Yoga is wonderful for releasing stress, teaching us how to breathe through discomfort and as Tara Stiles wonderfully puts it, yoga helps us ‘find ease in the most challenging situations’. It increases body awareness and mindfulness and re-introduces us to our own body.
Through consistent practice we become more in-tune with the body and more comfortable in it. Many daily things become more joyful when your body is relaxed and functions smoothly, and sex feels ummm... like a transformational experience. Yes, sex does get better with yoga. Not necessarily from increased flexibility (even though it may come in handy sometimes), but from being more aware of your body and being able to completely relax and surrender. Just like in meditation or Savasana, mind chatter gets in a way of good sex. Learning how to quiet your mind, makes you more present in the moments that you share with your partner.
Just imagine that you are able to stop thinking about your to-do list, about deadlines, and stress, and instead be fully present in the moment. Suddenly every touch becomes more intense, you feel every breath and whisper, you are so in-tune with your body and your partner that there is no need to think about what's coming next, your body just naturally flows from one position to the next. You don't worry about being perfect or looking a certain way, instead just as in yoga, you adapt things to work for your body in the present moment. You are doing it just for the sake of doing not to please someone and not because it is a part of the routine.
I am not even talking about the usefulness and the fun of using Mula Bandha (root lock) just at the right moments:). Girls, if you are still debating trying out yoga, this might be just an extra bonus of signing up for your first class series or going on a yoga retreat!
There are a few things that you can learn in a yoga class that will help to create a deep level of awareness and 'at will' relaxation. Try to focus on mastering them during yoga classes instead of thinking of how your butt looks in downdog to your neighbour. The more you keep your attention internally, in your body and on your breath, the more you will be able to stay mindful and present with your partner in bed.
1. Breath. The more aware you are of your breath, the more aware you are of your body. Slowing down your breath activates parasympathetic nervous system. Out from 'flight or fight' state into a 'enjoy and relax' state. If you know how to breath deeply even during the scary arm balances, nothing will get in a way of a relaxed deep breathing in the bedroom. Not even your kids or a loud siren outside the windows.
2. Awareness of your body. If you don't know your body, have no idea what it needs, and how to make it happen, your partner will have a difficult job ahead of him! Hoping that another person will know your body better than you is not a very productive strategy, especially in short-term relationships. In yoga classes, teachers always try to provide variations and talk about adapting things to fit your body. What feels good for one person might be the most uncomfortable stretch for another. You got to leave your ego behind the studio door (bedroom door, too) and don't be afraid to ask for modifications and variations. Look for the 'just right' sensation in all asanas and in bed. Pay attention to the way things feel for your body and make conclusions. If you are moving through a yoga class without paying attention to what's happening in your body, it's not yoga. If you have no idea what makes you happy in bed, you might be missing out on a lot of fun! Learn from your body through its feedback!
3. Exploration and discovery. Every day is different. Try to approach yoga asanas as if you were doing them for the first time with curiosity and an open mind. It will allow you to keep learning and to never get bored. The same skill is useful in sex, too! It can bring back the excitement of a first time, when you had chills and butterflies, when even holding hands sent you into a semi-conscious high state while your heart was pumping from adrenalin. It is a matter of your perception. It is your choice to keep the excitement or to let it dissipate into a boring routine. Another way to explore same old asanas (poses) is to work with props. I am not trying to be dirty here, by the way! Propping up your foot on a block in revolved triangle can turn an oldie into a new experience. There is nothing forbidden as long as it feels good!
Do you feel like your sex life is becoming better since you started practicing yoga? How did it change?