Score benefits that reach beyond the mat—and into the bedroom
Whether or not you're a yogi, you’ve probably heard about the mega health benefits yoga offers, from better energy to less stress to more restful sleep. But what about mind-blowing sex? Yep, that too—and it's partly due to the fact that yoga and sex have key things in common.
“Yoga means unity of the mind, body, and breath,” says Heather Simonson, a New York–based sex therapist and yoga instructor. “In sex we are using our bodies, but oftentimes don’t use the mind or the breath.” Yet we should be. Tuning into both can help you better connect to the sensations you’re experiencing, as well as connect to the person you’re in bed with, says Simonson.
Below are four more ways practicing yoga can kick up the passion and excitement in your sex life. "Namastay in bed" just took on a whole new meaning.
Yoga improves flexibility
The more flexy you are, the more you can experiment between the sheets. That’s pretty important, because trying new moves and stimulating different body areas can help max your pleasure.
“So many people feel like their sex life is stagnant because they’re practicing the same positions all the time, like missionary style,” says Simonson. “Yoga can help you create more flexibility in your muscles, which will enable you to try different types of postures and positions during sex.” Plus, the more bendy your body, the less likely you are to hurt yourself when you finally do try the wheelbarrow.
It fosters body acceptance
“Yoga increases physical flexibility, and it also improves our mental flexibility,” notes Simsonson. That's because yoga is defined by eight different core values, or sutras—including acceptance and non-attachment. What does that have to do with sex? “Yoga helps us be less attached to the idea that our body has to look a certain way in order for us to feel sexy or attractive,” says Simonson.
Simply put, the more you tap into yoga’s guiding self-acceptance principle, the more comfortable you'll feel in your own skin, both on and off the mat. And in case you haven't heard, body confidence is very sexy.
Yoga primes the pelvis for action
Move over kegels; yoga may be even better for strengthening the pelvic floor and making sex more intense. One study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that practicing yoga regularly improved desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction in women ages 22 to 55.
Simonson isn’t surprised. “The practice of yoga can help open up the pelvic region, especially with hip-opening poses like pigeon or warrior I or II, which bring awareness to the area and increase circulation,” she says. And the more blood flow down below, the more powerful your orgasm can be.
Yoga keeps you in the moment
Ever find yourself in the middle of a promising sex session, and then suddenly your mind fixates on some anxious, ruminating thought, like a work deadline? It's pretty common, and a definite buzzkill. “Most often with sex, what gets in the way is mind chatter, whether it’s being self-conscious or having a judgment about ourselves or our partner,” says Simonson.
The great thing is, yoga can take you out of your head and back into the heat of the moment, so you can focus on your pleasure and your connection to your partner. “The practice teaches us to be more open-minded, to go with the flow more, and to let go of things that are no longer serving us or our bodies,' she says. Going with the flow and letting go of distractions are key to reaching an amazing O