Love, Sex, Drugs & Yoga
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the hot topic on everyone’s lips is Love.
But what is love? And why is it so addictive! Can love last forever? Can we fall out of love? And how can Yoga help? Here’s my attempt at answering these questions.
What is Love?
Googles dictionary defines it as ‘an intense feeling of affection’ and I reckon that’s a pretty good, succinct explanation.
For me, Love is a feeling that grows and gets bigger over time the more you get to know someone. I would describe the feeling of Love as calm and steady. It’s nurturing. It’s supportive. It’s togetherness. Through thick and thin. It’s choosing to stick together whatever shit life chooses to throw at you!
Love can start as lust or possibly friendship and it grows into a bit of an obsession because it feels good. And we all want to feel good! This is biology…
The science. When you first meet someone, the amygdala, the area of the brain responsible for emotions, registers this first meeting as positive. The prefrontal cortex makes a decision if this person is a good match as a potential romantic partner. The hypothalamus releases dopamine causing feelings of happiness and ecstasy, which reduces feelings of stress and getting a hit of this blissful feeling can become an obsession.
That surge, that delicious rush of positive emotions is addictive, and we want that feeling again!
Then follows kissing. The lip sensitivity causes our brain to create a chemical cocktail that can give us a natural high. The dopamine released during a kiss can stimulate the same area of the brain activated by heroin and cocaine. As a result, we experience feelings of euphoria and addictive behaviour.
So perhaps we could say, on a biological level, we become addicted to our partner. And perhaps this addiction could mean that a love can grow.
Each time you meet perhaps you realise you have more in common, you share the same passion for food or sport, you enjoy the same pastimes and philosophy on life. You realise something else about them. The colour of their eyes. The cute way they smile. Their smell. Their touch. Their body. Their lips…
Each time you meet, each time you kiss, you get another dopamine hit. The more physical the relationship gets, the more love drugs (dopamine, serotonin & oxytocin) get released in the body and it’s stress-relieving. That stuff is strong and it feels so good! Then you start lusting about feeling it, again and again!
Suddenly you realise that you’re making plans together so you can be together all the time. So you can get these blissful, happy hits more often!
Perhaps you decide to live together, share a bed together, and perhaps even dedicate your lives to being together, forever. Because you have fallen in Love.
Why do we fall out of Love?
Like everything in life, things change!
People change. Circumstances change. Relationships change.
Falling in love is amazing. It is the best feeling ever. It is powerful. You don’t want a break from it and it blinds us to anything that might just possibly seem, imperfect.
Making love last is the hard bit. It takes patience and time and tolerance. It takes nurturing and kindness. In any long term relationship, there will undoubtedly be challenging times when love feels lost.
Most people fall out of love because they don’t feel appreciated, respected or valued. There is a feeling of incompatibility. Goals and ambitions no longer match. They no longer feel complimented or acknowledged for accomplishments. Perhaps there’s a lack of attraction. Or because a relationship is abusive. Or because of stress.
Stresses come from work, cleaning, life admin duties, kids, finance, home renovations, friends, hobbies, food, drink, sport, attention from someone else….
All these things detract the attention away from ‘us’ and potentially start to make us feel lonely and unloved. We can become resentful of these obstacles and feel blameful and accusing of our loved one. There’s perhaps less kissing, less sex, less kind words and so there’s less of the love drugs being released.
And so we start to fall out of Love. And sometimes the love is lost and it’s time to move on.
Can love last forever?
Yes. Some Lovers will last forever. They will stand the test of time. For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. They make it through.
Relationships that last are good at keeping Love alive by maintaining the happy hits.
They admire each other, they keep making time for each other, to be alone without distraction, to kiss passionately, to share their feelings, to make plans, to have a date night, to complement each other, to laugh together. And really importantly, they are mindful about the way they speak with each other because we are most sensitive to the words that come from our Lovers lips.
If over time you still find each other attractive and have the same and mutual ambition for life, your love for each other will always win. It’s hard work, it takes effort but if you give value to the relationship, Love can last.
Because Love can conquer all. Love took years to build and will last forever.
How can Yoga help?
Let’s go back to biology!
If your stress hormones are high, they will be muting your love hormones.
Unfortunately, most of us live in high-stress environments, as I mentioned earlier, these stresses detract us from our partners and interfere with our thinking of them and relationship with them.
The one thing proven to lower stress levels is mindful movement and breath. YOGA.
Yoga releases the same happy hormones that falling in love releases!
If your stress levels are lower, you can think clearer, you are less clouded by negative thoughts and feelings. You’re better at making decisions. Your sex drive improves!
Yoga can boost self-esteem, stamina, flexibility and increase libido. With a regular yoga practice of asana and breathwork, you can lower your levels of stress and control your critical voice. You can reconnect with your physique and restore mind-body equilibrium, which can lead to a high degree of intimacy, improved sexual confidence, reduced inhibitions and body image-related insecurities, as well as increase alertness to your partner’s response during sex.
If you practice yoga with your partner you can share a hobby, make it a time that you spend together. You will have more to talk about and maybe more to laugh about too.
Additionally, some yoga postures are good for sending blood flow to the pelvis and the chakras related to self-worth, sex drive and relationships.
Most Yogis are friendly and sociable and love to talk about Yoga, So if you’re single it’s a great place to meet likeminded people. And you never know, perhaps even meet your new addiction!
So yes, Yoga can help Love. So it’s worth trying…
Because everyone deserves love.
Hope to see you on the mat soon!
Happy Valentines Lovers x