It’s no surprise that stress and anxiety can put the kibosh on even the most active sex drive.
When many people think of sex and yoga they immediately think of Tantra; however, the truth is that just using basic hatha yoga poses to deal with stress can be just as effective (if not more) than shelling out on a Tantra workshop. (Plus, it’s a lot cheaper and a lot less awkward if you tend to be the shy type like me.)
Even if you aren’t in a sexual relationship at the moment, the following poses can help calm the mind and open up tight parts of the body, which is always a good thing. So, without further ado, here are six poses designed to get you back into that lovin’ feeling:
1. Gomukhasana or cow-faced pose
Whenever I am stressed out over life, work, etc., the first place I feel it is in my shoulders. Tight shoulders not only feel bad, but they tend to tighten and close off the heart and chest. I used to think it was a load of bunk, but I’ve noticed when my chest and heart area is tight, I tend to shut myself down emotionally. Most of the time, I don’t even like to be hugged when my shoulders are ultra-tight, much less do anything beyond that.
While I am one of those individuals who can interlace my fingers in this pose, I prefer to use a belt. The reason being that with a belt, I can walk my hands closer or further away from each other which really helps to stretch open that heart/chest.
If you are doing this at home, you don’t need a yoga belt—an ordinary belt or even the belt of a bathrobe works great. If you’re using the former, just be sure to keep the buckle out of your hands’ way.
2. Supta baddha konasana or reclined bound angle pose
This is a great one to do if you have limited time because this is both a hip and a heart opener. Plus it is my personal favorite pose for relaxation.
The trick here is to drag the feet close enough (in towards the body) so the hips are being stretched, but not so much that reclining is uncomfortable. (After all, the goal is relaxation.)
For those with very tight hips, blocks under both knees are a great option. I also love to do this lying doing on a bolster, but if you don’t have one, then a rolled up towel works well, too.
In this pose, the arms can be by the sides or overheard with an elbow resting in the opposite palm. Again, the goal is relaxation, so take the one that comes easiest to you.
3. Ardha Purvottanasana or table top pose
Another chest opener that is also great for tight shoulders but psychologically speaking, when I do this pose, I feel open and ready for anything.
One pointer is not to let the head go back unless it feels comfortable on the neck, and you feel psychologically safe doing so. Exposing that throat chakra may be too much for some people, so take it slowly rather than just throwing the head back.
4. & 5. Halasana (plow pose) and/or sirsasana (head stand)
Whenever I invert, I have a tendency to feel more energized yet relaxed at the same time. If I have the time, I will do both or just pick one over the other.
One word of caution: it is advised to skip halasana or sirsasana if you are on the first days of your menstrual cycle or have high blood pressure.
If that is the case, then viparita kavani/legs-up-the-wall pose is a safe alternative. You will get the same benefits, but minus the potential risks.
6. Balasana or child’s pose
One of my favorite poses to start and end with in general, there is something comforting in surrendering.
Also, this is a great gentle way to stretch the low back, arms, and just give an overall feeling of relaxation. I alternate been taking a wide-legged child pose and then taking my knees together depending on how tight or loose I feel. For those that are very tight or just feel that they are being squeezed by stress, it may be better to start out a wide-legged child’s pose.
Lastly, while there is no proven aphrodisiac or yoga sequence that I am aware of to magically put one in the mood, dealing with the physical and emotional stressors that may be plaguing is a great start.
Even if your goal isn’t to jump in the sack immediately following your yoga practice, you may feel more relaxed and more open both physically and emotionally which may make it more likely for you to get in the mood.
In any case, it can’t hurt and at the very least, you should at least feel better than when you started.
For that reason alone, don’t hesitate and try some or all of these poses whenever the urge strikes you.
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Ed: Sara Crolick