Saucy Sun Salutations: Why Yoga Is a Natural AphrodisiacBy Sarah Stevenson
Rumor has it that Yoga X may not be your favorite part of P90X®. I get it. You're bored, you're not breaking down your muscle, you're not pouring out buckets of sweat like you do with Plyo X, but before you discount the benefits of bending up like a pretzel, consider this: Unlike other workouts, yoga can actually spice up your sex life.
I thought that might get your attention. Our sensual, sexual side is a natural primordial part of who we are. The problem is, it's often being covered up by a clouded mind fueled by the chaos that exists in the lives we lead. Yoga is freeing for your body, mind, and soul. In fact, yogis happen to be some of the most tuned in and turned on people in town. So if you're looking to perk up that libido, then sit back and read up.
Women can benefit from yoga because it helps clear your mind and calm your nerves, so that you can make conscious clear decisions about who you want to connect with and, in turn, be calm and connected enough to actually have an authentic orgasm . . . No more faking it, ladies.
Men can benefit from yoga because it instigates a certain awareness that will heighten your connection to the sexual beast within you, and coming from that place makes it a whole lot easier to keep it up for prolonged periods of time. It also allows you to have a more authentic connection to the woman you are frolicking with, which may not sound all that interesting to you—until you discover the sexual beast within her that a little authenticity can release.
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word used to describe yoga breathing. Prana means "life force" and yama means "control" or "discipline." In yoga, controlled deep breathing practices are used and channeled to certain areas of the body to ignite an internal awareness that will rock your world. The Ujjayi breath is a common breath used throughout the seated meditation as well as the active movement practice of yoga. Ujjayi is Sanskrit for "victory." It lives up to its name by allowing you to become victorious over your mind. It is characterized by a deep inhale through the nose, in which the belly expands outward, and deep exhales through the nose, in which the belly sinks inward. An "ocean sound" is created by narrowing the throat passage, which allows the breath to brush against the back of the throat. Ujjayi is a balancing and calming breath, which increases oxygenation, promotes clarity of thought, and builds internal body heat.
When you're afraid or stressed out, you tend to hold your breath or take very shallow, quick breaths that put your entire system on a state of heightened paranoid awareness. It's impossible to connect with the world around you—especially in the bedroom—if you are unable to relax and let go. The Ujjayi breath paired with a few other points we'll discuss shortly will allow you to relax and sink deep into a sexier, more sensual state.
Clear out the mind.
We all have those inhibitions that keep us from scoring with our dream girl or boy. What's the first thing we do when we lock eyes with a hottie across the room at our local watering hole? BARTENDER! That's right, nothing like a little liquid courage to seal the deal. But is it worth it? You've shut your sympathetic system down, but you've also shut down your ability to judge properly. This means you have about a 87 percent chance that the person you wake up to in the morning will also scare the heck out of you. And even if your catch still looks like a babe in the morning light, there still might be a beast lurking within—but you wouldn't have discovered that because you were drunk.
Yoga, on the other hand, calms the "fight or flight" part of the sympathetic system but heightens your connection to your body, your partner, and the world around you. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system that instigates relaxation and letting go, but also allows you to be more aware of yourself and your environment. So it helps you to drop into the most sensual you without compromising your ability to judge properly.
Move that body.
The yoga asanas, or poses, create some of the most sensual, sexy positions a body can twist and turn into. Sometimes, asanas are held for several minutes, which helps strengthen and build muscles. You may not increase muscle mass holding these poses, but it will train your body to hold certain, ahem, positions, for as long a time as it takes.
While you won't bulk up, with consistent practice you will sculpt a beautiful physique that highlights muscle structure. A fit body is a sexy body; when you look good in (or out of) your clothes, you feel sexier and more sensual. Some asanas stretch your muscles out to help increase flexibility and mobility. Stretching helps your body feel open and free. Being more flexible is also incredibly helpful in the bedroom, as you can imagine. When you pair the Ujjayi breath with the asanas, you ensure that your mind will stay calm, so that you are able to sustain endurance to get through an hour and half of class—or whatever else you want to do for that period of time.
Resting poses play an important role in any good yoga class. They're placed strategically between asanas in order to allow you to check in with your body and mind. Lying in a child's pose often gives me chills because I can feel my blood flowing freely, my energy swimming around under my skin, and my heart pulsating. It's a combination that heats me up every time, reminding me what a sexual being I am. Yoga classes end with shavasana, or corpse pose—but you feel anything but dead while gently spread across your mat. When you take the time to just lie there, it's an opportunity to inventory all that's taken in by your senses once the mind is calm, the body is activated, and your inner awareness is heightened.
If you're able to lay it out on the mat several times a week, you will be a lot more likely to lay it out on the sheets. Yoga clears you out, heats you up, builds you up, and turns you on. So no more calling yoga "Stretch and Sleep Class." It's high time you ditch the synthetic aphrodisiacs and tap into all the goodies you have inside you.
- Bald, D. H., The human amygdala and the emotional evaluation of sensory stimuli. Brain Research Reviews, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2003, Pages 88-123
- Conley, T. D.; Moors, A. C.; Matsick, J. L.; Ziegler, A.; Valentine, B. A. (2011). "Women, Men, and the Bedroom: Methodological and Conceptual Insights That Narrow, Reframe, and Eliminate Gender Differences in Sexuality". Current Directions in Psychological Science 20 (5): 296
- Scientific American Mind. Your Sexual Brain, How It Rules Your Life: The Orgasmic Brain, Martin Portner. http://www.scientificamerican.com
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