When most people hear that I am a Sexologist and that I happen to have my yoga teaching certification, the peanut gallery usually comes alive with cracks about all the sex positions I must be able to get into. While that might be true (nudge, wink), there actually is a direct correlation between certain postures and improving one’s sex life.
The practice of yoga is beneficial in so many ways. From reducing stress, increasing strength and flexibility, and developing mind/body discipline to creating more peace in the world, there really are no negative aspects to studying yoga. In fact, yoga has been used through the centuries to harness sexual energy. By practicing specific asanas (postures) you can actually improve your own sex life. Each asana in yoga has corresponding associated physical benefits. Each posture improves various systems of the body (circulation, digestion, immune system, etc.). When these systems are functioning properly, you will often feel more sexual. Yoga allows you to connect with your body and breath. The asanas below have specific sexual benefits. You should stay in each posture for at least five complete deep breaths.
Bring your hands on the floor about six inches apart, with the fingers spread to avoid any strain on the wrists, and your feet about six inches apart, below your hips. Flatten your back and allow your head to drop so you are looking behind yourself through your legs. Keep your belly in and your hips up and back. Arms and legs should be fully engaged with your inner thighs rotated out, creating a lovely inverted “V” with your body.
Downward Dog energizes the whole body and gets stagnant energy to move. Creating energy in the body can aid in developing the muscle tension needed for arousal, and also improves circulation. Proper blood flow to the genitals is very important to arousal and orgasm. By rotating the inner thighs out, you help open the pelvic floor. The more you bring your hips up and back, the more tension is released. Learning to relax this area of your body helps create more hip/pelvic control.
Come onto your hands and knees. Lift your right leg and then swoop it underneath you. Make sure your left leg is straight behind you. Drop your shoulders and open your chest, sinking into your hips and stretching your hip flexor for five breaths. Then slowly begin to move forward over your right leg to either your elbows or bring your forehead to the floor and stretch your arms up above your head with your hands in prayer mudra. Hold on each side three times as long as you do most other postures. Then transition onto either your right side to rest or come back up into downward dog as a transition. Repeat the posture on your left side and come back into downward dog when you are done.
Just like the shoulders and upper back carry the stresses of the day, your hips store the cellular memories of your life. Releasing the toxins from your hips can help to release these stresses as well. Your right side is associated with masculine aspects and issues and your left side with feminine aspects and issues. Issues related to gender and how we relate to one another can be healed through this posture. The hips are one of the tightest areas of the body for most people. This is partly because we store our long-term issues there and partly because so many of us spend all day hunched over a desk.
Lie on your back and point your toes – engage your legs, hugging the muscle to the bone. Bring your palms face down under your hips and squeeze your shoulder blades together, opening your chest. Slowly lower yourself onto your elbows. If you have a sensitive neck, keep your chin on your chest. For a more challenging posture, release your head back and look behind you upside down. Open and close your mouth (like a fish) – stick your tongue out and make faces. Slowly bring your chin back to your chest to complete the stretch.
Fish posture serves two primary purposes: it opens the heart (this is one of the only postures where your heart is above the rest of your body) and it energizes the thyroid and endocrine system. Your thyroid is in your neck and contributes to the hormonal function as related to the endocrine system. Many people have thyroid problems that affect their sexuality (among other things). This posture can help to bring the thyroid in balance, whether you are experiencing hypo- or hyper-thyroid issues. Opening your chest (heart) is a literal way to also enjoy the benefits metaphorically. By developing an open heart and focusing your intention on doing so, you may find it easier to connect with others. This kind of heart connection translates easily into the bedroom.
Lie on the floor. Bring the soles of your feet together as close to your buttocks as possible. Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand over your heart. Close your eyes and inhale deeply, blowing your belly up like a balloon. Exhale and squeeze the breath out through your mouth, contracting your abs at the end. Repeat several times. Still breathing through your mouth, move the breath to your chest heart center. Feel the hand on your chest lift and fall with each inhale and exhale. On each inhale imagining a bright green light in your chest glowing brighter. Then move to your root/sex chakra (in your pelvis) and with each inhale imagine a bright red light becoming stronger. You can choose this time to manifest a sensual evening with a lover or simply enjoy the pleasure for yourself.
This version of Pranayama is normally done at the end of a yoga session in order to polarize the energy in the body, but it can be done any time you would like to get in touch your energy and chakra centers. Note that the form of the body is in the form of a figure eight, with no beginning or end. This posture is conducive to visualization because it is slightly less physically active. It allows for focus on the heart chakra – which creates more love, peace and bonding to others – as well as the root chakra. The hips are open, releasing pelvic tension and energy. You can also focus on contracting your pubococcygeous muscles (PC) to strengthen orgasms and increase arousal. Manifestation (the idea of focusing physical energy and thoughts on a specific desire) is commonly used throughout yoga by setting an intention for your practice. This can be especially powerful while moving breath through the body, visualizing the chakras and creating a mental image. I have known colleagues who are able to orgasm with this practice alone.
The practice of yoga helps align chakras in the body, creating mental clarity, emotional stability and physical comfort. The alignment of chakras can profoundly affect not only your sex life but also your overall health. You can develop a body consciousness while doing any yoga practice. Pay attention to how certain postures make you feel and learn to harness your sexual energy – you’ll never look at your yoga class the same way!
Dr. Kat is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.
© Copyright Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk