A yogi has landed himself next to Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill Clinton on the list of notorious sex scandals. Turns out, sun salutations and sex scandals may go hand-in-hand. William Broad, author of a new book, The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, writes about the philandering of guru John Friend in a recent New York Times article.
According to Friend’s bio, he’s the founder of the popular branch of Hatha yoga called Anusara and “respects and honors his students with a great deal of loving-kindness.” Apparently too much loving-kindness, because he recently stepped down after details about his sexual indiscretions with multiple female pupils surfaced.
Friend isn’t the first guru to womanize his students, Broad writes. In fact, yoga has a tumultuous past filled with bendy Casanovas. So why do so many yoga gurus have affairs? Broad points to the history of yoga.
“Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult,” he writes in the article. “Hatha yoga—the parent of the styles now practiced around the globe—began as a branch of Tantra . . . Early in the 20th century, the founders of modern yoga worked hard to remove the Tantric stain. They devised a sanitized discipline that played down the old eroticism for a new emphasis on health and fitness.”
Now, we’re guessing all the sleeping around has less to do with the roots of yoga and more to do with an abuse of power. It’s the same reason we see movie stars, athletes, and politicians apologizing for their sexual misbehavior on what seems like a weekly basis. In the yoga world, Friend’s devotees consider him a megastar, too.
However, we can’t deny the fact that yoga benefits your health and sex life. Besides a room filled with girls wearing yoga pants, here are 4 reasons you should pull on some spandex and call yourself Gumby.
Position Yourself for Greater Pleasure Groin-shredding yoga poses might not look fun, but don’t be fooled—they’ll lead to more fun in the bedroom. Many of the moves send blood flow directly to the pelvic region, heightening sensitivity and desire. (Never taken a yoga class before? No problem. Check out the Man’s Guide to Yoga.)
Increase Your Endurance Between the Sheets According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, men with premature-ejaculation problems lasted three times longer during sex after 12 weeks of practicing an hour of yoga daily. Yoga movements strengthen your pelvic muscles, explain the researchers, and stronger muscles improve your control as you approach orgasm.
Gain Confidence in the Bedroom Besides increasing your lung capacity, yogic breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety and improve sexual performance in men, found a study in the journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. When practicing the ancient meditation technique of alternate nostril breathing, researchers think the nerves in each nostril reach different parts of the brain that control blood pressure. This produces a calming effect, which allows you to relax and last longer.
Not convinced? Try it for yourself with a breathing drill from The Men’s Health Big Book of Sex. Bring your right hand to your nose. Place your thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril for four counts. Then, close your left nostril with your ring finger and hold your breath for a count of four. Now, release your thumb and exhale through your right nostril for a four-count. Breathe in through the right, pause, close that nostril, release the left, and breathe out through the left nostril. That’s one round. Continue this pattern for about 5 minutes.