And according to our experts, it can make your sex life better too. In part, that’s because of the technique’s aforementioned ability to slash stress. As you probably know, stress is a death knell for good sex. But deep breathing helps bring your focus back to the present moment—and it’s much easier to have a satisfying O when you’re not worrying about what your thighs look like or what you have to get done at work tomorrow.
Even better, deep full-body breathing can help stretch your pelvic floor muscles, says Leslie Howard, a yoga teacher with a focus on pelvic floor therapy. These muscles help support your vagina, bladder, and uterus, and they also contract when you climax. So a healthier pelvic floor translates into better sex.
Convinced? We asked Howard for the breathing techniques that will take your between-the-sheets action from good to OMG-amazing.
Howard recommends a straightforward deep breathing exercise. Lie down and start tuning into your breathing. Count about how many beats it takes you to naturally inhale and exhale. After a few breaths, start extending your breaths each by two counts. (So if your inhale is five counts and your natural exhale is the same, draw each out to seven counts.) After a few minutes, add pauses: Inhale for seven counts, hold the breath for three counts, exhale for seven, and hold it out for three counts. Repeat for a few minutes at least once a day. If you want, place your hand on or a finger in your vagina so you can feel how your breathing affects your pelvic floor muscles.
Spoon with your man and repeat the exercise above, but this time try to coordinate breaths with your partner. (This might take some compromise if your natural breaths are different lengths.) Besides all the benefits of breathing outlined above, doing the technique in tandem will help you feel closer to your partner.
Once You’re Having Sex
It’s less important to practice a specific exercise or technique than it is to remain mindful about how you’re breathing. Howard suggests avoiding overly rapid or shallow inhales, and instead trying to keep your breathing measured and even. Doing so can keep your entire body from tensing up during sex, she says, which in turn can lead to a fuller-body orgasm. (Want to go for round two? Try these tips to Achieve Multiple Os.)
See full story on Breathing Exercises for Better Sex | Shape Magazine