Sometimes in relationships or life, you do something small and it ripples all around you. You see other people doing it, living through it. You can witness smiles, intense gazes exchanged and it feels that the world became a little bit better. More care, more tenderness and most of all, more love.
Today we will look at a small event that happened while I was visiting the thermal baths of Budapest last Thursday and the magic it created. e”
Let me set the scene first
We booked a nice Air B&B for 2 nights, it was a cosy and very colourful flat at 5 minutes walk from the train station (Keleti) we arrived to. Shortly upon arrival, our host gently suggested a list of things to do and the thermal baths came up quickly, as they are quite popular and could be ideal for a couple. That is something my wife considered but saw some online bad reviews around the changing room being not the cleanest.
Our host confirmed that these are okay and he never had any issues with it so we decided to give it a shot the next day. After all spending a few hours in warm water with a nice blue sky above your head is quite tempting and a new experience for us!
After a nice walk in the park nearby, we arrived to the thermal bath around 19h, we were surprised by how busy was the place. People everywhere and the changing room packed! You could hear Spanish, Italian, French and other languages I had no idea about. It was definitely a popular place and we couldn’t wait to see the outside baths and enjoy the warm water!
The thermal baths experience
Fast forward a few minutes and we are all geared up (or down! :p) for it and that was the closest picture I could find of our view:
On the left a big bath, in the middle a nice swimming pool and further at the back another bath. The temperature was around 10° so the warmth of the water was generating a lot of steam as you can see in the picture. We rushed into the water and it felt sooo good to be in such a warm water. There were people around us everywhere, the bath was a lot busier than on the picture but there was a lot of spaces left still.
Couples kissing and relaxing, group of males trying to be as loud as possible to attract some attention, group of girls having a good time and chatting or even some middle age guys playing chest in a corner of the bath. Everyone looked that they are enjoying the bath deeply. Some of them were even drinking beer and you could see it wasn’t the first, shortly after, you knew it wasn’t the last either.
On the left of the picture, in the bath, you can see a statue. This statue is where the warm water is coming out with quite a bit of pressure, so people are under it as the water will perform a nice massage on our back, neck or even head. We’ve seen some interesting people there, someone looked like he was meditating, eyes closed and seem deeply focused. Another old black guy had a plastic glove on his right hand and looked like he was cleaning his body vigorously. Another one was moaning something, maybe a prayer or some kind of incantations.
The time is stopping in such environment, everything goes slow suddenly. People are enjoying and everywhere you look, you can see some sort of joy, friendliness, love or simply people enjoying life. If I would live in Budapest, I would definitely go there regularly.
We were at here around 19h so we also had an intense dark blue sky for most of it and a few stars. A quite full moon too. It was beautiful and very peaceful too.
We went under the statue to get our massage too, the water was stronger or weaker depending on the spot you are in. Nearly hurting when it is the stronger for a while, but when you get used to it, it feels very good. We were holding hands for a bit and just enjoying these sensations in our back, neck and at times on the back of our heads too. It is a good way to start the bath I believe, it gets you out of the state we were in when we entered the bath. The noise on the water is cancelling all the noises around us so we could be there alone at times when not holding hands, but together when we did. In the middle of hundreds of other people.
That was the second bath and it was a very enjoyable experience too. The water was not as warm as the other one but it is quickly forgotten! In the inner circle in the middle, where we can see people swimming, there is some water flowing counterclockwise so it pushes you when we swim and we could swim in a circle around it. People were fighting the stream or just going with it and enjoying the experience, we did too.
In the middle, you can sit and have a nice cozy time in the water. Maybe meet other people too or just be together. We were hoping for it to make waves or bubbles at some point but after being there for a good 20 minutes, we gave up and went back to do some laps while being carried by the stream of water!
No, it is not an insult! I omitted one thing we did a few time that evening and I would like to go back to it in a minute. First I would like you to remember one time when you performed an action, even the tiniest one and that you can see the impact on other people. Not something you planned, something you just did. How did it felt? Can you remember what was the setting? What exactly were you doing? Take a moment to connect to this event of your past life.
A few days before, my wife showed me some kind of exercise that you can do as a couple in water (no, not what you think! I saw that smile on your face!). It is pretty simple, it is called Watsu.
There are many ways of doing it but we went for something close to that:
We know little about Watsu but we found ways to use it for ourselves that is truly relaxing, trust building and enjoyable. The person holding the other one is holding the head and around the waist, so the partner can fully relax in the water. There is no need to contract any muscle, just being relaxed as much as possible and when you are outside at night as we were, enjoy the nice sky or close your eyes and breath.
The holder moves his/her partner slowly, in circles or back and forth! Do it for 5-10 minutes at least, when you are being held, fully surrender and trust that your partner will keep your head out of the water. It is a great time to do some breathing exercises too to fully enjoy what is going on.
We probably did that the first time for 7-8 minutes each and after we were done, other couples that looked at us earlier started to try their luck with it. Surrendering to their loved one and trusting them! Watsu is used as a couple therapy, to help re-building the trust between partners and we could see that the resistance that some of them were putting up. If the partner holding is distracted even for a second, the other one could have his/her head underwater for that very second so one needs to trust and the other one needs to deeply care.
We did Watsu twice at different moments that evening and each time, people started to do it around us. It was magical to witness that and on top of us enjoying the moment, I’m glad to see that other couples can embrace that too.
My wife is getting a lot in even 5-8 minutes of Watsu, it’s amazing! She will be deeply relaxed, like after a massage or a long meditation. It will bring her to a joyful and peaceful place. That’s a state she has been trained by monks (in Thailand) to achieve through meditation and she can reach that in a very few other ways. It is also healing for her! She missed care and love as a child and such situations are healing these wounds, creating what she missed and bringing peaceful into her inner storm.
For me it was a different story but a very good one too! I’m not capable of reaching such a state but I find it enjoyable and soothing. I can let go out worries and my thought are kinder. I like the feeling of “freedom” it gives. I’m just there in the water, I don’t have to worry about anything. We did practice Watsu a few days ago too in another pool and it was my first time then and this second time, I could relax more and let go. Just surrender to the gentleness of my wife and the comfort that this warm water was offering. We did another round of it later in the evening, just before we went out of the bath, it was nearly 21h. My wife asked me to moan while she is moving me in water, breath in and moan on the exhale. This was confronting as I was afraid of what people around may think or imagine but I trust her and I tried. I didn’t felt much difference immediately, I found a relaxing way to breath and moan gently and repeating that for a while. Looking at the darkest of the night and the glare of the moon. The big change was when we stopped it, I felt very calm, very kind in a way. We kissed in a very soft and loving way like we do at times. You know these kisses that make one’s heart melt at the same time when the time stop and the tenderness are overwhelming!
Next time you go to the pool with your loved one, try it! For yourself and for your relationship! It may bring you closer and you will share a bonding moment with one of the most important person in your life, if not the most.
If you liked this article or one of the previous one, share this blog with your friends! It will be an honour to reach out more people and I appreciate the support.
To go further
A video may be the best help here to start with! We mostly just did what they do at the beginning and that was already very enjoyable!
You can also visit https://www.watsu.com/! You will learn more about Watsu and how it is used. It may be an interesting form of therapy too.