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Last night’s episode of The Bachelorette left our heads reeling with questions: What’s up with #Chad-ageddon? Is James T. trying to win the girl or a record deal? Why won’t Jordan’s hair just stay in place?
But the one moment that truly left us scratching our heads was Jojo and Chase’s “yoga” date. Between the “angergasms” and straddling one another, we wondered, “Is that even yoga?”
To answer this question, Pret-a-Reporter picked the brain of celebrity yoga instructor and author of Yogalosophy for Inner Strength Mandy Ingber, whose A-list clientele include Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence and Brooke Shields. For those less familiar with typical yoga practices, Ingber confirms that “angergasms” aren’t typical and also reveals what a beginner like Jojo can truly expect from a first-time class.
Pret-a-Reporter: Is what was shown on TV actually considered yoga?
That practice to me, that looked like it was a Tantric practice. That is a specific branch of yoga. There definitely are practices that are related to the energy between two people and their sexual energy, but that’s a very specific type of thing that people do. And that’s not a bad exercise for a couple that’s together that wants to have more intimacy — I think that that’s a nice exercise for people that are together to do. But you wouldn’t just walk into a yoga class and all the sudden be seated in somebody’s lap.
That was the first thing that occurred to me when I saw that, like, “Oh my gosh, people are going to think that when you walk into a yoga class it’s like a free-for-all.” So that would be a specific, Tantric practice, which is a sexual practice basically.
So is a Tantric practice a specific branch of yoga?
That’s a practice, but I don’t know if that would fall under the practice of yoga. I think it’s a sexual practice. Tantra just means connecting within the physical body. It wouldn’t mean always being sexual.
Although, they weren’t having sex, they were just sitting in each other’s energy, and there was a circuitry of energy going between them. It’s a yogic sexual practice. There are practices like that, energy practices. But I would say that 99 percent of the people practicing yoga are not doing that.
Are there elements of a tantric practice that are the same as a regular yoga practice? Breathing techniques etc.?
In the clip that you showed, where they were climbing on each other — where one person was doing downward facing dog on the other — that would be like acro-yoga, which is a partner kind of yoga. And that was something you could certainly take a specific class in. But again, it’s not something that you would walk into a yoga room that they would have you do. Those moves alone were pretty complicated, and that’s not something where a person who goes into a yoga class randomly would have happen to them. That’s not typical. They set it up. It’s a show — they’re setting people up to have sex. They’re basically finding the most evocative kind of things that you could possibly find in yoga to televise so that you can set up a situation where people are going to make out with each other.
Are these practices out there? Yes. In what way are they similar to a yoga class that you may take out in the world? Probably not that similar. But what’s the purpose? The purpose is definitely to feel energy. Basically, what was going on between those people is there is a circuitry of energy that goes through your own body, and then, when we’re in the presence of another person, you can start to feel how that circuitry connects with the other person.
They demonstrate what they called an “angergasm” — is that kind of release actually beneficial?
Well, I wasn’t taking that class, and that’s not something I would necessarily teach. It’s awkward. But those kind of exercises of releasing emotion are not bad. We do have emotions that need to be released, but that’s not anything that I’ve ever done in a yoga class. It’s nothing I’ve ever taught in a yoga class. That’s maybe more something I would have done in an acting class.
I think that things like that — emotionally releasing things — it’s not a bad idea. But it’s so staged that it’s hard to find it anything other than awkward and odd. When I’m watching it I’m not going, “Oh yeah!” I’m watching it and I’m going “cringe.”
I was cringing along with everybody else. I think that whenever we’re physical, not just in yoga, I think that physical exercise brings up a lot of emotional things. If someone’s in a spinning class, they might just start crying. That just happens. So I think that actually being physical is a great way to move energy and release pent-up emotional energy. However, I’ve never heard of an “angergasm” myself. But I feel like I’m missing out now after seeing that! (Laughs)
What can other first-timers actually expect when they go into their first yoga class? What should they be prepared for?
I think they can be prepared for something much less invasive and intrusive than that — much less confrontational. They can expect to walk into a room filled with probably a lot of other people who have not ever tried it before, especially going to a beginner yoga class.
What I would always do is go to a beginner class and speak with the teacher prior to class. Let the teacher know that you’re new and get a beat on what the teacher is up to. They should have an idea about what the class is going to be like, so feel free to ask that. Every teacher is different, and every class is going to be different.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
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