Skip to main content

by Kate O’Brien

In 1990, Sting, a yoga devotee, made a throwaway comment (which has haunted him for life) about the seven-hour tantric sex sessions he enjoyed with his wife Trudi Styler. At the time, he said, “I don’t know any purer and better way of expressing love for another individual than sharing that wonderful sacrament.” He later clarified, “Seven hours includes movie and dinner.”

Since then most of us have associated tantric yoga with overtly sexual Kama Sutra-style poses (that seem to be flooding Instagram with practitioners in barely-there outfits) which is wide of the mark. Tantra’s primary goal, to promote feelings of self-love and acceptance, derives from the Sanskrit word for “weave”. Regular practice of tantra or indeed any type of yoga (from iyegnar to basic hatha and gentle restorative yoga) can help relaxation, boost mood and loosen the pelvic floor area which in turn can improve sexual experiences – often to an enviable degree.

This has been proven scientifically. A twelve-week study conducted by The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yoga can enhance sexual health particularly in women over the age of 45. In the study group, women practised 22 poses for one hour each day. These poses included the popular “cat” and “cow” poses of arching and lengthening the spine which, when performed together, help lower stress levels and making it easier to “get in the mood”. Another was the bridge pose (popular in Pilates too) which helps strengthen the pelvic floor and can reduce pain during sex. Trickier, is perhaps the one-legged pigeon, which has many variations (with one leg tucked under the breast) and is especially good for opening up the hips. This pose is apparently a fantastic way to find deep relaxation. And if it’s a truth universally acknowledged that women must be relaxed to have sex, then it’s easy to see the correlation between yoga and a better sex life.

Regular practice of yoga can help relaxation, boost mood and loosen the pelvic floor area which in turn can improve sexual experiences – often to an enviable degree.

“Yoga is a practice to get you out of your head and into your body,” explains Irish yoga teacher Lou Horgan, who is leading a one-day retreat Shedding – A Day of Deep Release, on February 25. “When I teach women, my intention is always the same, to remind them the most effective and perceptive teacher in the room is their own body, not their mind. With greater embodiment comes greater freedom, greater confidence.” South African-born, US-based tantric and Kriya yoga legend Alan Finger, who has taught stars such as Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell and now runs online courses, is founder of ISHTA Yoga and author of Tantra of the Yoga Sutras. Through specific kriyas (or practices) and breathing techniques, Finger empowers his pupils to ignite their innate male and female energies and tap in to their true nature and unbounded potential. “Once you learn how to move this energy it can lead you to a very different level of experience – a hugely spiritual and emotionally bonding experience with your partner.” Finger adds: “I don’t believe in beating yourself into shape, I believe in loving yourself into better shape – ultimately it’s the only way.”

“I think it’s important not to sexualise yoga but use the benefits to help us feel confident and sexy in our own skin,” believes Dublin-based yoga teacher Maura Rath, whose favorite classes on her popular retreats are sacral chakra-themed. She explains: “The sacral chakra is located around the hip area and just above the pubic bone. This chakra is connected to creativity, joy, passion, and sexuality. We work on postures like utkata konasana or the goddess squat which helps us open our hips and feel our powerful feminine energy.”

Connecting to her innate energy has transformed the life of former lawyer turned yoga teacher Sarah Shannon. Working in Dublin, she became stuck in an “always on” doing mode. “I was tired, worn out, disconnected from myself and had no space in my life for my feminine energy aspects of flow, creativity and nature,” she admits. “I started to use moon phases (the moon represents the feminine) and recognised those times when I needed rest, retreat and support and times where I wanted to be out in the world, giving and socializing”. The Celtic Wheel, as taught by Dublin-based yoga teacher and women’s development coach Mari Kennedy helped incorporate this feminine energy into Shannon’s life. “Honoring my feminine has unearthed my wild inner woman who deeply connected to the rhythms of nature and the cosmos,” she adds.

After relocating to Portugal in 2021 she created Wild & Free retreats at Casa Fuzetta in the unspoilt fishing town of Olhão, in the eastern Algarve. Here, using a blend of meditation, journaling, reiki, yoga nidra and cacao ceremonies, she helps others connect with their wild femininity and reignite those energetic pathways that have been dormant. And, for Shannon and those who work with her, it is only when this connection is cemented that the real benefits of tantric practices can begin to unfold.


Thank you Kate O’Brien and THE GLOSS for the permission of re publishing.