Ask a yogini: How to make yoga a part of your sex life
Yoga is spiritually uplifting and physically rejuvenating, but can it help us have a happier, healthier sex life? Sara—the sweetheart behind Sara Levine Yoga—sheds some light on how we can all use yoga to stress less and love more.
Which poses have a positive impact on our sex organs?
Ustrasana (Camel pose. Backbend.)
“Back bending is a great way to stimulate the body’s reproductive system. It extends the line from the neck all the way to the pelvic floor, as well as stretches the hips and fronts of the thighs, inviting endorphins to flood the body and bring sensation to areas that might feel dormant (such as the groin).”
Baddha Konasana (Feet together. Knees wide forward fold.)
“This pose is great for stress reduction. At the end of a long day when we might not be energized enough for intimacy, this pose offers us a chance to move inward for a few moments, concentrating on the breath, and letting go of our day. At the same time, it ignites the inner and outer hips and stimulates the pelvic floor increasing blood flow. It’s also great for lengthening the hamstrings so we feel limber.”
Ardha Chandrasana (Half moon pose.)
“This pose exudes beauty and grace, and is thought to connect to the lunar (or feminine) side of the body and soul. Although we are using our concentration and strength to stay in the pose, we are also expanding ourselves in every direction, allowing vulnerability to seep in. Our heart is opening and lifting which gives us a sensation of buoyancy.”
Ujjayi Pranayama (Breath work.)
“When we deepen our breath (perhaps using a counting technique), our nervous system calms, our mind clears, and our muscles relax. Presence during intimacy is a key to success and one of the best ways to stay present during intimacy is to listen to the breath. The next time your are intimate with your partner, try deep breathing while one of you offers gentle touch across the chest, belly, and thighs.”
Will these poses improve libido?
“Stepping onto a yoga mat and performing the poses listed in this article isn’t guaranteed to make you a better lover. What does make us better lovers is being less stressed, more present, happy, flexible, strong, and confident.”
Is there a pose you’d suggest to help with strength or endurance in the bedroom?
Handstand (Or headstands and other inversions.)
“Inversions are fun. They make us feel young, and strong, adventurous, and a little silly. But they do a lot more than that. Handstands and headstands force us to use all of our muscles in unison, which builds strength and stamina for any activity. When we are able to hold a handstand (against the wall or otherwise) for a few minutes, we can definitely conquer the bedroom. [These poses also] ask us to focus all of our attention into one place, at one moment. An excellent skill to have in the bedroom. When we have the ability to give our partner 100% of our attention, and to be fully present, we can experience sex with much greater intensity.”
If someone wants to explore yoga as a way to get in touch with their body and accept it more, what do you recommend?
“Get on the mat. It doesn’t matter if you go to a big fancy studio or if you buy a beginners video from the internet, stepping onto your mat is the surest way that you will begin to find a deeper connection to self. It is perfectly natural to feel uncomfortable or even embarrassed to start practicing yoga. There is a lot to think about; attire, props, crowds, ‘oming.’ But if you are having a hard time accepting yourself as you are, doing something you don’t think you can do might begin to change your mind.
Yoga at its core invites us to get more connected with ourselves. It asks us to become intimate with our physical bodies and to understand limitations, flaws, and capabilities. Through yoga we can begin to accept and even take pride in who we are, what we look like, and how we move in the world. Being comfortable in our own skin can make us less inhibited in our relationships. Feeling okay with our self, just as we are, means we can be more playful and also hopefully make our partners feel just as sexy as we feel. On another level, yoga also asks us to become intimate with our spiritual bodies; to feel compassion, unabashed joy, deep sorrow, fear, and immense love. Being able to connect with these emotions can cause profound shifts in our ability to connect with those around us. And once we step onto the mat, it is amazing what we are capable of.”
We are so grateful to Sara for her thoughtful response to our questions. Inspired? She offers yoga classes in Asheville, NC and online. And we, of course, offer all the birth control info you could possibly need.
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