If you feel the intimacy with your partner isn’t what it used to be, the first reaction may be to blame the relationship. Most relationships have their peaks and valleys and challenges to work through, and one of the first casualties can be your sex life. However, sometimes there might not be any stress or trigger that is causing your partner to fake a headache or to suddenly need to stay up and finish something rather than head to bed on a cold winter night. At the beginning of a relationship, people tend to be more “into” each other and may make love all the time. Ongoing constant companionship can be a comfort, but it can throw cold water on the sexual spark. Physical intimacy can become routine, automatic and uninspiring. Discovering sex with your partner anew is something many people long for.
This kind of discovery and awareness is possible with the help of meditation and mindfulness. Being present in the moment is an important principle in mindfulness and it just happens to be an essential ingredient for a great sex life. In addition, the integration of the body and mind and sense is the work of mindfulness and is also a characteristic of satisfying sex. The good news is that the erotic “blahs” can be cured with the process of rediscovery. There is no need to go on expensive vacations for a change of place or to spend time away from each other to press the restart button on your sex life. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can lead you in the right direction to rediscover intimacy.
Stress may be fueling our ambition and our motivation to achieve, but it can also kill arousal. Drinking a whole pot of coffee can power you through an all-niter to finish a project, but this kind of practice should not become a way of life. The same is true of using stress as a kind of fuel to get you going and solving problems. Rather than making us in tune and aware of each other, stress can involve avoidance and a tendency to block other people out. Persistent stress can cause havoc on the body and short-circuit sexual arousal. Mindfulness and meditation reduce stress and improve mental and physical health that are essential for a robust sex life.
Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for the fight or flight response and is produced in reaction to stress. While cortisol might seem like a sexy and exciting hormone, if it is released on a constant basis, it can reduce arousal and sex drive. The main reason for this is that if the body is given the message over and over again that it needs to fight or run for cover, the sexual drive is diminished because there is no time for sex when you are fighting for your survival. From an evolutionary point of view, when our ancestors were releasing cortisol, that usually meant they were in grave danger and it wasn’t a good time to settle down and make more babies. A highly stressful lifestyle can give your body the signal that now is not the time for pleasure. However, if you are constantly facing stress, “now” is all the time. According to one study, women whose cortisol levels were extremely high were incapable of orgasm. Elevated adrenaline levels in men can cause erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. The conclusion: stress is not only bad for your health but it may be killing your sex life.
In addition to actual stress, distractions can play a significant role in cooling off your ardor. When you think about how you actually feel when you aroused, you may notice that you are focused on details of the other person. You are tuning in rather than tuning out. Distractions work against the energy of arousal and break the essential focus. Meditation can help you train your mind so you tune out distractions that are keeping you from connecting with your partner. In addition, mindfulness encourages you to be aware of your body and its processes. This can help you function more effectively during sex.
Meditation encourages you to slow down and to guide your breath. Meditation is often recommended by sex therapists to people who want to maximize their pleasure and to reach an ecstatic state. Orgasm involves letting go of the ego which is similar to spiritual and mental states achieved during meditation. Some sex therapists say that the most important sexual organ is the brain. What happens to the brain during meditation and the sexual act is similar. Even though different sides of the brain are stimulated by these activities– sex stimulates the right side of your brain and meditation focuses on the left, the pattern is similar in that the emphasis is on focusing and eliminating distractions. With both activities, the flow of thought and habits of judgments are diminished and sensory perceptions are paramount.
There is a certain part of the brain that is often neglected. It is called the insula, and it runs vertically between the cortical section and the lower limbic regions. When the insula is activated, it can enhance the perception of the physical body and emotion. A well-developed insula can help you experience your body in a fuller, deeper way and be aware of your sensations. In addition to helping you perceive your body more completely, the insula makes it easier to express your emotions in a physical way. It also helps you tune in more completely to your partner can increase the impact of orgasms.
At Harvard study, the brains of people who meditated on a regular basis were studied against those who did not. The participants who meditated daily had an insula that was thicker than the other group. Of course, brain development does not occur overnight, and the insula can grow thicker through the repeated practice of meditation. If the insula is well-developed, it can more easily send signals to the high-level brain and can enhance not only pleasure but optimal decision-making.
Studies back up the perception that meditation can improve your sex life. In one study in British Columbia’s center for sexual medicine, female participants began by taking a test of sexual function and were given mindfulness meditation sessions in groups two weeks apart. Between the sessions, participants did mindfulness meditation alone. In the second round of sexual functioning tests, most of the participants were shown to have an increased desire, arousal, and satisfaction. Women said in most cases that the mindfulness aspect of the study was helpful in feeling more sexually excited.
Start meditating by focusing on your breath and bringing your attention constantly back to your breathing. Be aware of your body’s functioning and put aside thought and judgment. Start doing this for five minutes and build up to 10 and 15-minute sessions. You will find that, in general, that you are more aware of your body, the more you will be to send way distracting thoughts. This is a great skill to have in managing your emotions, your ability to focus on work and performing well during sex.
When people think of meditation, the image of celibate Buddhist monks in Tibet may come to mind. However, meditation is not just suited to a celibate lifestyle. The kind of mental and spiritual discipline that is used to control desire can also be used to enhance it. Some men who meditate report that they can last longer during the sexual act than they were able to before. Busy wives and mothers also reported that they were able to shut off their worries, tune into their partners and really feel aroused after learning to deal with distractions during meditation.
One reason why many people may see a slump in their sex life because they’re simply too tired. Meditation creates an intensive rest that gives you more energy and makes you feel more refreshed. Rather than dropping into bed with your partner the end of a hectic day and saying you’re too tired for sex, try a 10-minute meditation prior to going into your bedroom, and you may just be ready for action.
In addition to doing regular meditation to reduce stress, improve your concentration and your sex life, you can incorporate meditations into your regimen that are specifically designed sexual performance. Some of these meditations are designed to be done with a partner. Start by sitting in a comfortable position lying down or sitting with your legs in the lotus position. You can wear something loose and comfortable or decide to do this meditation in the raw. Make sure your posture is straight with an even spine. Close your eyes with an awareness of what is going on around you. Focus on your breath while noticing sounds and sensations. Focus on being in the present moment and send way any intrusive thoughts. If you experience mental distractions acknowledge that thought is there, and let it go away.
While you are breathing, be aware of your space and the air as it enters and leaves your body. Focus on bringing air in your body and exhaling out stress. Be aware of your body as you breathe and any physical sensations you experience. Help visualize your body both inside and outside and experience your feelings. Be aware of your body’s reaction when you open your eyes and look at your partner. Observe your partner’s eyes and their breathing. Try communicating with your partner without words and let your eyes convey your feeling. As this communication intensifies, allow it to culminate into physical intimacy. After sex, talk to your partner about what worked in the meditation and the sex that followed it how you both would like to enhance the experience the next time.
Some people prefer to do this meditation without any music or sound enhancements. However, if you live in an area where there is noisy traffic outside or other distractions, you may want to play some soft, relaxing music or natural sounds such as the rain and ocean waves.
There are advanced forms of sexual meditation associated with different spiritual disciplines. Many people have heard of Tantric sex meditation and there is also a Taoist from. These more advanced forms of sexual meditation should be tried after you have mastered the basic sexual meditation practices. Taoist sexual meditation focuses on the convergence of desire that grows between you and your partner. Stand face to face with your partner. You can hold their hand for choose just stand there looking into each other’s eyes. Try to match your breathing with that of your partner. Pay attention to the pace of his or her inhaling and exhaling and start to feel that you are breathing as one unit. Another practice is hand pulsing which involves opening and closing your partner’s hand or squeezing it with a certain pattern.
If you tried some basic Taoist sexual meditation techniques and you may want to delve further into this path. Synchronized breathing and hand pulsing are the basis of Taoist sexual meditation, and you can try using these methods simultaneously by matching both breathing and pulsing. The purpose of this approach is to relax yourself and your partner and create a connection. If there is unison, it is hard for anything to intrude or distractions to develop. If you or your partner suffers from nervous exhaustion, you may want to increase the pulsing and breathing for longer preparation work before intimacy. The pulsing of the hands is meant to mirror the pulsation of the body during lovemaking and the contractions of orgasm. You should work toward creating a seamless transition between the pulsing and breathing prior to lovemaking and lovemaking itself.
Qigong is an exercise that is recommended for the balance of mental, physical and spiritual energies. According to Taoist thought, Qi is the energy that runs through everything, and it can free you from thoughts and feelings that can distract and occupy you from optimal intimacy. Qi Gong can help you calm intense emotions and tap into a new supply of energy. In addition, to taking Qi Gong classes can channel more energy into your sex life.
One Taoist principle to use in the context of intimacy is dissolving. When you meditate and focus on your breath and your body, you may have a sense of your ego and its judgments are falling away. This erasure of the ego important step towards connecting with another person. When you are breathing and pulsing together you may feel that you are dissolving into the other person. This feeling of dissolving can open up the energy pathways of the body and the mind and can increase the intensity of your performance and feeling of emotional connection.
Tantra is a full spiritual discipline focusing on every aspect of life, but in popular thought, it is often associated with epically long sexual sessions. You don’t need to feel like you are training for a sexual marathon when you begin to study tantra. The singer Sting infamously credited tantra meditation with his allegedly all night lovemaking sessions with his wife in an interview, but don’t feel as if you have to compete with the former lead singer of the Police. The word “tantric” originally from Sanskrit, means to weave and expand. Every aspect of our personality is brought together as we connect with our partners.
Tantra and other Eastern spiritual disciplines have long identified the power of sexuality and channeled it into healing and creative pursuits. Taoist physicians traditionally prescribed sexual positions to treat certain illnesses the way many practitioners use acupressure today. Knowing how to channel sexual energy can improve not only your sex life and your relationship partner, but can help you feel healthier.
It’s ironic that tantra is discussed the context of excellent sexual performance when the discipline itself does not take a performance-oriented view of sexuality. In Tantra, the idea is to focus on the process rather than simply getting a huge orgasm. The discipline of tantra involves prolonging the process of sex. As a result, the power of orgasm increases substantially and includes the entire body. People who practice tantra on a regular basis may feel a euphoria that lasts for a number of hours and their bodies may be charged kind of electric humming sensation throughout the day.
Tantra combines movement, breath, and meditation and can help open the energy system known as chakras. The opening of the chakras releases kundalini located around the pelvis. This powerful energy is associated with sexuality and removes the spiritual blockages in the body. This can also increase sensitivity to others. The enhancement of physical and spiritual energy, as well as the power of intuitive bonding, attracts many people to tantra. Tantra meditations involve moving energy up and throughout the body center located at the spine. Start with focusing on this energy for five minutes a day and add more time and more intricate meditations as time goes on.
One Tantric meditation that many find effective is the third eye meditation. The aim is to open the crown chakra which is located at the top of the head and the third eye chakra. Once the chakras are opened, the person practicing the meditation can be primed to receive energy. The meditation also involves moving the energy along the spine while keeping centered on the earth.
To begin the third eye meditation, sit comfortably and feel the bones of your pelvis and your legs on the floor. Breathe in and feel your spine lengthening. One good visual image to use is that there is a string pulling the top of your head upward. Exhale and position your tailbone while keeping your spine extended. Breathe naturally. Position your tongue to the roof of your mouth and visualize a golden ball above your eyebrows. Breathe through your nose and imagine the ball rolling over the top of your head down the tailbone. Chant the word “hung,” which means “I am,” as a way of acknowledging your true self. Start doing this exercise for a few minutes a day and then work up to 20 minutes. There are different aspects to kundalini and it is important to focus on both the elevated and the grounded aspects. Elevating kundalini can lead to euphoria and creative inspiration but can also make you restless and vulnerable to insomnia. Use grounding activities as well, such as nature walks and yoga.
Once you have begun the practice of tantra individually, you can pursue Tantric sex meditation with your partner. One basic technique is to begin by gazing at your partner and breathing alternately. While Taoist sexual meditation focuses on breathing in unison, Tantric sexual meditation focuses on alternate breathing. The purpose is to create the kind of unity and excitement. Some Tantric techniques focus on the importance of eye connection. Some people begin by gazing at their partner and hold their gaze throughout the sex act to the point of orgasm. Once you have mastered techniques, more advanced forms of Tantric sex including meditations practice.
Many of these meditation techniques and principles can be applied your own life, but if one of the desires is to improve your sex life, it is a good idea get your partner involved. Some people are naturally drawn to spiritual pursuits and meditation, while others resist such pursuits. If you are interested in getting into meditation as a way of restoring physical and spiritual balance as well is firing up your sex life, but your partner is not so excited about it, it is possible to do the meditations yourself and feel the positive impact in your intimate life. Your partner may sense that you are more relaxed and in tune with his or her needs. It is possible that after a certain amount of time, your partner may also want to try meditation techniques that will improve your relationship and the quality of your sexual encounters. Before long, you and your partner can enjoy sexual meditation together and to enjoy a more fulfilling sex life.