“When I am in the water my soul is at peace” says the Aqua-balancing practitioner, “It is the time when I feel normal”.
When I got into the pool I was really surprised how warm it was. Almost body temperature, best for aqua-balancing, with lots of space to splash about. The practitioner gave me an underwater shirt so I would not get cold on those bits out of the water in the wind and the rain.
After the usual questions regarding any problems in my body or with going underwater, the practitioner took me in her arms, my feet came off the bottom, and I let go.
At first she moved me about in the water, stretching me this way and that, then massaging the various parts of me that weren’t letting go, wordlessly encouraging me to just surrender to the delicious sensation of being held and guided through the water.
Very quickly I was ‘gone’, and could feel myself sinking ‘in’ further and further. It is amazing having work done on you when you are virtually weightless, and I could feel my whole body opening and relaxing by the minute.
After some time, the practitioner asked me how I felt about having my head underwater, and then upon the agreed signal, took me under. Wow, that was amazing.
With the underwater speakers playing it felt like being in “The Big Blue”, and I loved it, though it took me a few goes to get the right balance between holding my breath and breathing out.
The practitioner would only take me under for moments at a time, and when on the odd occasion I panicked, due to holding my breath, she was right there and brought me out fast. I found it easy to be under when I let the breath out, but found that the air bubbles were a disturbance to the silence.
The practitioner later said that being underwater often brings up fears, of death, of being out of control and trust issues. It is different to swimming underwater. Again and again I made the signal that I was ready to go under again, really loving the sensory bubble that being underwater provides.
Quite amazing really how such a simple thing can show you so much.
After what felt like ages the practitioner brought me up to a more vertical position, helping me get used to weightbearing again. I felt very vulnerable, very touched by the spaces I had entered and been held in.
I was really relaxed, and so just hung out in the pool for some time before getting out. Yum, that was gorgeous.
Written by Mark O’Brien for the “Session of the Month’, Here & Now magazine 1999-2005
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