by Dr. Kai Swigart and Michelle Andrie; also published at Natural Solutions Magazine
Since stressful or unfulfilling relationships have been linked to early mental decline, depression and diabetes; focusing on the health of our hook-ups may prevent the premature evacuation of our faculties. Life, for all of us, comes preloaded with its share of bumps in the road. When we share it with another, we are bound to experience some stress, conflict, or challenges along the way. If we are in an unfulfilling relationship, one that is more like a business partnership or roommate situation than a loving connection, and find ourselves longing for the love that is lacking; then we may encounter a variety of additional health concerns. We need love in order to be healthy. This view is supported by the research of traditional science, as well as the wisdom of alternative medicine.
My friend and colleague Michelle Andrie, a yoga therapist here on the big Island of Hawaii, will share with us below how to make our sex more heart-centered (moving it from the second to the fourth chakra). She says “Why should we settle for Cheetos when we could be enjoying fresh, organic kale.” Her perspective harmonizes the melodic themes presented in my series “Higher Love and Sweeter Sex,” and post “Gourmet Sex Brings Health and Beauty” (or perhaps mine harmonizes hers). Together we will help you learn how to bring love, from your spirit, into your life and sensuality; and how to recognize when you are in a relationship that does not have it, so you can choose a higher, heart-centered love if you want to. We will also share some of the relationship benefits of yoga and heart-centered sex.
Improving Relationship Health through Love and Touch
In addition to things like communication, conflict resolution, and psychoeducation; couples yoga and heart-centered sex have been linked to healthier relationships. In “Five Couples Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Relationship,” Sarah Barnes says “The basic definition of yoga is yoke or union — the work of uniting your mind, body and spirit.” “Much like Tantra, partner/couples yoga deepens the practice by including your lover, friend or family member, in postures where breathing and moving together is key. And like AcroYoga, couples yoga involves one practitioner acting as the base, and the other the flier,” she says. Elysabeth Williamson, the creator of Principle-Based Partner Yoga, maintains that partner yoga is an important part of feeling connected to not only our loved ones, but also people in general. She explains that, “Because we are so technologically based it is even more critical and crucial that we have touch … real human touch-based connections.”
If you want to go a little deeper into such alternative views on love and touch, check out “Nourish Your Mind, Body & Soul: A Holistic Yoga Plan for Feeling Your Absolute Best” to encourage your personal and relationship health. Or consider “How to Build a Conscious Relationship & Experience the Deepest Intimacy of Your Life” if you are serious about wanting a deep, authentic love connection. If you want to incorporate the power and perfection of your spirit into your love making, then you better hurry over here and visit “Chadras 101: How to Harness Your Spiritual Energy for Better Sex.”
Yoga and Heart Centered Sex
All of us have connected to another with second chakra energy. We feel the high of being with the person and we can’t wait to take the relationship sexual. This is a purely human energy center that moves in a straight line, we meet, we have sex and we are now in a relationship. These relationships are intense and feel like the real deal until about six months to a year later when we begin to see things about the person we didn’t notice because we were literally high on endorphins. Second chakra energy is only about connecting (period). It is NOT about love. Often times in second chakra relationships we continue to move in a straight line even when we notice things aren’t working out. We met, had sex, have a relationship so now we must marry and have kids. Love hasn’t entered the picture at all. So when things begin to fall apart, we begin to attempt to change our partners and the battle begins. Many people call this love and settle for these types of relationships as love.
Real love is found two chakras up the chakra system in the fourth Chakra the heart. The heart is a purely spiritual chakra. The energy of the heart moves in spirals. It’s full of twists and turns. The heart says, I want to get to know you, that takes time and in that time I’m going to see you and decide if I can accept you just as you are, if I can, I will move a bit closer to you and see what I sense from that point of view. The circle dance begins and our energies begin to evolve around one another. As we circle things shift and change and if we can stay connected through these challenges, we know that there is love between us. Now, when a couple who has taken the time to get to know one another slowly and allows the relationship to evolve to the point of love has sex, Whoa! Spinning, spiraling energy flows between them in a deeply connected circle dance of acceptance. Satisfying both partners on a soul level. There is no thought of marriage. That is for humans. It is only about seeing one another in the spiral of deep acceptance in the moment. And it may evolve to the next moment and the next but the heart doesn’t think about rules. It is freely enjoying what it is experiencing now. The feeling of real love is vulnerability.
So, how do we experience real love. Open your heart daily. The heart opens slowly. It doesn’t like a forced practice like full Urdva Donurasana (full wheel). It likes to lay over a noodle or rolled towel in the heart, knees bent, arms overhead and consciously breathing in and out of the heart space. It can often feel as if the heart is breaking open in this position. As Leonard Cohen sings, that’s how the light gets in. As we break open we connect to ourselves. Finding acceptance of every thing about the self. I recommend doing this for 10-15 minutes and then taking the practice out into our world, deeply connecting to whoever we encounter in complete acceptance. This is a difficult practice as we are trained to judge everyone and everything we encounter. The more we practice, the more we get used to the way of an open heart. An open heart just loves and we will find ourselves attracting others with an open heart and soon we will be circle dancing in love and moving one of those relationships to a sexual space having the ultimate experience we humans can have. Open hearted sex!
Health Benefits of Open-hearted Sex
After moving closer in the circle dance, and connecting with someone in the sweet vulnerability of heart-centered sex, there may be an added bonus waiting for us when the rose colored steam clears. Heart-centered sex, or gourmet sex, is sex based on the love of our spirit, expressed through our bodies. Whenever we bring more of our spirit into physical awareness, our relationships benefit from it. So when we share spirit-based, heart centered sex, we will also bring greater health and happiness into our loving unions. Like most human commodities, sex comes in junk food and gourmet versions (remember the Cheetos and kale example above). The benefits of refined, sensual epicurean expressions (heart-centered sex) greatly exceed those of the casual tongue and cheek varieties. For sex to nourish, heal, and enhance our relationships, we need to become vulnerable to our partner; we need to open our heart to them; and this usually occurs when couples take the time to get to know each other slowly, and have grown closer to each other while connecting in the circle dance.
Emerging trends reveal that all of us could benefit from sharing more heart-centered sex. It is an energy source that boosts our physical vitality, emotional stability, mental clarity, and spiritual well-being. Like superfoods, yoga, and meditation; frequent heart-centered sex is a core element in a healthy, happy lifestyle. Regular open-hearted sex keeps the body in better balance. That erotic ascension to orgasm pumps dopamine, our body’s natural heroin-high, into our neural pathways, producing motivation, stamina, and personal power. When we erupt into orgasm, its pulsating pleasure floods us with oxytocin, increasing social effectiveness and decreasing cortisol levels (cortisol causes stress). A study published in the Scientific American suggests that heart-centered sex has the same health benefits as meditation (that meditation and gourmet sex are the same to the brain).
So, to help prevent the development of early mental decline, depression, and diabetes; and to experience a healthier, happier relationship; please consider incorporating yoga and heart-centered sex into your mate selection and daily partnership practices (and don’t be afraid to join the circle dance, following the upward spiral into some healthy, loving changes). If you need help doing it, either Michelle or I will be there for you.
About Michelle Andrie
It was an honor to co-author this post with Michelle. We share many similar views, especially related to the need for deeper spiritual love in the creation and support of health and happiness.
Michelle Andrie, Yoga Therapist RYT 500
Michelle’s unique gift lies in her ability to read and comprehend the language of the body and to deeply listen to the stories coming from the mind. Based on this information, she helps the client become aware of their particular challenge, accept this as their work and together they develop a Yoga program to release, modify or change the struggle, pain, disconnection, disorder or disease. Ultimately, leading to a deep connection with the life force that creates healthy balance.
As a Yoga Therapist of 23 years, Michelle has touched the lives of over 6000 students. She guides clients to a state of wellness from physical, mental/emotional and spiritual challenges. Michelle offers small classroom yoga therapy classes and clinics, e-classes, personal therapy sessions, skype therapy sessions, yoga therapy teacher training, workshops on the Energy Body and retreats to The Big Island of Hawaii.
Michelle Andrie 214.662.7081 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lotus Yoga Dallas, formerly Priya Yoga, Dallas, TX An eclectic yoga studio offering a variety of classes and styles. January 2000 – April 2016, Owner, Manager, Yoga Instructor, Yoga Teacher Trainer, Yoga Therapist ▪ Manage all aspects of the yoga studio ▪ The primary teacher and the face of the studio ▪ Teach yoga to all levels of students in a variety of classes ▪ Developed and run the first 200 and 500 hr. yoga teacher training program in Dallas, TX ▪ Yoga Therapist guiding individuals to heal using the art and science of yoga ▪ Hiring and training of all staff ▪ Writing staff guidelines ▪ Managing staff of up to 12 people ▪ Research and development ▪ Marketing, social media and sales ▪ Wrote and published Yoga For Trauma, 7 Practices to Free the Body and Mind ▪ Conducted yoga workshops and retreats nationally and internationally ▪ Created a Yoga Journal Award Winning DVD, Priya Partner Yoga
Yoga for Life, Dallas, TX March 1998 – January 2000 An eclectic yoga studio offering a variety of classes and styles. Owner, Manager, Yoga Instructor, Yoga Therapist ▪ Managed all aspects of the yoga studio ▪ The primary teacher and the face of the studio ▪ Taught yoga to all levels of students in a variety of classes ▪ Yoga Therapist guiding individuals to heal using the art and science of yoga ▪ Hiring and training of all staff ▪ Writing staff guidelines ▪ Managing staff of up to 10 people ▪ Research and development ▪ Marketing and sales ▪ Wrote and published The Wave, A Yoga Practice ▪ Brought in internationally known yoga teachers for workshops
Dallas Yoga Center, Dallas, TX February 1994 – March 1998 An Iyengar Yoga Studio offering a variety of classes and styles. Co-Managed a non-profit Yoga Studio, Yoga Instructor, Yoga Therapist ▪ Manage all aspects of the yoga studio ▪ Taught yoga to all levels of students in a variety of classes ▪ Taught yoga out in the community representing the Dallas Yoga Center ▪ Yoga Therapist guiding individuals to heal using the art and science of yoga ▪ Marketing and sales
Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas, TX November 1991 – March 1998 A large hospital serving the Dallas community. Yoga Therapist. ▪ Developed the Presbyterian Hospital yoga program. ▪ Taught therapeutic yoga to all levels and challenges. ▪ Yoga Therapist guiding individuals to heal a variety of disease states using yoga
Photo credit: Mercedes Dayanara