Everybody’s interested in sex. Whether it’s to get pregnant, who’s doing it and with whom, or how often is normal? We wonder what we should wear, or how much hair to remove to get more of it, or even how to market it? It’s in our face in some way, often subliminally, and frequently in a distorted way every day. Men and women obviously have differing sexual needs, (not necessarily sex drives guys!), and this often leads to conflict. Conflict is the antithesis of yoga, yet within conflict there is always opportunity for unity. This is where yoga comes into play.
Sex and yoga is about harmony, about bringing balance into the equation so both sexes feel healthy, nourished and appreciated, free from all the usual repercussions or associated pressures. In my opinion the essence of sex is as a pathway to spiritual transformation and lasting physical well being. Basically yoga makes you feel good. It gets the blood pumping. It gets the hormones flushing through the body. It gives your skin a healthy youthful glow. It generates heat and stimulation from the inside out. It gives you energy, and that’s sexy.
Sex and yoga are more intimately connected than we think. Sex feels good. Good sex with someone we love opens our hearts, makes us smile and relieves tension. Sex is about relationship, connection, intimacy, love and creative expression. At their best sex and yoga are about union, truth and love. To reveal those things in your life, your yoga practice, and your sex life takes a genuine commitment to creating a deeper sense of intimacy and overall wellbeing. In my journey as a yoga teacher I encourage all those things and created a yoga system as a way of putting it into a concise practice.
I use a unique system of corrective Japanese yoga postures, wholefood medicine and breath work, which has the potential to heal and enliven, stimulate and support both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When this happens, optimal function of our hormonal, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems is restored. This makes us feel more vital, connected and present. We begin to engage more fully with life on all levels – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and sexually.
To keep it simple: each section of our spine is governed by a particular meridian, and our very foundation, the sacrum, our base chakra into Mother Earth, dictates how secure, confident and trusting we feel within ourselves. Our sexual essence, that is, our base chakra or kundalini energy, is the connection between our Spirit and Universal Consciousness, or Love.
The flow of sexual hormones is governed primarily by our kidney energy and is intricately connected to our emotional health and how fluidly we move through life, and whether we speak our truth from our hearts and souls without fear. A strong aligned spine is the foundation channel for this universal energy so we can move through life, embrace challenges and grow into the full expression of ourselves.
Sex and yoga are therefore intricately entwined!
Our sexual and emotional confidence is governed by the quality of our Base chakra (perineum), Solar plexus chakra (navel) and Heart chakra. Yoga works to connect the potential in these chakras and energize the entire chakra system from the pelvic floor to our biggest sex organ, the brain. My female students have noticed marked improvement in their energy levels, regulation of, and reduced discomfort throughout their menstrual cycles, healthier hair and skin and a general sense of heightened vitality, libido and sexual responsiveness – all good things!
For women, the sequence will help correct gynaecological disorders, enhance fertility, counter osteoporosis, reduce varicose veins, rebuild pelvic floor integrity after childbirth (imperative on so many levels!), balance hormonal function and generally improve emotional and sexual confidence. My male students are honoured and nourished equally so they can start to access both their male and female energies (yin and yang) in an appropriate way to experience balance, intuition and emotional expression, rather than traditional repression.
They comment that they have become more empathetic with their partners and other men. They unravel learnt behaviours and stereotypes that stop them from feeling and being true to themselves, without losing their sense of masculinity. You can still be a bloke and sensitive. For men, the important issues of prostate health, virility/fertility, hair loss, libido, body confidence and stamina are addressed to help counter the effects of aging, modern day stresses and work and relationship pressures often placed upon them.
This ripples out into the greater community as energy of understanding, compassion, tolerance, self responsibility and positive response rather than reaction, and ultimately, respect for the opposite sex. These introductory postures take just 20 – 30 minutes a day and if possible should be done at least 3 times a week.
1: Gall Bladder Dips
Interlace hands behind head, R foot against L knee. Exhale and drop elbow to rear foot to open up opposite waist, draw elbows wide. Inhale to centre, repeat briskly x 8. Releases tight sides and brings softness to the shoulders & hips. Also releases the lines that govern the metabolism so we can maintain healthy weight and body image, plus tones the waist/hip line where we often store unresolved issues.
2: Spleen Bridge – Setu Bandha
Exhale and lift hips high, pressing through inside edge of feet. Inhale and lower one vertebra at a time to the mat. Repeat smoothly x 8, drawing knees in slightly to feel inner thigh line. Rest on back after and breathe – feel Spleen blood quality/pulsing up legs into belly. Upper body will soften and thoughts will relax as well as hormone flow improves. When we feel warm and nurtured from within this expresses as compassion and sensitivity towards ourselves and others. Spleen energy helps us make supportive choices & develops personal integrity so we don’t repeat negative/destructive patterns in relation to ourselves or others.
3: Kidney/Spleen Lift
Lie on belly with L foot pressed into R inner knee, squeeze elbows into ribs. Exhale and lift hands and straight leg, pressing foot to knee and feeling the kidney area. Inhale and lower, repeat lifting x 6, then hold up and inhale. Exhale and squeeze around to L, lift chest and straight leg to draw awareness into weak points in lower back and increase blood flow and motivation into the kidneys. Inhale to centre, exhale and squeeze round to R. Swing L to R briskly x 10 then rest on belly with head to one side and breathe deeply.
Stimulates endorphins and increases sexual vigor, builds libido and stamina.
4: Bow – Dhanurasana
Lie on belly and bend knees to hold ankles, forehead to mat. Exhale and lift into Bow, press belly into mat and resist feet with hands to open shoulders. Inhale and lower, rest briefly then repeat and hold up for 3-6 breaths. Relax and feel the lungs, heart and belly energies connecting. Excellent for reproductive organs, circulation and developing emotional sensitivity.
5: Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
Come onto all fours in Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), hands shoulder width, feet hip width, bend knees if need too. Hold for 5 – 8 breaths, releasing the jaw and neck, lengthening the spine up to the tailbone and rolling the shoulders away from the ears. Downward Dog stretches the spine and nervous system channels to bring mental clarity, nourish the spine and nerves and counterpose to Dhanurasana. Downward Dog builds mental endurance, leg and arm strength and nourishes the endocrine system, strengthens the heart and builds overall health and organ function.
6: Triangle Pose – Trikonasana
Take legs one leg length apart, R foot heel dissects L arch, L toes turned in 30 degrees. Arms out to sides at shoulder height, spine long and legs engaged. Exhale and lean over R leg extending and lifting R arm to open R ribcage. Keep back foot grounded and belly drawn to spine. Lower R hand to shin and L fingers to ceiling in line with shoulder, look to floor or up along L fingertips. Hold and breathe 5 – 8 breaths, focusing on lengthening the spine, rotating the chest, extending the energy from the heart out into the fingertips and anchoring down into the legs. Come up to standing on an inhalation and switch feet to do the other side. Lay down on your back after for a few breaths to absorb the cleansing effect of the pose.
Trikonasana strengthens the legs, tones the abdominal organs, particularly the Liver, flushes the hormones and lymphatics and creates a sense of expansion, acceptance and patience. Clear Liver energy helps connect us with our inner wisdom and ability to see opportunities and make appropriate choices that support our direction and purpose in life.
7: Crocodile – Chaturanga
Lie on your belly, hands beside chest, toes tucked under and knees lifted off the mat so legs are elevated and parallel to the floor. Exhale and contract entire body to lift off the mat and squeeze from the belly out into the limbs. Keep elbows close to ribs, chest in line with elbows and elbows over the wrists. Hold up for 3 breaths then rest with head to one side.
Crocodile governs the lungs and helps develop breath capacity, mental stamina and a sense of empowerment. Strong lungs give us a sense of trust and positivity as we draw in nourishment and breathe out stagnancy. Healthy lungs fuel the blood with oxygen and regulate the nervous system which in turn makes us feel good and radiate vibrant, attractive energy.
8: Hara Bicycle
Lie on your back with legs long and hands interlaced behind the head. Exhale and draw R knee to chest, L elbow up and across to meet it. Feel the belly engage. Inhale to centre, exhale and swap sides. Briskly cycle to build your belly strength and tone your abdominal organs and harness inner strength. Hara bicycle connects the kidney and lung energies to circulate oxygen, adrenalin and promote production of fresh hormones. Hara (or belly centre) strength and integrity is essential to maintain optimal digestion and hormone balance. When we are disconnected from or congested in our bellies, we lose awareness of what is appropriate and inappropriate, on all levels.
9: Seated Butterfly – Baddhakonasana
Sit with soles together, knees wide and hands interlaced around edges of toes. Use hands against feet as traction to lift the chest and lengthen the spine. Close the eyes and focus on your breath at the end of your practice now, observing the shifts in your body and mind and getting a sense of the energies moving within. Baddhakonasana is an excellent hip opener that helps circulate fresh blood around the pelvis to nourish the reproductive organs. Sit quietly for 5 – 10 minutes, breathing in and out through the nose to calm the adrenals, drawing the breath down into the belly and sit bones so you feel grounded, nourished and calm. As always with any posture always move within a sharp-pain-free range of movement. If you feel uncomfortable with a posture just bring it back a little. Do remember though, you need to be fit for good sex so keep your practice going and enjoy Sex and Yoga.