‘Easy’

#261 November 26, 2009 “EASY”  

(an excerpt from Janeson Rayne’s daily writing practice)

Easy does it. At ease. With ease.

Sukha / Sthira, the principles of Ease and Steadiness, applied in Hatha Yoga. Steadiness without ease misses the mark, as does ease without steadiness. Together they form yet another yin / yang dichotomy to be observed and practised during asana and, also, in life.

The principles of Ease and Steadiness can apply to any situation. Finding yourself in trouble being where you’re being? Trade your SOS in for the S&S of Sukha/Sthira – and Ease and Steadiness prevail.

Ease keeps the breath–inspiration–flowing steady in the body, helping us feel a stronger sense of connection between body and mind. With conscious breath, we invite any activity that might otherwise live and whirl in the cerebral cortex forever to move on down into the heart centre – to integrate into and with the life centre, where the lungs move in and out with every inhalation and exhalation. Steadiness reminds us to breathe, while keeping a posture that is rooted, grounded, steady as well as dynamic, living, being.

We ‘make’ yoga, as the elder Hindu man in the Sari Palace on Gerrard St. East told me last week – and I found this to be an interesting perspective. In the west we often claim to DO yoga, however in reality it really does us.  When we make the postures and breathe into the shape –  cat, dog, table, eagle, headstand, plough – all of these shapes we enter into, aiming to do so with ease and steadiness, breathing deeply, looking for grace to prevail ~ mostly on our way out. Bringing the foot out of tree posture with grace is a wonderful example of ease and steadiness in motion.

The S & S of yoga, the S & S of life. Is it EASY, you ask, to embody Sukha and Sthira, to be easeful and steady?

Begin by noticing: do you hold your breathe, clench your teeth, tighten your shoulders, screw up your face on a regular basis without realizing it?

The point is, to begin.  You’ll find your own answers, and among them you’ll find that while this practice is not always easy, it is always Simple–and the best part is, you can start wherever you are, right now, and come back to it over and over again, whenever you choose.

Breathe … Flow … Come Back to Center.

Take a moment to appreciate that you *are* in a body ~ wherever else you happen to be in the world right now!

 

The Magic Banana® and that time of the month…

Just because it’s that time of the month, doesn’t mean the Magic Banana® needs to stay in the bed-side drawer.  In fact, it might be a better time than ever to break out your favorite yellow and black exploration companion.

 

As Dr. Laura Berman says on her blog – “sex while you are menstruating can help ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Many women say that orgasms can ease their cramps and the orgasmic contractions of the uterus offer a soothing internal massage. Also, orgasms release endorphins, natural painkillers and mood enhancers, which can help soothe the cramps, headaches, mild depression, and irritability sometimes associated with periods. Many women enjoy sex more when they are menstruating because of increased feelings of fullness in the pelvic and genital areas, which offer a head start on arousal.”

One great alternative during menstruation is to use the Magic Banana® in shower, to eleviate any concerns over mess.  Using the shower head to apply a relaxing steam of water outside, while massaging yourself inside with the loop of the Magic Banana® can be a fantastic combination to relieve the tension of cramps.

Beyond self-pleasuring, the Magic Banana® is a great tool for foreplay any day – but during your period, when you and your partner might be less excited by the idea of oral sex, the Magic Banana® can be a great way to warm up together.    I love an intense snogging session accompanied by a little Magic Banana® – whether it is controlled by me or by my partner.

I feel that I need to be thorough in mentioning that it is quite likely that the Magic Banana® will emerge accompanied by some menstrual ‘stuff’.  Nothing unusual of course – the typical body stuff that you find on a pad or tampon mid-period.  The Magic Banana® is a bit of a scoop ultimately – so it’s really handy at grabbing any loose material in there.  It’s also not unusual for some stray tampon fluff and the like to be harvested when using the Magic Banana® – which can only be a good thing, I reckon.

Any other discoveries, tips or tricks that you’ve found while using the Magic Banana® on (or close to the time of) your period?

_________________

J. H. – Magic Banana® Connoisseur 

 

Inner strength and happiness within

Inner strength is not always about ‘toning’ or ‘tightening’ – rather inner strength is sometimes about ‘letting go.’

The yogic way is to pay attention in the moment, to be present, and to become aware.

Maybe you need to become more familiar with yourself before you’ll know whether ‘letting go’ or ‘toning and strengthening’ is what you’re looking for?

Every pelvic floor is different and, just like the rest of your body, is like a dynamic living snapshot of what has come before. Positive sexual experiences, negative sexual experiences, child-birth, toxic shame, general anxiety – there are many reasons women hold tension in their pelvic floor.  And tension held – even if you’re unaware of it – can create a hyper-tonic state, like you’re holding on for dear life.

Sometimes it takes a while to unravel patterns that have become habitual.  Even things like learning to breathe, rather than hold your breath, when attempting to do something that involves concentration.  Have you ever noticed your breath, and how it changes?  Once you start paying attention you’ll realize that the breath is very closely linked with your mental state.

Give your self the gift of quality time alone, and take some time to explore.  Listen to any messages your body gives you, and honour them.  I recently read Lissa Rankin’s excellent book Sex, Orgasm and Coochies (her other book What’s Up Down There? is also excellent and highly recommended) and found a suggestion she had given one of her patients who was experiencing some difficulty ‘down there.’  Lissa had the woman enter into a dialogue with her lady bits and to journal about her findings.  The results were nothing short of profound.

Lissa Rankin’s books make for great companion reads when you’re on the journey of self-exploration.

Working in conjunction with your breath, The Magic Banana® can help you become more aware and more present with yourself. This is why we say Explore Happiness Within.

Just how many Magic Banana®’s does a girl need???

Well, the short answer would be one.  The Magic Banana® is built to last, and it doesn’t have any mechanical or electrical parts that would be prone to failure – so you’re golden on that front too.

All that said, however, the longer answer to this question, in my opinion, would actually be three!

I have found that it’s great to keep one by the bed (or a favorite place to have partner sex), one near the shower (for a quick morning or evening pick-me-up) and one in my carry-on suitcase (even when I’m not traveling).

Here’s the thinking… a found moment for yourself can be a fleeting thing.  It’s good to keep a Magic Banana® within arm’s reach. The bed and the shower probably feel really obvious – but the third might be a little more puzzling for you.

You’re probably thinking, if I’m traveling, why don’t I just take the one from my bedside or the shower?  Well, if you’re anything like me, you’re a last minute packer.  I am lucky if I manage to pack my underwear and make-up bag when I travel.  Over the years, I found that I’d forget about the Magic Banana® during those harried bag-stuffing moments when I was running late for a flight – only to deeply regret it when I was stuck in a lonely hotel room with any combination of jet-lag, a stiff back, a head-cold, insomnia and noisy neighbors.  In moments like these, some time with the Magic Banana® always seems to settle me ready for sleep – no matter where I am.

The other great thing is that because the Magic Banana® has no metal parts, it doesn’t call attention to itself in your bag as it goes through the carry-on scanners.  The very last time I took a vibrator on a trip, the male security check-point officer succeeded in outing me in front of my conservative (though charming) older male boss. “Excuuuuse me.  Does this belong to you?” the officer said holding it up for all the world to see.  Never again, I vowed to myself.  I now practice the better safe than sorry approach to traveling with a pleasure device – it is always with the Magic Banana®.

So there you go – three bananas seems to be my sweet spot.  How many do YOU have in your life?

One banana, two banana, three banana, four…                                                                        or as many as suits your fancy on your mission to explore!

 JH – Magic Banana Connoisseur 

Tips: If you haven’t quite ‘clicked’ with your Magic Banana® yet…

Every body is different, and it may take some time for you and yours to acclimate to using the Magic Banana®.  

Here are a few questions to ponder when you set about your journey to self-understanding…

Is the curve of the Magic Banana® in its ‘smiling’ orientation while in use?  

Place the Magic Banana® on a flat surface.   Notice the curve – the ‘smile’?  Keeping the Magic Banana® in this ‘smiling’ orientation, squeeze the loop together and insert the tubing end into your body. Water-based lubrication is recommended.

Take note of the direction of this curve – If the Magic Banana® is inserted with the ‘smile’ facing downward, it will not massage the G-spot as intended and may cause some discomfort.  Also note that the black handle is not intended for insertion.

 

Have you tried using the Magic Banana® in different positions or environments?

For some women, the sensations created when using the Magic Banana® can vary widely depending on how and where they use it.  Some prefer lying on their backs, others lying on their fronts and others report having a daily extravaganza with their Magic Banana® standing in the shower.

For some women the bedroom is a private sanctuary for self-exploration, for others, the bathroom is the only place where they can guarantee that they will be undisturbed by others.  Creating an environment that allows you to fully focus on yourself will help you to unlock the pleasures of the Magic Banana®.

Are you holding your breath, anxious or expecting a particular outcome?

Watch.  Pay attention.  How comfortable are you in your body? How ‘open’ are you to deepening your relationship with yourself?  What do you want or hope to experience or gain by engaging with the Magic Banana®?  Can you let go of your expectation of the outcome … even just for now … so you can stay present, with yourself, in the moment?

As for the exercise aspect, like many exercise routines and even weight loss – depending on what you start with, sometimes it can take a good while to really notice any difference, and then all of a sudden – you have an a-ha moment – and you realize ‘YES! *This* is what I’ve been doing this for!’ – you’ve discovered something new about yourself! Unlocked something.

Be patient. Relax. And keep exploring.

 

The Magic Banana® delivers … without a hint of shame!


“The Magic Banana® makes a great travel companion; it is both airport-security and waiter-friendly!”

I was sitting in a beautiful outdoor cafe in Sedona, Arizona, on a gorgeous day in May, with Marlene and Kim – two women who were attending a conference I had been invited to speak at. The restaurant was an upscale vegetarian place, with terra cotta ceramic tile floors and a Japanese meditation garden, complete with Osho tarot decks on every table. We were getting ready to go to an afternoon workshop called Mergence and Union – the mere title of which sparked the following scenario…

While waiting for someone to come and take our lunch order Marlene – who was in her late forties at the time – told us that since she had not had a lover in quite some time, she was worried that the ‘use it or lose it’ theory might really be true…

She needed something, she said, ‘to keep those muscles functioning!!’

I had flown in to this conference to speak and, before I left home, my intuition had told me to bring along a couple of Magic Banana®s. In those days they were crudely packaged – in a baggie, stapled at the top – and the book was photocopied at Business Depot on some wild – yellow with lime green and orange bursts – paper that looked very orgasmic. Upon hearing Marlene’s concern, I reached into my briefcase and pulled out the stapled baggie saying…

‘I just happen to have something that’ll help you out with that.’

Their jaws dropped. They couldn’t believe I was carrying this thing around with me – this solution to her problem – all packaged (crudely as it was) and ready to go – and they were quite interested in checking it out a little more closely!

With Marlene still in shock, Kim was the first to reach for it. She held it in her hand – noting the gentle upward curvage of the loop – and squeezed the loop together as if it were a hand exerciser. Perfect! She was pondering the possibilities, while squeezing, when our server – a gorgeous young man who looked like Adonis in the flesh – showed up to take our order!

I watched – fascinated – as Kim did not even flinch. She continued to hold The Magic Banana® in her hand – on the table – while the waiter took our order! When it was her turn to order, she looked him straight in the eye and spoke to him without a trace of shame or embarrassment.

When he left to take our order to the kitchen, we all noted the innate beauty of the entire scenario; due to the fact that the Magic Banana® is so clearly non-phallic and non-threatening, Kim didn’t even begin to feel the need to hide it or put it away!

How beautiful is THAT?! We all had big smiles on our faces!