by Deborah Metzger, correspondent
The Courier News and Home News Tribune, October 27, 2009 and on MyCentralJersey.com
With memories of mortifying class discussions led by a high school gym teacher, what adult would sign up another round of sex education? As it turns out, lots of them — especially when the lesson is about more than physical aspect of sex and focuses on the complexity of intimacy.
Sexuality is a very important, very complex part of the human experience. In yoga, we are taught about the power of uniting mind, body and spirit. This translates into intimacy; there is a depth to intimacy that we can all benefit from learning about.
I’m sure many of you reading this are wondering, “How can yoga teach me about intimacy?”
Yoga can help you have a better understanding of yourself, and others, and bring harmony to your body and mind, which in turn can bring harmony in other parts of your life. Intimacy isn’t just about a physical sexual connection; it’s sharing a deeper connection with yourself and with others.
Meditative techniques and asanas (yoga poses) are here to help. The techniques can silence the thoughts in your mind so that you are able to focus and be present to experience the sensations and feelings occurring.
How many times have you caught yourself distracted by your grocery list, what your boss said to you, or everything you need to get done tomorrow when you should be focused on what’s happening between you and your partner? And not just during sex, but while you are holding a conversation or even just holding hands.
It’s more common than you think, which is why learning meditative techniques can help enhance the intimacy in your relationship by teaching you how to focus on the present moment and let go of the past and future.
Yoga poses can help build confidence and increase your comfort level with your body. When you become more comfortable in your own skin rather than wondering if you look good or are performing well, you can focus on the deeper connection, the deeper intimacy, which plays a role in sexual connections.
Yoga also teaches us to listen to our bodies; to pay attention to what is too much, what is not enough, what is just right. You learn to let go of trying to push or control and just be, to embrace what you can do and take all that you can from the experience.
And, let’s be honest, there are yoga poses that work to strengthen the body’s reproductive-area muscles. They’re not uncomfortable or uncommon yoga poses, they simply have some great benefits. Our ability to connect with another and have true intimacy lies within. If you are feeling stressed, a lack of confidence or unhappiness, how can you truly, deeply connect with another? Yoga and meditation help you to dig deep within yourself so that you are able to have healthy connections with others — including your partner.
This cannot be expected to happen overnight. You cannot take one yoga class and expect that your sex life and intimate connections will be all you ever dreamed of; but, you can take these lessons from yoga and practice them and apply them to your life. It takes a commitment on your part, but knowing what the end result can be, why not?
The Princeton Center for Yoga & Health is offering a series of workshops this fall, including Kristen Boccumini-Thwing’s “Yoga and Sex” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, and Nancy Orlen Weber’s “Essential Oils Basics: Oils for Healthy Sex” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. More information is available by calling 609-924-7294 or by visiting www.princetonyoga.com.