Crawling around on all 4 fours, growling at passersby, it occurred to me that this probably should have been a line, and one that had been crossed since the 2nd minute of this intriguing exercise. But damn my British manners, I was just thankful my eyes were closed.
A simple sunny day in the Costa del Sol I’d decided to venture on down to San Pedro to check out the Arte Sano Festival with La Chispa. Aside from providing a perfect excuse to spend the day on the beach drinking sugar cane mojitos, I figured I’d be a nice roomie and visit my friend in charge of the “Peace Tent” seminars.
La Chispa really had gone all out, covering the boardwalk from end to end with your traditional market stalls selling jewellery, ornaments, and peace & love; an array of colourful bric-a-brac with token Brownies – and pretty nifty if you ask me. After having our fill of Vegan delights (and buying the essential all-seeing-eye bracelet) we popped back down to the tent to start the next seminar. It was pretty packed, with all eyes forward as the woman talked of inner happiness coming from the control to let go. One woman even started crying!
As James ushered out the group I started reading the pamphlet for the next seminar – Animal Shiatsu. Sadly the message was a little jumbled as I stumbled through the unusual Spanish vocabulary, but the gist was that it was a peaceful massage – Hey Ho! The class arrived and I was surprised to see that it wasn´t as popular as would expect a free massage would be with only 6 attendees. Mind, considering the 40º heat, it was surprising anyone wanted to get out of the sea.
Asking for James and me to assist with the numbers we took our seats in the inner circle for a little meditation. Now that’s what I’m talking about.. Sea breeze, sea sounds, sand in your toes, sunny rays on your skin – Hippies have it pretty good! We were then asked to find a space in the room that was our own and close our eyes once again.
“Imagine that you are in a wild space like the forest. There is no-one there but you. In front of you there is an animal, memorize it in detail. Its stare, its actions, its sounds. Look into the animal eyes; let its soul be transported into yours. You are now that animal. As you feel your human life detach you will now start to act as your animal feeling none of the inhibitions your old life presented – be the animal!”
Now hang on, this doesn’t sound very massage-like right? But as people around me started to “baaa” and “kakaw” I had two thoughts; 1: it would look very rude to run out now, 2: what´s the worst that could happen. That second thought really should have been focused on more. Shuffling to all fours I dug my claws into the ground, arched my back and pawed the ground in front of me with a low growl. Oh yea, I was marking my territory and I was a wolf. Surprisingly fun at first, I managed to overcome my giggles and continue straight-faced (even whilst watching Jamie as a Turtle – haha!).
The teacher called us to partner up – or at least I assume that´s what she said as soon I had a new partner at my side. Massage time no? No. One of us (me) was asked to lie down with their eyes down and relinquish control. After a little translation I understood my task and did as told, but there was no warning for what happened next. My partner, on some hidden instruction by the professor started to sniff my crotch. As a natural reaction one would jerk away right? But after the first growl and paw from her I was thoroughly paralysed. Listening hard to the professors words, it turned out this was all part of the “fun”. My partner would now spend the next 10 minutes exploring my body as their animal, whilst I would lay powerless. In my bikini. On a public beach. With Jamie sniggering in the background.
I wish I could say that I jumped up with a wonderful excuse in perfect Spanish, and with head and dignity held high, exited the tent. But sadly I’m English, and aside from the fact that all my Spanish suddenly evaporated somehow, we’re just too darn polite to do so. After the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my life, it was role reversal time! At least with a little power in my hands, my wolf decided to take a nap across Curious Georgia’s legs.
It was certainly an experience.
On the upside there was some great evening entertainment to be seen, which we happily caught on camera!