Many of you know, and many of you may not know that I have a wonderful men's wellness group called IN TOUCH MEN running at the BRLMT ART & WELLNESS space in Montclair NJ.
As any dedicated IN TOUCH MAN will tell you, our gatherings are so much more than a social/physical entertainment/practice. If you dive into our concepts and philosophy, you will begin to see how an IN TOUCH MEN Body-Work-Body-Awareness practice can influence your thought patterns, understanding of the world, and best of all, how you view/treat yourself and others.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali discusses how yogis should behave off the Yoga mat. We at IN TOUCH MEN view our members as Sparsh Yogis aka-Touch Yogis. He begins by describing the five social observances, or yamas, which make up the first limb of yoga. Some people feel that some are pretty straightforward, like ahimsa (don't harm) and asteya (don't steal). However, to look at anything in a Sutra as "straightforward" is a mistake in my mind.
From an IN-Touch/Sparsh perspective ahimsa (don't harm) can be a vast pool to dive into. Consent, our foundation at IN TOUCH MEN gets into the complexity of this idea. How does our physical touch affect the people around us? How does our mental touch, YES, THOUGHTS ARE A FORM OF TOUCH, affect the people around us? How does my intention the mental direction of my touch affect my partner and me?
And then there is Asteya (don't steal) hmmmmmmmm. Another big topic at IN TOUCH MEN. When two human beings enter a space together, Asteya is along for the ride. How do I allow my energy to flow? How do I accept, process, and receive someone else's energy? How do I protect my energy if, even innocently and unknowingly, or purposefully another person is "stealing my energy from me" or how can I tell if I am overreaching into taking to much energy from someone? We all know energy vampires and shrewd manipulators.
So with these examples, one can see how IN TOUCH MEN is about so much more than one may think. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. By reintroducing touch, our original form of communication, we open the door and expand on concepts that ultimately make us better human beings. All of this happens in a fun, laid-back, touch environment built around releasing stress and being social.
I always say there is genuinely one goal for the IN TOUCH MEN studio, and that is to make anyone who enters leave feeling better than when they arrived.
Photo: MARCOS CANAL STREET STUDIO 2006, By Brian Riley
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