Inge & Martin Riebeek

The Essentials, 2012-2021 (film)

→ read somatic exercise

For over a decade, Inge & Martin Riebeek have asked people from all over the world to describe what they find essential in life. The result is an ever-growing collection of video portraits that reveals the desires, motivations and feelings of individuals while connecting people across differences. Commissioned for COME ALIVE, the artists will collaborate with Het Wilde Westen to interview residents of the culturally diverse neighborhood Lombok where the exhibition is located. These personal portraits celebrate the uniqueness in people and also that which connects us: our shared sensuality.

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somatic exercise

Breathing – Energetic breathing.

Notice your breath and how your body is feeling. Keep your knees bent or find a comfortable place to sit and feel the soles of your feet on the floor.

Start by breathing into your chest to allow more awareness and energy. Breath through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for four counts and push the breath out for six counts. Take your time and give yourself space. 

You can follow this breath for as many rounds as you like. As you come to a finish, scan your body and notice how you feel. This breath helps you stay energised, sensual and grounded.

Homework – Flirting and offering a loving boundary.

Womxn often feel that once they have flirted with someone or interacted with them in a sexual way there is an expectation to take things further. In this exercise you will play around with being sensual out in the world while feeling like you don’t owe anyone anything. This exercise is fun and playful for all genders.

What are your experiences of being flirtatious and sensual out in the world?

In this exercise, you need a mirror and some alone time. Standing across from your mirror, bend your knees and notice your breathing. Look into the eyes of the person staring back and notice how it feels. Ask yourself, who is that person? 

Try smiling, frowning, sticking your tongue out, and giving yourself flirtatious eyes and different facial expressions. Be playful and have fun, how does it make you feel? 

Try asking yourself out in a flirtatious and sensual way while maintaining eye contact. Keep the conversation going and include compliments that you would like to hear. 

Now offer something to yourself that you are not interested in, for example, ask yourself for your phone number. Now you are going to offer a loving boundary while staying connected to your sensuality. This could be “hey it is so sweet that you asked but, no thank you”, without an explanation. You can also try just saying “no” and smiling back. Saying no can be really hard. Notice the emotions, sensations and feelings that come up as you offer a boundary. 

After using this exercise, explore offering loving boundaries out in the world. Begin with minor moments that are safe, start with friends, family or work. Remember to lead with your sensuality.