Yoga and Sex Scandals: Not Mutually Inclusive

NY Times recently ran an article by William Broad called “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here.” It had shocking and ground-breaking news that yoga was derived from Tantra and that’s why yogis and their students get aroused and have scandalous affairs.

But guess what? Yoga isn’t what gets us turned on. Our biology gets us turned on. Naturally. For the perpetuation of the species. For the joy of living. Humans have sexual desires. Not just humans who do yoga.

What yoga does is clear the toxins we add to our bodies that dull our ability to feel. Yoga stimulates the glands to secrete properly. Yoga helps release the stress and tension that shut down our sexual drive. Yoga stimulates hormones that make us feel happy, which helps us to socialize with others which may allow a loving connection with another sexual human.

Actually, what causes “sex scandals” is the repression of our natural sex drive. Repression of our desires causes perversions. What you shove down becomes overwhelming and has to find and outlet. Hence, priests and alter boys. Hence, extra-marital affairs. It is the same with any of the human needs. The anorexic denies herself food and then binges impulsively. The addict has been denied love and fills the emptiness with alcohol, porn, comfort food and/or drugs.

We have a choice of whether we are going to acknowledge our natural desires and enjoy them or whether we are going to live lives filled with denial and shame. Living with shame only leads to negative self-image, negative actions and self-abusing thoughts and behavior. Enjoying the basic human desires – eating right, sleeping properly, making love – makes us healthy, happy, self-loving, and kind to others.

Yes, yoga makes you feel more alive. It helps you to become present in your body. It wakes up the senses. It releases fear, stress and toxic energy so that we can feel our natural state of being: joyful, sensitive and perhaps aroused. That should be a good thing. Not a spurious headline.

And yes, perhaps some yogis have taken advantage of their stature, as have senators and CEOs and even Presidents. (Could Clinton’s tree pose have dropped Monica to her knees?) But yoga isn’t responsible for people lying to their spouses. Yoga didn’t make the practitioner go to bed with the guru. Probably poor self-esteem or an absentee father did. One doesn’t need to do yoga to abuse sexual desire.

But repressing your own sexuality and creating distance from your body’s needs is going to lead to more pain through depression, perversions and toxic, numbing substitutes (alcohol, overeating, and drugs). Guaranteed.

So, do yoga. Celebrate your body. Celebrate your natural desires. You get pleasure from them for a reason.

Yoga didn’t invent the orgasm. Your body did. Why not enjoy one today? It’s cheaper than prozac.

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