Longing for steamy love? If you believe in magic, look on. There’s something about putting it out there, making a call to the universe, and opening up your heart and hip space to connect the two for a deeper, more intimate experience. Just in time for Valentine's Day, here are four yogic paths to guide your mind, body, and soul to more romance and a more open body.
Ko Im is a RYS 200 certified hatha teacher who has taught meditative yoga overseas and facilitates workshops.
Maybe it’s tantra or perhaps it’s loving energy for the womb. Either way, it’s sensual exercise for the yoni, a.k.a the vagina. Tighten your muscles down there while breathing in and pausing momentarily (for as long as three or more seconds) before smoothly releasing the tension while breathing out. On an inhale, contract in and upwards, and gently release on an exhale. Try not to overdo this to a point of exhaustion. But whether you’re single, seeing someone, pregnant, or just gave birth, practice your kegels. Gradually you may gain more control of the pelvic area.
Pro tip: Unless someone’s really noticing you’re holding your breath, you can be doing this anywhere (while you’re on the subway, standing in line at the grocery store, or before bedtime!).
Meditate On It
Plant the seeds for love and compassion by repeating the mantra yam (pronounced yahm). In the wheel of energy meditation that lies within us, we focus on the color green for the anahata, or heart chakra, for a few minutes.
- Come to a comfortable cross-legged seat. Maybe sit on a bolster or flat pillow to keep a regal spine, and relax your shoulders. You can even pretend there’s a pretty crown at the top of your head.
- Rest your hands comfortably on your thighs with palms up to receive energy, or face down to feel more grounded.
- Close your eyes but stay alert.
Bring awareness to your state and your breath, and start repeating yam at any pace you’d like. Saying it silently with your inner voice may speak even greater volumes. Do it for as little as five minutes or for however long your heart keeps your attention.
Open Your Heart And Hips
We store much of our emotions in our hips. Clear the space and get in a relaxed mood for love. Further open your groin area with supta baddha konasana, or supported reclined bound angle pose.
- Come to a seated position, bend your knees, and bring the outside of your legs to the floor as if you’re a butterfly on the bottom.
- Bring the soles of your feet together, like an open book.
- Take a pillow and place it behind you where your heart’s center would be.
- Keeping your legs where they are, slowly lower yourself from your elbows all the way down so that your back is on the pillow. You can add another pillow for your head or just let it fall back, further opening your chest area.
- Spread your arms apart with palms facing the ceiling and let it all go. Surrender to vulnerability.
Become A Goddess
Because we can all find our inner siren. Tone and strengthen the lower body and activate the chest in utkata konasana, or goddess pose.
- After warming up your body, heel-toe your feet wide apart — not quite as long as the mat unless you have really long legs, but definitely greater than hip’s width.
- Turn your feet out about 45 degrees and start to bend at the knees into a wide squat.
- First bring your hands to heart’s center in prayer position. Then take your elbows to shoulder height and spread them apart so they’re in line with your upper torso, palms facing forward.
- Engage your inner thighs as you look outwards and feel strong! (To come out of the pose, you can release your arms to the side, straighten your legs, and regain your center.)