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Couples’ counseling is moving beyond the couch. Some couples’ therapists are now offering partner yoga as a treatment for improving sex lives and forging stronger bonds. For instance, Loyola University Health System’s Sexual Wellness Clinic in Chicago recently added 90-minute partner-yoga sessions after studies showed practicing yoga increased women’s arousal and sexual response and improved men’s sexual satisfaction and stamina.
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Edward Dunbar, a yoga teacher and clinical psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, says partner yoga allows couples to take risks with their bodies, and partner-holding poses—such as assisted backbends where one person bends over the other’s body—and learning to coordinate breathing patterns create a way to connect that doesn’t require language. Practicing together, even in simple seated postures, is a first step toward reducing performance anxiety and restoring a healthy give-and-take in the relationship, Dunbar says.
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