Introducing “Ask Sarah,” a monthly interactive forum for inquiring minds to ask anything regarding life, love, relationships, career, yoga, or a combination of all of the above, or none of the above. The answers are strictly Sarah’s yogic opinion. Take it or leave it!
Dear Sarah, Has yoga given you more flexibility in your sex life? –S.O.
Dear Sarah, Are there any poses to increase my partner’s libido? –L.B.
Dear S.O. and L.B.,
I’ve decided to combine answers to your questions. Instead of talking about my own personal sex life, I’ll talk about how yoga in general does in fact give you more flexibility in your sex life, and raises your libido naturally. First of all, I’m not sure if S.O. is referring to physical flexibility, or being more open-minded and confident in the bedroom. To either I’d say the answer is yes, and as a result of said physical flexibility and confidence, one’s libido is automatically increased. If you develop a regular yoga practice, you are bound to become more physically limber, so during sex you may find yourself in positions you previously weren’t able to muscle or contort into, thoroughly impressing your partner.
You also start to become better at yoga poses that you keep trying in class—because you really can’t get any worse after the first time you try them—and you start to feel like a badass for being able to do things you once thought impossible. Also as a result of your regular yoga practice, your body becomes stronger, possibly leaner, adding to your confidence level.
Knowing first-hand that what happens on the mat translates into your life off of the mat, that badass feeling and pride for what your body can do, will carry over to confidence in your life and in your bedroom. Perhaps most powerful, is the love that you find you have for yourself, regardless of whether you carry around a few extra pounds. Yogis start to focus more on what our bodies can do for us, rather than what society says they “should” look like. This all translates into feeling more attractive. Feeling attractive=Confidence. Confidence=Feeling sexy. Feeling sexy=Wants to have more sex (aka. Libido).
Secondly, let’s talk about stamina. Yoga is exercise that has you concentrate on your breath—that thing that you have with you every second of every day of your life, but you don’t pay attention to it until you get on your yoga mat. Your growing awareness of your breath, and breath work (Pranayama) will help you to expand the capacity of your lungs, which in turn will help you to last longer between the sheets (wahoo!).
A healthy and balanced second chakra (Svadisthana), which governs the hips and genitals, can also help dictate a healthy and balanced sex life. Poses that stimulate this chakra include hip and groin openers such as Cow Face Pose, Pigeon or Double-Pigeon, Bound Angle (Reclined or seated), and Seated Wide-Legged Fold, among many others.
Finally, the mother of all muscles, that which we ladies call the “kegels” is actually referred to in yoga as the “Mula Bandha” energy lock. Guys can find this lock too, by engaging the same muscles you would to stop a flow of urine. In yoga we use it to help us lengthen our tailbone and keep from over-arching the back, as well as to feel lighter in arm balances and inversions. Ideally, in any yoga class you should have this engaged throughout most poses, but usually we forget. Having this muscle strong can help you to have stronger orgasms, and possibly for men, stop that orgasm from happening too soon. Your ladies will thank you!
Dear Sarah, My friends all tell me that I should try yoga, but I think I’m more of a cardio class person. I love the music and energy. What say you? –R.M.
I used to feel the same way, R.M. I used to love (and still do) kickboxing and hip hop dance classes, and way back in the day I used to go to step aerobics classes. But one day I found Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is a physically challenging, movement-oriented class. Specifically, you move to the beat of your breath rather than the music, which is what makes it more meditative than an aerobics class, because you are actually paying attention to what you are doing. For those of us who like to move, rather than simply hold poses forever and ever (although sometimes we hold poses in Vinyasa), it works out well. What I love most is that the sequence of poses connected to each other is usually different every time, allowing the creativity of the teacher to shine through, similar to a dance class. Many modern Vinyasa classes include fun and upbeat music too! Between the two studios where I teach, we have Hip Hop Yoga, Reggae Flow, Blacklight Yoga, and Live Music classes followed by wine drinking. These are not your traditional ho-hum yoga classes, and I promise you will find a satisfactory sweat level, so you get your workout fix too!
If you have a question for Sarah, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask Sarah” in the subject line. Your question may be featured in next month’s “Ask Sarah” column.