Can Morning Sex Hurt Your Yoga Practice?

Via elephant journal
on May 18, 2012
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Often, people talk about finding the right conditions for doing yoga.

I don’t mean the ones we make up in our head – you know, the “I need a certain mat or a certain teacher or a favorite pair of pants to get my toosh on the mat.” I mean the ones that are discussed in Yoga Mala and other yogic texts. We’ve all heard them bandied around.

Practice first thing in the morning. Well, this isn’t always practical, so yes, in a perfect world we would all practice when we woke up, either at home or at our favorite studio with our favorite teacher. But, until that day, we just make the best of it.

Don’t eat before you practice. Now, I’m on the fence about this one. There are times when I have practiced on a full stomach and felt appalling. During these times, I would be inclined to agree with the “‘no food” policy. There are also times when I have either woken up so hungry that to go for 90 minutes without food seems like some kind of torture, or I have had a morning full of running and cycling and not having food means I feel weak and shaky. So this one, I can take it or leave it.

The other one is sex.

Exerting control over our sexual desires and outputs is necessary for a strong and clear minded yoga practice. Bramacharya has been interpreted as total abstinence, or as sexual activities for the “homemaker” (It is necessary for reproduction after all!). Now, in our society, total abstinence or waiting until marriage might be considered a little…archaic.

I had a somewhat tragic realization the other day though. This might actually be true. Having voluntarily donned my blinkers to this particular advice, I tend to enjoy sex in what Indian yoga masters might call excess.

Let me fill you in. My boyfriend left super early for work, whilst I was walking the dog. Alas, I return and he is gone, so no morning sex. Instead, I got onto my mat and practiced. And it was beautiful. Crystal clear, smooth and deep. My body, mind and soul were a river flowing as one. I (reluctantly and secretly) tried alternating the next few mornings with and without sex before yoga.

With sex, I felt a little distracted, tired, and out of sync. Without, it was as I said: simple, pure and easy.

I know I have to choose the yoga. It physically pains me to do this. But, my practice means more to me than morning sex. I mean, I’m not giving it up every morning; let’s not do anything rash here, but five out of seven mornings…it’s gotta be the yoga.


Rose Wyatt is an avid runner, mountain biker, skier, swimmer…basically anything sporting, so yoga was not something that she was initially drawn to. However, Ashtanga resonated with her, and since she started a little over a year ago, she has made it her mission to learn how to integrate yoga into all her other sporting endeavours. She is a 500 hour RYT and teaching is something that she is passionate about, hoping that her dynamic classes will resonate with athletes and help bring more of them into the world of yoga. Along with yoga and sports, travel, writing, cooking, reading and music are all things that she loves to do. Being 24, and having only discovered yoga about 18 months ago, she knows that she still has a lot to learn, but fortunately that just makes her happy!


Editor: Cassandra Smith


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5 Responses to “Can Morning Sex Hurt Your Yoga Practice?”

  1. shaydewey says:

    Posted to elephant journal gets sexy and elephant yoga facebook pages.

  2. Thaddeus1 says:

    This is a simple and frank discussion, which I think strikes at the heart of yoga's renunciation.

    When you write, "I know I have to choose the yoga. It physically pains me to do this. But, my practice means more to me than morning sex. I mean, I’m not giving it up every morning; let’s not do anything rash here, but five out of seven mornings…it’s gotta be the yoga," you perfectly capture what some texts refer to as acquiring a "higher taste."

    Now, we need not get into the evaluative nature of that language, but in essence, this is what seems to lie at the heart of your decision. You recognize that the benefits you get from your yoga are superior and more preferable to than the enjoyment you get from sex prior to practice. In such situations it can still be difficult, but this aspect really takes us into the arena of tapas, which is perhaps left for another article?

    Thanks for this great and personal offering.

    Posting to Elephant Ashtanga. Be sure to Like Elephant Ashtanga on Facebook.

  3. Dace says:

    There are no wrong or right conditions of anything in life.
    Attachment to such ideas and ideals of practice can only lead to separateness of spirituality and real clarity.

  4. catnipkiss says:

    Not being much of a morning person, I would never miss not having morning sex (if I was currently in a relationship). With my ex, it was always just for him. But I did enjoy rolling out of a sex bed and into yoga class, looking at the clock and thinking "One hour ago I was under my lover." and wondering how many other yogis had made love that morning…..I don't know if the yoga was less focused or less anything because of it. I was always taught to practice with the body that walked in the door THAT day. So if that body was post-sex, so be it! Can't wait to have that choice again some day…. Alexa Maxwell

  5. Anna says:

    You can do the practice a little after sex;-) just don't get attached to either.