In light of the recent sex scandal regarding Anusara Yoga founder John Friend, who admitted in an interview with Elephant Journal to having sex with his employees, yoga students and married women, it is no surprise that the results of several research studies prove yoga boosts libido. Guilty, ashamed or just an excessively aroused yogi, Friend is no exception when it comes to the overwhelming evidence that yoga makes you more interested in sex.
William Broad, the author of the book The Science of Yoga, said yoga started in medieval India as a sex cult to harness the type of sexual energies that could lead to enlightenment. While Friend and other yoga authorities, such as Bikram Choudhury of Bikram Yoga fame and Amrit Desai, the founder of the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, have admittedly exploited sexual energies, many students of yoga are innocuously tasting the enhancement yoga brings to their sex lives.
“Yogasm,” a term that was used on HBO’s Sex and the City, is the latest topic of research investigating the effects of yoga on sexual pleasure. Scientists at Rutgers University recorded the brain waves of women who enter states of orgasmic fulfillment and determined that the same states could be reached without any physical stimulation. In other words, just meditating on it rather than actually following through with action can achieve what scientists call a spontaneous orgasm.
It is thrilling and exciting to experience how practicing yoga enhances sex, but as with anything that sounds too good to be true, there are social norms that need to be honored and respected. If what Broad said was accurate, that yoga began as a practice to use sexual energy as a path to enlightenment, we must be very careful and recognize the potential impact these sexual energies (when acted on) can have on those involved.
For some, reverting back to the supposed sex cults of ancient yoga is neither the preferred path to enlightenment, nor the direction they want to see yoga heading. Perhaps those highly sexed yoga trailblazers such as Friend, Bikram and Desai were just seduced by ancient yoga’s sexually focused method of reaching Nirvana. That is doubtful, especially in today’s world. Realistically, their actions are more commonly seen as an utter lack of respect and discipline, plus a complete misuse of the power of yoga’s libido enhancing benefits.