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February 13, 2011

The Sex of Yoga & the Joy of Everyday Life.

If I am plugged into the energy of my body—including pelvic energy, is it okay to say that I am "turned on"? If so, then I'm turned on in this Warrior 2 yoga pose.

I don’t want a sexually cleansed life.

When I was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a visiting artist gave a talk, standing strong and eyes shining in her tight black jeans. She said that her sexuality wasn’t just in her art or in her bedroom. She said that what she did in her life turned her on, and that talking to us about her passion in life made her excited—not just happy or generally energized, no. She felt it between her legs. Excited. Turned on while talking to a group of art students in the photography department. This was a totally new idea to me at the time, that life might turn someone on like that.

I remember discovering my nipples hardening in Warrior 2 (I was/am fascinated with how this yoga pose—shown in the above picture—activates the energy of my body!), and another time seeing a guy trying to persuade his boner to go down after a hands-on adjustment from the teacher in a Mysore-style (self-guided) yoga class. Yoga can be exciting on many levels.

Is sex totally removed from yoga and everyday life? Sometimes it seems as if that is what’s supposed to be true.

(I think that this false separation of sexuality from our experience of ourselves makes us more vulnerable to manipulation by sex in advertising. Maybe if we want less sexy ads we need to embrace our sexy selves…)

One time a yoga teacher started class with a question about whether we masturbate or not. After a dramatic pause, he shared that he hoped that we do, just so we are regularly touching (I know it’s a pun.) that joy in life. …especially if we are not regularly enjoying sex with someone else.

Touch your joy, people!

How did we get here, after all (…a sexual union, perhaps?)? And doesn’t sexual energy sustain us long after we are created?

Life apart from sex seems absolutely absurd. Is it not present as we live, breathe, work, do yoga? I think that we trick ourselves into thinking that this or that experience is not sexual. Sexuality is a current that runs through everything. Would I like to have some sex with my coffee? Well, I couldn’t very well have coffee without all of the precious sex that created all of the people and plants that came together (pun?) to make this miracle happen, could I?

And why does framing something apart from a sexual context make it seem more presentable or serious?

It’s okay with me that writing, or yoga practice turns me on. Sex energy is a current that flows as a part of all experiences. I can tune it out and tell myself that sex is not present in this or that, but really… It’s just not true.

Some descriptions of yogic practices have to do with managing sexual energy, for example in Moola Bandha, The Master Key, Swami Buddhananda says, “From both the scientific and spiritual view, moola bandha” … “allows one to direct sexual energy either upward for spiritual development, or downward to enhance marital relations.”

Sex permeates life; we can use sexual energy for sex, or we can use it to fuel other passions like our good work in the world, but this energy is working in the background of all of life’s activities.

Might as well enjoy it.

(Resisting the presence of sex in yoga and life is becoming tiresome to me.)

I like sexual energy in yoga and life. I don’t want a sexually cleansed life—it’s a lie, anyway.

* This article is fueled by sexual energy. *

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Brooks Hall  |  Contribution: 10,620