by Steph Auteri for HowAboutWe
People tend to fixate on very specific mental images when it comes to yoga and sex. They hear Yoga Sutra and think Kama Sutra. They remember that story they once read about the Orgasmic Meditation (OM) movement or naked yoga or yogasms. They picture the cheesy movie scenes where men watch a sex video and one of them drools, "wow, she must do yoga!" They envision Sting and Tantric sex... couples having intercourse while staring deeply into each other's eyes, achieving levitation right before they experience multiple, simultaneous, universe-altering orgasms.
Or something like that.
I have never experienced simultaneous orgasm. And the closest I've ever come to levitation is that time I went into a headstand in yoga class, fell over, and magically landed in king pigeon pose. But I can share with you five ways in which yoga can improve your sex life.
1. Flexibility. When I first started yoga, I couldn't touch my toes in a forward fold. Now, when I'm in bed, I can hug my leg to my chest and kiss my thigh (which makes it easy for my husband to sling my leg up and over his shoulder in order to achieve deeper penetration during intercourse... I love the extra stimulation to my cervix). If you'd like to achieve this increased flexibility, go to yoga. Or develop a home yoga practice that focuses especially on hip openers, pelvis openers and groin stretchers.
2. Mula Bandha. A well-balanced yoga practice regularly incorporates strength-building poses that require you to work your mula bandha. Basically, as you do your standing poses -- warrior poses and lunges and balancing poses that force you to support your own body weight while contorting this way and that -- you end up contracting the muscle between your sphincter muscle and the muscle that controls urination. Yes, this is the yogic version of what is commonly referred to as "exercising your kegels." And when you exercise your kegels, you can have stronger, more intense orgasms (as can your partner, if you squeeze him/her).
3. Yogasms. And speaking of orgasms, I've found that there is something to all the yogasm hullabaloo that popped up in the media last year. In addition to the stimulation that occurs to your nether regions when you work your mula bandha and the improved orgasms that can occur from working that area, yoga helps you build body awareness in a way that -- at least for me -- has helped with my arousal levels. I'm not going to promise that you'll be able to think yourself off (though that's a definite possibility). I will say, however, that -- at the very least -- you may be able to think your way into extreme horniness.
4. Mental Health. I don't know about you but, when I'm feeling angry with someone, I'm less likely to have sex with them. Unfortunately, when I was struggling with chronic depression and anxiety, I was angry a lot more often. Once I began practicing yoga, I became a lot less crazy pants, which was a boon to my marriage. This is what I mean when I say that yoga is about a lot more than just the physical benefits. Between the poses, the breathing exercises and the meditation, yoga can make you a lot more balanced. Which is generally code for: more sex!
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5. Partner Yoga. As you can see from the points above, your partner doesn't have to do yoga with you in order for your sex life to benefit. But if you're open to trying something a little bit different as a means of improving intimacy in your relationship, try partner yoga. It necessitates closeness and builds trust. And working out together can boost endorphins.