When you're sweating it out in downward dog, face precariously close to a stranger's backside in a sweaty classroom swelling with the odors of opened chakras, you're probably not thinking about sex. You're thinking about holding the pose while your arms tremble, or you're wondering whether the teacher is coming over to realign you. Or maybe you're just considering how long it will be before the Shavanasa phase of the class, which is essentially nap time for Yoga-practicing adults. Here's a thought to keep you focused as you wobble through Tree Pose: sex.
You may not know it, but yoga is a natural, healthy way to enhance your bedroom activities. The practice promotes both mental and physical strength-training that can foster mindfulness, flexibility, stamina and even increased pleasure. Just ask Sting, who has famously touted the benefits of Tantric yoga in the bedroom.
He may have overstated his abilities, but there is scientific evidence that a daily yoga regimen can boost sexual vitality—particularly for women. One study published in The Journal For Sexual Medicine, claimed that nearly 75 percent of women who practiced yoga an hour a day for three months found their sex life had improved.
"Female sexual interest is rooted partly in their hormonal balance but, more significantly, in the level of their stress hormone balance," Anita Sadaty, MD, a New York-based gynecologist tells EverydayHealth. Lowered stress hormones "opens the door for more sexual thoughts and desire to come in," she explains.
It's not all physiological, however. "A regular yoga practice brings you into the awareness of the present moment which is very important when looking to boost your sex life," Lauren Zoeller, a certified yoga instructor and Whole Living Life Coach tells Healthline. "The more present you can become with your partner, the better the experience will be for both of you."
While an overall yoga practice may benefit your sex life in general, there is one pose that's getting much of the credit.
Bridge Pose is the buzzy position that everyday yogis and masters of the practice swear by. if you're not familiar with the pose, which involves raising your hips above your head, while resting on your shoulders with your feet on the mat. For a more detailed application of the pose, Well and Good has this handy video to get you started.
Now that you've familiarized yourself with the pose, consider some of the benefits.
The folks at YogaTravelTree also recommend the pose, which "not only provides an intense hip flexor stretch, it also tones your muscles and improves sexual pleasure." By squeezing the pelvic muscles, you're essential doing your Kegel exercises, they claim, and increasing the opportunity for enhanced pleasure.
According to Debbie Herbenick Phd, the Bridge can be, frankly, ecstatic."Some women experience enhanced arousal while doing bridge—even just as part of their regular yoga practice," she tells Fitness Magazine.
The popularity of Bridge Pose means people aren't just practicing it on their own, but with a partner as well.
In Bustle's roundup of "Advanced Sex Positions You Should Try," author Kristine Fellizar recommends the pose "for deep stimulation and hitting the G-spot."
But be warned, when employed with a partner, the pose isn't for the faint of heart. "If you do it for longer than one minute, prepare to feel sweaty, drained, exhausted, shaky, and sore," writes Your Tango's Rebecca Jane Stokes. She recommends using of an exercise ball for support, even if it does kill the mood temporarily.
Overall, those experts in the know suggest that practicing the pose —whether on your own, or with a partner—is likely to enhance your stamina, libido, and even your climaxes. But does it burn calories?
It can do that too. It "works your butt, abs and thighs" according to Cosmo's Jill Hamilton.
So now you know the power of Bridge pose, but it's not the only Yoga position credited with improving your sex life. The wide-legged straddle (seated bend with legs a wide distance apart) can actually boost your sex drive, according to yoga instructor Kate Hanley, author of The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide. "It improves blood flow to the pelvic area, and where the blood goes, so do energy and vitality," she tells Woman's Day. Meanwhile, Chair Pose (standing with knees bent and arms extended) and Eagle Pose (chair pose with one arm and leg twisted over the other) are credited with promoting blood flow to the cervix and strengthening the pelvic floor, claims Livestrong. (Check out even more poses that enhance your sexual prowess here.)
So whether you're looking to strengthen your other "core," increase climax potential, build stamina or just get in touch with the powers of your yoni, yoga just might be your key to enlightenment.