Stay updated on the latest science-backed health, fitness, and nutrition news by signing up for the Prevention. They refer to mindfulness and meditation more broadly, studying how the practices apply to sex.
Sex and Meditation Are Perfect Bedfellows
Both general mindfulness and meditation can have big benefits for your sex life. These are five of the biggest ones, according to experts:. And as that stress response becomes activated, it becomes difficult to feel aroused. Mindfulness naturally decreases stress, since it helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, balances out your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your stress response.
The result: You enjoy the moment more. Brotto adds that meditation can also increase activity in parts of the brain linked to interoceptive awareness —or how aware you are of different body parts. Research finds that a mindfulness practice can help increase sexual desire and how much you want to have sex, says Fraser.
How much you enjoy sex matters. But often, sex is also about that connection and love for your partner, says Fraser. That means, in many ways, retraining your mind via meditation and mindfulness can recreate that honeymoon-type feeling you may not have felt in a while, instilling a new sense of excitement in your sex life.
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On your own or with your partner, there are multiple different ways to pick up a sexual mindfulness or meditation practice. Here are a few ways the experts suggest you get started.
Stress Less, Accomplish More
This might include simply sitting quietly to meditate on your own and focusing on your breathing or it could involve meditating with the help of an app such as Calm or Headspace. Building skills and learning to focus on your breath, the moment, and other sensations can help you adopt your newfound habit in the bedroom, she notes.
One she likes: Sit or stand back-to-back and do a body scan, where you mentally scan how your body feels from head to toe, noting any parts that feel tense or relaxed. Focus on the points of contact between you and your partner. Hone in on factors such as texture, pressure, and temperature—things you can pick up on in sexual moments, too, suggests Brotto. Closing your eyes during meditation can be helpful because it eliminates distraction from the visual field, says Fraser. But too often, a lack of eye contact in sex can keep us from connecting with our partner.
You use meditation to open your senses, all of them. This increases your ability to perceive pleasure and give it. You learn to ride your sexual energies into your inner world, the world of the soul, as well as outward into relationship.
Sex and Meditation Are Perfect Bedfellows - Mindful
Then you practice lovemaking as a form of meditation. In tantra, you stretch your ability to pay attention, you extend your capacity to tolerate the electricity of sex. From The Radiance Sutras The word tantra has interesting resonances. The Indo-European root of the tan in tantram is ten- , to stretch. Tantra is also the pattern of interconnectedness that we discover when we do so. So we are presented with images of skillfully weaving together all the elements of life - mind, body, emotions, breath, soul, individuality and infinity into one tapestry.
Meditation is about taking one thing and going deeper and deeper into it. Ask your body to teach you and to lead you into the realm of these experiences. If you ask, life will lead you for these are all sensory experiences, and all have to do with how life maintains life.
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Breath is, after all, something that we do thousands of times a day. Meditation invites us into a deeper relationship with breath, with the pulsing of our hearts and emotions. Meditation is taking a wondering, appreciative attitude toward sensing rather than taking it for granted.
Full Frontal Pleasure Meditation
This manner of inquiry - wondering, posing questions to life, is an essential aspect of meditation. The attitude that this tantra advocates is simple - a completely undefended looking at and feeling into the essential activities of life: joy, sorrow, breathing, loving, walking, dancing, sleeping, exploring. Meditation is diving into your entire sensorium so fearlessly that you go beyond it into the core of your being and rest there. Tantric practices awaken us to perceiving the loom of life, the radiant threads of light and substance that connect everything to everything, everywhere to everywhere.
These threads or strings seem to be made out of vibration. They are because they resonate. When our senses have, through love and meditation, become saturated with love, then they weave together the apparent opposites of body and soul, head and heart, inner and outer. Below are selections from The Radiance Sutras.
These are classic meditative and yoga practices. Notice how intrinsically erotic they are. When you have internalized these ways of paying attention to your experience, then all lovemaking becomes tantric. Follow the path of the radiant life force as she flashes upward like lightning through your body. Attend simultaneously to the perineum, that bright place between the legs, to the crown of the skull, and to that shining star-place above the head.
Notice how this living electricity becomes ever more subtle as she rises, radiant as the morning sun until she streams outward from the top of the head into all-embracing gratitude. Thus become intimate with the life of all beings. Or trace the river of life that flows through you, the luxuriously rising energies, Gradually kissing each of the centers along the spine, Savor each particle of color along the way.
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