wellness

The simple yoga moves you can do in 3 minutes that will seriously increase your libido.

When we think about exercise, it’s normally in the context of how our bodies look. We lift weights to tone our arms and squat to build a bum and run to shrink our size.

That’s all fun and there’s a place for it in our lives, but one of the lesser talked about benefits of moving your body through yoga is feeling more sexual.

We know Aussie women are having less sex than they were decades ago and low libido is mostly to blame. As the ABC put it, low libido is the most common sex problem in women (aside from, you know, having an orgasm). According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 70 per cent of women aged 40-65 years old are experiencing a lack of sexual desire.

When Mamamia did our own survey and asked over 1,000 women aged 18-75 about their sex lives, it became pretty clear we’re not all having the wild sex we think everyone else is having. The most common answer to the question ‘how often do you have sex?’ was a pretty standard once a week (279 women), followed by twice a week (194), once a fortnight (168) and once a month (157).

So, what does this have to do with yoga? Monique Blackwell from Little Things Yoga is a yoga instructor who specialises in yoga poses for women’s health. Her focus is on how yoga can affect a woman’s mind-body awareness throughout different times in her life like during pregnancy, undergoing fertility treatment or experiencing menopause.

Those times are what we’re calling the peaks and troughs of female sexuality.

 

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Think of it like the ups and downs of a rollercoaster because, despite the amazing things our bodies are capable of, it’s rare for a woman to look in the mirror and see her body in a positive, attractive light all the time.

“Lately, I have noticed a common thread of topic which is something that resonated with feelings I have from time to time… the feeling of being seen, but not seen at all. The feeling of being sexually invisible,” Monique told Mamamia.

“As women, we move or weave in and out of our sexual selves. And who that ‘is’ changes too as we move from teenagers to women to mothers to women in peri-menopause and menopause and then out of it again. It happens to us physically, emotionally and mentally through hormone and body changes or metamorphosis, all the time.”

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There’s no secret or intricate formula as to why people don’t feel like having sex. If you’re not feeling sexy or sensual in yourself, then sex becomes less about you and your needs, but as a way to service the needs of someone else. That’s OK but we need both, especially those in a relationship. Monique said, in her own experience, a common time this can happen is after having kids.

“After you’ve had children, the way you view and think of your body completely changes, and finding how sexuality fits with your ‘new’ body and your new normal can be tricky.”

“But when you think about it, when we’re pregnant, we never feel over our growing stomach and our breasts and bum and think ‘wow, we’re amazing’. It’s the same after birth, but also generally in our lives. When a woman runs her hands over her body, it’s usually when she’s being critical of herself.”

Unpacking this thinking, Monique has come up with three yoga moves any woman can do to start connecting to her body and her sexuality. All three are variations of Sukhasana, which is ‘Easy Pose’ (you may know it as sitting cross-legged on the ground) and together take a minimum of three minutes.

Watch Monique talk through each of these three yoga moves below. Post continues after video.

As Monique said, though, it’s less about the moves themselves and more about re-framing the way you think about your body and yourself as a sexual person. Don’t get us wrong – you’re not going to sit down, do these moves and instantly feel horny.

But by taking five minutes out of your day to sit in these poses – or at night when you feel like you might like to have sex – you’re carving out a space for the sexual part of yourself who might feel like a stranger. Here are the three poses below.

1. Circling.

Circling is… sitting on the ground and slowly circling your upper body from the hips in one direction for a few minutes before changing to the opposite direction. As you can watch in the video above, this move involves circling the whole body from the hips and bringing your shoulders and chest forward and back with you.

“I find doing this [movement] is a really nice way to reconnect with your body. We do this in prenatal and postnatal classes too because it’s a nice feeling, it’s like a washing machine washing you out, in a sense, circling you back into yourself,” Monique said of this move.

You can do this move for however long feels comfortable, or for around 60 seconds.

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2. Yoni Mudra.

Next, this move is performed sitting on the ground cross-legged and uses the hands to “detach from daily life, anchor yourself, and plug in to your untamable feminine power,” as Yoga Journal puts it.

“Sit quietly and bring your hands into a mudra – you can do an upside-down triangle with your fingers under the belly, focusing on full belly breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.”

“Another mudra you can use is Shakti Mudra that symbolises coming back to your self and your feminine self, and feeling the energy flow down into your sexual space or reproductive organs. You can bring the thumbs and index and middle fingers together and cross the pinky and rings fingers to make a diamond shape,” Monique said.

 

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3. Touching yourself.

This doesn’t mean what you think it does. It can, but not for this move.

In Monique’s video, she recommends sitting cross-legged (still), closing your eyes and gently floating your hands and fingers in slow, sweeping motions over your face, breasts, belly and inner thighs. It’s basically the yoga version of doing an RnB body roll feelin’ yourself.

“You can do this in rhythm with your breath, so breathe in and run your hands over your body as you breathe out. The idea is that we don’t normally touch ourselves in this way and appreciate our bodies.”

All three of these moves can be done in three minutes (60 seconds each), or for as long as you like. Then, all you have to do is wave when your sexual self floats up out of your body and into the bedroom. You’re welcome.

Have you ever tried yoga to improve your libido? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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