I am reading a novel by Ivan Wolffers. He is an academic professor in medical anthropology (don't ask me, I don't have a clue) and this is his tenth novel. I'd never heard of him and I got this book from the library where it somehow took my attention. The book is called Broer van God (God's Brother. I am half way through the book and I still don't know where the title refers to. But who cares).
Lately I've read novels (for pleasure) or I've read spiritual books (for wisdom). This Broer van God book is a novel too, but it is filled with wise words and (Western) advice. Somehow I forgot that Western people can think too. That they have brains as well. That they (sometimes) make sense. I am so into yoga and books from the East, that I totally neglected the West. Wolffers writes about a family doctor who explains to his intern why she has to measure the blood pressure of an eighty year old woman who comes in complaining about nothing particular at all. The intern doesn't understand why she has to do this. The doc explains to her that measuring someones blood pressure is an act of compassion and attention, and that you have to touch the patient to get her blood pressure. A lot of people, mostly of a certain age, are not regularly touched anymore. They live alone and can feel lonely and isolated. It's the doctors duty to listen to them and to give them attention, and touch them with warm hands (no not there, don't even think about it).
Maybe this has something to do with yoga as well. Is this why I like this Ashtanga Mysore Style method? Because it is good for my body, spirit and soul, but also because my body is being touched and adjusted? I remember when I was a kid and didn't want to kiss my parents goodnight anymore. I think this was at the age of 8. It wasn't until I was 14 that I kissed again, a boy this time :-) All these years in between, I think I was hardly touched. Kids like me liked to play cool.
I live with my BF and I am lucky that he still wants to touch me and hug me and kiss me. When days are rough there is comfort in lying in someone's arms. I know some people who are in their 30's and who live a single life. I like to imagine that they have these wildstyle weekends with a lot of different lovers, but in reality this is not the case. They date every once in a while, but it almost never gets them further than meeting someone once and all they do is have a drink together and talk about what they are looking for in a partner.
I think all people of all ages need to be comforted, nourished, held and touched. Only a few years ago I started kissing my mom and dad again. In the beginning it felt awkward and uncomfortable, now I know we all like it very much.
I came to the point to where I think that if you become a yoga teacher, there is touching involved. Just like a doc does to his patients, you help your students. You touch (their hearts).