Yoga and Sex

Yoga and sex have more in common than just the old joke about being flexible enough to get into “wacky” positions. Both use the body to excite and soothe, and both have the potential to open our minds and spirits to enlightenment. As a sexologist and yoga teacher, I have seen the positive effects that regular yoga practice can have on a sexual relationship. There are individual physical rewards to practice as well as rewards to be reaped in a coupled relationship.

Most people associate sex and yoga with Kundalini Yoga. This form of yoga specifically addresses the harnessing of sexual energy. Sex is considered sacred and has the ability to take you to the next level of consciousness. Tantra and Kundalini Yoga practice are both greater spiritual practices that are inclusive of sexuality. There are more extreme Tantric beliefs (along with some Hatha Yoga practices) that teach that you should abstain from sex at certain times – this includes erections and masturbation. It is thought that semen is sacred and should be saved. Other forms of belief suggest that sexuality should be properly channeled in nurturing and life sustaining ways, and destructive forms of sexuality that do not reinforce the higher self are warned against. This can be interpreted to include activities that are nonconsensual or violent, choosing sexual partners that you do not feel a spiritual connection with, or even having sex unconsciously (thus removing its sacred quality).

In a practical sense, yoga improves many aspects of sexuality through the following:

Breath

The most important aspect of yoga is breath – both coordinating breath with movement and learning to breathe deeply and fully. There are also a variety of forms of breath that can be employed for different purposes. Learning to utilize your breath can profoundly improve the quality of your orgasms and bring you closer to your partner.

Flexibility

Yoga is a wonderful way to become more intimate with your own body. You learn what your body’s capabilities and limitations are. Many people leave yoga class with a new awareness and confidence in their body. You can also develop a sense of relaxation that most people only experience following sex. You get the benefit of being able to flex your body into all of those wonderful positions mentioned in the Kama Sutra.

Strength

Yoga helps you build and maintain core muscle strength. It can help you develop a level of physicality and confidence you can take with you well into old age. It will also enable you to hold positions longer. Specifically, it strengthens the pelvis, hips, and abdominal muscles – all very important in sexual response.

Blood Flow

The physical act of yoga will help your nerves rejuvenate and will increase blood flow throughout your body. More nerve development and increased blood flow equals increased sensitivity and arousal. Many people find that they are more easily aroused thanks to their yoga practice – this can include everything from light skin touching to improved orgasmic response due to increased blood flow to the genitals.

PC Muscles

The pubococcygeous muscles are those all-important muscles that are intimately linked to orgasm, urinary incontinence, and childbirth. Both men and women have them. Yogic practice makes you more familiar with their location and purpose, and helps you strengthen them. Strong PC muscles can lead to multiple orgasms, more intense orgasms, and stronger erections.

Emotional Release

Besides being a great way to manage stress and a wonderful meditative process, emotional release is inevitable through regular yoga practice. Emotional stress can live physically throughout the body. For instance, daily stress tends to live in the neck and upper back; while childhood stresses tend to take up residence in the hips. The right side of the body is aligned with the masculine and the left side with feminine traits. Stress related to these attributes seeks balance through a variety of yoga postures. Therefore specific yoga flows (or disciplines) can prescribe different postures (asanas) targeting the specific issues you might be having. The release of emotional stress can have profound affects in opening yourself up sexually. Yoga is a powerful tool in this regard. There are actually specific yoga therapists that can work with you one on one with these issues. The practice of yoga is also intimately linked to increasing the energy flow through the chakras.

Partner yoga is gaining more attention as well. This can be a profound merging of practices with a significant other. It involves modified asanas that are designed to coordinate the breath and movement of both partners while nurturing trust and synchronizing exchanges of power (each person has the opportunity to both support the weight of the other and be supported). It can be a beautiful exchange that can easily be transferred to the bedroom. It also helps to reinforce Tantric practice. Yoga is not just about sex – it is about learning to love your body and your partner’s body and achieving your full potential: sexually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

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