The Tantra of Tight Black Pants.

Via on Dec 2, 2011

Tantra.

When I tell people that this is the school of yoga philosophy which resonates with me I quickly qualify that in fact there are different variations on this spiritual philosophy. I don’t follow the “left-handed” Tantra that is associated with extreme sexual positions and practices. You can relax your facial expressions now. I will not be attending the Tantra Summer Camp Retreat.

Tight Black Pants.

Those things that we used to wear out clubbing in our teens and early twenties. Now they are the new lace teddy and garter straps. Figure hugging fabrics designed to pull in and lift every curve. The lift extends under the pants as there are now yoga panties make by the PINK line from Victoria’s Secret. Can somebody fill me in on how these would help my practice? All I can see are lines, lines, lines!

The sexualization of yoga. Something that has existed as long as yoga has been around, yet we now live in a culture that capitalizes on the sex appeal of fit, flexible, women marching around in tight black pants and tank tops. Our Down-Dogs are being molded to an Ass up in the Air pose. Do I really have to worry about that guy behind me in class staring me down? I find the sexualization of this very personal, emotional and spiritual practice to be worthy of an eye roll. While the mental effects of yoga take themselves off the mat I leave most of the physical practice there. Aside from some laughter inducing late night headstands or arm balances you won’t find me in any of these off the mat (or some even on the mat for that matter)!

This recent article from the NY Post talks about the idea of “Trophy Yogis.”  As yoga teachers are we objectified even further? Can I still do a deep adjustment on male students without worrying how I may be perceived?  Many yoga teachers hold policies about dating or relationships with any of their students. This falls along the Yama of Brahmacharya or restraint in sexual relations. This can be interpreted in many ways, but in regards to the student-teacher relationship it means that there will be certain boundaries that won’t be crossed.

I accept that this is going to continue to be an issue and a topic of discussion. Perhaps it ends up getting more people to the mat where they can discover that yoga isn’t really about sex.

What is your stance on this issue? Does Yoga=Sex? Does this way of marketing it cheapen the practice?

Photo Credits: psalmisadorayoga.com, victoriassecret.com, curiousphotos.blogspot.com

About Hannah Siegle

Hannah Siegle began to do yoga four years ago initially for the physical practice, however she quickly discovered that the yoga began to do her in ways she never anticipated. The mind, body and spiritual connection that yoga cultivates has helped Hannah through the ups and downs of life, both large and small. She regularly blogs at Balancing on Two Feet on topics such as yoga, mindfulness, eating disorder recovery and all those things people don't like to talk about. She was trained at the RYT 200 through Laurel Hodory and is currently working towards becoming a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She teaches yoga throughout Central Ohio with GoYoga ,yogaServe, and also works as an Assistant Editor for the elephant journal!

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9 Responses to “The Tantra of Tight Black Pants.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Great article, Hannah!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  2. John says:

    GET….OVER…IT….Sex is intertwined into all of life. I though the enlightened types didn't allow their egos to guide them ?

  3. [...] many of them shirk this responsibly, something that in my mind is unethical and a violation of the yama, Satya, or [...]

  4. Jordan says:

    Hey,

    I think yoga in the west is just different. Some young may people get involved in a rather narcissistic way, but those who stay invariably find the spiritual practice we know and love. But even the stereotype is not entirely accurate. I used to practice at a Bikram studio near the university. It wasn't a bunch of jock and valley girls cheapening yoga. Most were very dedicated to a meaningful practice. They just all happened to be young and beautiful. now at ashatnga i find an equal degree of dedication, just a different tone.

    Yoga is not cheapened by practitioners, but by externals with a false pop culture view of what it is. That is, if it is cheapened at all. All complicated systems are by their nature misunderstood. The misunderstanding vindicates it in a way.

    Jordan

  5. Yahaira Hohlstein says:

    I was just searching for other Arizona-based bloggers when I found you. Are you planning to keep the gatherings at Four Peaks, or maybe drop in on Sonora, Papago, etc.? Either way, I’m up for joining the next gathering!

  6. [...] fact, for thousands of years in India, Tantra was a system of achieving yoga, essentially union with the divine [...]

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