Honour differences and respect boundaries
Do you have a yoga practice that is separate from the rest of your life? From your intimate relationship, or from your own emotional and spiritual Ufe? Well, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Sex and relationship can also be approached as a yogic practice. And even better -when given focus and attention, both sex and relating can be fuller and even more pleasurable.
We tend to take our most precious, loving relationships, including with ourselves, for granted, says Taoist and Tantric practitioner, Elena Angel who gives workshops and one-to-one sessions in conscious sexuality. It often doesn’t occur to us to treat our relationships and our sexuality as a discipline. That’s not how society here works at the moment. However, we could all really benefit if we did.’
Sexual Yoga Practice Photo Gallery
From a Tantric or Taoist perspective, relationships and sexual intimacy are vehicles for realising our divine selves so it’s hardly surprising that in order to attain these subtle spiritual levels, we have to practice. The yoga of intimacy and relationship is a sacred, embodied spiritual path which is available to everyone and it leads to a fuller, more vibrant life in the process,’ says Elena.
Even the act of seeing each other as divine beings can change everything. This enables a different way of being together which transcends the differences. It means couples come into relationship with a lot more respect and acceptance of each other,’ says Elena. The difference isn’t emphasised, the divine is. There is less need for negotiation and more room for a profound honouring of each other. There is a deep appreciation of each other that is unconditional.’
As for the yoga of sexuality, both Tantric and Taoist traditions emphasise working with energy in order to create a deeper connection, consciousness and heightened sensations. This involves conscious touch, attention and intention, as well as working closely with the breath, understanding energy fields like the chakras and developing sensitivity and intuition. ‘One of the most powerful initial exercises,’ explains Elena, ‘is to sit down opposite one another, gaze into each other’s eyes and breathe together. The man takes responsibility for harmonising the breath with his partner. Just doing this regularly allows you to drop down into a different space together. It begins the journey of conscious relating and actually connecting to the divine in each other.’
In terms of specific sexual techniques for enhancing pleasure, there are male practices around managing arousal and achieving longer-lasting, full-body sensations and blissful, multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms. Women can also engage in practices that enhance pleasure, bringing greater intensity, a variety of sensations and expanding the orgasmic experience both for themselves and for their partner.
The world of conscious sacred sexual and relationship practice is immense.
When you discover how much there is to explore, the more of an adventure, it i becomes.
Sexual yoga opens up a whole new range of possibilities. Elena talks, for example, about relaxation orgasms’, which simply involves breathing consciously, going very slowly in lovemaking so that you relax into every movement. ‘Eventually, you breathe slowly into orgasm and you are able to feel it in a much deeper way,’ she says. ‘It’s a way of rejuvenating your energy too. At first it’s subtle, but after some practice, it creates more possibilities in love-making.’
The yoga of relating can also be helpful with difficult partnership situations, for instance, with the irritation we so often feel as the other’s way of dealing with everyday situations. Remember recently when you both arrived home from work, exhausted and stressed out? Of course, there was that unspoken and potent tension in the air. And then that explosion – that you need to take it out on each other. Elena suggests that instead of a verbal slanging match, we pause, breathe and take a moment really to look at one another. This again takes discipline and awareness,’ she says, ‘but it works. If you look into each other s eyes for a moment and especially if you are already using this as a relationship practice in your sexual lives, this allows you to connect at a deeper level, deeper than the superficial discord. Try not to use any words at all. Difficult emotions can surface but they can dissipate or express more lovingly and creatively, because you’re connecting in this soul way. Anger can fuel fantastic sex and enable deeper intimacy at the same time This is a great resource around conflict.’
The world of conscious sacred sexual and relationship practice is immense. When you discover how much there is to explore, the more of an adventure, it becomes.