Ayurveda for Bringing Sexy Back During Quarantine

April 30, 2020

Not feeling so sexy right about now? With the stress and anxiety we’re all experiencing, it’s natural for the libido to take a hit. The wisdom of Ayurveda can help you navigate through the sexy-time drought. 

From an Ayurvedic perspective, uncertainty and change increase vata dosha, which rules space and movement. This imbalance affects the nervous system, manifesting as fear, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, nervous eating, and forgetfulness. “Fight or flight” mode is not an ideal state for embracing intimacy. To relax into connection, we need to be in a “rest and digest” state, sometimes called “feed and breed,” when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, enhancing relaxation. 

Here are some Ayurveda-approved ways to cultivate meaningful connection.

Take the Pressure Off

Nothing is less sexy than feeling the obligation to make sweet, sweet love. Intimacy is not just sex. Start by intentionally connecting and see where it goes, without expectation. We are managing a lot, and just taking the time to be with each other, without distraction, can be enough. Break out some coconut oil and give each other hand and foot massages. Lie in bed, hold hands, and talk. Feeling truly heard is sometimes the biggest turn-on. 

Know Your Love Language

Love and intimacy can be expressed in a million ways during the day. This is a great time to learn the five love languages developed by Gary Chapman: receiving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, touch, and acts of service. Have a chat with your person and discover what makes them feel most loved. My partner likes acts of service; he loves when I cook for him, go to events with him, or go out of my way to do something nice for him. Mine are touch and quality time. I want to be hugged all day long, and I want his full attention. Once you know your person’s love language, you can find little ways throughout the day to kindle connection. 

Practice Self-Care

This is the time to double down on self-care to create more balance in the nervous system, which will open the door to greater intimacy. Take care of your senses to counteract sensory overload from obsessively reading the news, constant Zoom meetings, scrolling social media late into the night, too many people in the house, not enough people in the house, lots of talking, not enough talking … Both overstimulation and lack of stimulation increase vata. Get out in nature, take a bath, or relax into a 20-minute afternoon Savasana

Meditate Together

There is something so sweet about sitting in silence with your partner. I mostly meditate solo in my relationship, but when my partner does join me, it is very sweet. Being together in this way, with no pressure to talk, simply breathing as one, creates a deep sense of alignment and unity. 

Eat Warm, Nourishing Food

Ayurveda teaches us to preserve our energy, which includes skillfully managing our sexual energy. Every time we have an orgasm (especially men), we lose a little ojas—our vitality, which is responsible for immunity; gives our hair, skin, and eyes luster; supports our mental stamina; and provides our overall glow and strength. To support ojas, eat cooked foods that are easy to digest, such as soups, stews, roasted vegetables, rice, dates, oatmeal, and fruit. Caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and cold, dry, raw foods enhance anxiety. To feel nourished in our relationship, we need to also keep ourselves nourished

Hug More

Yes, my love language is touch, but hugging is good for everyone. Start every day with an embrace—not a half-hearted squeeze or a quick peck on the lips, but a long and tender hug. If it gets uncomfortable, hug longer. When we hug for 20 seconds or more, oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, is released, enhancing bonding. Hugging even increases immunity, according to research. It also lets the other person know that you are there, that you have their back and that you’re holding each other up in this uncertain time. 

Take a Break from Screens

Many of us are spending more time on screens then ever. I’m so grateful to be able to maintain my connections with my pals, but every time we are online, we are distracted from the person who’s right there with us. As Simon Sinek says, “Just holding a phone, or having it on the table when you are with another person, tells that person that they are not the important thing to you right now, the phone is.” We need to put the phone away for a prescribed amount of time each day, because it’s so hard to break the habit of responding to it every time it buzzes. My partner and I do this on the reg, so we can just be with each other without interruption or distraction. 

Have an At-Home Date Night 

Working from home is not sexy. I get really focused and intense when I work, and it is a version of me that is hard to shake off now that my office is in my kitchen. Create a ritual that marks your conscious transition from the workday to the home night. My partner and I take a walk after work—we think of it as our new commute. Pre-pandemic, we would go out every Friday; now we “go in” every Friday. We dress up, make a themed dinner, and add a soundtrack—last week, we made Italian food and played the Italian Restaurant playlist on Spotify. It was fun and relaxing, and created joy, connection, and …

Ultimately, connection comes in many forms. Find the ones that enhance pleasure and meaning for you and your lover. This is a very stressful time, and it’s crucial to support and love each other without any pressure to get steamy in the bedroom. And, if you’re craving that physical connection but feeling drained, take it slow, talk to each other, and hug—a lot. 

Erin Casperson, Lead Kripalu Faculty and Director of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, is passionate about sharing how the ancient practices of Ayurveda can be applied to modern-day living.

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