We all experience change and sometimes, to our chagrin, even libido swings away from us. A decrease in sexual desire can be caused by life circumstances, hormone changes, sleep problems, and the biggest culprit: stress.
Yoga is a well-known practice for reducing stress, which in turn cultivates desire. But yoga has other benefits in the bedroom because it:
- Promotes deeper breathing
- Invites presence and awareness
- Increases flexibility and blood flow
- Clears the mind
- Enhances energy
- Builds confidence, self-love and self-respect
So let’s talk about how you can use yoga to make all that happen for you!
Yoga poses that can boost your libido
Yoga works to restore libido because it creates a new relationship with your body. This deep connection gives you the ability to be more aware of physical and emotional sensations as they arise within you. Being in touch with your body is an essential first step if you want to reignite passion and desire.A well-rounded yoga practice helps you maintain health and inner balance, and reduce stress. That sets the right foundation to rediscover the more intimate side of you.
Try the following routine to help restore your libido:
1. Cow / Cat (Bitilasana / Marjaiasana)
In a tabletop position, press your palms into the ground, keeping them directly under your shoulders, with your knees under your hips.
- Cow Pose: Inhale, press your heart forward through the arms, draw your shoulders back, stretch the belly, and tilt your pelvis and tailbone skyward.
- Cat Pose: Exhale, curl the spine by rounding into the back of your heart and the space between your shoulders. Draw the belly up into the low back and tuck your tailbone forward.
Undulate between these two shapes, following your breath in and out, as many times as you please. Let breathing and moving feel good!
Effects: Guides your attention directly to the pelvis and the breath. Tilting the pelvis forward and backward increases blood flow to this area. Inhaling in Cow Pose invites fresh energy in with a corresponding deep arch to the back and lift of the chest. Meanwhile, tucking the pelvis while completing the exhale in Cat Pose tones the pelvic floor and brings strength and elasticity to your intimate muscles.
2. Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana)
Sit down on the edge of a folded blanket or cushion to lengthen the spine before moving into Bound Angle: draw the soles of your feet together and fan the knees out wide. Lift your spine, belly and heart forward and up. Breathe sweetly and softly for into your groin and outer hips for a few cycles.
Effects: Increases blood flow to the pelvic floor, reproductive organs, hips and pelvic “bowl.” More blood flow means fresh oxygen is carrying nutrients and wellbeing to this part to your body. Forward-bending postures also calm the mind and invite inner quiet and peace, all of which helps you let go of the stress that suffocates your sex drive.
3. Squat Pose (Malasana)
With your feet set wider than hip distance and toes turned out a few degrees, bend your knees, ankles and hips as you gently lower your buttocks to be either in line with your knees (High Squat with forearms resting on thighs) or down between your ankles (Low Squat palms together or resting on the floor). If this creates discomfort, move your feet further apart or closer together, or sit on a block for support. Take a few rounds of breath and then come out gently by lifting your hips and folding forward.
Effects: Widens the pelvic opening by 20% — or more — and increases circulation to the hips, groin, pelvis and pelvic floor. Squatting also tones the reproductive system and clears out stagnant energy by sending it down and out.
4. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Restorative Bridge: Lie on your back, bend your knees so the ankles align beneath them, with feet on the floor. Lift your hips and slide a block or bolster under the pelvis. Extend the arms down along your body with palms face up, tuck the shoulders under you, and keep the neck relaxed. Breathe here for several minutes.
Active Bridge (pictured): Lie on your back, bend your knees so that the ankles align beneath them, with feet on the floor. Press into your feet and lift the pelvis toward the sky. With your extended arms underneath you, clasp your hands together, pressing down into the mat with your forearms. (If clasping the hands is not available to you, hold the edges of your mat with both hands.) Lengthen your tailbone forward and lift the belly, ribs and heart. Stay for five breaths and gently lower your body down. Complete several rounds until you feel satisfied.
Rolling Bridge: Same position as Active Bridge, only lift and lower the hips several times as you follow your breath in and out.
Effects: Nourishes the kidneys, adrenals and thyroid, and boosts the parasympathetic nervous system by turning off the flight-or-flight stress response, bringing peace and balance. Active Bridge Pose is also energizing.
The breath, the mind, the intention
Many of us engage in short, shallow breathing that keeps us in a state of tension and stress. You’ll notice a clear shift when your breathing pattern changes from choppy to smooth. Deep, long exhales help relax you and your pelvic floor.
Your mind plays a big role in how you feel sexually and you can use it to get you into the mood. When you become aware of the quality of your thoughts, you may notice how they spread into your daily rhythms. If you seek more desire, then make that your intention during yoga — and afterward off the mat. Visualize yourself overflowing abundantly with sexual and romantic energy.
Remember, stress drains your sex drive quickly. Making a commitment to your practice, and encouraging a slower pace with deeper breaths, will always help you regain your libido.
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