If you create a Venn diagram with the word “sex” on one side and “yoga” on the other, you’ll find a lot of common ground: Deep breathing, pretzel-y positions, Tantric roots. A quick Google search of “sex and yoga” will pull up hundreds of tips for incorporating yoga into sex, and vice versa. You’ll find a YouTube video of Christopher Gladwell, the author of Engaged Yoga, explaining the connection between the two. "Yoga strategies like asana and meditation take us into opening the bliss lines of the body," he says. "When we open up in [those bliss lines] when we're making love, those lines open and we can spread by taking the energy from genital orgasm, so it's a whole body orgasm, a whole cosmos orgasm." Sounds intriguing and fun, right? Who doesn't want an orgasm so strong it can be felt from their fingertips into the cosmos?
But David Gordon White — the author of Kiss of the Yogini: "Tantric Sex" in its South Asian Contexts and a distinguished professor emeritus of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara — says yoga and sex have very little to do with each other historically. But there are a few X-rated, ancient connections.
"A couple of medieval yogic texts refer to a practice called vajroli mudra, in which following sex, the male partner draws his semen back into his penis,” Gordon White writes in an email. “The assumption appears to be that by controlling his breaths yogically, he can use his penis as if it were a vacuum cleaner. He not only draws back his semen, but also some of his partner's sexual emission (and/or menstrual blood), which is considered to be essential to male practitioners because the female emission contains a divine essence that males do not naturally possess…. But that's about it in terms of any authentic (or pre-1960s) connection between yoga and sex.” These old school facts are moderately interesting, and extremely out there. Still, sex and yoga as one is a fairly modern-day phenomenon. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun.
Here are some beginner positions for those want create their own history by combining the ancient and enjoyable arts of sex and yoga.
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This is like doing doggie style, but in downward facing dog.
This basic pose is often something of a "home base" in modern yoga classes. When incorporating it into sex, place your feet hip-distance apart and lean back into your heels. Keep your head and neck in a straight line with your spine, and activate your arms. Then have your partner stand behind you for penetration, or kneel to eat you out while you're in this position.
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This one is a little trickier. The position is meant to stretch your spin in yoga, but can allow for really profound penetration during sex.
Begin by lying on your back with your legs in the air and your arms palm-down on the bed. Next, use your abs to lift up your hips and legs up towards the sky. Make your torso perpendicular to the bed, then straighten your legs while lowering them to the end of your comforter. Have your partner penetrate you from above in a standing or kneeling position. This move will allow them to go extra deep, so get ready for all the feels.
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This one takes a bit of flexibility. Start in a downward dog position. Lift one leg towards the ceiling, and have your partner stand behind you, penetrating you with a penis, strap-on, or vibrator. You can use their shoulder for balance if needed.
For a modified version of this, have your partner kneel behind you and perform oral sex while you're in the position.
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Start by lying on your stomach, and press your legs, thighs, and feet into the floor. Keep your legs spread apart further than you normally would in the traditional pose — this gives you partner room to get on top and enter you from behind, hitting your G spot. Press you hands into the bed and press your torso up to the ceiling, doing a baby back bend. Ask them to kiss your neck as you lean your head back in this move.
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There's nothing like a relaxing Shavasana after a long sweat session. This pose allows you to stay in a more relaxed position. Lie on your back with your hands at your side. Let your partner get on top. In yoga class, teachers will often tell you to bring awareness to your body and focus on different sensations when you come to this pose. Not a bad idea here, either.
Shavasana's nickname is "corpse pose," but, trust us, you'll feel very alive after this.