Yoga and Sexuality
I feel that this topic is sort of an elephant in the room when talking about yoga. No one wants to talk about it because sexuality is a sensitive topic. However, I believe it’s important to be aware of the implications of sexuality in yoga and vice versa. This awareness will at least enrich your yoga practice but likely also your sexuality.
Poses don’t have gender orientation: If you have been to many yoga classes, at some point you have probably run into someone that laughs nervously while doing a pose or simply refuses to do the pose because they find it inappropriate. I have actually heard people refusing to do a pose because it is “slutty” or “gay”. Regardless of political correctness, or your opinion and beliefs on genders and sexuality, a pose is just a way to experience the present moment, nothing more than that. You are the one adding a sexual connotation to it. That is, in my personal opinion, one of many mind barriers that separate us from the full yogic experience while in a pose.
Sexual energy: Though yoga poses have no sexual connotation, sexuality has not been disregarded, as you can’t disregard sex from life. In yoga, life energy (prana) is key. You learn to generate energy, learn to control it and learn to make it flow through the body. Sexual energy is part of the life energy. In yoga, you leverage this energy to experience deeper consciousness awareness. You can find reference to this concept in Hatha, Kundalini and Tantra yoga. You might have heard a teacher say that a particular pose is good to “improve sexual life and creativity”. I can’t help making a connection between sexual energy and libido from the psychology perspective. Libido is natural in essence. It is the origin of the reproductive impulse. It is a major influence on our actions and the development of our personality. Yoga recognizes its importance to the health of our mind and body. Through the practice we learn to deal with our libido and to use it in favor of our wellbeing.
The bad apples of yoga: Sadly, as in any other community, some people use their hierarchical power to abuse others. We’ve all heard cases of teachers taking advantage of trustful students seeking answers. Please be cautious with those who claim to be spiritual leaders who can show you the knowledge. Always remember: you are your best teacher and you can only find truth within yourself. Some people have had relatively minor bad experiences because they carry sexual traumas that are triggered in class. Add to this people’s personal sexual beliefs. Some of us don’t like to be touched by a teacher. Currently there is a big debate about how to correct poses and how teachers should address students to avoid these bad experiences. There is a long way ahead in this matter. I strongly recommend verbally expressing any concerns or discomforts to a teacher right away. They will understand and they will help you.
Yoga improves your sex life: Taking aside these negative cases, I really think that yoga helps to build a better sexual life. I don’t know any yogi or teacher who haven’t noticed the benefits of yoga in his/her own sexual life. This is not just anecdotal. There several studies suggesting more satisfying and more frequent sexual performance among yoga practitioners.