I discovered yoga this summer at Heaven Meets Earth in Evanston, and I'm a mid-life convert. It simply makes me feel delicious from head to toe. Here's a version of a column I wrote a few months ago for MakeitBetter.net. Namaste!
1. Yoga is a sensual experience.
For women to experience pleasure in bed, they need a steady diet of pleasure in other areas of their lives. Yoga is great exercise, but it also engages all the senses. In class we enjoy beautiful music, low lighting, and comfy props like cushions, blankets, and lavender eye pillows. Sometimes our teacher will sound a gong, or anoint us with fragrant essential oils – a valuable reminder that there are many ways for a body to feel good.
2. Yoga gets you out of your head.
|Image from Prevention.com - Yoga Poses for Better Sex|
One of the biggest barriers for women to feel desire is the incessant chatter filling our minds. Yoga shuts off that multi-tasking noise. “When I get into my yoga practice,” my girlfriend Ivy* tells me, “ I only focus on my breathing - the inhale and the exhale. My mind is very quiet after a practice.” Ivy uses that technique when it comes to intimacy with her husband; it allows her to relax and fully appreciate the experience.
3. It connects you to your femininity.
Sports and workouts are healthy and fun but, according to Lisa Faremouth Weber, the founder of Heaven Meets Earth, competition and comparison come from a masculine, ego-based mindset. Yoga is individual, inward exploration. The practice can be challenging, but is infused with gratitude, artful movement, and intention – a more feminine approach that balances all the goal oriented achieving we do. “Feminine exercise gives you joy,” says Lisa. “Women need to experience ravishing abandonment daily.”
4. You’ll feel great about your body. Women are often incredibly critical about their bodies. I’ve only been taking yoga for a few weeks, but I’m already surprised by the new things I can do. Ivy puts it this way, “When I’m doing yoga, I like myself more - I feel the most happy, proud and content.” It’s not about how you look, it’s about what you can do and how you feel. Making that positive connection with your body feels awesome.
5. It gets you in shape for the sack.
With the deep lunges, down dogs and bridge poses it’s no stretch to see how yoga makes women more physically fit for lovemaking. Yoga improves strength and flexibility in all areas of the body, but is especially helpful in opening up the oft-neglected muscles surrounding the hips and pelvis –which one of my teachers calls the “bowl of the soul.” More flexibility means less pain, more options and more fun when it comes to sex.
6. Yoga makes you look hot.
Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow rave about the benefits of yoga. Not only does it tone your body and give you great posture, it improves your circulation and makes your skin look more radiant too. Ivy started doing yoga for the peace of mind, but she was delighted by the changes in her body. “Once I started seeing the results, I liked the way I looked, and I felt more interested in being sexual.”
7. Yoga blisses you out.
Ivy regularly experiences joy while practicing yoga. “There are moments in class when I feel like I can look at my inner mirror and my heart is singing. I wonder - can everybody see what’s happening to me here? It’s like my heart is just bursting forth from my body!”
“In yoga we have flashes of bliss,” explains Lisa. “The Sanskrit name for them is Samadhi. This is when we stop, pause, breathe, plug in and open to the sea of love within ourselves. We can’t experience that when we’re constricted.” The good news, Lisa tells me, is that once you’ve been awakened to these flashes, you can experience them in everyday life.
*Not her real name.