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Orgasmic Yoga is the most prevalent of these types of offerings and growing in popularity. And, in comes in a few different formats. The traditional way dates back about 25 years and was created by sexological bodyworkers, including the renowned Dr. Joseph Kramer, a leader in this field and founder of the Body Electric School, the New School of Erotic Touch, and the Orgasmic Yoga Institute.
Others, such as sex educator and tantric teacher Psalm Isadora, have adapted the concept to make it easier for the mainstream to digest. Isadora offers OYoga workshops, retreats, and workout videos such as "Yoga for Better Foreplay." Isadora's OYoga classes feature a mix of belly dance, burlesque, traditional yoga, and aspects of tantra with micro-movements and micro-squeezes all geared toward helping women feel sexy or couples feel connected.
"What you learn in OYoga is immediately applicable in the bedroom," says Isadora, who has been teaching yoga for over 10 years and studied in India as well. "All of these moves are really activating that sexual energy and your feminine energy starts to flow through the whole body. Some yoga poses immediately relate to the bedroom, such as Kneeling Goddess, which is Cowgirl essentially; and Bridge pose in yoga is like Missionary in sex."
A key element of OYoga is mastering the "bliss breath," which is a breathing technique also used in tantric sex. "It's a breath technique we do during the class that you can do during sex or self-pleasuring too," she explains. "It helps you have a deeper tantra experience. You lightly constrict the back of your throat and take long, slow deep breathes through your nose. When you do three breath cycles in and out, you immediately you release oxytocin and dopamine and you switch from a left brain state to right brain feeling state."
Among the movements in OYoga are kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor, small hip tilts and circles, and pelvic thrusts to get women feeling sensual. "I also include a feather-like touch move where you lightly run your fingers along your body. For instance when you come up from a forward bend you're running your fingers up your legs in that feather light touch so you can really starting to explore what feels good in your own body," she says.
Though the "O" in OYoga does stand for orgasm, this class is strictly PG. "This is about getting in touch with your feminine power and feeling sexy and juicy, and it's great foreplay for sex," says Isadora.
Dr. Victoria Reuveni, a Los Angeles-based sexologist and sexological bodywork practitioner with a doctorate in Human Sexuality, offers Orgasmic Yoga classes as inspired by Dr. Joseph Kramer. Unlike Isadora's classes, her version isn't so PG and does include orgasms and getting naked.
"There are no downward dogs in this class, unless someone just wants to do that on their own," says Dr. Reuveni. "But we do use some of the basic tenants of yoga, such as conscious breathe paired with micro-movements, along with sound, touch, dance, and setting an intention like one does in meditation or yoga. An intention can be to love yourself, love your body, don't judge yourself, or anything they want." Another similarity to the philosophy of yoga is that it gets you in the mindset to be present and in tune with your body.
In Reuveni's 45-minute class, students can be as naked or clothed as they wish. They can engage in self-pleasure, but are not allowed to touch or "eye-gaze" others. "We make sure this is a safe place for people to explore their bodies in a supportive communal setting," she says.
The class starts with a brief introduction about Orgasmic Yoga and the concept by Joseph Kramer and Body Electric. "During the class, I have a playlist of music to get people in the mood," she says. "I will organically weave in suggestions to remind people about their breath work or their intention that they set. People can dance, pleasure themselves, and move their bodies however they want to. The most important part is five minutes of silent savoring so you can really be in touch with what you are feeling. At the end, we quickly go around the room when we're done and everyone checks in with how they feel."
While orgasmic yoga might never be as popular as Kundalini Yoga it is definitely growing. "Just as more people are opening up to tantric sex, which used to be perceived as 'weird' or 'hippie,' they are now also opening up to things like OYoga," adds Isadora.
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