Sex and yoga? Do they go together? Regular practice of yoga can have a positive impact on your sex life. As well as helping with problems like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, yoga helps you appreciate sex at a much more profound level.
Yoga and Sex – Do You Need To Be Celibate?
If you read some of the traditional books on yoga it would appear that sex and yoga don’t go together. It’s often presented that the yogic path is one that requires celibacy.
This comes from one interpretation of the recommendation for bramacharya by Patanjali in the classic Yoga Sutras text. Often translated as “celibacy”, it can more-accurately be understood as “self-restraint“. The implication of the latter is that it is an activity within which you should not lose yourself. This means maintaining your conscious awareness whilst engaged in sexual activity.
Celibacy can be a useful spiritual practice, but not if it’s used as a form of suppression.
[SIDE NOTE: Self-restraint can also be applied to your relationship with food, alcohol, TV, work, shopping, internet, or any other activities in which you can lose yourself in, or seek to escape from yourself in. Yoga is about being fully present in your life, not running away from it.]
There is plenty of evidence that having a regular, balanced and enjoyable outlet for sexual expression contributes greatly to your physical and emotional health.
Suppression of your sexual character does not help you experience more inner peace. The object of suppression does not go away. It’s much healthier to fully embrace this part of your maleness, to develop and use it as a means of self-discovery, sharing and of experiencing pleasure.
Of Priests and Prostitutes
The spiritual teacher, Osho, told of how when he would meet priests or holy men they would inevitably want to talk to him about sex, yet when he met with prostitutes all they wanted to speak about was God. Suppression does not work.
And what are you suppressing anyway? You may have been brought up to believe that sex is wrong or dirty. That does not mean that it is so. Those are other people’s opinions.
As a young teenager the sex education I received at school, and from my parents, was purely mechanical. Summarised: The man’s thing goes in the woman’s thing, and nine months later a baby appears. Hardly comprehensive!
So, much of what I learned about sex was from the porn mags that I would manage to get my hands on. Again, hardly comprehensive (but a bit more exciting than school!).
Like a lot of guys I went through a large part of my life confused about sex, about the expectations on me, and of how I was supposed to deal with the sexual energy I had.
As I embarked upon my yogic and spiritual path things became even more confusing. I read that sex was part of my animalistic nature, and was something to be overcome.
Sex and Yoga – A Balanced View
Fortunately my journey has helped me to develop a more holistic and healthy understanding of sex and yoga/spiritual development.
Like many powerful things, sex can have an addictive quality (and I’ve experienced how destructive that can be). Yet the more complete we feel within ourselves then the less we find ourselves drawn to compulsive behaviors.
Through experience, my recommendation would be to commit to your yoga and meditation practice, and enjoy how that commitment impacts upon your sex life (and every other area of your life).
Enjoy how much more present you are, how you can celebrate your inner health and vitality through sex, and experiencing how it can be a sacred point of connection with another human being.
Recommended resource: Tantra.com What you didn’t learn at school! A comprehensive site with with videos, articles and a lot of inspiring content. Highly recommended.