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The Magic of Marrakech

Julia ChiAs I finished my intervals today, and was jogging back to meet Jamal and Anadi on the dusty sunny parkland that I have become accustomed too, I passed two camels, they were ‘humping’, as Jamal described their union, in a very relaxed fashion…

Their owner was standing a discreet distance away, and they seemed very at ease…
Jamal and Anadi had been circling the park whilst I ran 10 x 300 metres on my favourite ‘straight’ between the trees…

The camels activity sparked a debate on the run to home about the strict muslin laws where sex is concerned, and the effect of this control and repression, especially with Europeans and Moroccans who have travelled overseas bringing in other ideas… We ran across the busy medina chatting away about this, with me scantily clad…

For the first few days I was here, I had been wearing some rain suit bottoms to cross the busy area, before stripping off in the park, where I hid them in a bush while I ran about… But when I was there with Kathy a few days ago, on our return they were gone…

And so I have taken to baring my legs and developed a technique of ‘not noticing’ the attention they receive…!

Kathy arrived last Thursday to continue and deepen the inner work she had engaged with wholeheartedly in Bubion which lies on the side of the Alpujarra mountains…

She flew back to the UK yesterday, after a very special few days… Each morning started with a run in the park and after breakfast we made our way to the roof top here in Riad Saba, where we began our day with chanting… We later discovered that our voices could be heard echoing down into the riad, where Anadi and Jamal were working, and Nadia and Lamina too, who look after us so well here… The women would sometimes appear on the roof, but I had told them on the first day we would be singing and so they were unphased!

Amongst the hours of exploration we were engaged in, we also had outings…

Last Friday Anadi, Kathy and I went for a Hammam…
It is a wonderful treatment which involves lots of sloshing of water, whole buckets of varying temperatures being flung over us, and then much scrubbing with rough mits and special soap, finishing with a heavenly massage…

On two evenings we chose a restaurant where dancing happened!
Belly dancing with the beautiful women, with their amazing wiggly hips and bosoms, and gnawa dancing too… A very traditional dance which comes from Sufism – the original religion before the Muslim religion arrived…

We joined in, well Kathy and I did, Anadi took photos…

And on Saturday Jamal invited us to tea…
We sat on the roof top of his slightly smaller, beautiful colourful neighbouring Riad, where we were served mint tea and a plentiful array of Moroccan pastries and cakes by Nadia and Lamina…
Kathy and I were glad of our decision to have skipped lunch….

Kathy also treated us to a special lunch in the most tranquil of settings, in a hotel where she had spent some time a few years ago…
She recognised that Marrakech has always been a place of healing and transformation for her, and one morning when returning from our park we explored how the energies of different places can access and help us clear the stuff that is holding us back…

Marrakech has an energy that I respond to, I feel at home here.
But then I am on African soil, the land of my birth.
I had the same feeling when I landed in Nairobi, a resonance with the earth…
Our body remembers, it holds all the memories, which is why clearing the negative emotional energy from past hurts and traumas is essential for us to be able to listen to the deeper wisdom that is within us all if we listen…

 

 

I have been running all of my life – it feels I was born to run. In the running step I experienced freedom and my true expression. I came to see that I needed to ‘get out of the way of myself’ and let my energy flow through the running step; allow it to express itself in the dance and the motion of running.  I ran for England and GB for some years. My first international was in 1979, a three mile cross country race; and I continued to run at international level until 1993. Two of my best results were first place in the Dublin City Marathon in 1985 and 7th place woman, 3rd British woman in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31, which gained me selection for the Commonwealth Games.

www.runningconscious.com

Mobile: +44 (0) 7866 396 233

Email : juliachitaylor@gmail.com

 

 

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