A provocative headline on a popular news blog, Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast.
Touch is an integral and important aspect in teaching yoga but the intent behind the touch is what is most important and needs special caution. The purpose of touching a student is threefold:
- for bringing awareness to a part of the body or
- to support the body in a pose or
- to adjust an alignment.
If the touch feeds the teacher’s ego instead of the student’s practice, then the intention is wrong. And, no matter how subtle, this intention is conveyed and felt. And it’s pernicious because it can undermined so much that is so valuable and helpful about yoga.
So I’m uneasy about this focus, and especially the feeding of the ego teachers in particular.
Yoga brings awareness to the breath and the body. And help people inhabit and feel their body. That is inherently beneficial to sex.
And yes, it has once happened to me.
But what I found most interesting about this piece, and worthwhile if not redeeming, is the coverage of men and yoga and orgasms.
Alan Finger, founder of ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda) Yoga argues:
that men actually benefit sexually from yoga more than women. “The man starts at a disadvantage because his orgasm is outwards, which makes it briefer and shorter than a woman’s.”…one can experience an intensely meditative (and arguably spiritual) full-body orgasm. “It fills your being rather than just being something that happened in your genital boundary,” explains Finger.
I came to yoga because of a man. After we broke up, I missed his emotional strength. I discerned he gleaned that strength from his daily yoga practice. I had already been a dancer, so I took a few classes with him and I was interested, but not won over. Until I missed those certain qualities about him. so I walked into a local class here in DC. And thusly, another love affair began.
Comments? What do you think of this sort of coverage? Are you comfortable with touch in teaching yoga?