Originally posted on Bustle
When it comes to the link between sex and meditation, it may be something that you’re a little nervous to explore. Even growing up with parents who meditated regularly, I still have a tendency to find it really intimidating. But with all of the health benefits of meditation— from reducing anxiety to improving sleep — it seemed time to get serious about trying it. Plus all of these potential benefits have to translate into the bedroom, right?
So I spoke to Khajak Keledjian, founder and CEO of Inscape, a new meditation center in NYC, about the benefits meditation can have to your sex life. And a lot of it comes down to the mind-body connection. “Stress and anxiety increases cortisol and adrenalin levels,” Keledijian says. “Within a couple days of starting to meditate, adrenaline and cortisol levels drop. This means even if you’re having an insecure moment during sex — like wondering if your partner is distracted… your body will be less likely to automatically trigger the fight or flight response. This helps you to stay in the present moment by responding instead of reacting, and allows for intimacy to last longer and distractions to minimize.”
Considering that feeling panicky or anxious during sex is a problem for a lot of people, it seems like a great solution. But there area few different things actually going on that make it so beneficial. Here’s what you need to know.
Understand The Mind-Body Connection
Now, probably the biggest take away when it comes to what meditation can do for our sex life comes from its ability to help you be engaged and tuned into your senses. “Meditation affects sex in many ways,” Keledijian says. “First, in general you have a heightened awareness and emotional intelligence in everything you experience, including intimacy. So, this heightened awareness, something you’ve experienced before, is now discoverable in new ways every time, with all of your senses engaged. Being present and in the moment means you’re more focused on the journey than the destination, and you’re aware of both what you’re experiencing and what your partner is experiencing too. This makes intimacy like a merger not an acquisition.”
For many of us, not being able to really be in the moment during sex can keep us from orgasming— or just enjoying the process. So it’s easy to see why meditate would help. But it’s not the only benefit. “Meditation also boosts your production of dopamine and serotonin; these are ‘happiness hormones’ and drive your sexual energy,” Keledijian says. “Lastly, meditation helps you sleep better and deeper. A lot of couples say they’re too stressed or too tired for sex, but meditation makes you feel vital and full of energy.” Sign me the hell up.
Want To Get Into It? Start With Breathing
Now, if you’ve never tried meditation before, it can feel a little scary to jump into it. But actually, you can start with something as simple as focusing on your breath. “If you’re new to meditation, you can start with short breathing exercises to center yourself and de-stress,” Keledijian says. “We call these ‘breathers’ in our INSCAPE App, and they’re under three minutes. Think about it, when do you have good sex when you’re distracted and unable to be in the moment? So, if you take a few minutes — even immediately before you’re intimate — to slow down, re-center and reduce the number of thoughts jumping around in your mind, you’ll be more present and your intimacy will likely last longer.”
As someone who loves yoga, I know the power that breathing can have, especially if I’m feeling stressed or strained. But it never occurred to me that it could help me focused and centered in bed if my mind starts to wander. Getting into meditation doesn’t have to be intimidating.
If you’re new to meditation, it’s important to realize how powerful the potential health benefits can be — especially if you’re struggling with stress or anxiety. And anything that makes you more relaxed, more present, and more in-tune to your body definitely has the possibility to help you in the bedroom.