say:

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“A client will come to me and say, ‘I have this pain that doesn’t go away. I’m doing yoga and I’m seeing this physical therapist. I have my acupuncturist, I have my healer. I eat this and I eat that, and I’m doing all these things, but I’m still in so much pain.’ And it’s because there is blocked energy in their body.

All healing modalities talk about it, just with different names. Kundalini, Shakti, whatever you want to call it, it’s this energy that gets trapped. And it doesn’t matter what you eat. It doesn’t matter whether or not you talk about it with your therapist. You have to move the energy around. You have to recognize it, you have to feel it, and you have to associate with it as part of your body. It has to become alive, it has to join you. As soon as we connect to this, is when things begin to transform. To become beautiful, and vibrant, and alive, and abundant.

And the touch of another human hand is often the catalyst for this.

Touch is extremely powerful. There are even studies that show how what’s called ‘touch deprivation’ stops babies from growing and developing properly. I know that when I feel anxious, in order for me to calm down I need someone to hold me. Just hold me for a second. And yet we live in a world where people are afraid of touch. Where loving touch it is reserved for romantic partners; and in other situations, it can create a closeness we do not feel comfortable with.

People are choosing to rely on this false sense of connection instead. We think that because we’re friends on Instagram, it means that I care for you. But it doesn’t mean anything. It is a beautiful thing to feel connected to all these people, but the reality is we’re not. At the end of the day, we can go home and still feel very alone.

It should actually be: ‘I care for you because I show up for you. And when I see you I put my hand on you, and I listen to you, and I support you, no matter what.’ This is the currency, this is the energy exchange, that’s really healing and important in our development as human beings. Physical affection isn’t only sexual. Touch is another way of feeling. Of going beyond the superficial, and dropping down into the deep layers. Yet so many people are afraid to feel, and much of my work is to guide people comfortably into the depths.

Often people show up to my table very armored, guarded. The reason they can’t feel what’s going on in their bodies is because they don’t want to. To then come to me and to lie naked on my table and let me touch them, that is real vulnerability, real trust. And not everyone is ready for it, right away.

So I have to work with the nervous system. I have to prepare the body. I have to let them trust me, which means using really firm, but soft and consistent contact. To allow my touch to say to them, ‘I am here.’ And then slowly the body softens. And then people will let me in, and I can do the deeper work.

If I try to force my way, the body will just lock up. And then they’ll feel sore and agitated, and it’s a bad experience for everyone. The way you work with the body is the way you work with people. It’s the way that you work with your personal relationships. You can’t ever force somebody to be in a place where they’re not ready. There is a way of just being with people where they are, and guiding them through whatever experience they’re having.

When I go into somebody’s body and they’re like, ‘it’s too much, it’s too much,’ I tell them that I understand. And I ask them to breathe with me. I tell them that the only way to move this out of their body is to move through it, and that as soon as we get through this, there will be an opening. To trust me.

And that’s life. I can’t think of one thing I’ve done in my life that’s been meaningful that didn’t mean going through some really intense initiations. Beginning with the birth canal. That’s the work, and you can take this work and you can apply it to anything. You can apply it to body work, and to relationships, to careers, to politics.

People will try to bypass it. Like, ‘actually let’s skip around that. I’m going to just turn right.’ And you can keep turning right, and you’re going to arrive at a place where you look at your life, and you are not fulfilled. Where you’re suffering physically because you’re holding all that energy inside your body. Where your body can no longer move. Where you’re retaining water, your joints are not fluid, your skin is most likely doing some weird shit. Where your relationships are empty. And it’s sad. I see so many people make these decisions, and all because they weren’t ready to do the deep, uncomfortable work.

Ultimately, everybody wants to feel love, to feel happiness. They just don’t want to feel the discomfort. But anybody who thinks they can live without turbulence, that’s just not how it goes. You actually want the bumps, because it shows you’re feeling more. To really feel deeply about something is a gift. You want the turbulence, because the scarier it gets, the closer you know you’re moving towards something really beautiful.”

Discover more about Kumi Sawyers and her work at Kumarawellness.com and follow her on Instagram @shadylawn.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: A NEW WORKING WARDROBE, AND THE REALITY OF TRUTH

Elevated living in my PJs, The Reality of Truth, and getting some supplies in for my Moon time…

PJs + Wild Child lipstick by Ila = my new working wardrobe

:: MONDAY ::
Still vibing off our Numinous Presents: Lead Your Own Moon Ceremony workshop, which was led by Deborah Hanekamp in NYC last Saturday. Having my moon in Cancer (the moon’s home sign) I’ve always felt especially attuned to her movements, which is one reason I’m always posting about what sign she’s moving through in our Instagram #moonscopes. But Deborah’s teachings brought a whole other level of awareness to how to use each Moon phase, PLUS all the proper protocols for hosting my own moon ceremony (for myself or others). Essential info – which is why we’re planning to bring the course to LA next month. Watch this space!

LA date in Feb 2016…TBD!

:: TUESDAY ::
Since I’ve mainly spent this month working towards my March 1 BOOK DEADLINE (out spring 2017 #savethedate), I’ve also been mainly spending all day every day in my PJs. And doing a bit of research for the chapter on beauty, I remembered this post on The Art of Sacred Adornment by Kitty Cavelier. She writes how: “When you rouge your lips, be aware that you are bringing red, the color of passion and power, to every word you speak. As you paint your fingernails, remember that every stroke of the polish is a prayer of adornment for all the magic your hands create every day.” So the PJs can stay, but I’ll be adding some lipstick and polish from here on in (see main pic!)

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Dinner with my friends Ian and Drita, who recently moved down to Costa Rica to help open a high-end shamanic healing retreat called Rythmia. Needless to say I’ll be heading down to check it out later this year, and in the meantime I’ll be watching The Reality of Truth – a documentary exploring how people, groups and entire cultures tap into an alternative, “true reality” through spirituality, meditation, and psychedelics. Featuring ALL the great Now Age speakers, you can win a $10,000 retreat at Rythmia when you buy a copy.

:: THURSDAY ::
Ah, the magic of manifestation. While we were trying to engineer a move from London to NYC, I’d been making my husband (a.k.a. The Pisces) a morning cup of tea in an “I <3 NY” mug every day for like 18 months. Once the Universe heard and gifted him with a transfer to the Manhattan office of his firm, we told our friends Catherine and James about this, who were like: “oh we’d quite like to live in New York too.” So we gave them the mug for them to try their luck…and they’re only only moving to NY next month!! They’re here looking at apartments this week. As for the Pisces and I? We’ve moved on to an “I <3 LA” mug…

:: FRIDAY ::
Placed an order with Kerrilynn at CAP Beauty for some Moon Juice snacks, which they began stocking this month. The thing about getting to know my personal moon cycles better (i.e. properly tracking and working to regulate my period) is that I know when I’ll be PMS’ing. And with the book deadline not exactly going anywhere, I figured a supply of my fave Chocolate Chaga Donuts and Rose Geranium bars might come in handy in the days to come. Except they’d only sold out!! I’ll have to make do with the Mulberry Cacao Crunchers instead #sigh #fristworldmaterialgirlproblems…

Moon Juice Chocolate Chaga Donuts, $8

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: S&M ACUPUNCTURE AND THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA

Yes…the perfect cup of tea! And plenty of other high-vibness, like Shopping for Syria and the period pants that went viral

:: MONDAY ::
As part of my ongoing research into “our periods as secret Goddess code” (both for myself personally, and for you as a chapter in MY BOOK – which will be out spring ’17 y’all!) I met Thinx founder Miki Agrawal – the kick-ass entrepreneur taking the taboo out of periods with her leak-proof period panties. Most lately with her kick-ass ad campaign that’s currently plastered all over the Bedford St L stop in Brooklyn. For part of the campaign (which went viral btw, after the MTA refused to run ads with the word “period” in them, WTF), Miki asked her customers to complete the phrase: “Thinx is…” One of my faves is in the picture below. Right on, sisters!

:: TUESDAY ::
I think I had the perfect cup of tea with my friends at CAP Beauty, the West Village high-vibe beauty boutique. As in, not only are the products they stock all natural and chemical free, they contain ingredients that actually contribute to your overall radiance – to which Cindy and Kerriynn, who I met while they were in the planning phases for the store, are the living, glowing testament. Anyway, this is the recipe for the tea they gave me: 1 x Lamill chai tea bag, 1/2 x tspn Sun Potion’s He Shou Wu, 1 x tspn coconut oil. Mix, or even better, blend. Life-changing.

Sun Potion He Shou Wu, $66, CAP Beauty

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Shout to my friend Kate for launching her Shop For Syria online auction – a frankly mind-blowing selection of donated gifts, profits from the sale of which will go to. Seriously, how many times when thinking about the holidays does the notion of actual “goodwill to all (wo)men” cross your mind. Yeah, thought so. So whatever Christmas shopping you had in mind, seriously check this out first: Shopforsyria.tumblr.com You can even bid for a personalized VM message from SIA!

:: THURSDAY ::
When your acupuncturist begins your session by asking if you’re familiar with the spiritual roots of S&M…you’re supposed to jump off the table, right? Or not. If you’re me, you pay close attention as she describes how allowing your body to just surrender to whatever sensations it’s experiencing, is actually the path to the most profound relaxation known to human tissue. And since my human tissue seriously needs to relax, I gave her the green flag to go deep. Yes it “hurt” (what’s in a label!) – but floated home in the kind of daze I get after a deep tissue massage. With an added acupuncture buzz. Surrender forever.

:: FRIDAY ::
So I spent a large part of last night texting with my friend about what practitioners and alternative therapies I thought she should try to tackle an issue she’s being faced with right now – and it really got me thinking about how much experience I’ve had in this area. At one point I even texted: “Lol – I’m like Google for healers!” I honestly love nothing better than coming up with this kind of high-vibe “prescription” – I once had a friend who put herself on what she called “Ruby’s Regime” when she wanted to sort her life out…and it totally worked! So what I wanna know it, could I help you in this way too? Answers below, as it’s a string I’m considering adding to my bow…

YOGA BEAUTY SECRETS WITH GURU JAGAT

Cold showers and the mysterious powers of the jade egg. Ruby Warrington gets a lesson in yoga beauty secrets from Guru Jagat

If you read our previous interview with cosmic kundalini yoga powerhouse Guru Jagat, you’ll be aware that thia is a woman who does not mince her words. And seeing as telling things like they are is in the DNA of all things Numinous (you gotta get real to get healed, right?) it’s no wonder she’s become something of an iconic figure among the Numinati.

So was I psyched to join her for an 8am session on Yogic Beauty Secrets at holistic haven CAP Beauty in NYC last week? Let’s just say the cosmos would have had to pull some seriously gnarly s*** to stop me being there – despite the scheduling conflict with my usual morning snuggle time with the husb.

And boy did she not disappoint. I think the reason Guru Jagat’s teachings are resonating so strongly right now, is that she has a unique way of taking ancient spiritual wisdom and packaging it up in a way that feels totally relevant for now – as in the Now Age, baby!

Over kale, avocado, cantaloupe and black pepper smoothies from Gingersnap’s Organic, we learned things like the benefits of a yoghurt bath (just add a handful of organic live yoghurt to the water as an external probiotic), and how the quality of your vaginal walls is reflected in the lines on your face – for realz! Also the reason why Guru Jagat recommends all women take to using a jade egg for “toning” purposes…

Intrigued? Here Guru Jagat shares more yoga beauty secrets from her guru, kudalini yoga founder Yogi Bhajan, as detailed in his series The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan.

Guru Jagat at CAP Beauty last week

:: WAKE-UP ROUTINE ::
Wake-up gently, cupping the hands over the eyes and then opening the eyes and slowly moving the hands away. Before getting out of bed each morning massage the ovaries for about five minutes and the breasts and the area around the breasts for another five minutes. This provides proper circulation.

:: 3 DAILY TIPS FOR WOMEN ::
1. To be beautiful, slim and full of energy, women must vigorously exercise each day – until there is sweat on the brow. (This is imperative during menopause!)
2. Life nerve stretch – to be performed daily. Sit down with your legs extended. Reach for your toes and bend forward with straight legs, bringing your nose between your knees; your elbows should touch the floor. As long as a woman maintains this standard of the pose, she will stay young. As you get older the third vertebra shrinks; this exercise stretches the spine at the third vertebra keeping you flexible and strong.
3. A woman should nap 11 minutes, twice a day.

:: 10 NUTRITIONAL TIPS FOR WOMEN ::
1. Substitute lemon for salt
2. Detox with green chilli: no poisons will build up in the intestines.
3. Meditation aid and improving memory: two bananas a day with lemon juice
4. P-fruits in general are good for a woman, especially: peaches, plums, papaya, pears, persimmons, prunes
5. For the glandular system, The Turnip Diet: Steam white turnips, mash them and add almond oil, turmeric, lemon and pepper. Must be a monodiet. You may also use the turnip greens.
6. Internal cosmetic: Turmeric is most healing
7. Liver cleansing: Beets steamed whole and then peeled. Can be eaten with a little yogurt and one glass of orange juice in the morning.
8. Nerves: celery juice
9. Stomach and intestinal tract cleanser: Finely chopped orange peel, sautéed in olive oil, mixed with turmeric paste (cooked in water)
10. Water retention (bloating): Cucumber juice and lemons

:: SUGAR – THE ENEMY OF A WOMAN’S YOUTH ::
“Fructose, sucrose, whatever you want to call it, is the enemy of a woman’s youth. When I see you eating cake, ice cream, cookies and chocolate this and chocolate that, and then you say, “No, no, it’s honey, not sugar,” it doesn’t bother me. But I know that the shine in you, the shine of a woman, is going to be lost. There is only one enemy of the woman— and that is sweetness in any shape or form. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it makes you look old.”

That glow, which a woman produces because of her hormones, is gone. Watch how politely you are hooked to sugar. Watch very clearly and understand it. Go for one week on a diet free of all sorts of sugar. Notice the change; you will be shocked. You don’t have to bring heavens to the Earth. Simply understand that there are certain things that don’t suit you.” – Yogi Bhajan, summer 1983

:: THE PERFECT BREAKFAST DRINK FOR WOMEN ::
Yogi Bhajan said that women, especially over the age of 28, should begin supplementing their diet with high quality, cold-pressed oils, first thing in the morning: two tablespoons of almond, sesame or olive oil, combined or alone, along with a tablespoon or two of ground flax seed every day.

If these oils are taken at night, they act as a laxative. Taken together or used by themselves,they lower cholesterol, reduce fat in the body, keep the skin healthy, reduce hunger, cleanse the body of toxins and are excellent sources of protein. In addition, 2-3 tablespoons of water soluble liquid chlorophyll in a glass of water daily is really helpful to the large intestines.

Here’s a perfect nutritious breakfast drink for women, rich in potassium, iron, oils and the alkaline qualities of chlorophyll. This drink provides a woman with the necessary daily doses of sesame or almond oil which nurtures her skin and hair, chlorophyll as an internal cleanser, and rice bran syrup which supports the nervous system.
1 ripe banana
8 ounces (250 ml) orange juice
1 Tablespoon (20 ml) liquid chlorophyll
2 Teaspoons Rice Bran Syrup
2 Teaspoons cold-pressed almond or sesame oil
Blend well until frothy.

:: WOMEN AND COLD SHOWERS ::
Showers should be cold. Cold showers preserve a woman as a woman; they correct
imbalanced menstruation, prevent early menopause, skin problems and they help her to
keep her glow.

11 benefits of Cold Showers:
1. Bring blood to the capillaries
2. Cleanse the circulatory system
3. Reduce blood pressure on internal organs, flushing internal organs and giving them a new supply of blood
4. Strengthen the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
5. Contract the muscles and cause them to eliminate toxins and poisons more quickly
6. Bring the power of resistance and resilience to the body
7. Strengthen the mucous membranes
8. Keep the skin young and shining
9. Prevent the body from developing an extra layer of fat, which affects the liver
10. Balance all the glands
11. Circulation and nerve problems can be prevented by regular cold showers.

Note: When menstruating, women should not take a cold shower. A woman is advised to take showers with lukewarm water during the menstrual cycle.

Instructions
Always precede cold showers with a massage of almond oil or olive oil. Be sure to massage the breasts, too.

It is recommended that a woman wear undershorts that cover her thighs while she is in the shower. This protects the sex nerve and the femur (thigh bone) from the sudden changes in temperature. (The femur regulates the production of calcium in the body and is very sensitive to temperature.)

After the massage, step into the shower. Let the cold water strike your body while you briskly massage the water into the skin. Move! Chant Sat Nam Wahe Guru! You should not stand continuously under a cold shower, nor should you do Breath of Fire to keep yourself warm. Instead, rub the skin vigorously.

Then step out of the water and continue to massage the skin. Then step back in, and be sure to stand under the spray and allow the breasts to be massaged by the water; continue massaging your entire body, step out again and repeat this process three or four times until you feel warm—even though the water is still cold. This will show the capillaries have opened up and are bringing blood to the surface of the skin.

When finished, dry yourself briskly with a towel. Of course, the ideal is a daily cold shower (ishnan), but Yogi Bhajan later encourages women to do it at least once a week—as a minimum requirement.

Have you been following any of Yogi Bhajan’s beauty tips? Share your stories with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Find out more about Guru Jagat and her Ra Ma Institute here