Energy of a Place, Self-care, travel
Comments 7

Lima, day 8

Since we’ve been in Lima, I’ve been reading up on the energy practices of the region, playing a bit of that compare-and-contrast game we all learned so well in school.

In Andean Shamanism, there is no positive or negative energy per se, but rather a heavier, disordered energy (called hucha) that is produced by humans, and the more refined energy (Sami ) that suffuses the natural world.

Sam

The family dog, Sam (who i think is pure Sami, of course)

The world is said to be composed entirely of living energy, kawsay pacha,  which involves different degrees of  these fundamental frequencies of hucha and sami.  By tuning into our own energy bodies (kawsay poq’po),  we can learn to dance with these energies by a principle known as ayni, or reciprocity.

Paulina and I under San Martin de Porres

Paulina and I under the image of Saint Martin of Porres, the Saint of Interracial Harmony and Public Health workers

We’re staying with JC’s family in San Martin de Porres, a working class community that it one of Lima’s oldest pueblos jovenes.  Like many Latin American cities, Lima didn’t develop organically or neatly. Since the 1940s, poverty has pushed families from the provincias to the capital. Land invasions were (and are) common; parks and other recreational facilities are few and far between.

Rooftop view

Rooftop view

Taking advantage of a sunny day to wash clothes

Taking advantage of a sunny day to wash clothes

A day care has operated in the back half of the family house for many years.

A day care has operated in the back half of the family house for many years.

Though I grew up in a working-class neighborhood full of factories, hour motels, and more resting places for the deceased than the living, I’m reminded of what I’ve grown accustomed to every time I go out for a stroll.  The leaves of the few trees here are dulled by monoxide fumes. The cars are  My breath here is labored. I’ve been balancing my environmental sensitivity by eating extremely well, doing yoga daily, trying to be around plants, and overall enjoying myself whenever possible.

If only we could get fresh and delicious fruit from vendors back home....

If only we could get fresh and delicious fruit from vendors back home….

First sirsana, during a very special sleepover

First sirsana, during a very special sleepover

Huachipa, just outside of Lima

Huachipa, just outside of Lima. Nearby is a naturopathic clinic where I soaked in a hot tub until I broke a temporary fever.

DSC00687

Downtown, at the Magical Water Circuit, trying to make D., 15, smile. (I made my best effort, he claimed).

Hucha is not bad.  The earth, whose feminine energy is known as pachamama, thrives on offerings of hucha.

How adorable would I look in DC driving around one of these??????

How adorable would I look in DC driving around one of these??????

A meditative practice for those who wish to work with energy is to go into the qosco, the chakra-like energy belt that is close to the physical belly, and offer the denser energy down deep into the earth, while drawing down sami from the spirits of the cosmos down into the purple energy center that is by your third eye so that we become more like the natural world.

Yet, to be free means tasting all the flavors of energy. You might not vibe with some varieties, but, according to the teachings, there’s no need to close yourself off to them.  Protecting yourself from them is like living in a gated community; you’ve got nobody to blame for your glamorous prison but yourself.

I try to remember this as I work to transform how I engage with the legacy of colonialism, intentional deforestation and underdevelopment, the unrelenting belief that a miracle lies waiting around the corner.

I try to listen more and connect to that pissed-off part of me less.

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Santa Rosa de Lima’s garden

And though my lungs don’t always play along, I simply try to breathe.

This entry was posted in: Energy of a Place, Self-care, travel

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I'm a yoga therapist and coach who is fascinated by the ways in which scientific inquiry has converged with wisdom traditions in concluding that our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being are intrinsically connected. I try to use this knowledge to help people feel more resilient, courageous and alive.

7 Comments

    • Love you! Thought of you when we went to a clinic run by a famous naturopathic doctor here (Carlos Casanova) — and all the possibilities that ran through my head. Sending love and will see you soon!

  1. Zeki says

    What a beautiful post, Yael. Learning (from your Pueblos jovenes link to coha.org, and its link to Time) of the establishment of the Pachacutec Culinary Institute in the region and its goals makes me happy–such a renewing and wonderful transfer of energy from the earth and from the ancestry of the rich culture. My love to you and JC.

  2. Hi Yael:
    Really like your your descriptions, hope you are enjoying exploring. What has been among your favorite foods so far?

  3. Pingback: Unexpected Places | Y's Elements

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