4 Yoga Practices to Boost Your Love Life
Have you ever wished for a guidebook to achieving a fully enhanced connection with your most intimate partner? Together, creating a life full of vibrant experiences, meaningful connections, health, and overall vitality? Yoga and its many facets provide a wonderful resource for creating a life that is rich both within your relationship to Self and your relationship to your partner. Follow these simple steps to boost your connection with your partner and watch your love life thrive.
If you knew a drug existed that would balance your hormones, bring youthfulness to your skin and circulatory system, improve your sleep and digestion, plus decrease stress and anxiety, you would be willing to pay major money for that drug. The good news is that meditation is free and has been proven effective in these areas. In regards to your intimate relationships, meditation has been shown to increase oxytocin, which has been dubbed the “love hormone” and who doesn’t want more of that?
*Practice Tip: Loving-Kindness Meditation*
Find a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Begin to notice your breath and bring a sense of ease and relaxation to your body. Call to mind an image of yourself. See this image clearly and kindly in your mind. Silently and internally repeat these four phrases to yourself: “May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.”
After three minutes, release the image of yourself and call to mind an image of someone who brings up great feelings of love in your life. See them clearly in your mind and repeat the same phrases: “May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”
After three more minutes, release the image of this loved one and call to mind a neutral person—someone you don’t have feelings for either way; good nor bad. For example, the person who bags your groceries or a familiar face in your neighborhood. Without expecting anything in return, simply out of the goodness of your heart, repeat the same phrases.
After three minutes release this person’s image and allow the images of friends, loved ones, mentors, family members, coworkers, strangers, or other places and people in the world to flow into your mind and allow your repetition to become: “May all beings everywhere be safe. May all beings everywhere be happy. May all beings everywhere be healthy. May all beings everywhere live with ease.” After three minutes, let the repetition subside watch the steady rise and fall of your breath. As you close your practice, bring your hands to your heart and carry these phrases with you into your day.
Oxygen has been called “the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Breathing increases sensation and can enhance your visceral experience of physical pleasure and intimate connection. In the same way that the breath guides your physical yoga practice, breath is also an important guide between the sheets. Breathing dynamically together helps maintain your connection while building to the heat of the moment. Use your breath as a tool to stay present in your body and present with your partner.
*Practice Tip: Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath)*
Find a comfortable seat. Breathe in and out through the nose like a blacksmith’s bellows, with the emphasis on the breath being pumped out via the exhale. The primary focus should be on the nasal cavity, and the breaths should be almost like simulated sneezes. Do this for 36 breaths. Take a break and normalize your breath. Then repeat for two more rounds of 36 breaths for a total of 108 breaths. This exercise or kriya will clear your mind while pumping the body with freshly oxygenated blood, bringing your sensational body to life. If you are pregnant, skip this exercise and instead set a period of time to watch your breath, bringing even attention to the inhales and the exhales, after your Loving-Kindness meditation.
3. Practice Yoga
A regular yoga practice will increase your bodily awareness. When you know your body, you are able to attune to what you need in any given moment. When you are aware of your needs, you can ask for support in meeting those needs or you can move your body accordingly in order to respond to those needs. Most importantly, through a dynamic yoga practice, you will build cardiovascular stamina, strength, and flexibility all of which will enhance your intimate love life.
*Practice Tip: Yoga Sequence*
This practice helps to awaken the energetic, emotional centers most critical to a healthy intimate life while emphasizing strength, stamina, and flexibility. Begin with five rounds of Surya Namaskara A followed by five rounds of Surya Namaskara B. Flowing one breath per movement will help build your cardiovascular stamina while warming your body. Then recline on your back and with your feet hip distance, lift your hips and place a block under your sacrum for Supported Bridge Pose (Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana). Rest your arms on the floor, by your sides, and close your eyes. Allow your breath to move freely in your upper chest, imagining the breath as a tool for opening the heart. After 10 to 20 breaths, lift your hips and remove the block. With your low back grounded to the floor, cross your right ankle over your left knee and draw your left thigh into your chest for a reclining hip stretch. Close your eyes and envision your breath moving into your hip. The hips and the heart are energetically connected. With your heart now open, allow your emotional energy to flow from the hips. After 10 breaths, switch sides. End your practice by laying on the floor in Savasana for five to 10 minutes
Psychology Today says, “Touch is the first sense we acquire and the secret weapon in many a successful relationship.” Touch, outside of sex, is an important tool for affection, connection, and trust. Touch shows our partner we are present to them, available, and interested in their needs. Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, involves Marma Point Massage which helps attend to important energy centers in the body, such as the heart. A marma point is a gateway of energy, similar to an acupressure or acupuncture point. When you oscillate a marma point you break up any blocked energy so that prana can flow freely. Use this technique to connect in a caring, effective way to help deepen your intimacy.
*Practice Tip: Marma Point Massage*
Mix sesame oil with rose oil or sandalwood oil to help clear negative emotions. Take the oil mixture and massage it into the tips of your middle and first fingers. Locate Hridaya marma point, which is in the middle of the sternum, on your partner or on yourself. Slowly massage the fingers into the point in a clockwise motion eight times. Gently hold the tips of the fingers to the point for with a light pressure for one minute. This simple, short practice will help integrate caring touch while ensuring love and compassion flow freely.
Photo Credit: Travis Eliot and Lauren Eckstrom