Everybody does it. To some it is a daily occurrence, others weekly, while many maintain a monthly practice of it.
To some it is a spiritual experience, others do it just for the workout, while many enjoy both the mind and body benefits.
Some like it slow and controlled, placing focus on each movement in order to go deeper. Others like it fast, powering through it until their muscles quiver and beads of sweat stream from every pore.
Regardless of how and why you do it, when you do it with a partner it creates a connection that transcends talking, allowing body and mind to mingle.
Yoga has taken the world by storm. In fact, according to a study conducted by Yoga Journal Magazine 7.5% of U.S. adults, or 16.5 million people, practiced yoga in 2004, a number that some say may have skyrocketed to 30 million in 2006!
So what’s all the fuss about?
Yes, it tones, slims and tightens the body while infusing the mind and spirit with balance and calm, but yoga is more than a flexibility-making om session. According to Beverly Whipple, PhD., certified sex researcher and Professor Emerita at Rutgers University of New Jersey and co-author of “The G Spot: And Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality” (Owl Books), certain yogic positions, like the Eagle pose, directs blood flow to your pelvis, creating a warm and relaxed sensation, increasing desire and arousal. In fact, the rush of blood to the nether regions can leave students feeling slightly “turned on” while in class- a natural and very normal reaction.
In addition to increased blood flow, several poses also help strengthen the pelvic floor by contracting and holding muscles that you wouldn’t as easily access while, say, running on the treadmill. According to Whipple, “there is a positive correlation between the strength of the pelvic muscles and women’s orgasmic response- the stronger the pelvic floor, the better chances of orgasm.”
Dr. Craig Aaron, co-author of “Yoga for Regular Guys” (Quirk Books), acknowledges that “The deep stretching, moving and breathing in Traditional Hatha Yoga classes, and our version called YRG, helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Put quite simply, this portion of our nervous system is known as the breed and feed system. It is responsible for the proper function of the digestive and reproductive systems. So if this part of your nervous system is turned on, so are you!” But, Dr. Aaron reminds us that in order to feel more “turned on” it is and important oxymoron to first feel relaxed. “YRG and Yoga classes will leave people more relaxed, less fatigued, with increased range of motion in their joints and increased nerve and blood flow to ALL parts of the body. This sounds like a prescription for a better sex life to me! It’s all about the flow!”
Imagine taking those benefits and adding your “significant other” into the mix, bending, posing and flowing beside you, mat by mat. Darrin Zeer, author of “Lovers’ Yoga” (Chronicle Books) believes that, “Yoga effortlessly helps couples to relax, get more intimate, playful and sensual with each other.” Sometimes the stress of work and life seems to overshadow our personal relationships. At the end of a long day, just the thought of giving more of the self can feel exhausting. Practicing yoga with your partner allows you to nurture your self, your lover, and your relationship as a whole. Zeer, and his partner Daisy, have lead hundreds of couples in Lovers’ Yoga classes and find that, “Yoga is an incredibly rewarding way to spend time with your lover. When two people stretch together, their bodies melt each other’s tightness and tension. Simply by staying present with your partner moment by moment, breathing in unison, a loving, sensual, playful connection blossoms.”
Yoga isn’t just a mode to increase the sensation from intercourse. Whipple believes that, “Sex is not just about the genitals. It encompasses the entire person- emotionally, spiritually, and physically.” Yoga is said to open the heart.
Allow your heart to open, your blood to flow and your spirit to soar with your lover, mat by mat.
Get a little closer with your partner using these Lovers’ Yoga poses:
Lovers’ Yoga Vows
You can repeat these vows silently or aloud before you begin your Lovers’ Yoga session.
1. I am grateful for this time with you.
2. I will support you in these poses with care.
3. I will listen to and follow your every request.
4. I will clearly communicate my needs.
5. I love and respect you.
STANDING LOVERS’ YOGA POSES:
Table for Two
-Stand face-to-face, 5 feet apart.
-Keeping your legs straight, bend at the waist and drop forward so that your upper bodies form a tabletop.
-Rest your hands on your partner’s shoulders.
-Relax into the stretch and breathe.
-Try resting the tops of your heads against each other.
-Take 5 deep breaths while you stretch.
-Bend your knees and support each other on the way back up.
-Lift your outside leg up and place your foot on your inside upper thigh.
-If your foot slips, you can hold it up with your hand.
-Wrap your inside arm around your partner’s waist and hold tight for balance and support.
-Stand tall and feel your head rise toward the sky.
-Breathe in unison and relax into the pose.
-Take 5 deep breaths.
-Switch sides with your partner and stretch the other leg.
-Stand facing each other with toes touching.
-Relax deeply into your partner’s embrace.
-Breathe 5 long, deep breaths in unison with your partner.
-Let stress and tension fall away.
-Easy back rub
-While still embracing, take turns massaging each other’s back.
-Rest your head on your partner’s chest or shoulder.
-Rubbing between the shoulder blades and spine for 30 seconds.
SITTING LOVERS’ YOGA POSES:
-Sit back-to-back, with legs crossed. Keep your lower backs as close together as possible.
-Twist around to your left.
-Place your left hand on your partner’s right knee.
-Place your right hand on your own left knee.
-Look behind you and relax your neck.
-Pull firmly on your partner’s knee.
-Take 5 deep breaths.
-Switch directions and repeat.
Window to the Soul
-Sit face-to-face, with legs crossed.
-Rest your hands on your partner’s lap and look into his or her left eye.
-Sit up straight and breathe in unison.
-Gently squeezing your partner’s leg or arm will help you stay alert and focused.
-Simply look at each other.
-Laughing is permitted!
-Don’t be afraid of tender moments as well.
-Take 5 deep breaths together.
Instructions for the giver:
-The receiver sits up with his or her legs straight in front.
Giver, sit about 3 feet behind the receiver, face toward his or her back.
-Lie down and rest your feet on the receiver’s back.
-Walk your heels up and down the receiver’s back.
-Rub the sore spots in between the receiver’s spine and shoulder blades.
-Ask the receiver how he or she likes the massage pressure.
-This is a heavenly way to give a back massage without lifting a finger.
Loving Lap Hug
-Both partners sit down facing each other.
-You both can loosely wrap your legs around each other.
-Sit closely together and hug.
-Both partners close their eyes and take 5 or more deep breaths together.
-Feel the love and profound intimacy unfold.
The ultimate pose to melt into each other!
-Lie down one partner behind the other.
-The partner in back can hug the partner in front. (Whoever needs the most nurturing should lie in front.)
-Breathe and relax, without any expectations.
-Your bodies will naturally connect together.
-Breathe in unison 10 or more times.