Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Hot Yoga: Substitute for Sex?
As you may be aware, I don't think hot yoga is yoga at all. And I don't have a problem with what it is, I just don't think it's yoga. Yoga wouldn't have us waste resources to practice and see the other post about that. But it hit me the other day what is really going on in the hot room and I'm going to tell you what I think although the title of the post has basically said it all.
Keep in mind this is a generalization and it's food for thought; it's not meant to put down your practice or offend you :)
It seems to me that in our culture we say we're over-sexed based on images in advertising and things teens are texting each other and in that type of messaging, but I would suggest that our culture is majorly under-sexed for real. Who has time to have great sex? Everybody has to work all day, there are duties and hobbies when you get home, and by the time you finally crawl into bed with your lover, you're ready for sleep. Or if sex happens, it may be perfunctory. And I know some of you have awesome sex and go on for hours regularly, but I'm not talking about you.
Our neighbours in Europe and South America knew they had to shut down for lunch and take time to be with their spouses in the middle of the day. When would anyone in our culture simply have the time to luxuriate with another body whose schedule matched? And when it really feels great like around ovulation or fertile times for women, those days may not land on a weekend or a day off.
So given that women, especially I would say, are under-sexed, I would like to look over at who's doing hot yoga. What started out as therapeutic yoga for weight loss and flexibility now has loads of women who recognize a sure thing with a schedule they can be in control of. Because the room is hot, you've got to wear very little to make it through the class. So now we've got a bunch of hot, sweaty women wearing skimpy outfits. (lululemon is the new lingerie...) And on top of it, the hot room invariably has mirrors. Now we're hot women working out, looking at ourselves. We're taking ourselves to the edge physically with gentleness. It's pretty satisfying. And I would say it's somewhat sexually satisfying and that's why we do it. The lucky guys who have figured out what's going on in the hot room will put up with some of the moves we do in there just to soak up the vibes and sit in that space.
And I think it's sort of sad that we don't have the real thing. That we aren't with another body, being embodied, being with ourselves and creating pleasure and community, rather we're continuing the puritanical belief structures some of our ancestors came to this continent with. I think they'd be proud to be honest. We've finally eliminated the need for other people and we're well on the way to total independence.
Working out in the hot room can be a wonderful way to feel good about yourself - after a class you feel warm, you've admired yourself, and there are no complications or conversations - which can enhance your experience and make great sex more likely. My guess is though, that if you're regularly having great sex, the kind your body and spirit know is possible, you won't have much time left for hot yoga, or by the time you are, the yoga studio will be closed for the night.