This article is part of SELF’s Keep It Hot package, a collection of content that celebrates love and lust. Throughout February, we’ll be dishing out advice and inspiration for feeling hot, getting horny, and nurturing romantic relationships.
Yoga can calm your mind and body in the moment, but if you pick the right postures, it also has the potential to work some bedroom magic later.
Any kind of movement that maximizes your mobility and gets you comfortable holding your bodyweight—both of which yoga does super well—can set the stage for some pretty awesome sex. “[It’s] just gonna give you more options during sex,” Haylin Belay, trauma-informed yoga instructor and trauma-informed sex educator, tells SELF. For instance, you may be able to more comfortably get into, and hold, an all-fours position.
When it comes to cultivating a better relationship with pleasure, “Yoga stands apart from other kinds of exercise,” Belay says. That’s because yoga doesn’t just condition your body—it can also help you build awareness of what you’re feeling as you engage certain muscles and what thoughts, feelings, and emotions arise in the process.
Both yoga and sex are tools for exploring how you feel in your body, Belay explains. With that ethos, she created a yoga sequence for SELF that can help enhance your sex life by boosting mobility, strength, flexibility, and blood flow in key areas; helping you find new and playful ways to move; and encouraging mindfulness as you experience different poses. This flow is developed from a trauma-informed perspective, Belay says, which means it focuses on restoration and inward reflection instead of super challenging poses, which can sometimes push you past your comfort levels as you try to do them “correctly.” It also means the routine is less prescriptive, and is driven by what feels good to your body.
Improving your sex life “should be a fun and joyous exploration—not a grueling slog that you’re dragging yourself though,” Belay says. So when you’re going through this routine, keep joy, playfulness, and mindfulness at the forefront as you move your body in ways that feel good to you.
Here’s what you can expect: Moves like cat-cow and garland pose work on mobility and flexibility, particularly in your spine, hips, feet, and knees. Being able to move more smoothly and with a greater range of motion can help you get into new positions that can provide different sensations. For instance, more flexibility could make it possible for partners’ bodies to be really close during sex, or for partners to use and share toys in new ways. Then, moves like half-boat pose and reclined goddess can help build strength, particularly in areas like your pelvic floor. And that’s important, since increased strength, especially in the pelvic floor area, can heighten the sensation of an orgasm. Additionally, boosting strength in general can help you more comfortably hold poses for a longer period of time, which, put simply, gives you a wider variety of things you can do during sex.