Yoga & Sexuality
“When we touch the place in our lives where sexuality and spirituality come together, we touch our wholeness and the fullness of our power, and at the same time our connection with a power larger than ourselves” Judith Plaskow
In one of my morning classes the other day, a woman said “Wow…Yoga makes me feel like when I have an amazing orgasm.” The woman next to her turned and said, “More like after a hot bath and an orgasm.” I cracked up at this commentary, because I love how yoga opens people to be so real and honest and playful- it´s magic.
I have long been intrigued by the connection between sexuality and spirituality and I am constantly exploring this subject in relation to my yoga practice. I am no expert, but I am aware that when we have intimate, natural and passionate sex we are totally in our bodies in the present.
There are many teachings that support this way of thinking. Osho, a spiritual Guru believed that the moment of orgasm is the closest we come to a sense of bliss, enlightenment and being completely at one, in the moment. Similarly, Tantra yoga suggests that sex is a way to connect to your spirituality and reach heightened levels of bliss and awareness with your partner.
Conversely, many Yogic scholars take an oath of celibacy, as sexual energy is a huge part of our spirituality and in abstaining from sex it is said that we conserve the vital energy we lose in sexual practice and fantasies that can lead us to enlightenment. Whichever path we opt for, there is no doubt that sexuality is a powerful and essential part of our wellbeing and sense of self.
Last year, in the aftermath and healing process of losing my ex-husband and partner of six years I got together with a close girlfriend to make affirmations with the new moon. I usually write my affirmations alone and had never shared this intimate moment with someone else before, but I thought it would be a powerful experience to manifest with a fellow soul sister. My friend, who is all about the joys of food and sex suggested we write affirmations about sex for fun. I howled out loud, as I had never made affirmations about sex before, but at that time, I was longing to release toxic relationships from my life and to rediscover the power of raw, healthy, passionate and intimate sex.
And so, I wrote affirmations confirming exactly what I wanted, although I admit that once they were written, I did put them to one side to focus on what I believed to be more important goals at the time. This is perhaps influenced by the fact that I am a total romantic and am also influenced by my spiritual practice, through which I believe that when we are ready, the right partner for what we need at the time will come into our lives; we need not search or make it happen, just be open and trust.
Literally a week after I made my affirmations, I met a young man who was working for a couple of days in my garden. I didn’t take much notice of him at first, but as the days went by, we began to notice each other more and it wasn’t long before we began to chat and I felt a strong attraction between us. The irony in this story is that not only is he a gardener but also my neighbour. Watch what you ask for because the universe is always listening and always delivers!
What follows on from this unexpected meeting is that I have rediscovered the power of sexuality to draw me into a deeper connection to myself. I am having some of the best sex I have had in my life; intimate, honest, natural, passionate and raw- just as I had written it. I had almost forgotten how empowering and important good sex for a woman is, not just for our health, but for our relationship with ourselves and our connection to our spirituality.
When we become vulnerable through intimacy with another person, our hearts begin to open and at the same time our past experiences begin to surface. This propels us to communicate, to drop into a deeper discussion with ourselves and in my case, to practice a sense of detachment to any kind of result or direction this experience was leading me into, focusing instead on being present in each moment.
My yoga practice is a constant journey to reveal the truth of who I am in every way and shed the layers of resistance and old habits that keep me from feeling the power that I am. You may wonder how stretching and breathing can lead us to writing affirmations and manifesting our dream life. The answer is that when we begin to relax and release tension in the body, our mind quietens and we can give space for the authenticity in ourselves to rise. This authenticity has a clear intention to guide, to heal and ultimately to connect you to the power within. As we release tension from the body, we are open to new experiences and our eyes begin to open to the magic around us.
Opening and strengthening our bodies in yoga also prepares us to thoroughly enjoy our sexual relationships. Specific yoga poses stimulate our sexual organs, open our hips and build strength that we can use to explore new positions. Also, it is scientifically proven that physical sensitivity is heightened through yoga practice which makes sexual intimacy and orgasms even more blissful!
Yoga practice brings us so deeply into our bodies through attention to our breath and we can apply this to our sexual practices, using the breath to become more present and thus become more intimate with our partners. It seems like in a world of dating and ‘hook up’ apps, the option is there to have multiple sexual partners, whenever we want, however we want and with this, there is a danger that sex can become more about our personal agendas than becoming vulnerable by opening our hearts. To me it seems that sex has lost some of the deep mystery and sensuality that it is and that we have somewhere lost faith in those chance meetings where eyes meet across a crowded room (or a garden!) and where the energy of something much bigger guides us.
We are here on this planet to discover how incredible we are as human beings and our sexuality is a huge part of this discovery we should learn to embrace and celebrate.
Lucy Beckwith is a qualified Yoga teacher and Co-Founder of the Yomu Project