Spandex, changing positions, deep breathing, sweat… nope this isn’t a description of hanky-panky, it’s your typical yoga class. The ancient practice of yoga has been known to help us with many ailments and circumstances, but yoga can be good for your sex life? Ommm yeah it can.
Stating the obvious, yoga makes you strong and flexible. Sex is simply more fun with an extra strength rubber band! When you feel more free and open in your body, you can move with ease and security. Allowing you to really make a connection. Besides, the word yoga means union. To come together. To bring together the self with the higher self. The self that we are, and the self that we intend to be. When we are in union with our more awakened self, we are engaged, and able to authentically connect with others. (aka our partners..hint hint)
Yoga is a devotional practice, it is a meaningful practice, but it is NOT a serious practice. So don’t take yourself so darn seriously! This sense of ease and playfulness is super important in any intimate experience. Sex is usually pretty silly when you really think about it. Funny noises may come out, cellulite may be exposed, but if we can learn to let it go and laugh about it, then we can just enjoy. Below are a few skills that have withstood the test of time, both on the mat, and in the bedroom, that can help you connect to your partner with ease.
Set an intention. Before hitting the sheets, slow down and set an intention together. “I intend to….” (fill in the blank). Maybe it’s an intention for how you want to feel, or how you want to make your partner feel. Whatever it is, be specific. You may both want to keep it to yourselves or say it audibly, it’s up to you. There is no wrong way to do this, so have fun with it.
Take some deep breathes together. Breathing deeply calms the nervous system. You can actually shift from the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, simply by breathing differently. Your diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle just below your rib cage. When you breath deeply and diaphragmatically you will see your belly move, not your just clavicles. It’s very difficult to enjoy sex when we are in fight or flight mode. And to be clear, most of us spend a lot of our day there. In a constant state of anxiety, feeling tired and wired. Physically, getting down is not so hot in this state. We got to take it down a few notches.
Mula Bandha, or “root lock” is frequently practiced in yoga. Put in action, it is literally a clenching of your pelvic floor. As if you were trying to stop yourself from going to the bathroom. We engage in mula bandha to restrain outward flow of energy. This constriction also benefits the circulatory system, and endocrine system. To engage in mula bundha for men and women, you want to squeeze and suck in the muscles of your pelvic floor. If this can be done with mediation, even better. Inhale squeeze, exhale release. Not only are you energetically stimulating your system, but you are making yourself, well… ahem, tighter. For the real clencher (yes pun intended). try engaging mula bundha during the sex act. You’re welcome in advance.
Yoga is a cultivation of awareness. It is through the practice of asana (shapes/poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises), that we are brought to a state of presence. When we are embodied, as in not on the phone, on facebook, or thinking of something that happened three years ago. We are emotionally, physically, and whole heartedly available. Not only to our partners, but to ourselves, our jobs, our kids, and the coffee lady who makes our mocha latte. When we are in our body, we are with our partner. that’s intimacy. Holding space with someone and connecting.