Ayurveda and the Importance of Sex

03/21/2014 11:39am ET | Updated May 19, 2014
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Years ago, towards the end of a month-long yoga program, I found myself sitting in the Jacuzzi next to a very famous yogi.

I knew he had recently left the order of monks and was in a relationship, and I wondered how often a serious yogi has sex.

I ask him, "How often do you have sex?"

Ever equanimous, he equivocates, "There's no certain prescription. But ideally, for me, sex should not be stress management or a way to smooth over a fight. My partner and I have sex when we feel a bubbling up of love for one another and the urge to express that love physically."

Very nice. Beautiful answer. But I want a number.

I push him, "So this bubbling up of love happens, what, a few times a day, monthly, only on solstice?"

"OK, OK," he relents, "about once a month."

That's sounds a tad slim to me. I'm a dedicated yogi but I'm not ready for this level of commitment. So I decide to look to Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, often called the sister science of yoga, for a second opinion.

Turns out that Ayurveda does in fact have a very clear stance on the correct commonness of coitus. On the fitting frequency of...well you get the idea. Ayurveda agrees and disagrees with my hot tub swami. According to Ayurveda, the answer depends on your constitutional type. Ayurveda teaches that every person is a blend of three proclivities, or doshas, described as ether/air, fire, and water/earth.

While each person is blend of these energies, usually one predominates.

In order to properly preserve vital energy and channel it toward spiritual evolvement, which we yogis call brahmacharya, Ayurveda recommends that vata types can hit the sheets once or twice per month. That about matches what I heard back in the hot tub.

For pitta types, though, the number is more like every two weeks. Pretty good, not bad. But, Kapha is the clear winner. Ayurveda suggests that you lucky kaphas out there can get tantric and engage your mating mula bhanda two to three times per week.

Good for you, kapha. Enjoy. I'm only a little bit jealous.

You can determine your own Ayurvedic constitution by seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner or by taking an online survey.

Keep in mind, though, that taking the survey is the easy part.

Are your really ready to find out your own magic number?