Yoga and sex. Let me count the ways:
Historically (meaning pre-20th century), probably not much of a relationship. At various times there have been undocumented connections made between the origins of postural yoga and the exotic practices of itinerant 19th century saddhus (the often naked, bad boys of India). These accusations more likely originated as insults thrown by traditional society (and the British) in order to discredit those threatening and (almost exclusively) male ascetics.
As yoga moved to the west after Krishnamacharya, however, yoga certainly got more “sexy.” It was taken up fervently by movie stars and other beautiful people (most often female), leggings became almost universal and hot yoga classes couldn’t help but remind participants of similar activities.
But what are the real connections?
- Study after study has shown that the regular practice of asanas decreases stress and the levels of cortisol in the body. These positive effects can linger for hours after a yoga routine, minimizing anxiety and making you more open to active lovemaking.
- Study after study has shown that a regular practice not only reduces stress but it also increases a general feeling of well-being. If you feel happy, your self-esteem usually rises, again making you more confident and carefree with respect to your chosen sexual practices.
- Many postures and techniques (including pranayama), and especially those involving strengthening the core and lifting the pelvic floor, increase healthy blood flow to the genital area. Particularly, the pelvic lock known as “Mula Bandha” (very similar to the Kegel exercise) brings strength and increased awareness to those special places that count (in addition to improving balance and spinal alignment).
- A 2010 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control. Much cheaper and healthier than that Viagra prescription!
- Not to get all acrobatic or kama sutra, but yoga’s contribution to most people’s flexibility decreases the possibility of those “I’ve got a cramp, we’ve got to stop!” moments.
- A wise yogi uses his or her practice to bring attention and awareness to the totality of the body. The next time orgasm is imminent, use your mindful awareness training to concentrate that thrill in not only your brain and sexual organs but to also in every portion of your body, from your ears to your toes, from your lips to your finger tips and all points in between. The full body orgasm will be yours.
We here at Inside/Out are just trying to calm the fluctuations of our minds. Come join us for more techniques!