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The Benefits of Yoga for your Sexual Wellbeing
This week we spoke to the go-to-expert on sex tech, Bryony Cole. She gained this title through her podcast, “The Future of Sex.” Bryony has over a million hits on her podcast, has written for playboy and most recently, Marie Claire awarded her podcast Future of Sex as ‘one of the best sex and relationship podcasts of 2020’.
Sexual health is not only about biology, it is also about your pleasure and mental health. Bryony is a beginner when it comes to Yoga, however, she gives great insight about the benefits of yoga in the bedroom, and how yoga will improve sexual wellbeing in both physical and mental ways. Nadi X guides you through yoga poses that will allow you to get in touch with your breath and body beyond the yoga mat.
WX: What are some common misconceptions about sexual health? And how have you gone about debunking these in your career?
Bryony: We need to reframe sexual health. Sexual health is more than just biology.
Too much of the focus has been on health as a preventative measure in sex, for example avoiding STIs or medical concerns. So often, it feels like checking a box. Wearing a condom. Taking an STI test. Having a pap smear. These are all healthy practices but the self-enquiry is missing.
The new lens on sexual health is proactive—it’s about your pleasure, expanding your ideas of what’s possible and finding ways to express that.
To be healthy sexually—have you asked yourself what that means yet?
To me, it means reflecting on my sexual values, checking-in on what makes me sexually comfortable and being clear on how to articulate what I do and don’t want in bed...this is as critical to me feeling healthy, as taking tests and using preventative contraception.
When sexual health is about a health approach it opens up potential for excitement and reinvention... Just like our mental health and other aspects of our health, why would we not treat our sexual health in the same way?
WX: How are sexual health and yoga connected?
Bryony: Yoga’s health benefits pay dividends in the bedroom. Whether it’s less stress, greater stamina or more flexibility, all of these benefits can contribute to more pleasurable sexual experiences.
There are plenty of studies to back up the connections but one oft-cited is the Harvard Health Publishing study (2020), which involved 40 healthy women between the ages of 22 to 55 who were enrolled in a 12 week yoga program.
The subjects were guided through 22 yoga poses, or asanas, believed to have positive effects on abdominal and pelvic muscle tone, joint function, and mood. Improvements in all aspects of sexual function studied - desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and overall satisfaction -- improved.
WX: Are there particular yoga poses that are good for sexual wellness? Do these differ for men and women?
Bryony: I’m a real beginner so what I can advise is the simplest of positions that allow you to get into your body and have some side benefits for sexy time. For instance, Happy Baby is great for inner thigh and groin strength. Cat-cow soothes anxiety and loosens up your muscles. These are all things we’d like to translate to sex, and also you could even do as a warm-up...
WX: Do you recommend exploring yoga & breathwork as part of a sexual exploration?
Bryony: Absolutely! Anything that gets you more present with yourself and the moment is going to deepen your sexual experience. Both yoga and breathwork are great ways to work on your pleasure practice through mind and body.