Rasa is the Sanskrit work for the juice of life. Savoring every morsel of food in your mouth when you eat, feeling the sway of your hips when you walk, getting juicy with your creative expression and sharing it with the world connects you with rasa, your sacral chakra, and your innate sensuality. Yoga Teacher Shiva Rea puts it beautifully “without rasa, it is said, our experience of yoga and life becomes dry, rigid, routine. Rasa as the rejuvenative juice restores our essence and enhances our moment-to-moment satisfaction in being fully alive.”
When I decided to play with my “sexy goddess” energy I didn’t know about rasa. It was a word I had heard in my childhood but I hadn’t made the ‘yogic’ connection until I made the moment-to-moment choice to feel pleasure and delight in everything I did. And I felt really juicy. And satisfied. And really happy!
That’s the thing about rasa, when we’re feeling it flow, we feel fully alive and there is an innate satisfaction in that place of aliveness. You know that place when you're feeling so good because you're enraptured by something you love?
The feeling is transmitted through our body senses – touch, taste, visual, smell, song – they all stimulate our inner juices. And the magical thing about being a woman is we get a special rasa boost every month. Can you guess when? During the pre-menstrual phase of our cycle. This explains why Miranda Gray calls the pre-menstrual phase our ‘Creative Phase’ where we come into deep and intimate contact with the Enchantress goddess energy.
I've been teaching women about connecting with their four goddess energies now for 6 years through Moon Goddess yoga and meditation but I'd only hinted at channeling these energies through embodiment. So during my own pre-menstrual phase I decided to get curious and play with my inner Enchantress by channeling sexy. Plus I have a confession to make – I have always been fascinated (and secretly scared) by the kind of bewitching power some women wield through their sexuality. You know the seductive energy I'm talking about? That red lipstick, black lace kind of seduction? So my friend Amy dared me: “Be sexy for a week and see how it feels to be that woman.” So I did. Because I like a good dare. And this was a fun dare.
The result? Turning on my sexy was like flipping the bliss switch. And my theory was bang on. There were no PMS symptoms to speak of. I was so in flow, juices pumping my hormones were happy and so was I.
My advice: When you’re feeling passionless, uninspired and downright tired, you make a choice. Stir your inner juiciness and reignite the passion and beauty in your own life. The first step is feel the pleasure in everything you do. Walk with sashay and sway, wash with delight and immense gratitude (think you have water and an easy way to wash dishes and clothes cause I didn’t in India!), eat with your eyes closed and moan with pleasure for the delicious tastes in your mouth. And know that’s just the beginning.
Since I'm newly engaging my inner Enchantress the sexy way I decided to look for fresh ideas for my monthly foray with her juicy energy. Lucky me (and you!) I found some delicious ideas posted by a fellow yogini Katie Silcox whose ideas I have woven together with some of my own. 5 sexy experiments for you (and me) to try at home, especially when PMS is near:
1. Breathe deep into your pelvis. The pelvis holds some major life-juices. It’s where we make love, make babies and access our sexy, sacral energy. If life is feeling particularly dull, make sure to let some really conscious breaths visit this part of your body on a daily basis. Start with soft belly breaths and draw your awareness down into the sacral centre. Bring this awareness into everything you do, all day long. And especially when you’re walking add a little swing in your hips to keep you flowing with rasa.
2. Oil up. Ancient beauty rituals held body oiling was an essential practice for boosting feelings of contentment in a woman. And modern science is even proving it today! In fact, a regular 20-minute self massage with an organic oil, like sesame, sunflower, almond, coconut or jojoba, has been shown to boost the feel-good hormones like as oxytocin and DHEA.
3. Drink some fennel, fenugreek and/or licorice tea. These are some of mine (and Katie’s) all-time favourite herbs. Ayurvedic medicine heralds licorice, for one, as the panacea of vitality for women. It helps boost the juicy-factor of the body by reducing the exhaustion that comes from burning away the midnight oil in front of the computer, or running marathons (or just marathon-style hauling kids to school and practice and yourself to work).
4. Take a bath with natural nectar. In Ayurveda, women rejuvenated their tired bodies in a bathtub full of natural ingredients. Try mashing together some organic banana; add a splash of milk, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, a dollop of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Massage the creamy mixture into your skin and soak in the bathtub for at least 15 minutes. Yum!
5. Be grateful. The teachings of yoga, Oprah and now science, show that having an attitude of gratitude reduces stress hormones that dry us up and burn us out. Can’t seem to get in the groove of gratitude? Rent the movie My Life Without Me.
Ready to cultivate your rasa? Go ahead goddesses, go play with your juicy, sexy, Enchantress energy and delight in your every moment living it, being it and tasting it with everything you do.
If you use one of our ideas – tell us about it, we'd love to know. If you have a sexy idea of your own, please share. I'd love your help to keep the ideas flowing cause we all have lots of periods ahead of us! And if you tend to suffer from PMS or peri-menopause (because the seed energy is the same) give the sexy remedy a try. By living juicy your happiness and satisfaction quotient will reach record highs all month long, promise.
One more interesting tidbit I found re rasa: In Ayurveda’s theory of metabolism, rasa is the foundation of all our bodily tissues, and the primary source of our fertility and immunity. Now you have one more reason to go get rasa-fied!