A few years ago, my then-husband was pleasantly surprised when I re-discovered my yoga practice. I would leave for yoga a stressed-out mess, but then call him on the way home to share my dirty thoughts. We both noticed a correlation pretty quickly. Needless to say, he made sure I kept yoga class a top priority.
The experience had me wondering if yoga, or even simple meditation, was to thank for the boomerang in my sex drive. According to sexologist Dr. Emily Morse, who hosts the Sex with Emily podcast, the correlation between my relaxing yoga class and my increased libido wasn’t pure coincidence. “Two of the biggest libido killers in men and women are stress and distraction,” Morse explains. “The good news is that learning to do simple meditation by paying attention to your breath will directly enhance your ability to relax and focus.”
The science behind meditation for sexy time is simple. Morse says that regular meditation releases endorphins into the body, and endorphins help to control and diminish stress, depression and anger. “You can imagine that by learning to control these feelings you’ll feel better about yourself — and when people feel good, they’re more interested in having sex.”
So hop to it, ladies. All you have to lose is your stress and sexual inhibition. Morse suggests the following meditation techniques to enhance your desire and drive within just a few days or weeks. You can practice any and all of the following — just make sure that deep and focused breathing undergirds all of the other tricks.
1. Breathe deeply
Focus on emptying out your lungs completely, and filling them back with deep breaths from your belly rather than your chest cavity. Morse explains that effectively moving oxygen through your body is often enough to calm your mind within just eight to 10 breaths.
2. Focus on your breath
Once you get the hang of deep breathing, Morse says to really focus on it. Feel it moving into and out of you. Doing so will help you recognize when your mind begins to wander, which will train your brain to focus more efficiently on the present moment — a key to sexual satisfaction.
3. Hold a pose
Your body is beautifully intertwined with your mind, so once you know how to focus on your breath, you can do so while holding a pose for 10-30 seconds. This will further encourage your mind to stay present in the moment and in your body. Your pose can be anything that feels good to your body, but Morse specifically suggests poses that stretch through the pelvic floor and hips. “Stretching will enhance blood flow to your pelvic area,” she says, “And strengthening these muscles will mean that you have stronger, better and more frequent orgasms.” If you’re not sure where to start, a simple butterfly or pigeon pose will open and strengthen your pelvic floor.
4. Speak a mantra
Your mind doesn’t have to stay totally empty for effective meditation. As you breathe out, Morse suggests you speak a simple mantra that builds your confidence. Try saying, “My body is beautiful,” or “I have everything I need.” Play around with it until you find a mantra that works for you, and repeat five to 10 times in your practice.
5. Feel your body
Have you ever noticed how you can go an entire day without really feeling like you’re inside your skin? It’s easy to disconnect from your body when life moves fast. As you breathe and stretch, pay attention to how your body really feels in the present moment. Ask yourself: What hurts? What feels good? Morse says that doing so will naturally help you connect to your body, and thereby your sexuality, for increased desire.