Are you intrigued, concerned, or offended?
Certainly you fall into one of these categories, if not possibly blurring the lines of each.
But why so easily seized by the combination of two words? Could it be that we are culturally and socially programmed not to mix our spirituality and our sexuality, as though they are somehow in contradiction or even opposition to one another? Or could it be because so many people are highly self conscious about sex in general, and it brings to the surface a spectrum of emotions—from shame, to socialized beliefs, to undisciplined addictions?
As an American I live in the most sexually ironic country in the world, and I should know, as I travel around the world for my passion and profession.
Nowhere do I see as much confusion between the overt American message that sex sells, and the socially awkward public discussion of it. Everyone wants it, everyone has it, everyone is driven by it, and yet we are still discomforted by the topic.
I am highly passionate about everything I do. Sex just happens to be one way in which I express my creativity, spirit and yoga. Yes, I said yoga.
To be clear, yoga for me is a living, breathing, dynamic mystery that changes with me, because of me, and through me daily. It is not a class that I take, a subject that I teach, or a product that I buy or sell. Yoga is rather a reflection and expression of the most vital part of me, which is my aware and conscious mind manifest through my emotional, mental, and physical bodies. The part of me that knows that I am a me, inside of this exoskeleton.
This is why I have never sold yoga, and never will. What I offer is me. I am a personified version of living yoga like anyone who consciously works to unify breath, body, and mind to create a single expression of self. And for all those who believe that yoga can be qualified or defined by one individual, well, you’re right. You are always right. Best of luck with that.
Lets talk about sex, bad sex specifically. I am referring to the sad state of the sexually downtrodden, uneducated, and those who suffer because of them. You can’t imagine how many people I teach, on a daily basis, whose bodies read like a book turned open to chapter one: I suck in bed. But not in the good, I-suck-in-bed kind of way. I am referring to people who have lost, never had, or simply misplaced their body awareness.
I truly try not to, but at times I can only imagine these people as they, in the most careless and bungling manor, attempt to pleasure another person. If there is anything that I have learned over the course of my short 41 years on this planet, as a movement arts teacher for almost 30 of those years, is that the way you move anything, is the way you move everything. It is in fact the Budokon University official motto.
With that said I must tell you the level of disconnect between the emotional, physical and mental body is, in my opinion, at a crisis point. The most common issues being, lack of coordination, stamina, rhythm, and agility. People are mentally and physically rigid, disconnected and weak. They complain if movement is complex, requires strength or thoughtfulness, or simply doesn’t give them a sense of immediate gratification.
And this person is allowed to have sex? You simply cannot have hot sex if I ask you to tilt your pelvis in my yoga class, and instead you unknowingly lift your entire upper torso. Or, if you can’t hold a low push up without shaking, gasping for air, or at all for that matter. For your partner’s sake, figure out that your sexual potential is measured by your body’s ability to articulate subtle, delicate, and even cunning movements. All focused on bringing you and your partner to a state of out of body cosmic bliss.
However, the physical and emotional bodies must be tuned properly to perform the very skillful ritual that is sex. The bodies must be sharp, accurate, responsive and most of all sensitive to subtle changes in the environment, i.e. your partner’s body, breath, and energy. A good Yoga asana practice can and should cultivate these same qualities simply because they are necessary for your asana practice to be fruitful.
Sure you can copulate for the sake of baby making, if you are a chimpanzee. The rest of us should not have to suffer from your unresolved quarrel with Charles Darwin. And yes, you can practice yoga asana just to get in shape and burn calories, but then you are just to be moving around without intention to yoke, bind and unify. Chimpanzee do that too.
Now, lets talk about hot sex. First of all, I understand very well that you can have incredible sex with a partner without being a Cirque du Soleil contortionist. I understand that making love is at its highest expression an emotional and spiritual yoking, binding, joining.
But what if that act could be more artful, more graceful, less laborious and less clumsy? What if blocked energy was moving and flowing in the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies? After all, the yogis of days gone by began asana training not because they were failing to achieve samadhi (enlightened states), but because they sought to be more comfortable while doing so.
I propose this to be our very motivation. The opportunity to take our unification with another person to a higher state of art. An act void of the modern task-orientated, distracted and lazy mind. A thing that we do as a celebration and communication with someone we love, because we are in service to them.
Sex is a demonstration of your concern and care for another’s well being. It just happens to be mutually beneficial, like all things. But what are we communicating if our asana practice or our sex is lazy, weak, exhausted, void of endurance and emotional content, and quite frankly sloppy?
Hot sex is, after all, a skillful and liberating dance that combines the breath, the body and the mind. It is the freeing of inhibitions, limitations and restrictions. It is the untangling and unblocking of channels of energy so that the body and mind are light, free and fully expressed. There is no suffering. A unification with the divine that is within you. Sounds like yoga to me.
Yoga reveals strength and courage. It develops character and right action in the body and mind. In sex these qualities are essential. When a women feels safe she can be vulnerable, free and unguarded. When a man feels capable, strong and wanted he can move tenderly, gracefully and powerfully. When we learn to move our bodies free of self judgment, free of pain, free of shame we can truly integrate our yoga practice into all parts of our lives.
The way we move on the mat is, in a metaphoric sense, the way we move throughout every area of our lives. Sex is no exception. When you move through your asana practice, work to develop a more attuned sense of detail. Look for the subtle rather than the gross within your posture.
Become attuned to the rise and fall of the breath, the origin of action, the direction of energy throughout. Move as one unified being rather than an assemblage of moving parts that are unaware of one another. This attention to detail creates fire, fire creates heat, heat creates expansion of the mind and body. Expansion creates space, space creates possibility.
Open your eyes.
What are you afraid of? Are you intimidated to truly see a person, or be seen by them? I have had my share of lovers that simply could not look me in the eyes. It was for them too confronting, too personal, and they were terrifyingly transparent. They could share their body, but not their soul. This denial of what is, this guarding of your self in order to preserve parts of yourself are robbing you of truth.
What if you were to surrender completely to the moment, to the choice you made, to the union? This is where your yoga lies waiting for you. No where to run and hide and be safe from your pain. Yoga and sex are both places that should be a space for healing. You are in both spaces incredibly open and vulnerable.
Open your eyes and see what is in front of you, reflecting back at you, waiting for you to anchor your vision (Drishti) and connect to. In our yoga practice we use our vision as a way to guide and direct our energy. In sex it is the same.
Yoga and sex are ultimately one expression. Just as you and I are one collective being conscious of our individual experience, so are yoga and sex two expressions of one grand dance we are in together.
When making love you should take the same level of care as you would in your asana practice. It is after all a sacred act of communion and communication. Each moment, like each asana being fully explored, never rushing or forcing. Surrender the rigid, graceless and unskilled transition from one asana the next. Find rather the circular course of energy and breath as you glide from moment to moment, breath to breath.
Listen, listen, listen. What is being said? That is how you know what is coming next. The body is speaking to you. Are you listening? There is no injury possible when you slow down and experience the breath united with the body.
Slow down. Speed hides deficiency in both yoga and sex. Nothing worse than a man in bed racing toward the finish line—unless requested—and skipping over all of the details. The same holds true for an asana practice. Of course I always say, you can’t teach or demonstrate what you don’t know. And knowing is learned through attention to the subtle body (mental), the gross body (physical), and the causal body (spiritual).
Great sex is a conversation where two people are listening, sharing, and learning about each other. Bad sex is when someone talks over you the entire time about me, me, me.
Ironically our yoga practice is a communication between the mind and body. The mind is often racing through, paying no attention to the details and feedback from the body. The result is often injury and/or chronic pain from mindless exploitation of soft tissue. Sex can easily result in the same outcome of injury, usually emotional, but injury just the same.
It feels quite lonely and empty when you share a sacred space with someone who is self-consumed, insensitive and worse of all, someone who thinks they are really rocking your world.
The most concerning aspect of it all is how many people only know and are willing to accept mediocre sex and mediocre yoga. They cannot imagine something outside of their own sphere of experience. They cannot imagine reaching heights of intimacy and pleasure that are traversed by only those willing to do the work in both practices.