Sex, Nudity, and Yoga – What is Your Intent?

Jim Ray

Don’t worry. This blog article is safe for work. I purposely use rhetoric to gain readership and to get attention. Then, I have the punch line. If you take my rhetoric out of context, if you don’t wait for the punch line, if you misunderstand my intent, then we might not make great company together. Your approval is not necessary.

Oh, and on the nude selfie featured image, that’s me. I’m 54 and proud of my physique especially after skiing accident in 2010 prevented me from using my left leg to walk without equipment for 2 years due to broken leg and two knee surgeries. Yoga has been good to me and allowed me to lose 23 pounds plus move in ways I never dreamed when in the wheelchair. I have had to listen to my smart wad friend tell me I have a side boob (see next picture) when I had put on the weight and had shot selfie in lounge chair at swimming pool a couple of years ago. So, if you are offended by the photo, then get over it. Really. Just get over it.

sexy speedo and side boob

For what it is worth, here’s a photo from last ski season 2015 where we enforced the rules whereby others are not allowed to pass including ski patrol and, as usual, had altercation with ski patrol. It may be in my best interest to retire from the type of skiing I used to do that won me a silver NASTAR medal in competition with NC State and ECU three decades ago. My knees can’t take the bending over into crouched position to reduce wind resistance for extended periods of time.

tree pose - vrksasana

Sex, Nudity, and Yoga

Here’s the deal. When your yoga practice progresses into the advanced domain that I define not as some fancy pose but rather as what you are able to do with a given pose, you will be close together and touching other students and teachers. Your bodies will be exposed to varying degrees. You will be moving and breathing together. Combining it all with elements of music and dance have produced some of the most meaningful experiences I have had in life to date. The advanced assists take it to a whole new realm of intensity. When you are breathing together for several breathes, assisting another or getting an assist, moving deeper into the given pose on the exhale, and having your bodies touch very closely whether male or female, you must be professional and have clear intent.

I do not dance with everyone. Why? Because we might not know the same steps. Clear intent may be misunderstood in yoga with beginners. So, I do not dance the same way with beginners that I like to do with the advanced yoga practitioners. It is not a matter of prejudice. It is a matter of training. To me, hardly anything is more beautiful than working with others that have mastered the art of the assist. It does not happen on the first trip to the mat. It took me over a year to gain a deeper appreciation for the assist. For a beginner or anyone I do not know fairly well, I ask before I touch and then only do minimal assists such as a little shoulder pressure during savasana. For a more advanced yoga practitioner, I may also ask before I touch yet will move deeper into poses with firm touch as opposed to soft touch that might indicate a different intent. Nonetheless, our bodies will be close together. Close enough to hear the breathe. Close enough to see and to synchronize that breathe. Close enough where parts might accidentally bump. You have to be mature and advanced enough to laugh it off and move on or to not do it. There must be trust, clear intent, and professional delivery.

Personally, I like bringing home techniques learned in yoga regarding breathing and movement with my spouse of 17 years where I am in monogamous marriage even though no marriage is always a smooth ride. It is a choice. Choose what it right for you. I keep my pants on at yoga.

So, here’s the punch line. Whether a teacher or student in yoga, have clear intent. Be professional with assists. Communicate very clearly. If something doesn’t feel right, say so. If the teacher does something wrong, the student needs to say so in private and nicely. If the student does something wrong, the teacher needs to say so in private and nicely.

That is all.



Jim Ray, President
Neuse NetworksManaged Services Behind the Scenes, After-Hours, and Out of Your Way since 1997
web: phone: 919-838-1672 x100 email:

For service, email and call 919-838-1672 option 1.

Jim practices yoga daily and formed Neuse Networks in 1997 that specializes in managed services (MSP) to remotely automate IT maintenance and to take IT labor out of the equation. He focuses on combining conventional client/server technologies with virtualization, mobility, and cloud technologies to implement computer networks for voice, video, and data. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from NC State 1985. He has been in IEEE since 1980 (Senior Member, past Chair for Eastern North Carolina Section 2010, past Chair for NC State Student Branch 1981). He lives in Cary, NC with his wife and two sons.

2015-04-10 050

Cary Yoga Teacher Meetup

Sun & clouds
Gathering of Teachers and Teachers in Training to study yoga poses, assists, and sequences for Continuing Education.
Some of the folks in the teacher training class have expressed an interest in gathering for practice outside of the class room training. This Meetup intends to facilitate that gathering.
 Jim Ray