The yoga studio is filled with sexual tension. Is it a good place for guys to meet women?
Is the yoga studio a great place to hook up? It could be, and it probably is, but no one talks about it, at least not openly. It’s one of the great “unspokens” in the yoga world. In fact, bringing up sexuality among fellow yogis can be almost as dangerous as a Libyan trying to discuss freedom.
And yet, regardless of whether yogis give voice to this subject, sexual energy is bouncing off the walls of yoga classes. To ignore how it affects you could create unintended consequences and hinder your practice.
I will confess that I took my first class with mixed motivation. I was recently divorced and looking to change things in my life—including exercising and becoming more spiritual. At the gym, I ran into an old acquaintance, a woman who was teaching yoga there; she was also newly divorced.
There was no doubt that I kept at yoga to get closer to this woman. I was mesmerized by her beauty, strength, and wisdom. But it took almost a year to broach the subject of becoming more than just friends, because I didn’t want to compromise the positive experience I was having in her class. It turned out she wasn’t interested, but we’ve remained friends, and I still take the occasional class from her.
The good news was that regardless of my motivation, my practice developed, and despite the disappointment of not hooking up with her, something happened on the mat that kept me coming back—and it had nothing to do with her.
A good friend had a very different experience with an instructor. At the time, I was envious because he’d fallen in love, and for two years he was in bliss. His practice flourished and his life blossomed, but then his instructor/lover broke up with him, and he was devastated. He couldn’t take a class from her; in fact, he couldn’t even be in her studio.
To his credit, he’s kept up his practice, but it’s fraught with emotional baggage. Is having sex with your instructor like having sex with your shrink?
There’s also heat in the “hot” rooms at yoga studios—and I’m not talking about the temperature. Hot rooms skew younger, and many who do hot yoga come to it more from a physical practice than spiritual. (Not that there’s anything wrong with just doing yoga for its physical benefits—whatever it takes to get you to the mat.) In the “hot” room, bodies glisten with sweat, men are shirtless, and the women, well, do I need to spell this out?
For me, the “heat” is so overwhelming it requires total focus to keep from passing out, so I’m in no position to notice much beyond my mat, but it’s clear from the comments I hear from guys in the locker room that something’s going on.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m aware of what’s around me. Often I’m the only guy in the class, and you’d have to be blind (or just disinterested) not to notice.
I have no idea what women say behind closed doors, but Elise in Australia—where, perhaps, women are more comfortable talking about these issues—responded to one of my yoga postings last month, saying this about boys and girls in yoga class:
I tell all my single male friends to start yoga, not only for the well-being benefits (yes, please forgive me for briefly having ignored the multitude of spiritual, mental and physical benefits that this ancient practice renders) but because the healthy, often single yogini next to you, between pious pondering of her spiritual relevance upon earth, might also be considering a piece of your sensitive and sexy masculinity before class is out.
Many women in the US will shudder at such a comment, but sexuality is part of our humanity, and fleeting thoughts are part of who we are. To deny or suppress them is to ignore part of the process of what yoga is all about—getting more in touch with one’s self.
So does hooking up have a place in yoga?
The practice is clearly about you and your mat, but it’s also about belonging to a community of like-minded individuals, and in a community, people hook up. I don’t think one’s sole motivation for yoga should be to get laid, but denying that these things happen could be just as debilitating.
What’s wrong with being hopeful about meeting someone that shares your passion for yoga? And let’s face it guys, you won’t have a lot of competition. It takes a lot of guts to get in a room filled with strong, mindful women. Many men can’t handle the pressure.
But, as in any community, word spreads fast, and rarely do secrets remain as such. If you’ve come to yoga just for the action, it won’t take long for the ladies to catch on.
—Photo lululemon athletica/Flickr