Is yoga the secret to better sex? Teachers, doctors, experts, and studies say it can be. We asked them how you can use your practice as a path to deep, passionate lovemaking. Discover here how what you do on the mat is the perfect practice for what you do in the bedroom.
Most YogaJournal.com readers understand that yoga is not just asana practice. It is the coming together of sun and moon, yin and yang, Shiva and Shakti (male and female). Yoga is our union with our highest Self. We balance our internal energies in order to elevate ourselves and those around us. Same goes for sex, according to Karuna Sabnani, naturopathic doctor and founder of Karuna Naturopathic Healthcare in New York City. It’s the ultimate form of yoga, meditation, and union. “You should use sex to wake up to yourself, not fall asleep into another person,” Sabnani says. “Your lover is your inner-divine in the physical form.” When sex is treated like yoga, it’s an opportunity to make love to yourself—to acknowledge that nothing in this world is separate, including you and your partner.
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“Sex requires stamina, flexibility (mentally, emotionally, and physically), and daily practice being intimate first and foremost with yourself,” Guru Jagat says. “It is a lie that somehow we can stumble into any kind of sexual or relational experience unconsciously, overworked, stressed, or even drunk, and have a deep, meaningful experience.” You have to prepare your mind and body for deep intimacy in sex. By first learning how to connect with yourself through yoga and meditation, your practice can prepare you for powerful sexual connections. Then, when you honor your partner as an extension of your own being, the experience becomes rich and deeply fulfilling.
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“We need to slow down our lives and insert pauses for spaciousness, which allows for natural intimacy to occur,” Dr. Sabnani says. “And of course, moving slowly in lovemaking is key to connection. Otherwise, it's easy to fall into your own experience and objectify the other as an object for your own pleasure.” Regular practice of yoga and meditation help us to slow down, be intimate with ourselves first, and develop respect and gratitude for the pleasure of touch, movement, and being fully present in our bodies.
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“Life is inherently pleasurable, if we experience it fully,” Dr. Sabnani says. All we need to do is slow down and practice using all five of our senses. There’s opportunity for intimacy in every moment—in the taste of chocolate, the smell of flowers, the movement of birds flying through the sky. Dr. Sabnani recommends the meditation below taught to her by Tantric instructor Christopher (Hareesh) Wallis. “Through this practice, you nourish the ‘goddesses of the senses’ and the senses become more and more alive,” Wallis says. “Ultimately, you receive the highest blessing of the goddesses: the capacity to see and feel beauty in all things.”
Feeding the Goddesses of the Senses Meditation
Set aside 5–10 minutes each day to become completely absorbed in a sensory experience without doing anything else, whether it’s listening to music with your whole being, tasting delicious food or drink without distraction, fully experiencing the sense of touch (through slow caresses, or just feeling the textures of nature, like grass, leaves, running water, tree bark, etc.), doing open-eyed meditation on a beautiful scene (like nature, art), smelling a fragrant flower, etc. For the practice to be effective, you first need to slow down, calm down, and relax through a few minutes of breath meditation, yoga nidrā, or whatever works for you. Learn more about this practice and related meditations in Wallis’ new book The Recognition Sutras.
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“Whoever you are with, be in love with them,” Dr. Sabnani says. “If you’re in front of me, I’m in love with you.” When you open your heart, you let every interaction, connection, and experience be a full expression of love. When you embody this virtue, you can fully exalt your partner for the love that they are, a reflection of the love in your heart. Through yoga and meditation, you can deepen the connection to the heart, and according to Dr. Sabnani, making love from the heart chakra (rather than leading with the second chakra) can change the world. Heart-opening poses like Bow, Camel, Cobra, Fish, and Locust, or a breathing practice visualizing on inhaling and exhaling of the heart can help you stay connected to yourself and your natural wisdom.
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“The reality is that sex is a science. And sex begins not in the genitals but in the pituitary gland,” Guru Jagat points out. “If you balance and open the pituitary gland, it can regulate the hormones, give stamina, and create ultimate satisfaction. Meditation and yoga are the fastest and most effective way to set the rate of this pituitary secretion. This, among many other reasons, is why self-practice is essential to a hot, loving, and profound sexual experience.”
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Unfulfilling sex can make a person crazy. An easy way for both men and women to set themselves up for satisfaction is to strengthen the pelvic floor, Guru Jagat says. “On a physical level this allows a person to have better command and sexual creativity. On an energetic level, toning the pelvic floor increases awareness and sensitivity of the sexual energy flow. When you get in touch with your pelvic floor and understand the power of the musculature and energy there, not only will your orgasms be deeper, but also your command of the flow of energy in your body and your partner’s. This connection is essential to deep, yogic sex.”
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A person’s sexual vitality and sex drive depends on how much ojas they have in their blood, according to Guru Jagat and the Kundalini Yoga tradition. Ojas is a yogic word for your own inborn vitality. Someone with low ojas has poor immune functioning, early aging, and lower sexual functioning and stamina. You can boost ojas, through yoga like Kundalini Frog Squats and diet with foods like sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, and cardamom. Try all of the above and Kundalini Yoga master Yogi Bhajan says you would need to “wear iron pants.”
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“You can’t expect to drop into connection during sex only,” Dr. Sabnani says. “You must be intimate and connected throughout the day. Be present to yourself, your situation, and your partner. Don’t zone out!” She warns that we are living in a time of disconnect and false intimacy. Use the awareness you cultivate in yoga and meditation to stay engaged, excited, and passionate. In a way, you can make love to everything all the time, simply by existing with the conscious desire to give and receive love.
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“Yoga [asana] itself will not make your sex life fulfilling—especially not the workout yoga that is prevalent in Western consumption,” Guru Jagat says. But meditation, pranayama, asana, and mantra, as well as other aspects of the practice like seva, that help develop diverse aspects of your whole being will you a much more available, aware, and sexy partner, lover, or date. Yoga’s practices also strengthen and balance your nervous system to help it handle more resounding pleasure and be attentive to the pleasure of your partner, too!
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