We all know that yoga has many benefits. Not only does yoga boast amazing stress-relieving qualities, it can also help you lose weight, improve your digestion, and even reprogram your DNA. While you might come to the mat to find your Zen, the benefits of yoga are even better than we thought.
It turns out that yoga can improve your sex life in more ways than one. And, before you get scared by thoughts of complicated Kama Sutra-style posing, it’s actually surprisingly simple.
The main benefit of yoga — both in and out of the bedroom — is reducing stress. Studies suggest that regular yoga practice helps reduce stress levels in the body by decreasing cortisol levels. Increased stress can have many negative effects on the body, and decreased sexual desire is one of them.
Yoga may also help improve overall sexual function. One study watched 40 women as they practiced yoga for 12 weeks. After the study ended, researchers concluded that the women had a significant improvement in their sex lives thanks to yoga. This is a small sample size and only one study, but the connection between yoga and a better sex life is promising.
“Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body, and how to control your mind,” says Lauren Zoeller, a certified yoga instructor and Whole Living Life Coach based in Nashville, Tennessee. “These two practices combined can bring you insight on what you like and dislike, leading you to better communicate what is best to your partner.”
Another way Zoeller says yoga can boost your sex life? Increasing awareness and body control.
“A regular yoga practice brings you into the awareness of the present moment which is very important when looking to boost your sex life. The more present you can become with your partner, the better the experience will be for both of you,” Zoeller explains. “Sex and yoga both benefit your physical, mental and emotional state. Learn to practice them regularly for access to feeling your absolute best!”
If you want to boost your sex life, try using some of these poses in your regular yoga practice.
1. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) and Cow Pose (Bitilasana)
Often performed together, these poses help you loosen up the spine and relax. This helps lower your overall stress levels and makes it easier to get into the mood.
- Start this pose on all fours. Make sure your wrists are underneath your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips. Keep your spine neutral and your weight balanced evenly across your body.
- Inhale as you look up and let your stomach curve toward the floor. Lift your eyes, chin, and chest up as you stretch.
- Exhale, tucking your chin into your chest, and draw your navel toward your spine. Round your spine toward the ceiling.
- Move slowly between the two for 1 minute.
2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Lie on your back.
- Bend both knees and position your feet hip-width apart with your knees in line with your ankles.
- Put your arms flat on the floor with your palms against the ground and spread your fingers.
- Lift your pelvic region off the ground, allowing your torso to follow, but keep your shoulders and head on the floor.
- Hold the pose for 5 seconds.
3. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
A popular relaxation pose, this pose stretches your glutes and lower back. Plus, it doubles as a variation of missionary position. To try it in bed, start in missionary position with your partner on top, and then extend your legs and wrap them around your partner’s torso.
- Lie on your back.
- With an exhale, bend your knees up toward your stomach.
- Inhale and reach up to grab the outside of your feet, and then widen your knees. You can also use a belt or towel looped over your foot to make it easier.
- Flex your feet, pushing your heels upward as you pull down with your hands to stretch.
4. One-Legged Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
There are many variations of Pigeon, and all of them are great for stretching and opening up your hips. Tight hips can make sex uncomfortable, and they can also keep you from trying different sexual positions.
- Start on the floor on all floors.
- Pick up your right leg and move it in front of your body so your lower leg is at a 90-degree angle from your body.
- Stretch your left leg out behind you on the floor with the top of your foot facing down and your toes pointing back.
- Exhale as you lean forward, shifting your body weight. Use your arms to support your weight. If this is uncomfortable, try folding up a blanket or a pillow and putting it under your right hip to keep your hips level as you stretch.
- Release and repeat on the other side.
5. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This pose is a fantastic way to open your hips and find deep relaxation without needing to be crazy flexible. It’s also a grounding pose, meaning your focus should be on resting and breathing throughout the pose, which can help any stress and anxiety melt away.
- Start by kneeling on the floor. With your big toes touching, widen your knees until they’re around hip-width apart.
- Exhale and lean forward. Place your hands in front of you and stretch out, allowing your upper body to relax between your legs. Try to touch your forehead to the mat, but you can also rest your head on a block or pillow.
- Relax in this position for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
6. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Yoga classes usually end in Corpse Pose, or Savasana, and there’s definitely a good reason. This pose helps you relax and learn to let go of stress. Think of it as a mini meditation session at the end of your yoga practice that supercharges your relaxation and feel-good efforts.
- Lay on your back with your feet spread and palms facing up. Relax every part of your body from your face to your fingers and toes.
- Stay in this pose for as long as you want.
While some yoga poses can immediately improve your sex life, the biggest change is always going to be in reducing your stress. Not only does this provide a whole host of benefits, it allows you to relax and enjoy sex, which makes it even better.