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Romantic Love in Yoga Practice

What does yoga have to do with sexual love?

Introspection in yoga, could help to break down the composite emotional energy which is usually recognize as a love feeling. That is a composite or combination energy. On occasion, however, this much desired energy converts in a jiffy to being a disliking and rejection force.

Is it like milk, where if it is not kept at a certain temperature, it converts into something sour? If this love is the sweetest feeling in the world, how is it that it may change into hard feelings, resentment, or depression.

There is a practice in yoga which is termed as pratyahar (prat-yaah-har). It is a system of energy and interest retraction, which is difficult to master. Many who do meditation have no idea about it, and still, they show themselves as yogis or yoginis. Patanjali listed pratyahar is the fifth stage of yoga, the stage just before the final three stages which may be experienced as one progression into another or one degression from another. Pratyahar means sensual energy retraction.

This energy retraction is the withdrawal and pulling in of the interest of the self into itself. The example of this is given in the Bhagavad Gita as the pulling in of its limbs in the case of a tortoise.

This article is about romantic or sexual love. That too should be pulled in or retracted. Suppose somebody loves someone else but there is no mutual emotion, no matching responding feelings and actions, what should that love-struck person do?

Before we attempt to prescribe a solution, we need to understand what the romance energy is, as to how it arises in the psyche, as to what it does as an emotional and physical action, and as to what its objective is.

A love action may remain in the psyche of one of the partners for a time but usually it jumps over into the being of the other person and returns either empty-handed and in possession with much reciprocating energy. If it comes back with no positive response, there arises disappointment, empty energy gaps or even downright hatred and frustration.

How is this happening?

When the angler went fishing, his objective was to capture fish. But as it is in every venture, there may be failure. The bait which is attached to the hook, may be stolen by the fish. Or the hooked fish which was being pulled in, may jerk which results in the line snapping and the wounded fish darting away. In either case the angler got a feeling of frustration which was not to his liking.

One way to avoid this frustration is to pull up the line with or without the bait. Carefully reel the string in. Pack the bait and accessories. Go back to shore. Get into your vehicle. Drive to your residence. Dispose of the fishing tools.

No fishing

No frustration

No disappointment

No hard feelings.

A yogi/yogini should sit to meditate. Then deliberately recall the incidence of hurt feelings which were due to lack of sexual reciprocation. One should see how that is formulated in one’s psyche as an independent force. One has the potential to feel that force at any time. It is a powerful motivational energy which when it develops fully, commands the psyche to act to fulfilled well-planned desires.

Our interest here is how this force is focused on someone who is considered to be the target. Where in the psyche does it originate? How is it developed? How is it projected? How does it convert to cause emotional pain?

Sit to meditate. With closed eyes research the psyche to find a romantic reciprocation energy. Watch this energy as it develops. If it remains absolutely still and develops in size no further, one should prompt it the expand. When it does one should note its size.

How does it leave the psyche and pursue the loved one? How does it procure or fail to attract the loved one’s attention? How does it react when the loved one does not reciprocate or brushes it aside?

How does it expand and increase in pleasure when the loved one responds eagerly to it?

Can this energy be safely retracted and give a positive feeling even when it is rejected or ignored by the loved one who was the target?

Indeed, that would be the pratyahar or retraction which results in enrichment of the projection of the love energy!

Replies (1)
    • “…how is it that it may change into hard feelings, resentment, or depression?”

      I have been labeled cold and heartless by women whom I cared deeply about; however, they resented me intensely since my expression of feelings did not measure up to their idea(s) of love. I was even told that I lack the ability to love by a few which is just insane to me—how do you draw such a conclusion from something that is inherently subjective? I do understand that it has to do with feelings of rejection and the emotions it triggers.

      In my early 20’s, I was asked a question by a young lady whom I was basically begging to reconsider a romantic split. After I spilled my guts in that library, she paused and looked deep into my eyes and asked, “why do you want me to do something that is against my will?” That question stopped me in my tracks and it resonated with me deeply! I told her that she was right and I apologized for insisting. That question is, by far, the most profound question that I have been asked as it concerns feelings and romantic desires. It made me face the fact that I was begging this woman to reconsider something that she DID NOT want and I saw that I was being selfish! Why should my happiness to come at the expense of another’s?

      After the experience, I thought deeply about the question she posed and my ideas of love which I basically flushed. I decided to own my feelings and not allow them to be a burden on anyone! I freely express what I feel to a partner without a need to hear it back. I found it fascinating each time I observed romantic feelings in my person and I studied these feelings for greater understanding. I am one to study deep emotions to get to the bottom of them— for example, I declared war against the anger at age 16, since I hated the fact that it made me do things which I regretted later.

      Now, I must admit that the introspection and experiences have made me into one who is not big on romantic love—I find that it is fleeting (a rollercoaster) so I focus beyond it. My desire is to be steady and I fight against anything that makes me unsteady.

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