5 ways yoga is like s&m (oooh! ouch!)

- - Lifestyle


I’ve got my pleather yoga strap in hand and you better believe I’m going there. While the more apropos term is “BDSM,” I feel like S&M still holds a certain delicious dirtiness. It’s best you agree, considering I’m the one holding the whip. (too much too soon? heh. didn’t think so. you love it, dirty bird!)

Let’s get two things out of the way before we begin: 1) Yoga can be like S&M if you are a type-a pusher or tango with these tendencies, so don’t get all feisty with me if you have a sweet, honest practice that reads more Disney than The Brothers Grimm. 2) Our safe word is “ahimsa.”

5 Ways Yoga is Like S&M:

  1. Bondage – Yoga straps, bound baddha konasana, and strangling sports bras (why are they ALL like this?!). And teachers always seem suspiciously giddy to “help” you bind yourself up or get you a strap. Hmmm…
  2. Sadism – We’ve all had a teacher like this. You know who you are and you are way too jolly when you gleefully exclaim, “We’re doing to do a LOT of core work today!” Your cheery little face masks a devious, blackened, sadistic heart.
  3. (Erotic) Asphyxiation – Let’s come clean. We do this to ourselves. When things get particularly gritty in class or the nemesis pose rears its challenging head, we hold our breath. And hold. And forget we’re holding. And hold some more.
  4. Masochism – Whether it’s mental (self-talk such as, “No Child’s Pose for you, pansy-ass sassafrass!”) or physical (toes dig into your mat, teeth gritted, sweat beads upon your brow, pose held for dear life), we do it again and again. Because we are pushers and punishers. We see no edge, no borders, no boundaries.
  5. Deviants – The more vanilla and mainstream yoga goes, the more underground the yogasphere goes. We keep our words and our practice real. We are deviant because we deviate. By choice. We follow our own rules. I don’t know about you, but that gets me hot and bothered.


To my fellow pushers, I send you blissful ease and a dose of straightforward sensualism. To my fellow yogic deviants, crack the whip!

With tough love from atop my custom-studded Manduka Black. xo + smack!

photo credit: time.com

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

19 Comments to 5 ways yoga is like s&m (oooh! ouch!)

  1. i love the WTF yoga tag… but more importantly.. after my morning bondage, my “binds” and all… i read this… love love love it… makes holding hands in savasana even better!

  2. Heehee! “Our safe word is ‘ahimsa.'” ;)

    There’s always a chance someone will find shoulderstand to be a bit on the Erotic Asphyxiation side of things…

    And hey, I guess those acro yogis who love playing in the ropes are pretty much just underground S&M-er’s, right?

  3. With yoga, I’m a sensualist, not a pusher (gotten from Lo’s own blog). You guys are all a bunch of freaky, happy masochists … lol

    However, when it comes to pilates practice, I may as well be in S&M-land. I even know how to get injured (by pilates) and then do a work-around around it.

    In pilates, pain really is “allowed” …

  4. Have to admit, didn’t read it all yet, but it’s gotta be a good read….. ;) OK, I read the first part and it’s RIGHT on the money with what I’ve thought all along about the old S&M with yoga juxtaposition.. I’ve gotta say you’re a yogini after me own anahata.

  5. 3.(Erotic) Asphyxiation – 1min breath cycles/long deep breathing. Hold your breath out!Alternate nostril breathing while one side is totally clogged.

    4.Masochism- Waking up at 4am to
    do yoga/meditation=pure masochism.

    5.Deviants-Mulabandh(root lock)! Squeeze your “sex organs”.