Why was making love taken away from yoga?

love tantra yoga Nov 26, 2017
I knew from my own life-long experience that lovemaking is the most powerful motivator in my life, but I couldn’t find anything about it in the yoga scriptures. Why was this elemental force taken away from us?

By Michael Cramm


Lovemaking is the most important physical energetic happening between two people that can be experienced on this planet.

And lovemaking is exactly what the name implies:




Who makes love?

I do!

With my partner!


Love gone missing

So, when I first started to get involved in yoga and started to read with great interest various yogic scriptures including Patanjali’s yoga sutras and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

I was very surprised that the word ”LOVE” was missing entirely.

I could not believe it. In these famous classical works, you find great concepts such as Shaucha (cleanliness), Satya (the truth), Dharana (keeping the focus), Pratyahara (withdrawing senses), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (union with the divine).

But you don’t find LOVE.


Here I was, knowing from my own life-long experience that lovemaking is the most powerful motivator in my life, and there I was reading all sorts of nonsense about controlling sexuality (Brahmacharya) and even branding women in the same category as evil-minded people (Hatha Yoga Pradipika)

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about BRAHMACHARYA:

“In another context, brahmacharya is the virtue of celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married. It represents a virtuous lifestyle that also includes simple living, meditation and other behaviors.
In the Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist monastic traditions, brahmacharya implies, among other things, the mandatory renunciation of sex and marriage. It is considered necessary for a monk’s spiritual practice. Western notions of the religious life as practiced in monastic settings mirror these characteristics.” (bold lettering by me)

This, of course, means that unless married, no love making. I wonder how many people (including yogis) manage to do that without becoming slightly disturbed.


“Stay away from women”

And as you might know, the tradition of most modern yogic practices such as Krishnamacharya's “viniyoga”, Pattabhi Jois's “ashtanga yoga” and B.K.S Iyengar’s “Iyengar yoga” are all based on Patanjali’s yoga sutras. Although all three were married men, their marriage was in the context of Hindu tradition. It also does well to keep in mind that both Swami Svātmārāma (author of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika) as well as Patanjali were male Hindu monks.

Here is a short excerpt from the HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA (chapter 1 verse 62 and 63)

62. “Food heated again, dry, having too much salt, sour, minor grains, and vegetables that cause burning sensation, should not be eaten. Fire, women, traveling, etc., should be avoided“.
63. “As said by Goraksa, one should keep aloof from the society of the evil-minded, fire, women, traveling, early morning bath, fasting, and all kinds of bodily exertion”. (bold lettering by me)

“Re-affirm your love on a daily basis and it will break through all the sexual taboos or excitements that you have accumulated from society, your parents or religions.” Michael together with his beloved, Marjo Wuorisalo.


Strange sexual behavior

I have in a previous blog already elaborated on brahmacharya. In short, brahmacharya, if misunderstood as sexual celibacy, will lead to very strange sexual behavior patterns and push sexuality into the brain under the category of “don’t, dirty and bad”.

This, of course, produces sex, sexual fantasizing and aberrant sexual behavior.

Here again are some links to people that we look up to:

Mahatma Gandhi – the famous Indian politician, claimed to be celibate but tested his celibacy by sleeping next to naked girls
Paramahansa Yogananda – a celibate magic monk who brought Kriya yoga to the west gave initiations to girls in bubble baths
Satya Sai Baba – the great Indian magic guru was accused of many cases of sexual abuse of his disciples
Swami Akhandananda Saraswati – accused and jailed for sexual abuse of disciples of Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Bikram Choudhury – the founder of Bikram yoga was accused of sexually abusing disciples
Swami Kriyananda – founder of Ananda Yoga, accused of sexually abusing his disciples
Swami Muktananda – the founder of Siddha Yoga, celibate, accused of sexually abusing his disciples
Swami Satchidananda – the founder of Integral Yoga, accused of sexually abusing his disciples
Swami Rama – the founder of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, accused of sexually abusing his disciples

An impressive list. And of course there are:

Nikola Tesla – vowed celibacy to dedicate his life to electricity had a love affair with a pigeon (Point 5 in this article)
Cardinal George Bell – the latest sexual abuse case the church is facing
and this goes on and on, here is a list if you are interested in more of the same.

I am only including the just mentioned articles to underline my point that sexual repression tends to create aberrant sexual behavior. I did not know these people personally and I don’t have any axe to grind with them.

All I am interested in is knowing the truth and I don’t like to be lied to.


The “pillars” of our society

On a side note, we are also currently experiencing the social media movement of “#Me too”.

Movements like “#Me too” give great courage to those that have suffered sexual abuse to come forward and speak out.

“#Me too” exposes the sexual harassment of both men and women by the so-called pillars of our society.

The list of abusers includes members of the church, members of the entertainment industry and leading politicians; even the ex-president of the U.S.; these are people we are meant to look up to.

This type of hypocrisy is a marker of a lack of love and unfortunately very common.


Why was love making made evil?


Why is it that a woman has to be avoided or put into a category of ”mother” (AMMA) or ”goddess” to be accepted as a woman.

What is so disturbing about her?

What is so disturbing is that woman tends to put FIRST THINGS FIRST. In other words, she puts love first.

Woman also generally has a much, much broader view of life.

As men’s psyche tends to be linear, logical and intellectual, woman’s psyche tends toward the holistic and intuitive.

In general, it is very obvious that woman is very different from man in pretty much all aspects of her psyche and being.

But the main disturbing reason might be that:


In many different ways.


Patriarchal yoga

So to understand this idiocy of suppressing woman, it is necessary to understand (from a yoga point of view) that traditional yoga, as it is taught around the planet, is based on a PATRIARCHAL tradition (that means men created the teaching first and then rule by it.. ).

This apparently dates back to the ancient Vedic scriptures that have been passed on to us by a group of men called rishis, ( and although it appears that not all rishis were men, we do our best to disprove this.)

For some weird reason it was always assumed that true intelligence is only found in a man and if it was found in a woman, that woman had to have been an otherworldly being and was categorized as “GODDESS” or ”MOTHER”.

So, as to not be disturbed in his traditional holy contemplation of the source of life and terms like SAMADHI or MOKSHA, the serious yogi will have to put woman into a certain role where she becomes useful to him but never, ever dominating, disturbing or threatening. In other words, she was treated as little more than a servant.

Traditionally she is given children to raise and a household to keep.

In our modern world, it is quite similar. Many women are often busy morning to evening taking care that the family holds together or that some sort of love stays in their (love) relationship.

Man meanwhile takes care of the ”important” things in life, like money, politics or exercises in intellectuality.

So man was very comfortable with teaching other men and only the occasional woman, a practice that persisted until not too long ago (only the recent inclusion of the West has brought a lot of women into the traditional yogic fold – a very interesting change of equilibrium).

Although traditional Hindu scriptures include texts like the Kama Sutra (2nd century A.D), which details sexual practices of the day, by the 15th century A.D. the practice of being with women was dropped as it was deemed unnecessary and according to the HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA even harmful for spiritual enlightenment. Woman was clearly seen as disturbing to the male mind.


Yin and Yang – the symbol of unity between female and male energy.


The forgotten tradition

Concurrently with the development of patriarchal yoga lineage, however, there was a movement called TANTRIC YOGA.

Tantric yoga was based on the fact that the male and female psyche complement and complete each other.

One of the basic principles of tantric yoga is the worship of woman by man.

The famous YIN/YANG symbol is a depiction of this tantric truth.

Although tantric yoga is at least as old as the patriarchal approach it has been pushed aside over the centuries for the simple reason that the powerful female holistic consciousness is based in intuition, union, love, and wholeness. For some obscure reason this is disturbing to the male approach of intellectual self-control.


Tantric yoga is not sex!

This is a good moment to clear up a common misconception of today:

Tantric yoga is NOT sex!

Tantric yoga is worship of the female principle “SHAKTI” by the male principle “SHIVA”.

Shakti is the underlying female power that creates this existence. Shakti is free energy, wild and uncontrolled – a force of nature, if you wish.

As such Shakti will, of course, enjoy sexuality with a loving partner but in a very different way than what is taught as sex in the world.

Tantric sexuality is a free-flowing sexual energy that transforms the psyche (and the physical body) of both man and woman.

It is the linking of two physical bodies to the love that is the source of this entire existence. IT IS VERY SACRED and has nothing to do with peoples idea of ”SEX yoga”.

Sex, the way we use the word every day and what is shown to us in movies, is actually an energy that is stuck in a particular aspect of the psyche and tends to create sexual obsession and sexual thinking.

If this type of sex reaches into yoga, as it has in some yoga movements, it definitely does become sex yoga but is often woefully ignorant of the true meaning of tantra, which actually transforms sexuality into love.

And the way to transform sexuality into love is by physically making love, not by avoiding it or by making nonsense rules that try to avoid the subject.

(And by the way, the second chakra – Svadisthana – cannot open until sexuality is free-flowing and without suppression).


What then is making love?

First of all, lovemaking is a physical process. That means penis in a vagina.

It does not mean the love for a guru, a god or some intellectual process that promises to create more love. Love has to be made between two people. Very simple.

Lovemaking starts by asserting love as often as possible. You start telling you lover (husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend) how much you honestly love him or her. That will lead to a loving psyche. This has to be repeated often throughout the day.

It is not enough to say it once and leave it at that. And you have to mean it.

Then you start showing your love by action. This means that you are really together with the person you love. You talk together, you act together, you plan together, you touch each other often.

Touching is important, even if it is just a small stroke of the hair or a kiss in the kitchen. Buy flowers.

Acting like this re-affirms the love on a daily basis and will break through all the sexual taboos or excitements that you have accumulated from society, your parents or religions.

Physically and psychically, all of the above will soften the body, including the genital organs.

Love between the genital organs is the meeting of the female and male principle in the physical body. It creates joy and love in both partners.

And physical lovemaking does not stop in older age. Why would it?

Ever been in love? That is how it feels like.

Oh, and by the way, if you currently don’t have a partner, no worries. You are in a state of natural brahmacharya, so to say.

You are not missing out. You live and grow the love that you have already made within. Enjoy your life; love when and where it is right to love.

And when a suitable partner comes again, you are ready.


Love is the door

Now when you talk to women and ask what is most important to them, many will answer without hesitation that it is LOVE.

It is not money, job, food, technology, politics, entertainment, exercise etc.

It is love.

Because intuitively woman knows that love is the door to joy and freedom. Everything else follows from there.

Money, job, technology, politics, entertainment, sports etc., are usually what men are more interested in (and which they all too often put as a priority before love).

There is nothing wrong with money, career, technology, politics, entertainment, sports etc.; it is just that they are SECONDARY aspects of life.

The consequences of a man or woman forgetting about love being the priority in life, are:

• self-doubt
• increasing emotionality
• increasing mentality
• increasing sexuality
• confusion
• increasing hardness (both physical and psychological)
• independency
• religious fervour

From my perspective, no amount of political, religious, economic or technological change will ever bring love back to this planet. All of these are external changes.

If those external changes would bring love back, we would mainly see loving people in the different countries of our planet, which we don’t.

If you read the news, it is very obvious that love is missing. There are fighting, bickering and a lot of negative news.

The closest we can come to love on a national level appears to be peace treaties between nations and on a personal level, the different types of compromises in relationships (after the initial love and attraction have gone) while all too often love is fading away.

We then take the love that is left and project it onto our children (and animals) but all too often forget that the love relationship between man and woman is the source of those children.

And we are so used to this that we think it is normal. It’s not!


First things first

Having just described the everyday reality of many people, I do also have to acknowledge that more and more men and women have woken up (and are waking up) to the everyday reality of love and it’s primary importance. We have the privilege of having a lot of these people in our lives – A REAL BLESSING.

As I see it, we need to get back to living FIRST THINGS FIRST:

LOVE FIRST (always) and with that we will…

• automatically create politicians that tell us the truth
• start KNOWING god (which is entirely different from BELIEVING in god)
• create economic equality which stops the abuse of others
• start using our amazing technology for the good of the people living here on this planet
live in wonderful and joyful relationships that contribute to more and more love

To sum this up:


If this sounds like utopia, make it happen in your own life. Then your own day utopia will be real.

If this takes a lot of time, so what? Start now and watch your life getting better and better.

I’ll stop this blog with a quote from the movie “The Fifth Element“: 


so, please…


With love comes true intelligence.

With love comes the consciousness of the whole, the mythical samadhi.

With love comes the natural body consciousness that knows what is good to eat or not good to eat.

With love comes joy, laughter, and peace.

With love comes a subtle body that stays naturally healthy.

With love come healthy relationships.

With love everybody wins.

Love is lovemaking.

Love is your birthright.




Photos by: Sara Bondegård/Studio Sara


P.S. I sometimes get asked about gay people. I am not gay so I can only assert that love is between a man and a woman, shiva/shakti, yin/yang if you like. From the experience, I have with gay people I have observed that even in gay couples there is always one that represents the female aspects and one that represents the male. So although the body physiology is of the same sex, the psychic principles of male/female are still in place.


Michael Cramm (Germany, Australia, Finland) is a meditation and yoga teacher, naturopath and kinesiologist. He is also a practitioner of Hapkido, Tai chi, and Ba Gua. Together with his wife, Marjo Wuorisalo, he is the founder of Yogasource. This blog post is also published on his blog



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