I need to tell someone this weird story connected with yoga. It’s so weird, that I want to share it anonymously, since I never had a courage to speak freely about such strange things that happened and still happen sometimes. Above all, i just want to tell it, but of course i would be happy if anybody reacts to it. Maybe it will be helpful as well.
When I was quite young, 8 or 9 years old, i found in Cavendish “World of Knowledge” an interesting article about yoga and meditation. There was some short explanation about asanas, pranayamas and meditations with picture of Indian yogi meditating in padmasana. I thought to myself “Wow, that’s interesting, this whole thing. I MUST give it a try.” Since I was kid an there was no Internet - it was my only source of knowledge - i found also some pictures of statues of Buddha meditating in lotus pose and other picture of sadhu practising tree pose in another book. The idea of achieving happiness and calm mind and health through yoga seemed extremely attractive to me as a child. And the cool lotus pose - woow! That was something i wanted to do!
I was this one child in the sports class, who wasn't able to touch own toes, who never did a headstand and all my classmates laughed about me having trouble with tumble. The idea of such difficult pose like padmasana was enormously appealing to me. I started to try some simple meditations in various cross-leged positions at the evening - just focusing on the breath and not thinking, as stated in the article, just when i was alone, in the bathroom - so that my family never knew about me meditating and being interested in yoga at all. I also tried to practice some short mediations or simply doing in a row as many variations of cross-leged poses with some hand mudras seen in books or TV. Young body without any pain or troubles after some time was able to practice half lotus, and finally - full lotus. That seemd cool to me - when I achieved this goal I wanted to know more about yoga, get more practice. But - there was no Internet at home, and we lived in a village - far away from yoga classes, books, videos.
I really loved my sitting in lotus pose with mudras - felt so special in this pose. But, as soon as i get fully comfortable in the pose, my body gave me a sexual response - possibly one of the firsts in my live. Something new and unusual for growing boy. First, there was an erection. It appeared every time when i tried to do my lotus and short meditation. During this relative small “yoga practices” i developed some self-acceptance and self-love for my own body - something I lacked before, because of being “the weak one”, who never played football well enough. As a child, i had problem with accepting the look my own feet - i hated wearing sandals, i needed always to wear socks when at home. My little yoga changed it a bit, i starred to accept how my feet look like - it just happend some time when practicing. In a burst of emotion, I kissed my own feet and got a strong relief. Doing padmasana regularly allowed me to touch my feet to the head and put my leg over my arm. I also started to do some baddha konasana and tree pose. There was some time gaps (week, sometimes month or two) - because as i grow older i get some doubts about the practice - i will exlpain it soon.
I got older, my body also matured. With time, i found somewhere information about mantra meditation, so i tried to my first mantra meditation at night, when everybody was asleep. I did my padmasana, joined my palms together, and whispered some mantra - and then i get strong sexual response from my body- something completely unusual to me. Completely involuntarily - never experienced masturbation, never being so strongly intrested in sexuality like some other boys in my class, who early spoke about sex and were obsessed with slapping girls asses - you know, stupid and unacceptable things trying to do. I was always against such behavior and never wanted to take part in some “sex discussions”. So I never expected it to happen - never wanted to have such an experience.
This little accident happend again some times, when i tried to do my pratcice. After some time, in full lotus i stopped - now there was only an erection without orgasms. Later, when i saw somewhere a Youtube video about some lotus variations. During some variations and invertions, being in move I experienced another orgasm - and it was common to my practice.
But, its only a little part of the story. I was also a obsessed with idea of being a yogi, thinking about long meditations, solitude, admiring gold statues of Buddha and colorful pictures of hindu gods in yoga poses. I also came to an idea, that through meditation i could be possible to achieve some goals - like becoming more attractive to girls at school, trying to make one girl thinking about me and feeling something to me. I was just sitting in padmasana and trying “to connect with her” to make her love me. I don’t know from where i got this idea - i never read about something like this - it was just inside my mind somehow. Of course didn’t work, but soon I also get a full stop on my “yoga practice”.
It was when I was about 12/13. Because of one thing: I was being contradictory at this time, and since i became aware of it - it has to change. My family follows the rules of ancient Abrahamic religion - Christianity. I was also convinced Christian. I studied the Bible, the Catechism, read a lot - finally had internet at home. When i was growing, i got an interest in my own religious tradition, sacred rites, philosophy, theology and prayer. But I also collected some more and more information about yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism and dharmic philosophy. As a Christian, who really believed in Christ, His teachings combined with whole philosophy and theology i got the important point: when you follow Abrahamic religion, especially Christianity, the whole concept of yoga, the whole philosophy is unacceptable: there is no way one can be true Christian and true yogi. Some things Christian isn’t able to accept in yoga philosophy:
-reincarnation - because it contradicts the teaching of unique, one life on Earth and then the judgement and way to Heaven, purgatory or hell. There is no “cleansing through rebirth” in Christianity; after death your soul could be purified in purgatory or in some other way (the western Christian and eastern Christian traditions have different explanation to the similar process of soul purification), together with caste system or any other kind of people segregation based on dharmic philosophy, which happens to be part of some dharmic religions - which yoga is a part, but we don’t speak a lot about in the western world.
-nirvana or samadhi as final goal of yoga - this concept is much diferent from goals of Christian, who has to follow Jesus in his charity and love, preaching the Gospel “usque ad mortem”. The final goal of Christian life is to glorify, praise and be thankful to personal God, who created te universe and loves everyone.
-concept of chakras and kundalini
-different philosophy of prayer and meditation - When a Yogi meditates, he tries to keep his mind clear, he tries to focus, to reach deep meditative state. Christian prayer and meditation is always a meeting of two: You(creation) and God (creator and reedemer). There are lot of Christian meditation methods - which are “completely form another planet” than Buddhist or yoga meditation. When Christian monk does his daily meditation, he focuses on his Lord, trying to get a dialogue, trying to contemplate some Bible text or he just seats or kneels before his God and is thankful - his mind is never empty, never focused on breath, when he repeats prayer he is obliged to focus on the meaning, not on the mechanical repetition, like in mantra. Both meditations Dharmic and Christian happen in silence - but the things going in head are much different.
-politheism, guru cult (both are practices in mantras for example: Om namah Shivaya; pictures of hindu gods and gurus are often present in yoga classrooms), Buddha cult or buddhist maltheism - are unacceptable from monotheist perspective
-and a lot more - so one can write a whole book about the differences
Also my near-sexual experience during meditation isn’t something acceptable from Christian point of view, because the sexual relationship should be always the beautiful mystery of two married lovers, giving themselves full love and commitment.
Without trying to judge yogis, hindus and buddhists - for all of them i still have an interest - (i like to read and get knowledge about religions an traditions) , I decided I cannot do my very limited yoga practice anymore. I wanted to be consequent in my Christian beliefs. So there was no place for all of my beloved yoga elements.
Instead of it, i get some education in Christian ways of meditation (like lectio divina, meditatio ignatiana, St.Sulpice meditation) and also engaged myself into sacred ceremonies of Christian Liturgy, witch is also amazing for me: there is a lot of silent prayer, meditation but also chant, often in Latin or Greek, a lot of incense and rituals in the aura of sacrum and mystery. Some years later, when I was 19, after finishing high school I spend several months in kind of christian monastery, where i studied Bible and christian doctrine. O man - that was wonderful time- i found the inner silence and inner peace. I was taught by the monks how to build inner silence, how to walk in constant presence of Almighty God, how to work on myself to be a better Christian. There was a priest who guided me spiritually, and a lot of other who where always ready to help with maintaining relationship with Lord and good spiritual life. From the physical perspective, i just switched from asanas to simple stretching, pilates, running, riding bike and other activities to keep my body healthy.
But it didn’t happen to be so simple: I still was and still am interested in yoga, during this whole time, I read a lot, especially the websites of yoga teachers, watched a lot youtube yoga videos,. Even if i didn’t practice (i became non-flexible again). All of teenagers have sometimes days or weeks when they say “Fuck the whole world”, sometimes people are beseeched by doubts. When i felt rebellious about society, family and chruch, i always started to do some asanas and some yogic meditation. During the longer sessions of asanas and meditations in my room, i felt better, and also the known sexual feeling happend a lot - it was sometimes plaesant, but also often unpleasant, because this activation of sexuality always drained out my energy - so i couldn’t practice more - i felt drained, without power, non-fulfilled. Not anymore yogi-like, and also gulity for not being Christian-like.
But not only this: in my dreams, i was often alone and practicing yoga - with my earlier-beloved lotus pose and mudras - just being a yogi. I also had strong imaginations during the day: I imagined myself often as ash covered Indian yogi living in some cave and doing yoga all the day, I often thought about coming back to regular yoga practice in my life, even at cost of abandoning my christian beliefs at all. Wanted to practice, to sit in padmasana, to meditate, to chant mantras, becoming self-aware, much happier person but also: getting flexibility and body power, sometimes also thought that maybe yoga can give me some other secrets - because people often think -they have them. Maybe I would get good girlfriend and start nice relationship, maybe i become more confident and better self-governing. Sometimes it was just crazy - like kind of inner male or female voice trying to convince me to back to yoga. I just created this inner voice myself and tried to convince myself to some non-existent idyllic state of being yogi.
These thoughts weren’t so strong when i was practicing full-scale Christian spirituality in the monastery: i felt spiritually happy and fulfilled in silence, prayer, rituals and good organization of monastic life with proper balance of prayer, work and study. But during this time I also got some strange dreams: a woman, yoga teacher I never met, but knew her from her website, appeared in my dream and kissed my forehead, then disappeared.
Outside of time being in monastery i watched sometimes yoga videos; i thought a lot about female yoga teachers i watched, sometimes with some kind of unexplained admiration, like a little student for wonderful teacher - crazy AF, don’t you think? But of course, every time i always thought - duude, where these thoughts come from? Stop being psycho. And it stopped.
I also never felt good, when i was in my short periods of “rebellion aganist own beliefs” - meditations made me calm but somehow stressed and uncomfortable - asanas as stretching exercises where often plaesant - sometimes- not always i experienced my sexuality awaken. But sometimes i felt very bad about my whole life I also tried to relief myself - so I tried to fetishize myself with yogic things: completely alone, Thigh yoga pants on, barefoot, nice mat, sometimes music or yoga video, sometimes with an idea of marking “third eye” on forehead or some other symbols on my body, trying to calm myself inside i practised some slow asanas, awakening fully my sexuality - i finished short session with beloved padmasana, practised movement through some variations and inversions. It fetishized and stimulated me. So crazy... But it happens to me very rarely - like twice or thrice a year, when I felt fully depressed and hopeless and there is nothing to please me. I learned to avoid doing such crazy things. I’ve got a liitle knowledge how man’s body works - i know i need to do some healthy sport, maybe a run, gym exercises or pilates session, maybe some other activities I like. As long I’ve got things to do and good activities, I never go so insane.
Even if I don’t want, yoga comes to me in my thoughts - it’s so crazy. I normally don’t want either normal yoga or stimulating sexual experience through it - I got my own beliefs and way of life, as Christian and conservative, but there is also something different inside me. Sooo crazy. Don’t get it.
Few years ago, i got a chronical disease.It made me feel sick all the time. Got plenty of surgeries, drugs, antibiotics, must rely on my family support, can’t organise myself, get proper job. I had to change some priorities, stay home, don’t be so active I’ve always been. I’m still fighting, trying at least to get some more education to get better job in the future, I’ve got my Christian beliefs, they give me hope and power to fight, to try again when failed. I know there is Someone tho loves me and helps me. I’ve got commitment to my religion, to beliefs and rituals, which are for me highly important. The Lord I believe in is stronger than all this.
But... there is still in my head an idea - come back to yoga - it brings your health back, it brings your hapiness back, and everything - idyllic vision of my old ways of doing asanas, sitting in lotus pose and exploring myself in yoga. Inner voice trying to convince me it would bring my health back - if only I surrender my beliefs and commit myself to yoga. What a crazy things!? I know that during my disease also some physical activity is recommended - i try my best, with long walks, sometimes slow pilates, bike rides. But my crazy irrational mind is doing sometimes “yogayogayoga”. O man, it is crazy.
What is so sexual and subtle in padmasana, that it awakes such feelings inside me?
Is it something in asanas, yoga mat and environment and yoga practice itself, that awakens sexual feelings?
Why in my case once practised, even a little bit, thoughts about yoga comes after me whole life, sometimes driving me crazy...
I mean, I can live normally with it, it’s ok - but it is very weird story, how only a little contact with yoga worked inside me.