This post is in response to a reader who asked for more information about how yoga can improve your sex life. Now, I’m not a scientist, and indeed if you want the scientific evidence you may wish to check out William Broad’s new book, but I do have a few things to say on the topic as a teacher and long-time practitioner.
One of the reasons that yoga leads to better sex is it builds inner sensitivity and awareness. So, much like meditation turns up the volume on mental chatter, a serious yoga practice turns up the volume on body sensations. Because yoga builds body awareness and sensitivity, bodily experiences are more powerful. I would say that sex is one of the most physically intense experiences that one can have – and yoga can make it even more so.
So, yoga practice develops and stresses attentiveness to sensation, and sensations that one focuses on tend to grow and expand. Beyond these kinds of considerations, a regular long-term yoga/meditation practice can build your ability to be really present in any experience, including the experience of physical touch and arousal.
While yoga itself doesn’t guarantee physical health, those who practice on a regular basis tend to be more physically healthy and do more to take care of their bodies as part of an overall lifestyle focus. Specifically, it’s worth mentioning that some yogic energy locks utilize and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can enhance your sex life by intensifying the physical aspect of orgasm.
On a more esoteric level, yoga balances the body’s energy system: your chakras, and the energy highway along the spinal column (sushmuna). One of the ways it does so is by changing overall breathing patterns. A change in breathing can influence the nervous system and overall energy flow. Yoga increases overall energetic health and opens the energy meridians (pathways) in the body. This in turn enhances the energetic aspect of orgasm.
So, as we’ve seen so far, a yoga practice can potentially increase both the physical and energetic aspects of arousal and orgasm. Emotionally speaking, in terms of sex drive or interest in sex, yoga (in the most generic sense) makes people feel good. When people feel good they are generally a bit happier, a bit more content, and a bit more engaged. They tend to be less tense and more physically relaxed. Which may make them a bit more focused – less scattered physically, energetically, and emotionally.
While a yoga practice may awaken amazing physical and energetic sensations and experiences in the body, it’s important to be thoughtful and grounded in what the Buddhists would call “right action,” as discussed in my last post. If we do whatever we feel like doing, without regard for the consequences, we’re ignoring the philosophical basis of the practice of yoga. Sexual energy is really powerful. But harnessing that power includes an obligation to consciously utilize that energy in an ethical way in daily life.