There’s a secret benefit of yoga that is seldom spoken about and very few yoga teachers will tell you about it. Yoga can change your life in all sorts of ways – physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual – these benefits have been widely documented and are discussed in promotional material for classes, magazines and online articles. But what your yoga teachers probably won’t tell you is that it will do wonders for your sex life.
Yes, that’s right. The secret benefit of yoga is better sex and not just better sex, outstanding sex, but it won’t happen after your first lesson or the second, it comes with devotion or a commitment to honour the divine being that is you.
Sex becomes a whole new multi-dimensional experience when you embrace the yogic lifestyle. In the traditional texts, the Karma Sutra is one of the most popular texts and it primarily deals with physical positions, Tantra is the most usual branch of yoga associated with our sexuality, but like in life and yoga, sex is more than just physical as tantra teaches us. The irony of great sex is that some schools of philosophy believe that physical sensation is to be transcended, but I for one, believe that Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses is more about being aware of sensory stimulation. It’s a bit like the saying that without darkness it’s impossible to know the light, Pratyahara is an awareness that we are sensory beings and our senses can be heightened when we are aware that we can switch them off and on.
But for the sake of a rounded argument, let’s look at the physical benefits: yoga asana or postures improve both strength and flexibility and definitely muscular stamina. If you think about the physicality of sex, being both strong enough to hold your own weight on your arms for extended periods or of being flexible enough to try different positions without injury. It helps with variety, it helps with making sex longer and more pleasurable, it helps you to feel happy in your own skin and to have an inner awareness of your body and its needs, wants and limitations.
Secondly, the use of bandhas (specifically the Mula bandha and Uddiyana Bandha), or energy seals in yoga is very much about engaging the muscles of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Having strong pelvic floor muscles help to bring deep sexual pleasure for both solo and partnered practices. Orgasms seem to go on and on when your muscles are strong in your pelvic bowl. Your partner will definitely thank you for working on this area of your body. Energetically, it helps during sex to know when you are able to hold energy within until you are ready to release it.
So much of our lives can be spent in our heads, thinking, remembering, analysing, planning, but yoga teaches you to still the thoughts, or still the “Monkey mind”. During sex, so often we get caught up in fantasies, planning our next move, or remembering what we need to get from the supermarket. Yoga teaches mindfulness. It teaches us to be present and when we are enjoying intimate moments with others, yoga teaches us to be present with that person. By honouring the present, you honour the man or woman we have chosen to spend time with. Focusing on your breath during sex (pranayama) allows the present moment to unfold without worrying or thinking about other things.
The ultimate goal of yoga is Samadhi, or union with the divine, but you can have that union both with and without a conscious partner. Tantric practices teach us to become aware of the energy rising and descending in and around our bodies both solo and with a partner. When we see ourselves and our partner as divine beings, something shifts in our sexuality. Sex becomes fluid, sustained and organic rather than mechanical, analytical and fleeting, it becomes about union in the moment.
Sex can become a sacred connection between you and your partner. Your partner stops being a person with a name, but becomes a divine being. Of course he/she already was, but it brings our divinity into sharp relief. Yoga is far more than what we do when we step onto that mat. It also becomes a whole lifestyle that we can take onto our mattresses.
Even as a solo practitioner, sex can be wildly satisfying as you build your breath control, flexibility and strength as well as energy awareness. Everyone wants fantastic sex and yoga can make it so much better – in all ways and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2016