Exercise isn't normally thought of as sexy — but there's something downright sensual about yoga. The slow, provocative movements, not to mention thinking about what else someone that flexible can do. Yoga is the focus of author Samantha Hunter's latest romance, Bending Over Backwards, and we asked Hunter, a yogi herself, to tell us about why yoga compliments romance and how the exercise can be a highly enjoyable couples activity.
I’ve been a solo practitioner of yoga for the last three years, which basically means I don’t attend classes. Yoga is not only exercise for me, but it’s quiet time when I can relax and let all of the stress go. This is why home practice has been my choice. I rely primarily on DVDs, magazine and internet, and I’ve developed enough skill to work through whatever poses feel right on a certain day. I can pick whatever time of day I want to practice (sometimes in the middle of the night, if I can’t sleep) and I can do it for as long as I feel I want to. Still, it’s nice to share yoga, too, and couples or partner yoga is a very popular aspect of practice.
Sometimes I ask my hubby (who also started practicing) to help me with a pose, and that’s always nice. There’s a special sort of sexiness when your guy is supporting your back while you bend a certain way. You have to trust someone to do this and be comfortable knowing that they are looking at you quite closely in some rather strange positions. It’s making yourself vulnerable to someone — they will see not only how flexible you are, but how flexible you aren’t — and they are there to catch you if you tumble over. Anyone — couples, friends, family (even pets!) can do yoga poses together (here are some great beginner tips).
With Yoga, you are literally and emotionally supporting each other. Practice is a real source of connection, and so it was natural for me to explore this in a romance, where developing a connection and trust are the core issues for characters learning to love each other.
In Bending Over Backwards, my heroine, Jasmine, is a yoga teacher and the hero, Leo, is new to yoga. He’s also injured, which means their positions are reversed from the start — she’s the expert and he comes to her for help. She’s the one who needs to catch him if he falls — but that’s only true in their yoga practice. Jasmine is fine with the physical, but the emotional stakes and being vulnerable make her rather uncomfortable. Will Leo catch her if she falls — in love, that is?
The book illustrates the sexiness of yoga, but it also shows how it heals and connects people. Do you practice yoga, solo or with a partner? Does it sound like something you might like to try?
- Samantha Hunter