Shortly after Emily Fletcher started teaching Vedic meditation, her students started reporting an unexpected side effect—a major jolt to their libidos. Just how intense? One said she had an orgasm every time she hit the sheets. (Yes, really.)
According to Fletcher, a former Broadway actress who went on to create New York City and Los Angeles’ Ziva Meditation, this isn’t that surprising. After all, meditation obviously has some pretty profound affects on our stress levels—and the hormonal imbalances, fatigue, and headaches that a go-go-go lifestyle brings on.
“If stress is impacting our sex—which it is—and if meditation is the most effective stress-relieving tool that we have, then it stands to reason that if you’re practicing meditation, it may in fact make your sex better,” says Fletcher, whose big-deal students include MNDFL founder Ellie Burrows and The Big Quiet creator Jesse Israel. Science backs her up on this, too: A recent study found that group mindfulness sessions increased sexual desire, arousal, and function in some women.
There’s also an energetic component at play that affects novice meditators, which will sound familiar to students of Kundalini yoga. “There are 108 energetic meridians in the body, and the biggest one runs from the base of the spine up,” Fletcher explains. According to her, “meditation will start to clear out those channels quite spontaneously, but most of us are pretty blocked in our chakras, and the first block that the energy hits is the sexual chakra. So that energy coming up gets blocked, and then it dissipates and creates arousal.” And no, you don’t have to believe in chakras or meridians for it to work.
But maybe the most important link between meditation and really good sex, she says, is that the former makes us more present—which, Fletcher says, means “you can enjoy each moment, rather than looking at sex as this outcome-oriented task.”
Along with cultivating a regular meditation practice (if you don’t have one yet, here’s how to start), Fletcher says there are things you can do in the moment to improve your experience in the sack. Want to give it a go this weekend?
Read on for Emily Fletcher’s favorite five-minute meditation for better sex—partner optional.
Come to Your Senses
This exercise jettisons you so firmly into your body—into the right now—that it’s hard to be stressed. For the first few times, do the meditation seated with your eyes closed, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you could do it as you’re putting on your lingerie, as you’re making the bed, or as you’re showering.
Sit with your back supported and your head free. Take a few breaths, close your eyes, and settle in.
Then, walk through each of your five senses.
Start with what you’re hearing. What’s the most prevalent sound you can detect right now? And then, if you have extra time, listen for the most subtle.
With the next breath, feel what you’re feeling. What’s the most prevalent tactile sensation you can feel right now? Can you feel the chair beneath you, can you feel your skin beneath your clothes? And then, if you have time, what’s the most subtle?
With your next breath, move on to what you’re seeing—and it might just be blackness, or the light coming through your eyelids. And then once you get advanced and can do this with your eyes open, just think, what’s the most beautiful thing you can detect right now?
Next breath, what’s the most prevalent smell you can smell right now, and what’s the most subtle? And then do the same for taste.
It’s so simple—you’re just walking through each of your senses, and then once you’ve done all five, you want to pull back and see if you can hold all five senses in your awareness at the same time. So hear what you’re hearing, feel what you’re feeling, see what you’re seeing, taste what you’re tasting, and smell what you’re smelling, all at the same time.
Doing this can’t help but improve sex, because sex is such a five-sensory experience.