When I first heard the idea about teaching a F*#&ing Yoga class at Freed Bodyworks, I was immediately enthusiastic.
I strongly believe that sexuality is an essential part of our well-being. Historically, however, sexuality has not been given sufficient attention by the medical complex, the education system, or other institutions. Indeed, it is often stigmatized and even considered to be something shameful. This is true generally, but add the complicating layers of queer, trans, kinky, or non-monogamous sexuality, and sex becomes even less normalized and more deviant to society. Considering all the forces that try to suppress sexual expression, it’s no wonder that even the most sex-positive individual may de-prioritize this important aspect of their life.
In the yoga world, classes focused on sexuality seem to be rare, if they exist at all. I suspect this may relate to a combination of factors: first and foremost, America’s puritanical approach to sex generally cannot be ignored. Beyond sex, "purifying” the body through fitness and cleansing—and by avoiding indulgences—is a major trend right now. Then consider that most of the yoga taught in America today draws, either directly or indirectly, on the lineage of classical yoga. This dualist philosophy makes a distinction between the divine true self and everything else in our worldly experience. Given the way we’ve interpreted yogic practice, combined with a puritanical approach to sensual pleasure in the US, it’s easy to see why there is a widespread belief is that earthly pursuits are impediments to the spiritual path.
But that’s only one of many ways to understand yoga’s relationship with sexuality and, fortunately, the two need not be mutually exclusive. Yoga is meant to be a holistic system that integrates the mind, body and spirit. You can't address a person holistically without addressing their sexuality, and yoga offers so much to help support a healthy, vibrant sexuality and sex life. For example:
By moving mindfully, we develop more confidence in our bodies’ abilities and become more aware of their limitations—and we learn to work with those limitations, which can improve self-esteem and body perception.
Movement/exercise relieves stress and increases blood flow, which are both important for sexual response and arousal.
Asana practice increases body awareness, which can help us be more aware of what sexual positions feel good for us and how we can adjust and modify for greater comfort and pleasure (including by using props!).
The Yoga Sutras tell us, “Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.” Being still in meditation develops mindfulness, awareness, and insight, which translate to more presence and less distractedness with ourselves and with our partners.
Like sex, yoga is, in many ways, an intimate, personal practice. We tend to keep both to ourselves – but I believe we don’t have to. F*#&ing Yoga is a space where openness is valued and real dialogue is possible (but certainly optional). To me, it feels perfectly aligned with yogic philosophy to create space for people to explore sexual energy so their body and mind are more prepared to enjoy pleasure and presence—whether by themselves or with partners.
If you missed our last class, you have another chance on February 7th! Our F*#&ing Yoga class can prepare you for whatever kind of fun you plan to get into on Valentine’s Day – hanging out with your friends, spending time with your partner(s), or even enjoying time alone with yourself. No matter what your intentions are, everyone’s sex life can benefit from yoga.
***Take a class with Lindsay!***
P.S. Still not sure you want to take a class? Here’s what a few F*#&ing Yoga students had to say about their experience:
Lindsay has a real talent for creating a safe and comfortable instructional space for her students. Her F*#&ing Yoga class strikes a delicate balance of fun, informative, and intimate, with the comfort of the students as a top priority. I left feeling empowered and equipped with helpful mental and physical tools for living a more mindful (sex) life. - Anonymous
I thought the workshop was so lovely. It was really great way to learn about the ways that our yoga practices can intersect with and benefit sexual experiences, and it was a wonderfully inclusive and safe space. –ML
Prior to class, I didn't realize how much of a positive impact yoga could have on intimate experiences with a partner (or even with yourself!). I walked away with a greater sense of bodily awareness, as well as techniques to keep me more mindful and receptive during sex. –RD
I really loved the non-gendered approach. Really great for those of us outside of the hetero-normative world! The class was a great intro for relaxing, breathing, and getting in touch with the body's sexual energy and muscles. –SM