The Eight Limbs of Brazilian Waxing

Pratyhara (Sensory Withdrawal) – Prior to Appointment

In utter fear you read about the procedure, research the salon, and try to find information about how to decrease if not eliminate the pain. Then wonder if you can combine all the pain relieving mechanisms together. In essence, you plan to achieve complete sensory withdrawal by eating pineapples (for their natural anti-inflammatory qualities) three days in advance, rubbing numbing cream on the site an hour before, and taking Motrin twenty minutes prior.

Pranayama (Breath Control) – The First Time

You arrive early having forgotten all the pre-appointment pain relievers, probably out of fear — and wax wouldn’t adhere to cream anyway, would it? You approach the desk and whisper to the receptionist why you’re there. While waiting, the epiphany of what was I thinking hits. Unfortunately, as soon as you get up to leave they call your name. Shit! You enter with the notion of maintaining ujjayi breathing, a classic yoga practice to provide focus, clarity, and the proper movement of energy throughout the body. During the actual procedure, however, you spastically alternate between Lamaze breathing and no breathing.

Yama (Nonviolence) – The Esthetician

As this woman puts hot wax on your privates and rips off the unwanted hair, you must set aside your violent reflexes, practice continence (in bladder and behavior), and learn to honestly accept and forgive her.

Asanas (Postures) – Positions

Savasana (Corps Pose): Your first time in every way. In preparation for your wedding night, Mom leaves you to the care of the Pakistani woman and says: “Give her the works. I’ll be back to get her in a few hours.” Here, your virgin body simply flops down on its back and lies there awaiting its unknown fate.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Butterfly): Feet together, knees fall apart, with a slight modification. Rather than having one hand on the heart and the other on the belly, you have one hand on your gaping mouth and the other on your jewels. The latter is for the wax woman’s sake. She needs help pulling the skin taut.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog): The pose is typically achieved on hands and feet. In this case, the folding table assists the position as you lie face down, just one of several options for easy access to the derriere.

Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose): Lying on your back, you bring your legs up and hold them open, souls of the feet pointing to the sky. It provides a second option for accessing the hindquarters.

Goasana (Table Top): Option three for the backside bonanza happens with you on all fours. A helpful modification here is done on the forearms, which facilitates access to your posterior while requiring a very tight sphincter or else.

Apanasana (Hugging knees to the chest): Just when you thought you had seen it all, a new waxer wants to know if this position is ok. You nod, too focused on suppressing the air your body is about to expel. She rips and so do you. Oops.

Samadhi (Ecstasy) – Post Waxing

Staring at your prepubescent looking honey you experience a newfound joy and wonder. The second Brazilian, a few years after the wedding night, even reawakens your disconnected (now ex-)husband. The missing hair allows the nerve endings in your down-there skin to magnify the pleasure and yes, yes, yes. Post divorce, when freedom returns, you never get tired of your latest lover’s eyes widening at the moment of reveal.

Niyama (Self Discipline) – Deciding to Upkeep

All that positive reinforcement makes you promise to make Brazilian waxing a part of your life. Forget the wincing pain, itchy feeling as the hair grows back, and the embarrassment of putting your unmentionables in the hands of a complete stranger. You even become an evangelist for this strange form of torture, a torture that comes with a payoff of course.

Dharana (Concentration) – DIY

You attempt to do your own waxing, because a spontaneous date came up. How hard could it be? If those women can do it, so can you. You’ve got this. You sit in Malasana (Yoga Squat) with a mirror directly under your lady bits. But soon you realize you don’t got this and you are back on some esthetician’s table, half-waxed, in their position of choice.

Dhyana (Quieting the Mind) – Today

By now, the process has become a part of you. After making the appointment your mind goes completely quiet and the poses just follow. Amid this quiet, you become aware of a glaring difference between the two practices. Whereas in yoga one flows in sync with breath, in Brazilian waxing she is stiff and breathless.