Yoga sex positions: 6 moves to stretch out with your partner

Yoga sex positions can help you stretch out and improve the connection with your partner, for a satisfying night of pleasure for both mind and body

Couple lying romantic in bed looking into each other's eyes, representing yoga sex positions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It may surprise you to learn that yoga and sex have a lot in common and there are many yoga sex positions out there, inspired by ancient practice. As well as growing the connection between yourself and your partner, these positions stretch out problematic areas such as the hips and lower back for a full mind-body expansion. 

Traditional yoga is a spiritual exercise going back thousands of years in India, now practised every day by millions around the world thanks to its proven physical and mental health benefits. Given that the name comes from the Sanskrit word "Yuj", meaning "union", it's also hardly surprising that when done alongside another person, it can help foster a connection between the two of you. For this reason, many traditional yoga poses are part of the wider tantric sex practice. 

"Both yoga and tantric sex originate from ancient spiritual traditions emphasising the connection between mind, body, and spirit. By engaging in these practices, we're not just moving our bodies or sharing intimate moments but embracing a holistic dance that celebrates our entire being," explains Dr Lisa Lawless, a clinical psychologist and certified sexologist with expertise in relationships, couples counselling, and sexual health. 

Looking to bring your yoga practice into the bedroom? Whether you do yoga every day anyway or are just looking to try something new, these are some of the best sex positions to try with a partner, as recommended by Dr Lawless, who is also the founder of Holistic Wisdom

Yoga sex positions

1. The Bridge

Illustration of the bridge sex position, one of the top yoga sex positions

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

In the bridge position, the receiving partner lies flat on their back with their knees bent and feet flat, explains Dr Lawless. "They lift their hips to form a bridge while the penetrating partner kneels between their legs," she says.

It's one of the most-recommended yoga sex positions because it can enhance a deeper connection between couples as it allows for intense eye contact and gently stimulates the pelvic region. 

However, the doctor warns, this position does require a lot of thigh strength to do correctly and it will put pressure on the arms and shoulders. So, if you experience any pain during sex - or any part of life - in these areas, it may be worth looking at other options. 

Alternatively, you could use assistance. "To make it a bit easier, the receiving partner can place a firm pillow or two beneath the lumbar spine so you can lie back, relax, and receive," she says. "I highly recommend using inflatable or foam sex pillows for this as they provide comfort and firm support with a waterproof cover for easy cleanup."

2. The Lotus

Illustration of the lotus sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

The lotus sex position, also known as the yab yum sex position in tantric sex, is perhaps the most famous of all yoga-inspired moves. Here, the penetrating partner sits cross-legged while the other sits on their lap, wrapping their legs and arms around them. 

"Think of the 'cowgirl sex position', where one person rides on top of the other but seated upright," suggests Dr Lawless. "Minor adjustments and variations can create different sensations as well. For instance: grinding and bouncing, tilting backwards or leaning forward, completely hugging while swaying, extending your legs, or using them for support." 

For those who enjoy clitoral as well as G-spot stimulation during sex, it's a real winner. "Manual stimulation [is possible] with fingers or by using a clitoral vibrator or suction sex toy," she says. Plus, much like the bridge, it's an intimate position designed to allow close face-to-face contact and synchronised breathing. 

"You can incorporate eye-gazing, in-sync breathing, and touching your foreheads," she adds. "All your chakras are lined up in this position with your partner's, which is a nice bonus."

3. The Downward Dog

Downward dog sex position illustration

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another popular move both in the studio and in the bedroom as one of the most popular yoga sex positions is the downward dog sex position. Similar to doggy style in many ways, this is actually one of the best standing sex positions around thanks to the yoga-related benefits it offers.

"The downward dog position has the receiving partner assume the classic downward dog yoga position by forming an inverted V with hands and feet on the ground. The penetrating partner stands or kneels behind," explains Dr Lawless. "This position stretches the back and hamstrings while creating a playful vulnerability for the receiving partner."

From a sexual health standpoint, the downward dog is one of the very best. "Opening the hips can also improve blood flow to the pelvic region, which can increase sexual sensitivity and improve overall sexual health," she says. "Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can improve lubrication of the vagina and increase the likelihood of orgasms." 

4. The Pigeon

Illustration of the pigeon pose, one of the best yoga sex positions

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

For a real hip-opening position, try the pigeon. In this one, the penetrating partner lies on their back while the receiving puts one leg across them, mimicking the bird's leg placement. 

"This position is a deep hip opener for one partner and perfect for close body contact," Dr Lawless says. "This position also lets you connect with your partner, sync your breaths and energies, and it improves blood flow to the sexual organs to improve performance."

5. Standing Forward Fold

Illustration of the standing forward fold sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

Looking for one of the best oral sex positions that doubles up as a yoga pose for foreplay? The standing forward fold is a great one as it stretches out the hamstrings and lower back, opening up the pelvis and hips. 

The partner receiving here should stand slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and gently fold down slowly until the hands are touching the floor - or as close to the floor as possible. The other partner can then kneel or sit down behind, height differences depending, and perform oral sex.

6. Cat Cow

Illustration of the cat cow yoga sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

This position might look like a classic doggy-style move, but it's one of the best yoga sex positions as it incorporates a yoga position called the Cat-Cow (Marjaryasana). In this position, the receiving partner rests on all fours with their hands shoulder-width apart and knees sitting directly below the hips. Taking a deep breath in, the receiving partner curves their lower back and brings their head up, tilting their pelvis. This is the "cow" part of the move. 

Then, breathe out and start to tuck in your core, arching your back and bringing your head and pelvis down. This is the "cat" position in the pose. 

The penetrating partner can slot in behind just as they would with doggy style. Due to the flexing nature of the cat-cow, it may be better if couples do this one with the receiving partner on the bed and the other partner standing off the bed entering from a downward angle. For those who enjoy deep G-spot penetration, it could be a real winner.

How yoga can improve our sex lives 

Ever heard of the 'body's emotional junk drawer'? Well, research suggests that one particular area of the body stores pent-up emotions more than any other: the hips. Not only are the hips partially responsible for mobility of the legs, stabilising the core, and bearing your weight, they also store the iliopsoas muscle - a deep group of muscles located towards the front of the inner hip. Snuggled up within this muscle are the kidneys, which are tasked with filtering toxins out of the body, and the adrenal glands which control the flight or flight response. 

This response is the body's natural response to danger, whether real or not, and it's triggered in times of mental and emotional stress. When this happens, the iliopsoas muscle reacts by tightening but even when the initial stress has dissipated, the tension still remains in the area. This, in turn, can contribute to a whole range of issues from headaches and lower back pain to poor posture, which in itself is linked to conditions such as fatigue, stress, and even depression. 

So, it's fair to say that stretching out the hips - in or out of the bedroom - is a good idea for both mental and physical health. Naturally, a programme of yoga for beginners or doing yoga as a workout regularly can help with this but if you are looking to spice things up in the bedroom, these positions could be the answer. 

The other of yoga sex positions are closely linked to the benefits of tantric sex, explains Dr Lawless. "When we think about sex, it's often seen as a fleeting moment of pleasure with an orgasm as the end goal. However, there's a more profound perspective within the realm of Tantra, which originates from ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions."

"Instead of chasing pleasure just for the sake of it, Tantra embraces physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sensual experiences. By genuinely connecting with our sensuality in this way, the belief is that we can experience a transformation that goes beyond the physical realm and journey closer to spiritual awakening and power within ourselves and with our partners," she says.

For those who struggle to stay in the present moment and focused during sex, whether a result of stress or sexual anxiety, this can be hugely beneficial. "Tantra focuses on mindful intimacy, where couples are present in the moment. This is done by focusing deeply on every touch, sensation, and breath," she says. "Breathwork, in particular, is essential as it can heighten sensations and build a more intense connection between partners. When couples synchronize their breathing, it can foster a sense of unity and enhanced intimacy." 

And for anyone looking to learn how to have better sex by lasting for longer, tantric sex can help with this too. "Tantra also elongates pleasure, so couples savour every moment rather than rushing towards a climax. This can lead to prolonged and more intense orgasms," she says. 

Dr Lisa Lawless
Dr Lisa Lawless

Dr Lisa Lawless is a psychotherapist specialising in clinical psychology, relationships, sexual health, and nutrition. She is an accredited member of The American College of Sexologists International (ACS) and has held membership through The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). 

Dr Lawless is also the founder of Holistic Wisdom, a platform for intimacy and sexual wellness education, resources, and products. 

Grace Walsh
Health Channel Editor

Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. She is also a qualified fitness instructor. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. 

A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more.