Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Home Stretch - Thai Bodywork Weekend Five

 Weekend Five scenes around the studio.  
This was also a photo project for the "Everyday Magic
photo e-course I took in January. 


“I wanted a perfect ending. 
Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, 
and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. 
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and 
making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” ~ Gilda Radner

The period of time since the holidays has been packed with Thai bodywork.  And photography, but that's another topic for another time.  Of course, there was Weekend Five.  Also, I did four students clinics, seva, five practice sessions (I was behind one), and received two professional Thai massages.  This evening, the eve of Weekend Six, I have caught up with all the readings, done all the summaries and reviews, organized all my paperwork, and studied for the anatomy quiz.  I even managed to evade the cold my dear husband caught (knock on wood!)

Paul receiving (and still giving instruction) as Larry and Brook practice thumbing the sen.

If things do have a beginning, middle, and end, by Weekend Five it was technically the beginning of the end.  Weekend Five felt very transitional.  For one, we had learned the entire sequence, and were working to refine our flow and technique.  We did learn some new material, but for the most part it was about fine-tuning what we had learned up until that point.  Also, we had the first person leave the program.  Some people from past classes who had not finished joined our class.  There were also a lot of absences due to illness.  The ebb and flow of people lent a sense of things shifting.  Many people shared the disbelief that our next meeting would be our last weekend.  I felt the time went so quickly, I have come so far, and yet still have very far to go.  

Two of our lovely assistants, Katie and Toni.

Working on the clients in student clinic also gave some feeling of nearing the end.  Actual paying customers!  Yes, it was a generously discounted rate, and Paul gave a short intro each session regarding us being students and there to learn.  But, unlike our practice sessions with family and friends, these were people that didn’t know us and had no particular reason to be kind with feedback.  Of course they were all lovely, and gave nice constructive comments.  I was a little nervous going into the first clinic session, but once we all got going the rhythm took over and all went well.  It was beautiful to be working alongside my classmates, the environment felt very nurturing.  Paul and the assistants came around with observations, and we could call for assistance or instruction at any point.


Seva event at Association House, me working on a staff member.

The seva (service) event, was also a wonderful learning experience.  On that day we all went to Association House in Humboldt Park, and gave Thai massages to the staff.  “Established in 1899, Association House helps to change the lives of Chicagoans in need, across all cultures and ages, by offering effective programs that address both the immediate needs and long term goals of self-sufficiency.”  It was really helpful to work on the general public.  It was different than working on classmates, friends and family, or even the clients at student clinic.  A number of the recipients had never received any sort of massage or bodywork, and weren’t sure what to expect or how to relax.  And yes, relaxing is a learned skill!  It was great to give to those who serve the community.  But for all that I learned, I feel I got as much as I gave that day.  

Weekend Six starts tomorrow.  Excitement, sadness, relief, joy, pride, fear.  I had better get a good night’s rest, sounds like an adventure!    


Everyone in post-session review at Association House seva