Adobe Stock - Design: Alex Sandoval
When you think of yoga and all its potential, you probably don't envision next-level sex as a result of downward dog. But unlike other yoga styles that are more focused on the physical postures, Kundalini yoga — a combination of breathwork, mantra, and movement — aims to unleash a powerful awakening of energy known as Kundalini that can unveil amazing possibilities for your sex life. Not only can this newfound energetic connection deliver a greater orgasm, but it can also leave you in an overall healthier relationship with yourself and the people around you. Let's dive in.
Kundalini Yoga Is All About the Energy
Dating back to as early as 1200–800 B.C.E., Kundalini yoga comes from the Indian religion of Hinduism. Similar to other yoga styles, its goal is to promote overall health and well-being. What makes Kundalini unique, however, is that it seeks to do so through sets of movements called "kriyas." Kriyas are specific exercises designed to tap into your chakras, balls of energy along the spine that affect emotional and physical health, according to scripts outlined in the ancient religious text called The Vedas. Kundalini energy is said to rest like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine, and when your chakras are aligned, it can flow freely upward, leading to an expanded state of consciousness. Through meditation (to clear negative energy throughout the body), mantra (to project a high vibrational frequency from your mind into the world), and movement (to release and expand the energy circulating through your body), Kundalini practices create an energy alignment throughout your chakras that lead to overall emotional and physical well-being, says Erika Polsinelli, Kundalini expert and founder of virtual wellness center Evolve by Erika. (Related: What Is Kundalini Meditation?)
"I think that's how it connects to awakening that sexual energy,'' she says. "You become more sensitive to energy, and that helps to bring in all those feel-good vibrations."
And that intertwining of mind and body can absolutely affect your sex life. "Wellness in both body and spirit requires a relationship of some sort and an acceptance around sexuality," agrees according to Caitlin V. Neal, M.P.H., resident sexologist for sexual hygiene and body care company Royal.
Connecting all three aspects — body, spirit, and sexuality — allows you to experience balance, centeredness, and grounding within your physical body, and enables you to make a deeper connection with yourself. Whereas, if you focus on just one part, it's as if pieces of you are missing. For thousands of years, this concept has been emphasized by Kundalini beliefs and practices that place a heavy focus on the chakra system:
Root Chakra: The first is the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine and is associated with survival and safety.
Sacral Chakra: The second is the sacral chakra, which is located near the reproductive organs and is tied to sexual function and dysfunction.
Plexus Chakra: The third is the solar plexus chakra, which is located near the belly and which focuses on empowerment.
Heart Chakra: The fourth is the heart chakra, which is located in the upper chest and is related to emotions.
Throat Chakra: The fifth is the throat chakra, which is parallel to the thyroid gland and is the "center for pure consciousness."
Third-Eye Chakra: The sixth is the third-eye chakra, which is found near the eyes and is correlated with spiritual thinking and mental clarity.
Crown Chakra: The seventh and final is the crown chakra, which is located at the top of the head and which masters control over consciousness.
Each chakra is assigned to an endocrine organ and as well as a series of functions that tend to feel "out of whack" when that chakra is out of alignment. When that happens, your chakra is considered "blocked," says Polsinelli. (Related: The Non-Yogi Guide to Chakras)
Most people today have a blockage to some degree, says Michiko Takatani, tantric healer, and founder of Neo-Tantra Orgasm in New York City. If you think of chakras as wheels of energy, think of blockages as the wheels at a standstill rather than constantly turning, she says. So, if you're having a difficult time connecting sexually with yourself or your partner, you might have a blockage in one or both of your sex-associated chakras, the root and sacral chakras. (Also read: What Is Tantric Sex, and How Do You Do It?)
Although a blocked chakra feels different to each person, "it could feel like discomfort or a physical symptom — whether it's GI issues, discomfort at the base of the spine, chest pain, or pressure in the heart chakra," says Polsinelli, who says that when she had a blockage in her throat chakra, it felt as if someone was pushing on her throat every time she tried to meditate. It's possible for just one chakra to be blocked, but she stresses the importance of focusing on aligning all seven, because you may not actually know which one is out of alignment.
A range of life events can lead to blocked chakras, from trauma to mental illness such as anxiety or depression, according to Taylor. Kundalini can help clear any blocks in the body as well as any trauma the body is holding onto, says Polsinelli. Once you can release everything that's keeping you from living to your fullest potential, you can become your most authentic self. And once you're the most "you" you can become, you'll start to notice shifts in everything from your overall perspective to how you invest your time and energy — including, yes, a better sex life. (Related: All the Benefits of Meditation You Should Know About)
Why Kundalini Yoga Can Benefit Your Sex Life
All yoga styles aim to raise Kundalini, but Kundalini yoga is the most direct style to accomplish that because it focuses on chakra alignment, says Takatani. And once your chakras are aligned, that coiled energy at the base of your spine is free to roam upward to the top of your head. Once this happens, you could experience what's known as a "Kundalini awakening," which, in itself, can feel like a full-body orgasm, says Polsinelli. This energy alignment can then help pave the way for other types of orgasms (including those from sexual encounters and emotional intimacy) because you'll likely be more open to new experiences that your previously blocked chakras didn't allow.
But you don't necessarily need to experience a Kundalini awakening to have next-level sex. Physically, many of the exercises involved in Kundalini yoga involve squeezing the same muscles as if you were performing Kegels, says Takatani. Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic muscles, which ultimately, improve your orgasms, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And mentally, if your chakras are at all blocked, that could keep you from emotionally connecting with yourself and your partner or experiencing the sexual gratification you desire, says Neal. That's when specific breathwork for cleansing your energy might come into play, adds Polsinelli. "You're tapping into the nervous system, and by doing exercises that benefit [it], you become clear and feel things more deeply," she says.
Even if you're doubtful about the involvement of chakras and coiled energy in your sex life, know that research has shown yoga, in general, can certainly improve things: one study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that, after practicing an hour of yoga a day for 12 weeks, women reported improvements in their sexual desire and arousal, lubrication, ability to orgasm, and overall satisfaction in bed. Not to mention, research shows that yoga is great for decreasing stress levels, and stress is enemy number one for your libido and even your ability to orgasm.
How to Do Kundalini Yoga for Better Sex
There are sets of different Kundalini yoga exercises that each benefit specific chakras, says Polsinelli. "For instance, Sufi Grinds are where you sit cross-legged on the floor, and you make really big circles with your body, so it's like you're drawing a circle on the ceiling with the top of your head. You're inhaling forward to the right [and] exhaling back to the left a certain number of times, then switching that up." That helps to heal the two sex-associated chakras, root and sacral. (Related: How I Taught Myself Mindful Masturbation — and Why You Should Too)
If you're planning to begin this journey to focus on improving your sexual energy, says Polsinelli, start with exercises for the root and sacral chakras to heal anything there that might be holding you back from experiencing pleasure or sex in the ways you desire. She says the best time to practice is for three to five minutes in the morning — specifically before the conscious mind starts trying to do damage control for the day. (Related: Could a Yoga Alarm Clock Transform Your Mornings?)
Here are some basic practices that focus on strengthening the two sex-related chakras, sacral and root, to help you get started on your Kundalini journey, courtesy of Takatani.
Kundalini Yoga for the Root Chakra: Moving Crow
Your root chakra, located at the base of your spine, is the survival chakra. If this chakra is at all jeopardized, it could be difficult to be in the here and now, says Takatani. That means you might physically be in bed with your partner, but not mentally or emotionally. This concept loosely follows ancient Indian Subhashita, or fables from scholar Vishnu Sharma's collection Panchatantra, that dictates one's need for "adequate nutrition" to have the ideal mindset and energy for peak sexual performance.
1. Squat so both feet are flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart, hips as low as possible. (If needed, place a cushion under the hips.) Hold arms straight in front, palms down.
2. With each inhale, stand up, keeping arms parallel to the floor and feet flat on the floor.
3. With each exhale, return to start, all the while imagining expelling negative energy from the anus.
Repeat for one to three minutes, as long as comfortable, following the pace of the breath.
Kundalini Yoga for the Sacral Chakra: Spinal Flex
Your sacral chakra, located in your genital area, is linked to sexuality and creativity and is the most basic of the relationship chakras (root, sacral, and heart), says Takatani. If it's out of alignment, you might experience emotional or sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction.
1. Sit cross-legged on a yoga mat, holding onto both shins with hands.
2. With each inhale, roll shoulders back and push chest forward.
3. With each exhale, lower the chest and round spine. Keep the head extended toward the ceiling the whole time, without bending neck in either direction.
Repeat for one to three minutes, as long as comfortable, following the pace of the breath, gradually increasing speed.
Are There Any Risks to Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini yoga is a very personal and very powerful practice that should be greeted with respect because the energy that you're trying to awaken is very intense, says Polsinelli. That said, if your only interest in it is simply to awaken sexual energy, you might want to reconsider, because there is a lot more that comes along with it; sexual awakening is just one of the added benefits. With Kundalini practices, you're developing higher consciousness and dedicating higher positivity for yourself and your relationships.
It's worth noting that some people have reported Kundalini awakenings similar to a bad LSD trip, according to a 2017 analysis published in the International Journal of Advances in Social Sciences. "It is rare, but some people get very strong Kundalini, which makes it hard to continue their current identity and lifestyle," says Takatani. "Usually those [feelings] happen to people without guidance or preparation." That's why, if you do decide it's for you, it's important to approach Kundalini practices with an open mind and free of expectations, she suggests. This will allow you to experience Kundalini yoga for what it is and what it will mean to you.
To avoid having a bad experience, consider beginning your journey with expert guidance, like that from the BrettLarkinYoga YouTube channel, which you can view and engage in at your own time and pace. Alternatively, if you're interested in working more closely with a Kundalini yoga professional, look for a local Kundalini expert near you. (Here are more YouTube yoga channels to subscribe to.)
It's also important to be mindful that you may not immediately connect to a Kundalini practice, and that's okay, says Polsinelli. But also, be aware that Kundalini yoga has three aspects — mantra, breathwork, and yoga poses — and you don't have to connect to all three to bond with the practice. As you engage in each aspect, listen to your gut, and follow whichever movements are right for you at that moment. After all, being in tune with yourself is what Kundalini yoga represents.