Our breath is our personal connection to the life-force energy inside us, but for many of us, we don’t notice our breath until it’s gone. In sex, this is especially important, and our breath can form a bridge between us and our partner or ourselves and our pleasure. When we ignore our breath, we are limiting our ability to feel, to express, and to connect; holding our breath limits our ability to feel into our body. By incorporating breathwork into sex and masturbation, we can form more purposeful connections to our partners and dive even deeper into our pleasure, while getting out of our heads and into the moment.
There are a myriad of different types of breathing practices you can try, known as pranayamas in the yogic tradition, but find some of the easiest variations of breath below. You can work with your breath solo or with a partner, before, during or after sex. Try each by yourself to see how it feels and then play around with incorporating it into sex and masturbation and see what works best for you.
The Heart Breath
While you practice this breath, you will visualize breathing in and out from your heart, forming a connection with your partner and their heart as you do this. You can visualize the energetic connection on a loop from your heart to theirs, creating an infinity sign.
How to: This breath is practiced through the nose, and is done as an inhale and exhale without stopping, starting with four seconds for each piece, moving up to five, six or seven seconds if you can. Visualize breathing from the heart as you do this
When you should practice it: This is especially great for partner work because it helps you sync your breaths, just make sure that when one partner starts with the inhale the other should begin with an exhale. The partner who’s inhaling visualizes drawing the energy of love from their partner into their hearts, and then as they exhale they visualize this loving energy being sent to their partner’s heart. The partner who begins with the exhale will visualize sending this love to their partner and then receiving it. Try this before you have sex as a way to form an energetic circuit with your partner, to intensify orgasms and as a way to magnify your connection.
The Breath of Fire
Associated with the vibrant and powerful energy of fire, the breath of fire can help you clear away any stagnant energy while reinvigorating you from the inside-out. This breath is serious and can be intense, so make sure to listen to your body and not overdo it.
How to: Take a deep inhale and then exhale sharply, so you feel your diaphragm contract and automatically breathe in a little. Keep exhaling sharply like this so the inhale is automatic, do this ten times until you run out of breath, then start again. This can only be practiced through the nose. Make sure not to do this for very long because it may leave you feeling lightheaded (which is normal and okay!) Try for two or three rounds before trying it during sex to see how it makes you feel.
When you should practice it: Try this before you’re having sex to raise the energy, whether you’re having solo or partnered sex; it can help you feel more awake and present in your body. You can also try this at the peak of your climax to further raise and intensify the energy, whether with a partner or by yourself, especially if you’re practicing sex magic.
The Belly Breath
The belly breath is a great breath to practice when we want to release any worry, anxiety or fear we may have been carrying around. This is a great breath to practice when you want to find some grounding and clarity.
How to: Take a deep breath in through your nose, visualizing that you are breathing from your stomach as you feel your belly fill with air, and then exhale through your mouth as you let out any sounds like a sigh or a growl or a moan. Let whatever needs to come out, come out! Start with four seconds for each piece of the breath before moving up to five, six or seven seconds for the inhale and exhale; there is no pause between these.
When you should practice it: Try this before sex to really clear away any stagnant energy, any stress, worries or tension. This is a great grounding breath for feeling present and aware of your body and where you are energetically. You can also practice this during sex, syncing your breath to your partners so you are inhaling together and releasing with sound together, which will intensify your experience.
The Triangle Breath of Fire
This breath is associated with the element of fire and is activating and exhilarating. It’s a great breath to practice whenever you want to connect to your sexuality and power.
How to: To practice this breath you inhale/ hold/ exhale and then begin again. This is practiced through the nose, but you can practice exhaling through the mouth as well. Start with four seconds for each piece of the breath before extending to five, six or seven seconds.
When you should practice it: Practice this breath when you want to tap into your power and sexuality before, during or after sex. Syncing your breath with your partner is an easy way to form a stronger connection during sex, and an easy way to intensify the experience. Play around with this breath so see what resonates the most, whether that’s practicing this breath before or during masturbation with your favorite sex toy or partnered sex.
The Triangle Breath of Water
This is a wonderful breath to get you in touch with your emotions, to cleanse your internal organs of toxins and to also help get you feeling centered in your sensitivity.
How to: To practice this breath you inhale/ exhale/ hold, and then begin again. This is practiced through the nose, but you can practice exhaling through the mouth as well. Start with four seconds for each piece of the breath before extending to five, six or seven seconds.
When you should practice it: Practice this breath before or after sex to get reconnected to your emotions and your heart. You can also try practicing this during sex, whether solo or partnered, to invite in a deeper, heart centered energy into the experience.
The Fourfold Breath
The fourfold breath is one of my favorites and definitely the best choice for when you’re feeling anxious, stressed or out of touch with your body and want to find some grounding in the present moment.
How to: Like the name suggests, this breath forms a square. You will inhale/ hold/ exhale/ hold before beginning again. This is practiced through the nose and you can start with four seconds for each piece of the breath, before moving to five, six or seven seconds.
When you should practice it: Practice this before you have sex or masturbate with the best sex toy out there to get grounded in your body, to align you mind and body, and to release any tension, worries or anxiety you may be experiencing.
The thing about breathwork is that it is personal and takes some trial and error to figure out what works for you. Let this be an erotic experiment that helps you create the most fulfilling sexual experience possible. Invite your partner to practice these breaths with you and see what works best for each one of you. Enjoy the process; here’s to easy breathing!