Yoga is union. It is about being in union with our world. Completely, fearlessly, without barriers. Unprotected and raw.
This openness is the very spirit in which we were all first conceived, through the physical and psychic union of our parents, regardless of how our parents’ ideals of love actually played out. This coming together is the stuff that we are literally made of.
When we talk about sex and yoga in this modern yoga climate, one word eventually comes up—Tantra. Is Tantra sex? Yes, and more. Is yoga sex? Yes, and way more.
But this article isn’t so much about Tantra, as it is about union (which one could veriably argue is Tantra). Besides, there are already scores of scholarly, and not-so-scholarly, traditional, and not-so-traditional, information out there on Tantra. (Do a Google search, if you haven’t already, and I trust you will have no trouble digging deeper into the topic.)
Falling in love is exploring the relationship of possibility. Of feeling the fulfillment of presence. When we begin to live fully in absolute relationship with our surroundings, both on and off the mat, it’s like falling in love. There are ups, and downs, but mostly there is an overwhelming quality of intensity through all the waves of emotions. A full-on, full-force love both emerges from and is fueled by this intensity of awareness.
When I step onto my mat and begin to move, uniting breath and body, mind and spirit, it’s an expression of that full force of love. Of inhale meeting exhale. Of macrocosm merging with microcosm. It’s the union of Śiva and Śakti on all levels.
Yoga practice is making love with space.
Many contemporary yogis and yoginīs feel this way—it is obvious in the way yoga has spread and grown throughout the West. We keep coming back to it, because it feels so good. Not unlike sex. It’s amazing, really. We are collectively learning to be in union with our world. And through this process we are coming together as community: in Yoga classes, festivals, concerts, retreats, dharma talks, etc. We are rediscovering our basic nature together—in and as each other—and as all aspects of manifest reality.
And that’s why my Yoga practice is really the best relationship (and longest lasting) I’ve ever been in. It is a relationship I couldn’t ever dream of walking away from. And though it may try to dump me, dancing me to the cliff’s edge time and again, it won’t leave me either. Even after my last breath in this form.
There is no one outside of the whole. When there is nothing but union, there is no where else to go.
The thing I realize the more I practice, is that I was born into this absolute union, as a product of absolute union—and so were you!! In fact, we all were.
Our basic nature is this abounding Love, this complete union—spirit and creation merging into form. This is the ecstasy of love making. The transmission of reading texts. The peace of prāṇāyāma. The bliss of śavāsana.
This is yoga! This is union! Pure. Raw. Real.
Ina Sahaja(E-naa Sa-ha-ja) is a global explorer and Yoga teacher, known for her dynamic Prana Flow Vinyasa classes, inspirational kirtans, and Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers courses. Sharing the joys of Yoga since 2003, she is a self proclaimed Yoga-dork, infinitely committed to the ever-unfolding path of wisdom. She loves finding herself freediving, translating Sanskrit poetry, and hiking obscure Rocky Mountain trails with her dog. Visit her website at www.yogawithina.com, or connect with her at www.facebook.com/ina.sahaja and twitter/ina_sahaja.
Editor: Ryan Pinkard