December 2, 2011

The Tantra of Tight Black Pants.


When I tell people that this is the school of yoga philosophy which resonates with me I quickly qualify that in fact there are different variations on this spiritual philosophy. I don’t follow the “left-handed” Tantra that is associated with extreme sexual positions and practices. You can relax your facial expressions now. I will not be attending the Tantra Summer Camp Retreat.

Tight Black Pants.

Those things that we used to wear out clubbing in our teens and early twenties. Now they are the new lace teddy and garter straps. Figure hugging fabrics designed to pull in and lift every curve. The lift extends under the pants as there are now yoga panties make by the PINK line from Victoria’s Secret. Can somebody fill me in on how these would help my practice? All I can see are lines, lines, lines!

The sexualization of yoga. Something that has existed as long as yoga has been around, yet we now live in a culture that capitalizes on the sex appeal of fit, flexible, women marching around in tight black pants and tank tops. Our Down-Dogs are being molded to an Ass up in the Air pose. Do I really have to worry about that guy behind me in class staring me down? I find the sexualization of this very personal, emotional and spiritual practice to be worthy of an eye roll. While the mental effects of yoga take themselves off the mat I leave most of the physical practice there. Aside from some laughter inducing late night headstands or arm balances you won’t find me in any of these off the mat (or some even on the mat for that matter)!

This recent article from the NY Post talks about the idea of “Trophy Yogis.”  As yoga teachers are we objectified even further? Can I still do a deep adjustment on male students without worrying how I may be perceived?  Many yoga teachers hold policies about dating or relationships with any of their students. This falls along the Yama of Brahmacharya or restraint in sexual relations. This can be interpreted in many ways, but in regards to the student-teacher relationship it means that there will be certain boundaries that won’t be crossed.

I accept that this is going to continue to be an issue and a topic of discussion. Perhaps it ends up getting more people to the mat where they can discover that yoga isn’t really about sex.

What is your stance on this issue? Does Yoga=Sex? Does this way of marketing it cheapen the practice?

Photo Credits: psalmisadorayoga.com, victoriassecret.com, curiousphotos.blogspot.com

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