Yoga & Sex in Union. ~ Ina Sahaja

Via elephant journal
on Jul 24, 2012
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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, or connect with her at and twitter/ina_sahaja.


Editor: Ryan Pinkard


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8 Responses to “Yoga & Sex in Union. ~ Ina Sahaja”

  1. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Sexy & Yoga.

  2. Harleigh Quinn says:

    Sex sells, huh?
    Yoga has yet to be as open as it attempts to have everyone believe.
    Tantra is the west is HIGHLY misunderstood.
    When yoga begins to be TRULY open and not a bunch of hedonists stretching and coming on to each other, returning to its CHASTE and PREPARATORY roots (it's only REAL purpose is preparation for longer and deeper meditations. Essentially stationary calisthenics) it MIGHT become open and even a union.

    At this time, it's voluntary stockholm syndrome, similar to vipassana, attracting mostly nothing but self serving and self absorbed narcissists.

    I am not saying they ALL are, but MOST are.

    The reasons for this vary, but no true spiritual wakening has yet to come from attending yoga.

  3. Sonyata says:

    The Yoga Sutra has been one of my major areas of study over the past few years. But I also explore the chakras, a philosophy which comes from Tantric Yoga. The Hindu model of Shiva/Shakti (male/female) and the Divine are amazing to me. The ancient yogis developed a language of god/goddess that expresses the dynamics of consciousness/nature. What makes tantra different from "ritualistic sex magic" is the underlying theme – the liberation of consciousness to the divine. Tantric Yoga is a study and practice of "stretching the fabric" of the human soul, "weaving together" the divine energies with other souls.

    One of the things I have enjoyed the most about yoga is the high percentage of females vs males at most studios. I spent twelve years in the Marines, in units of up to a thousand men and no women. In yoga class, it is just the opposite. My body needs the feminine energy to heal, I can feel it. In yoga asana practice, that energy is often floating around in the mix, and my body can use it to heal. While I could find this energy in a sexual relationship with a woman, I have found it to be much cleaner and purer in asana practice. It seems to me that yoga is the public protocol for the mixing of the divine male and female energies. With yoga, there are no consequences such as one would find with promiscuous sex. It is a pure context.

    Promiscuous sexuality is the issue, and it can not only be dangerous due to the transmission of blood born diseases, but it can really through a monkey wrench into someone's karma. From experience, beginning a relationship with sex is the wrong way to start. When we have intercourse, we connect in all seven aspects of the soul with our partner. This means spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, occupational, social, and financial. If one keeps this in mind, they may choose their partners a little more carefully. Personally, after my second failed marriage, I decided to work on myself for a while before I enter another relationship. Yoga has been enough for me for now, though I hope to eventually unite with my shakti, my divine lover.

    While tantric yoga in India branched out into many directions (some of them ending in sex cults) the underlying philosophy covered everything in nature. Even the rivers were worshiped as goddesses. If only we in the West could have the reverence for our waterways that they did, we might not find it so easy to pollute them. They understood that the rivers were the life giving waters of their society.

    Through these teachings, they explained the forces of nature such as sun. moon, electricity, magnetism, and power. These teachings are recorded in the symbolic language of shiva and shakti energies. Tantra is a way to express our inner nature, and the outer nature of the world and universe we live in. Eventually, they are one and the same.

    I believe that to develop a healthy sexuality within the proper channels, is the best we can do. This involves a certain constraint. I hope that I can encourage my students to develop their sexuality, while maintaining the spiritual discipline necessary to wait for their own personal "shiva" or "shakti" to come into their lives. And then they can go for it, and study together the mysteries of tantra.

    "First Yoga Sutra. Later, Kama Sutra." – Sonyata

    And in fact, as a yoga instructor, I have found that my confidence and ability to get very close to very beautiful women has grown tremendously. I know where I have to draw the line, personally, and professionally. And that keeps my relationships pure, and it works. Prior to yoga, being that close to an attractive woman gave rise to a vibe that was sort of wolf-like. My inner dog has become a well disciplined dog.

    I find it no small coincidence that I am reading your article this morning, as I just completed a chapter on the Svadhisthana Chakra, which covered our sexual nature and tantra. I have half a dozen books on the chakras and tantra that I am researching. This is the exact subject I am writing about. My practice is built on the four books of the yoga sutra, the eight limbs of ashtanga, and the seven chakras. It is a blending of the philosophies of both to build a solid practice that can appreciate and develop the sexual energies developed in the lower chakras, and merge them with the spiritual and esoteric energies of the upper chakras. They come together in the heart. I guess it is sort of like Tantric Ashtanga.

  4. mithras says:

    Yoga has nothing to do with sexual union. In fact, it points in the opposite direction.

    The first of the eight limbs of Yoga concerns the Yamas.

    The fourth of the Yamas is Brahmacharya ("abstinence, particularly in relationship to sexual activity").

    How much clearer can it be?

  5. I Am Wallace says:

    Patanjali is rolling over in his grave…

  6. Edward Staskus says:

    How about women who are not "very beautiful"?

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