Food or Flamenco – Health or Dancing

This week I have left my flamenco classes in Jerez behind despite the impending and alarming end of term show. We have been exhorted to turn up and practise. I however have been suffering from what I reckon was food poisoning and have felt well and truly grim. So last Tuesday I went to the Tuesday evening flamenco class at Flamenco Puro because I knew that it was a three line whip. However this time my head and feet just did not connect. We had to do one of the footwork phrases one by one, which I hate at the best of times, and I knew that I know the steps but could I get my feet to do them. Not a chance. I ended up virtually in tears.

Fortunately a message to one of my best friends had reminded me that one of the detox retreats run by my Nutritional Healing Foundation was just about to start. A quick check elicited that there was a room available and so last week at the very last minute I signed up. I am not new to these and I wrote about the detox retreat I went on last year. This one is in the same place in the Sierra Cabrera just outside Mojácar in Almería and it will be my third. Each one has helped me a bit more and I knew that not only did I have this rather alarming stomach ailment to sort out, but after the death of my mother and issues with my siblings, not to mention the break up with a ‘man friend’ of pretty long standing a week or so ago, (partly because of what happened when I was in the Pinxtos bar and nearly collapsed on the pavement with what I thought was a heart attack and then turned out to be eating something which definitely did not agree with me. I was left collapsed on the pavement whilst he blithely carried on chatting to his friends). Anyway the less said of that the better. However this year has not been an easy year emotionally for me, put it like that!

I just knew that if I didn’t do something then I would just collapse and fall apart. I am aware of my body being a dancer and yoga teacher and whilst I probably abuse my body to a certain extent I also respect it and listen to its needs. I knew that a weekend of 2 hour classes would crucify me and I couldn’t actually cope given that last week I didn’t eat for 4 days and one of my yoga students advised me that if I was E. Coli it hid in the intestines and gave all sorts of problems and that I needed to see a doctor. That didn’t fill me with deep joy since I don’t like allopathic medicine and prefer the naturopathic route. So to be able to come away and be with the ‘mother ship’ as it were, reconnect with my naturopathic principles and be with people who I knew would be enfolding and welcoming was just what I needed.

I do indeed have E. Coli and more besides. Having worked and travelled in places like Africa, the Far East and the Caribbean I know that I could pick up little ‘passengers’ on the way. Parasites that sit inside and gradually deplete your nutrients, energy and general well being. One of the treatments showed something that I suspected for a while that I had indeed had unwelcome residents inside my body and not just very unhealthy bacteria I had an explanation for the hacking cough that my daughter keeps urging me to do something about. Fortunately the Nutritional Healing regime keeps me well. But a body can only go so long when it is receiving onslaughts from external toxins as well as internal organisms.

So after driving over 5 hours to get here. More given that Google Maps sent me scenic route via Cabo de Gato and Carboneras. It was the Ruta Esplendida but not the 20 minutes shorter that it said. I needed to slow down though after dashing across Andalucía far too fast and it is many years since I travelled this scenic route with my late husband. So I stopped a few times en route to take photographs from the cliff tops and although I missed the induction talk I arrived at exactly the right time for the last solid food for the week. Yes for one week the ‘food’ every day is two green smoothies, one coconut juice, a shot of apple cider vinegar/lemon/ginger and turmeric and bicarbonate of soda in water oh and the exciting bit of the day – potassium broth which is many vegetables boiled together with cayenne pepper. This is totally fantastic. Oh yes and nettle tea before yoga first thing in the morning. That’s it.

I arrived and after eating promptly virtually collapsed for two days. I was in a half sleeping, half dreaming and a not very with it state. My body realised that it could just ‘let go’ and did. At one point I even felt as though my body was melting and the cells were just kind of fluid and not within my structure. I have had one very good massage and another magnet therapy which hopefully will kick out the E. Coli bug. I managed one yoga class before bowing out and today many meditations. I always meditate every morning anyway and I was given two in the middle of the day and a half hour mindfulness session at the end.

I finally feel that I am healing and that my body is putting itself back together again. I will get to perform flamenco and this time brought my bata de cola to perform a really rather spectacular dance – an Alegrias with Mantón that was choreographed for me a few years ago by one of my teachers who has a studio in Fuengirola and came across to Bristol for a few years to take classes.

My food is liquid and my body will use the opportunity to heal and repair. I am indeed fortunate to have the means and where with all to do this. However without it I suspect I would have become very ill indeed.

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