Bottoming for Semenawa
a 2-day workshop with Natasha NawaTaNeko and Saara Rei
Semenawa can be defined as rope that creates a feeling of helplessness and endurance.
Helplessness is the inability to defend oneself or to act effectively, and endurance is to accept an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. This is suffering.
There are many workshops where the discussion and exercises focus on how the rigger can practice semenawa. This is a workshop where the discussion and exercises focus on how the bottom can practice semenawa. We will combine somatic bodywork practices with practical, hands-on tying exercises, where the rigger and the bottom will work together to reach a "semenawa state of mind." While every exercise will focus on the experience of the bottom, with the aid of the rigger, there will still be a lot to learn for the rigger as well, as kinbaku is a practice of relating to and understanding each other - when one half grows, the whole will grow... and in that sense, it is impossible to truly separate the learnings of each role from one another. What we attempt to do here in this workshop is to simply shift the focus to the bottom’s practice.
Semenawa could be defined as kinbaku that creates a feeling of helplessness and endurance; helplessness is the inability to defend oneself or to act effectively, and endurance is to accept an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. This is suffering. With that, the workshop will be composed of exercises that are compartmentalized into three phases: preparation, helplessness, and endurance. And within each phase, somatic exercises both with and without rope. In the preparation phase, we will explore different ways to prepare both the body and mind for semenawa, as well as pain and body-tension management. In the helpless phase, we will explore what it really means to feel helpless in the context of kinbaku, from being completely fixed in a position to being provoked. And finally, in the endurance phase, we will explore how to find the "sweet spot" - the place where the situation is not too much for the bottom, but where they are in a struggle they can, or are willing to, endure.
Who is this workshop for?
It is important that models who are interested in attending this workshop come with a rigger that they have tied with before and are interested in working with this person in the future. This workshop is an investment in each other and an opportunity to deepen your understanding of how you tie together. It is important that both the rigger and the model have experience in doing suspensions together. Experience in semenawa, or tying styles that are associated to semenawa (such as Naka-ryu), are not necessary for either party. You are welcome to attend, even if you have never heard of the word “semenawa” before.
About the Teachers:
Natasha NawaTaNeko has been practicing ropes since 2014. She is into the challenge of two people coming close, very close together, the challenge of exchanging a gift of focused attention and intimacy, becoming vulnerable in showing oneself as we are and letting other see us. She loves rope for its honesty: whatever that you are hiding - be it fear or mistrust or self-doubts in rope play it will surface and offer you a possibility to grow. Natasha has a background in Sexological Bodywork and as a result of this work and study with Joseph Kramer and Betty Martin, she was fascinated to discover the potential of embodiment as a way of experiencing life through our body feelings, sensations and emotions. She is dedicated to bring into her teaching different aspects of conscious bodywork as breathing, movement, posture, communication, and placement of attention. Natasha is passionately researching on kinbaku as somatic discipline that offer the possibility of somatic learning and somatic change out of automatic learned / coping?/ patterns back into playfulness and spontaneity and true intimacy, if we only commit to follow what our bodies are telling us. Natasha is passionate about bottoming education, as she believes it is a bottoms’ attitude / mindset, our presence with ourselves and our partner, with our emotions, our generous invitation, our fearless devotion, but also our self-knowledge this is what makes a difference in a rope play and co-creates a deep magical moments for two people.
Saara Rei has been practicing rope since 2014. She believes that it's impossible for two people tying together to hide what's truly there between them, and that this guarantied vulnerability is what's truly special about ropes. Saara is a seasoned rope bottom, and has been tied with many internationally known riggers, each one giving her new insights on how to be in rope. Her love for being tied has lead her to tying, and she finds her style to be deeply influenced by Tamandua, Pilar, Andy Buru, Felix Ruckert, Nicolas Yoroï, and Kristina Marlen. Her over ten years of dance experience has given Saara a strong base of body awareness knowledge and experience that transfers over to her rope practice and teaching. To dance is to communicate with your body, and with that, there is no question that we are all dancing with our ropes. Through semenawa, or kinbaku that creates a feeling of helplessness and endurance, Saara has come to understand that suffering comes from the comparison of what has been or could be to the present moment. And with that, one cannot suffer when they are truly present. This deep realization has been a main driving force for her when doing rope, and has aided her in maintaining deep peace in even some of the most difficult of situations. With the knowledge Saara has gained from the practice of semenawa, she enjoys teaching about how to use pain as a path to meditation, serenity, and pleasure.
If you are interested in booking this workshop in a part of the world near you, then please send an email.