This time of year we hear a lot about gifts, chocolates, and flowers… but what about something new?? Just like chocolates and flowers on Valentine’s Day (you would hope) may woo your lover into bed, yoga too is an enabler of sexy time, and contributes towards the sexual health of you and your honey when both parties practice. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, sex is considered a basic human physiological necessity, along with shelter, eating and sleeping. Although I don’t believe you’ll necessarily die without it, I do believe it is quite important on many levels. With that being said, let’s talk about our sexual health, yoga, and how the two are interconnected. Lovey Dovey month just got a little sexier…
There are many areas I want to brush up on in this blog, but I’ll start by saying yoga dates are always a good idea!! A yoga date is a healthy way to enjoy quality time together – whether you’re friends or lovers, have been in a long term relationship, or just getting to know each other and want to see him/her in yoga pants J. It’s a time and space to challenge one another, laugh a little, and you guessed it – send nutrient and oxygen rich blood to all your favorite places haha.
Apart from the social aspect, there are many physical benefits yoga provides for men and women in regards to sexual health (which I will discuss in a moment). In addition, yoga teaches things that benefit us beyond physical. Things like mutual acceptance, openness, respect, positive energy, and more, are all acquired through yoga leading to a deepened connection and consequently, a much more satisfying sexual experience. And if you’re new and you’re worried your partner will frown upon you for not being “good” enough, he or she is not the one for you! Love and compassion go hand in hand, in every relationship, no matter how minute, and the fact that you’re taking the steps to improve yourself is a beautiful thing that should be commended!
Physically, yoga enhances the flexibility and strength of all muscles used during sex, primarily the pelvic floor muscles for both genders. This pelvic floor activation or “lock” is what us yogis refer to as “Mula Bandha” and it’s one of the 3 Bandhas we use for stabilization and to get deeper and further into yoga postures. The other two Banda’s are the abdominal lock (Uddiyana Bandha) and throat lock (Jalandhara Bandha). For example, you will find crow pose is MUCH easier when Mula and Uddiyanda Bandha’s are activated. The same goes for most poses.
Activation of Mula Bandha can be done by lifting and contracting the pelvic floor, which lays horizontally at the base of the pelvis between the pubic bone and coccyx and between the sits/sitting bones (AKA Ischial tuberosity). For both genders, such activation is done when you resist a strong urge to urinate; when the area between the anus and genitals is engaged.
In addition to its stabilizing properties during yoga, the pelvic floor is capable of a wide range of sensations when activated as it is endowed with much connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. Control, strength, and tone of the pelvic floor muscles are important in aiding sexual function and pleasure, and is also important in preventing or improving pelvic relaxation and urinary incontinence (so sorry, nursing side coming out).
For women, the combination of yoga breathing exercises (AKA Pranayama Breathing) and pelvic muscle control allows for a longer and stronger orgasm when practiced during sex. Meditation, which involves awareness of a steady elongated breath flow is therapeutic for calming the mind and heating the body. Training yourself to automatically enter this “centered” zone is a great tool in all aspects of life, if you know what I mean. Perfect!!
For men, yoga therapy involving physical practice, meditation, and breathing exercises helps treat problems such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Yogic exercises also provides insight to interesting positions both partners can enjoy. Furthermore, strengthening of the pelvic floor means more blood flow control to and from the penis, but it is important to note that most problems are more mental than they are physical.
A healthy mind is crucial to make the act truly pleasurable for both parties. Luckily, yoga helps with this tremendously as it helps to ward off psychological problems often experienced during sex such as tension, fear, nervousness, stress, lack of confidence, anxiety, paranoia, etc.
Yoga helps to a treat these issues by opening up the practitioners’ physical body and mind, giving them a place to quietly reflect inwards and practice downtime, vulnerability, and precise breathing techniques useful for relaxation and awareness, in a safe judge-free environment. By freeing the mind of stress, you allow space for more a more positive attitude.
With practice, the lessons you learn in yoga – breath awareness, mental clarity, the act of being fully present – will become a part of you in “real life” and can certainly carry over into your love life. You may begin to shift your outlook on life and love altogether.
In addition, when both parties practice together, you cultivate a rapport with each other that creates a more positive state of being with one another. When walls are broken down together, the barriers of tension lessen, allowing space for laughter, acceptance, and growth. Accomplishing things together, laughing together… are all beautiful building blocks to connect at a deeper level. It’s all about connection. That is yoga. Yoga is the union (literal definition) of the mind, body, and spirit through the breath and by being fully present. Savoring the present moment is where we find bliss. By learning to be fully present on the mat, you can easily train yourself to be fully present in other or all aspects of life, and that is a gift you can keep with you forever.
Why not practice with your babe to get a little closer, feel a little more, and share a memory. I know that’s deep haha, but why not? It’s next level, it’s healthy, and it’s fun.
As always, would love to hear your feedback, questions or comments. Thanks so much for reading. Wishing you lots of love this (and every) month!!! xoxoxo