Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga Concepts
Is it possible to control sexual desire by practicing Yoga?
Yoga practice develops objectivity
of the mind towards all desires
– sensual desires included –
and all things material.
on the other hand yoga strengthens
the will of the practitioner,
and advocate inculcation of Vairagya bhava
(disinterestedness in worldly affairs),
both help control all desires including the sexual desire.
In Yoga Sublimation is a process through which the sexual energies can be diverted to more productive uses as one enters the adulthood. Un-sublimated sexual energy can result in criminal perversions related to human sexuality. Yoga emphasizes on sex education among young adults. A neutral and pragmatic discussion on sex is important for our teenagers to take it as a normal part of our biological existence which has positive connotations to it.
Mis -intrepretation of sexual instincts – which by nature seem to be aggressive and thus negative – in one’s formative years can add negative connotations to it. The scariest angle of passing through puberty in a so called normal society is that it is taboo to openly talk about any aspect of it. A teenager can hear clamours on the worst things in life around him but not sex. It must be more grave than the heinous of the crimes which at least can be discussed with others.
And, all these changes – supposed to be prohibited – stuff is happening within the young person’s body without his / her control over it. Their inability to provide the right perspective to the raging libido can lead to a deranged nervous system with its more serious manifestations like neurosis. Yoga talks about various modifications (CittaVrittis), of the mind which are an hindrance to steadying it, the ultimate goal of yoga. Sexual impulses are considered to contribute as a well as intensify these modifications, thus need to be sublimated with the right techniques and thinking.
How Yoga Helps Control Sexual Desire
Yoga advocates concentration of the thoughts of the mind, leading a life with purity, morals and devotion. All this helps divert one’s mind from thoughts of sex to more productive, calmer, and positive states of mind.
It has been the aim of Yoga to maintain maximum innermost natural harmony between thoughts, feelings, and acts all that concerns life, and, as such even in matters sexual. Yoga’s directives on sex are clear and can be summed up in two words: purity and moderation.
Sexual energy is the part of biology of our physical existence. In fact, it is one of the most powerful instinct of human life which need to be moderated. This requires a strong mind which can be achieved with the regular practice of Yoga. Addiction to sex. like any other indulgence, is a strong form of attachment. Vairagya, as one of the techniques, as well as one of the bhava of yoga helps one to inculcate disinterestedness towards all attachments including the experience of the sexual act.
Yoga can help control sexual desire by strengthening the mind by habituating it to remain steady most of the time. Only a strong mind can achieve persistent effort and detachment which can lead to subduing of any of the powerful natural instincts.
Yoga can change one’s angle on sex. One begins to look at it more positively and constructively, which leads to a state where one doesn’t feel the need to control sex desire but turns it into the many normal components of biological living by human beings.
King Daksha on Guarding one’s Celibacy
Daksha says that one should guard one’s celibacy defined in following eight ways.
- Remembering (Smarana)
- Coursing of depicting play – Keli (sport)
- Looking with desire – Preksana
- Conversing with, in secret – Guhya bhasana
- Mental indulgence – Sankalpa
- Endeavour – Adhyava – saya
- Consummation – Kriya – Nir-vritti
- This is sexual conjunction (maithuna) with its eight constituents (angas) in code of Daksa VII.31.32
Classical Yofe.ga indicates for people who are involved in present world”
- Brahmacharya to be taken as purity and moderation in sex life.
- Sublimation when one is psychologically and spiritually prepared and ready for this step.
- Capability of directing one’s energy (including sexual energy) into a creative outlet, be it intellectual, artistic, or spiritual.
- Remembering the dictum of Freud: that repression or libertinage of sex can lead to psychological disturbances and in extreme cases to madness.
- Therefore, a middle ground is suggested.
- The dedicated householder yogi, however, makes a commitment to brahmacharya, after doing his Dharma, where sex life is concerned.
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