Bend it, girls and boys.
By Jewely Hoxie
Is your goal to improve both your health and your sex life? Yoga could be the answer—though not for the reasons you might think, says our contributor Jewely Hoxie, who is studying Human Sexuality at the University of California Santa Cruz.
As a teenager—naive to what both sex and yoga were really about—I would gossip with my friends about our sprouting sex lives. We giggled about starting yoga classes in order to be better in bed with the idea being that yoga = flexibility and flexibility + twisted pretzel positions = good sex. We’d learned this from movies that portrayed woman who could put their leg over their head as sexy and promiscuous.
As I grew up and learned more about sex—and started taking yoga classes—I figured out that while pretzel sex positions can be more awkward than pleasurable, there are plenty of other reasons why yoga can improve your sex life.
Here are five great reasons how it can …
1. Yoga is a stress reliever.
A tightly wound mind is not exactly conducive to orgasmic bliss—especially for women. Studies have shown yoga can lower anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and general mental and physical dissatisfaction. Carving out time for yoga each week is an easy and inexpensive way to be good to yourself. Consider it a kind of ongoing D.I.Y. foreplay.
2. Yoga improves body awareness.
Yoga helps you become more aware of and more in touch with your body—often through the practice of mindful meditation while you work out.
I know what you’re thinking—hold the oms, I just want to get in shape. But, there’s an awesome side effect to all this body awareness—you learn to listen to what your body wants and likes, which is a serious advantage in the bedroom where women especially often find themselves doing things that they think are supposed to feel good, rather than figuring out what actually turns them on.
You don’t have to completely make your mind blank to achieve body awareness. It’s basically just about focusing your energy throughout different parts of your body and then doing what feels right.
When I do yoga, I’m in a large studio space with at least 50 other people and an instructor who walks around describing the next position while also encouraging us to do what feels best for our bodies. When we are all on our backs, some will want to have their legs tucked close to our bodies and rock back and forth, while others will want to spread their legs up and hold their feet with their hands. In my class, I’ve learned what positions feel good to me without worrying how I might look.
It’s impossible not to translate this sort of acquired wisdom to the bedroom where an arched back might look really sexy to my partner, but may not be the best way for me to get off that night.
3. Yoga is an aphrodisiac.
Exercise is one of the greatest natural aphrodisiacs. And yes, yoga is a work out if you’re doing it right! It improves strength, balance, and flexibility. And once you get those endorphins going, you’ll have more energy to do all the things you enjoy.
In fact—in general, the more you look out for your health—exercise, diet, and rest—the better you'll feel and the more eager you'll be to jump in the sack with your partner!
4. Yoga improves blood flow to the pelvis.
Many positions increase blood flow to the pelvis—for example, the bound angle position. And increased blood flow down there is exactly what happens when you get turned on!
It’s also the same thing that those stimulant gels you can buy at your local sex shop are going for, too—except that, once you’ve learned the right positions, yoga is free! And better for your heart, too.
5. Two words—yoga pants.
Ladies, a good pair of yoga pants can be an awesome visual turn-on for your partner—but more importantly, they can make you want to admire your own ass in the mirror. Aw yeah.
This article was originally published at Em & Lo. Reprinted with permission from the author.