Has your love life gone from sizzle to fizzle? You don't have to memorize the Kama Sutra to spice things up between the sheets. In fact, it's the positions you assume outside the bedroom that could really heat things up. According to research in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, sexually dissatisfied women who took up yoga and practiced mindfulness techniques reported higher levels of arousal and desire, and better orgasms. To reap similar benefits, perform the 10 poses below at least three times a week, spending a minute or so in each position. If this is your first time practicing yoga, don't worry; we've linked each pose to a video tutorial so you can learn them at your own pace.
Wide-Legged Straddle Pose (Upavistha Konasana)
"This move is good for low libido," says yoga instructor Kate Hanley, author of The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide. "It improves blood flow to the pelvic area, and where the blood goes, so do energy and vitality." Research shows that below-the-belt circulation is directly linked to arousal. The more blood coursing through your veins, the higher your "state of enlightenment." See the move here.
Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Sagging skin isn't the only effect of the Earth's downward pull. The lower half of your body is more likely to suffer from sluggish circulation because the blood returning to your heart faces an uphill climb. Beat gravity at its own game by flipping upside-down. According to Hanley, this pose works on many woes that can plague a healthy sex life. "It relieves fatigue, calms the mind, lessens symptoms of depression and anxiety, and eases digestive problems," she says. See the move here.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
"Many women are so in their head that they can't get into their body," says Ellen Barrett, yoga instructor and author of Sexy Yoga. When your mind gets in the way of a good romp in the hay, try this pose to help you focus and relax. "Everything that helps you to be in the moment is going to help you be more sensual," she explains. Child's pose is very soothing and can really tune the mind to the body. See the move here.
Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
"Lizard is a great way to ease the hips open and calm the mind," says Tara Stiles, yoga instructor and author of Slim Calm Sexy Yoga. Take long, deep breaths while resting in this position. "When your attention is focused on your breath instead of your thoughts, you are brought right into the moment, which helps for all sort of things, including time in between the sheets." See the move here.
Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
According to Hanley, this pose can help alleviate PMS and menopause––both of which can make you feel as sexy as a sack of potatoes––and it promotes healthy function of the reproductive organs. "Plus, it teaches you how to get comfortable with being vulnerable, which true, mind-blowing intimacy requires," adds Hanley. See the move here.
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
"Pigeon is the best way to release deep tension in the hips and put the mind in total chill mode," says Stiles. Whereas men tend to store tension in their shoulders, women tend to hold it in their hips. So this pose can help relieve tightness and restore flexibility. Relax into the position and hold for 10 long, deep breaths, advises Stiles. See the move here.
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
"Downward dog calms the mind and invigorates the body, both important ingredients in good sex," says Hanley. "You can almost feel the tension sliding off your back when you do this pose. Plus, you've got your butt up in the air, which is about as 'come hither' as it gets!" See the move here.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
This move is so sexy, it's even in the Kama Sutra. In this pose, you wrap one leg around the other like a rope. This, says Barrett, has a tourniquet effect. When you release, all the blood rushes through the cervix, which primes the whole area for some TLC. Don't be intimidated by this move, she says; it's not as challenging as it looks.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, like Kegels, were invented to help treat urinary incontinence, but it was discovered that they had other benefits as well. Namely, they tone the vagina and improve orgasms. According to Barrett, holding the bridge pose is similar to doing a Kegel, because you squeeze those same pelvic muscles.
Plow Pose (Halasana)
Even though stress can make sex seem as appealing as a root canal, it may be just what the doctor ordered; pleasurable activities like sex alleviate stress by blocking anxiety responses in the brain. Still, if you can't seem to muster the energy, plow pose can help you rejuvenate, says Barrett. "In this position, blood flows to the brain to wake you up. Plus, with your legs draped over your head, you're looking straight at your hips and connecting to that area visually, which can be a powerful aphrodisiac," she explains. See the move here.
Photo Credits: Getty/iStock