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"I took my Boyfriend to Japanese Bondage Yoga"

on Wednesday, 14 September 2016. Posted in Consent Counts, Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Thrillist

By BARBARA WOOLSEY

These days, there are all kinds of ways to get spiritual while acting badass: beer yoga, pot yoga, naked yoga, and now even yoga of the Japanese bondage variety.

Yup -- Japanese bondage yoga is the latest, greatest, sensual, and erotic craze of the yogi-verse. Otherwise known as shibari yoga, it’s based on the 16th-century Japanese art of knots and ropes (warning: Googling shibari will yield some extremely NSFW images!). Once used by samurais to ensnare their enemies, it’s gained popularity today as a form of seductive BDSM play.

To learn more about this strange cocktail of deep breathing, restraints, and stretching, I signed up for a shibari yoga class in... Berlin.

Here are all the hot, kinky, and kind of embarrassing details:

It’s underground

Berlin is a city renowned for being hedonistic, alternative, and sexually free. So basically, shibari yoga is just another layer of a very dense subculture scene, ranging from sex clubs to techno and provocative art.

My boyfriend and I signed up online for the class and headed to Wedding, a neighborhood in Germany’s capital that’s just verging on trendy-cool while still being touted as sometimes rough. The shibari yoga studio was located in a converted hangar complex: a small, cozy room covered in lime green yoga mats and little, neatly wrapped bundles of rope. In the corner was a table piled with books from Japanese manga to The Erotic Bondage Handbook and My Lesbian Eyes 10 (also, with a lot more NSFW images).

Dasniya, the instructor, introduced herself and we chatted a bit about her life as a ballerina, yogi, and bondage artist. Her father was a Thai monk, so Dasniya grew up meditating and practicing yoga. Eventually, her skill-set evolved into performing. Working BDSM into dance choreography was just an extension of that -- which she said came to her naturally.

“Well," she added, smiling, "I also just like getting tied up.”

Bondage yoga isn't very sexy at first

Soon enough, my boyfriend and I were sitting next to Dasniya and six other people, watching as she looped a rope around her waist. We were to create nooses and tie ropes around our hips and legs until we'd created a harness from scratch.

Right off the bat, I had to give BDSMers major props. Not only was this all very distressing on my lady bits (with clothes on!), all those knots were very difficult to do. I kept getting lost and confused, even acquiring a headache from working and unworking tangled rope like a sailor.

With a little help from the instructor, I finally managed to clump together a harness that resembled a saggy baby diaper. Not exactly turned on just yet, I powered through the process of bracing up ropes around my feet to create more harnesses. We then moved into regular yoga stretches, using the leftover rope on our harnesses to pull us into deeper stretches. ...

Across from me, an experienced couple stared into each other’s eyes, looking as though at any second they were about to hump each other. The man had tied a really complex set of knots all around her legs and back, with especially tight ones around her boobs so they stuck out like she was wearing an extra-pointy 1960s bra. It looked freakin’ uncomfortable to be honest with you, but she seemed very hot and bothered.

“You’ve tied it so tight on my pee-pee,” I overheard her whisper, a gigantic smile on her face. ..

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