Male popular culture is pretty much dominated by sex. “Heavy-breasted beer commercials” are just the start of it.
Most guys, if completely honest, have a deep-seated response when confronted by sexual imagery. Have you ever found yourself flicking through the channels only to quickly switch back at the briefest flash of a naked breast or buttock? As young men, how many of us learned about sex through porn mags and videos?
In the mainstream, advertisers know that sex sells. The appeal to the reptilian brain adds to the bottom line of major corporations and smaller operations alike. So what does yoga have to say about all of this? Well, that could be a whole website in itself, but let’s make a little start.
I reckon the first thing is to be completely honest with yourself and see how you respond when sex is in your face. Notice the amount of time you spend thinking about sex. Notice the emotions that are stirred up by this, particularly guilt, shame, or wanting to hide your dark secrets.
Yoga Philosophy And Sex
None of these are worth following or giving any attention to. Or as Patanjali puts it in the classic text, The Yoga Sutras, “…from indifference toward vice (within yourself) is born clarity of consciousness.”
You are not your mind. It just responds in line with how it has been conditioned – by family, culture, religion, your peers, and the interpretations that you have believed about your life and world.
These movements are called vrittis in Sanskrit (the ancient language of Yoga) and the impressions that this mental activity leaves are called samskaras.
We experience the world through our senses; current experience is filtered through the samskaras of previous experience, meaning we never have a pure experience of the actual present moment.
So what do we do with these samskaras? We don’t actually do anything with them, but this is where the power of meditation comes in. By repeatedly experiencing the true nature of things, the underlying Silence of the Absolute within, these impressions are dissolved.
In the Yoga Sutras, (written more than 2000 years ago), Patanjali talks about the inner experience of Oneness;
”Tajjah samskara anya samskara pratibandhi” The impressions born from that (experience) dissolve past impressions and prevent future impressions.
The Power Of The Present Moment
By awakening to the full experience of the present moment, the effects of your past are wiped clear and your ability to function in the present and in the future are filled with greater (infinite) potential.
This is what yoga is truly about. The yoga poses that are so popular are fantastic for helping keep the body healthy, and also act to help quieten the mind. Yet, there is a greater goal than improved physical health.
The key ingredient however is to find a truly effective meditation method – one that can take you beyond feelings and emotions into an experience of boundless peace and infinite silence. Finding that will be one of your most important discoveries on your yoga journey. Check out the benefits of meditation.
A Different Experience Of Sex
So, what the heck has this got to do with sex? Aaah. Well, remember those impressions? How they distort everything? Well, the good news is that as they clear your responses become more authentic, truly yours. Put simply, you don’t respond like a hungry dog being shown a bone.
This is good news. It makes you less controllable, stronger and more courageous in yourself, even if the herd is going the other way.
And your awareness is where you are. Not off on some fantasy, or popping between the past and the future.
Being Present And Sex
Someone once said that the only time you should have sex on your mind is when you are actually doing it. Anything we do with full attention has greater potential for fulfillment and expression.
Practically that means that you will be fully present with your partner (believe me, they will notice the difference), and the experience of lovemaking can take on a sacred and beyond-the-mind quality, that will make what came before seem empty and mechanical.
SIDE NOTE: If you are interested in the Yoga Sutras the I strongly recommend getting a copy of Enlightenment: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by MSI. It has a wonderful commentary that brings this ancient text into modern relevance. You’ll be able to pick it up through amazon.com