Watsu? All I knew was that it is based on Shiatsu massage but it takes place in water. Anyone who has laboured / birthed in water or even been pregnant before knows the helpful properties of water, the only way when pregnant to feel fully physically supported is in water.
Slightly nervous but more curious and filled with anticipatory excitement I entered Anat’s gorgeous circular pool. I had seen children swim in he pool and looked on at them smiling and playing comfortably, effortlessly in the water and yet you really don’t fully appreciate this space until you are
completely emersed in the warm water with the spectacular dome encapsulating the space and yet allowing air and light to filter through. It truly sets the scene for a relaxing, pampering experience.
This coupled with the fact that I am a busy mum of 2 young ones, one fully breastfed, and well needles to say I was very eager to surrender to the ways of Watsu and allow myself to feel whatever was to come.
What unfolded, after Anat gently introduced me to the water and what I would experience in my Watsu hour was pure bliss, like nothing I have ever experienced before. Once I completely let go and allowed the water to take over (at times I was completely unaware of Anat’s presence) I was transported away from daily life and stresses and went somewhere either inside or outside of myself, I am not sure, perhaps both. Wherever it was it felt good to be there.
Most of the time emersed in water just past your ears, you can’t help but be at times be hyper aware of the physical, due to the amazingly therapeutic stretches you are achieving without, yourself moving a muscle and then secondly, by the soft water racing over your skin past every part of your body. It truly is a full body massage like no other.
Then like polar opposites your physical self seems to dissolve into the water and you are but a spiritual mind in the safety of the water protected from outside influences by the physical, almost sacred space you are in. Time just to think - allow your thoughts to race and then to slow.
At times I felt like a dolphin dancing an amazing routine through the water, or a ballet dancer lighting up the stage with her solo, strong, independent and free and then I would find myself curled up like a baby and feeling completely nurtured.
I think you would have guessed I really enjoyed my Watsu experience, overall I left feeling whole, calm, deeply relaxed but also re-connected with myself. Although my description sounds quiet intense and yes I found it somewhat of a spiritual and emotional experience, it is important to say that it didn’t leave me emotionally vulnerable or raw. If anything it left me feeling stronger and more accepting of the emotions that may have arisen and I certainly didn’t feel like I needed to go and confront them any further.
I instantly recognised the benefit Watsu would have for pregnant woman, firstly it seems an ideal pampering tool due an affinity with water created by pregnancy and due to achieving weightlessness. Secondly I think Watsu would be a useful tool in birth preparation; as to gain the most benefit from Watsu one needs to completely surrender, a lesson we all learn in birth (if not previously) due to the immense power of life giving forces.