8 Easy Yoga Poses to Boost Body Positivity

Most of us are always running errands, for the family and to visit or attend the parties in the coming weeks, everybody wants to look their best. One great solution to ease out stress and look your best in yoga. Yoga is mainly known for its soothing effects, but it can also help one tone and energize the body. Yoga has some really uplifting benefits that start with performing some gentle backbends, such as Extended Mountain or Upward Dog or even a Bridge pose. Extending the spine opens up, or stretches the tight chest muscles. When your chest opens up freely, you tend to breathe more comfortably in order to optimally fill your lungs. This deep breathing fosters mental alertness and physical energy and helps boost your body positivity.

Here is some yoga pose that can help you boost your body positivity:

1# Upward Dog

With your hands, hips, thighs and feet on the floor, point your toes slightly to the soles of your feet while facing the ceiling. Your hands should be still and should be aligned right under your shoulders. Inhale slightly and then straighten your arms widely, pressing through your hands and trying to lift your hips off the floor. As soon as you lift your hips, slide them slightly towards your hands. Try to open your chest and gently slide shoulder curves in the downward direction. Hold this position for one breath as you try to look slightly upwards. To release, slowly raise your hips and get onto your hands and knees before transitioning to Downward Dog pose that has similar benefits. Lengthen your upward body through the spine and rollover your shoulders back and then lower them in order to encourage the idea of deep breathing and performing a good stretch in the chest and the front portion of your shoulders.

2# Mountain Pose

Place your hands gently on your heart. With your feet and hip wide apart and lying parallel to each other, stand rooted and tall. Keep your chest lifted, and make sure all your four corners of each foot are planted on the ground. Hold this position for about 10 slow breaths. Pausing at the start of a yoga flow gives you the chance to keenly observe how your body is feeling without any judgment, while you are slowing down the breath and are enjoying the present moment. It also encourages a good posture as the spine lengthens upward.

3# Cow or Cat Pose

Come onto all fours, with knees directly underneath hips and hands directly underneath shoulders, if needed, fold a blanket and place it on the yoga mat as a cushion to your knees.

Cow Pose: Just inhale and then lift your complete chest area and tailbone toward the sky, relaxing your belly into the ground.

Cat Pose: Exhale and round your back, gently tucking your tailbone and bringing your chin toward your chest. That will make one cycle. Do at least six cycles, inhaling and exhaling with each transition.

Moving in between these two poses warms up a person’s spine, arms, and wrists. It shifts your focus toward your heart as you are trying to lift your chest and then it opens up in cow pose and then you return your body in cat pose.

4# Low Lunge

Step your right foot to the front of the mat, keeping the left knee down. Gently shift your hips in the forward direction. Your right knee should be carefully placed over your right ankle. Place your hands gently on your heart while lifting your chest. Hold for about ten slow breaths and later repeat on the opposite side. This pose tends to ground the body, support its balance, and then strengthens your legs and spine. By placing your hands on your heart, you focus on the center of compassion.

5# The Pyramid Pose

Place your right foot gently over the front of your yoga mat and then step up your left foot backwards, keeping the legs straight and still. Position your left foot gently at a 45-degree angle and then try keeping your right foot pointed straight ahead. Fold your upper body right over your front leg, by placing your hands on yoga blocks or any stacks of books if they do not reach the mat. Direct your gaze to a few feet ahead of the floor. Hold this position for about five to ten slow breaths and then repeat the same on the opposite side. As you tend to bow towards the ground, you can create a moment for the purpose of introspection and gratitude. Take this one opportunity to thank your body for all it has done while lifting, bending, and propelling you forward in life.

6# The Supported Warrior III

Step forward with your right leg, folding your upper body over your front leg. With your hands over the blocks or over the books, try to lift your left leg, keeping your torso parallel to the floor and at your hip level. Try to keep both your legs straight, your hands in a relaxed position, and your left foot flexed. Hold for about five to ten slow breaths and then repeat the same on the opposite side as well. As you are trying to balance, you tend to practice the idea of patience with yourself. If you wobble or stumble, that probably will gently tell yourself that it is okay. You can give yourself permission to begin again from the start. Trying means you are growing.

7# The Camel Pose

Kneel down over your knees, hip-width apart and your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Press your hips in the forward direction and then place your hands gently on your lower back for support as you try to lift your heart toward the sky. If you are comfortable then gently release your head backwards. Hold for about five to ten slow breaths. This pose often helps in supporting the spine’s flexibility and also provides a deep stretch in the area right over the hip flexors. As you are trying to lift your chest, which is an area that people often tend to protect, you are opening up your heart from the within in order to receive love—from both the outside world and from yourself.

8# The Child’s Pose

Open your knees as wide as the mat, feet together, and drop your hips to your heels. Place your forehead carefully over the mat and lay your arms and hands right behind you. Relax and Hold for about five to ten slow breaths. This grounding pose provides a very deep stretch in the thighs and it also eases the tension in the back area. When you think of yourself as a loved child, self- compassion comes to you effortlessly.

Vivek Roy is an enthusiastic Yoga blogger and traveler from India. He has done YTT 200 Rishikesh. He loves to travel and share the knowledge of yoga around the world. For more information about him visit his website Sattva Yoga Academy.

Power Couples; Managing Love, Sex and Relationships

How do busy ‘power couples’ make time for their relationships? Between managing hectic work schedules, family life and social obligations, it can be a challenge to prioritize intimacy, romance and sex.

Oasis Aqualounge Marketing Director Fatima Mechtab recently interviewed Tori and Soul; a married, same-sex, female bisexual couple who work as busy professionals and who also host a podcast about their adventures within the Lifestyle. Tori and Soul share how they maintain a balance between their professional and personal lives and how they keep the passion alive, in their marriage.

Q: How did you meet and how long have you been together?

A: We met through a series of mishaps that brought us together on the dance floor, on a snowy night in January. Soul was all set to go out dancing with a friend, and at the last minute, her friend cancelled and insisted that Soul still go. She said to Soul, “You’ll probably meet the girl of your dreams.” Well, no truer words were spoken. When we saw each other, we felt instant chemistry.  Today, we still love dancing with each other, and we’ll do it for hours.

We were together for the next several years before there would be a proposal. Upon meeting us, people would be surprised that we weren’t already married, yet marriage was not something we were necessarily interested in.  We were both previously married (to men, by the way) and were in no rush to tie the knot again. Our engagement proposal was set up as a mock video shoot “for a friend” and was a complete surprise to Tori, and everyone else present for the recording.

Q:  Describe your career, as individuals. What is a typical day for you, like?

Well, in the everyday part of our lives we are entrepreneurs in business development. We offer training to those wanting to better manage their work flow, do less, and have more success. Basically, we teach people how to not make the mistakes we did! 

Currently, what we are even more excited about is our podcast. We started Torrid Souls Podcast in 2018; basically, because we were encouraged to share our take on relationships based on conversations we would normally have, with others. Our journey into ethical non-monogamy started about 3 years ago and has been an interesting and fun one, that has expanded our world in ways we never imagined.

We are curious and like to try new things, so we podcast about what we encounter. We travel and teach and share how we navigate the world of ethical non-monogamy as two women married to each other, who, when we play, it’s with single guys! 

What listeners have told us they really enjoy most about our show is the connection we have with each other. They like how vulnerable, yet how informative (and hilarious) we are. As a same-sex female couple, who are both bisexual, we may not be the norm in the lifestyle, but like many couples, sometimes we just like to spice it up too. 

Q: As a couple, what are some ways you both maintain intimacy, passion and fun in your relationship?

The 5 Love Languages is a system that helps us maintain intimacy, passion and fun in our relationship.

For those who are not familiar with them, they are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Each love language is important in that it gives us concrete ways to express love. We find that it helps to create a stronger bond in our relationship.

We can achieve that feeling of closeness, express strong emotion, enjoyment or lighthearted pleasure through these love languages. 

We love touch, and the obvious pleasures of intimate, physical touch. There are also the more subtle ways of using physical touch to show our love, like holding hands, touching as we pass by each other in the kitchen, for example, and also throughout the night, as we sleep. We often have arms around each other, legs intertwined, or even just feet or toes touching as an expression of love.

Nurturing any relationship is basically being able to get as much of what one person wants while still giving the other person as much of what they want.   

Click here for a quiz to find out your primary love language.

Q: Tell us about a particularly memorable romantic evening/trip/date night. What stands out most in your mind and why?

We live, work and play together, and we’ve been doing this for many years.  We are fortunate that we have just the right combination of similarities to be able to easily have a lot of fun being together and yet, we are still two completely, different individuals. 

One of us is naturally an introvert, and the other is more of an extrovert.  One of us is a morning person, the other is naturally a night owl. Maintaining a relationship means that we must compromise and stretch outside of our natural tendencies. 

Couples are often challenged to maintain a relationship with a difference in sex drives, or have differing styles of sexual enjoyment. No matter the challenge, the same still holds true. Compromise. Communicate. Compromise. Communicate. Discover and share what is true for you.  Listen, with curiosity and interest, to what is your partner’s truth. Find a point of compromise. And if you need support in finding that middle ground, get help from someone outside of the relationship (perhaps a professional counsellor, someone who is capable of helping you).

We just recently decided to step up to a whole new level of intimacy by enlisting the support of a sensuality coach. In this latest endeavour, we are discovering our sexual blueprints to help us to better get our own desires met and to be able to feed the desires of our partner. Coupled with this work, we are also learning about passionate sexuality and deeper love, gaining greater intimacy and having even better sex. 

Click here to find out more.

5. Share a particularly memorable date/trip.  What stands out and why?

We love experiences, and (we’d like to think) we are pretty adventurous. We recently got married and, in our vows, we made a commitment to each other to have fun (frequently), travel even more, and try new things. What stands out as a particularly memorable date is actually our wedding. 

After being together for years, we wanted it to be an epic celebration. Something that focused on surprising our guests with a truly unique, unexpected and immersive experience. We rented a multi-million-dollar mansion for the weekend, hired actors, belly dancers, an artist to paint portraits, musicians, singers and a DJ.  We set a theme and encouraged guests to go wild and have fun dressing to that theme. Guests were taken through 3 unconventional days of dancing, eating and being entertained. They loved it.  We loved it too! It was so much fun. To this day, we still hear from guests that it was THE best wedding they have ever attended!

6. What advice do you have for busy couples who are struggling to make time for one another?

Time together feeds the relationship. It’s important. It’s a busy world and maintaining an intimate connection in a relationship with a hectic schedule can be challenging.  Oftentimes we can feel like we don’t even have enough time for our own self-care and paying attention to someone else can easily feel overwhelming. We operate from the understanding that all relationships go through stages. Knowing this, we can better recognize and navigate the challenges that come up for us.  

In the beginning stage of any relationship there is attraction and romance. Everything is new and lusty. Sadly, we cannot maintain this level of fantasy, and inevitably, reality will eventually end this “high”. 

What often comes next is that we start to see the flaws, and behaviours we may not like. This is often where relationships end. At this stage, we are being asked to strengthen our communication and trust if we are to get to the deeper stages of stability and commitment in our relationship. Statistically, few couples, married or not, don’t make it to this deeper stage. Understandably; it’s HARD work. It takes a lot of work to navigate some of these differences.

We suggest that couples cuddle up and discussing ideas of things that they are curious about, things they’d like to try. Decide on ways to have fun together, ways to spice things up in a different way.  Go dancing; it will literally get you closer. We’ll often go to a lifestyle club just to dance! Or try something a little more edgy, like a different theme at a lifestyle event, club or resort.  Go get openly sexy with each other in a safe environment like Oasis Aqualounge. Just make sure to set boundaries before choosing to add others into your playtime. And if you’re not sure where to start, listen to podcasts together.  It’ll start the discussion. There’s lots of great content available to educate, entertain, and inspire your desires. 

Remember, relationships are a constant play session in progress!

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

In case you may be wondering why there are no faces in our pictures, it’s because we still need to practice a level of discretion in a society that has not yet fully embraced all the benefits of the sub-community of consensual non-monogamy.

 One day it won’t be this way, and in the meantime, we look forward to connecting with you in person at events, and online on social media.  We love meeting people.

We’d love it if you’d join our Torrid Souls Tribe. Listen in and let our ‘smexy’ (smart + sexy) conversations open your minds (and your legs) just a wee bit wider. 

Check out www.TorridSouls.com/links for the ways to find, and contact us.  Just know that we are mostly on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon.

To find out about our travels, our podcast and us, visit our website at: www.TorridSouls.com 

What Does Sex-Positivity Actually Mean?

What does sex-positivity actually mean? This article written by Marketing Director Fatima Mechtab from Oasis Aqualounge explores the attitudes, boundaries & active consent within this term.

By: Fatima Mechtab

Within our sexy communities and on-premise venues, such as Oasis Aqualounge, you will often hear the phrase ‘sex-positive’ buzzing around. It’s a great sounding term; light, affable and encouraging. It captures more than just the physical act of sex; it encompasses all of the surrounding areas of sexuality, such as our attitudes and perceptions. 

For many, this phrase seems to lend permission to express ourselves and our desires; we slip it on and hold its hand as we embark on a journey of sexual discovery. But aside from the times when we want to engage in sex, what does ‘sex-positivity’ actually mean? This article will examine the various aspects of this term; what it is and what it is not.

To begin, ‘sex-positivity’ involves having an open attitude towards sexuality and the sexuality of others. A sex-positive person should be able address the topic without feeling shame or disgust. While this is easily achieved when exploring areas that are of personal interest, a sex-positive attitude extends itself past personal preferences and embraces all topics with an objective sense of curiosity.

Sex-positivity embraces the notion of active consent. It recognizes that active consent goes beyond ‘no means no;’ it emphasizes that ‘only yes means yes’ and that ‘yes’ should be expressed before and throughout the duration play. Someone who is sex-positive is accepting of activities that are safe and consensual and they are non-judgmental of practices that may be different from their own. They also acknowledge that sex-positivity is inclusive of all orientations and gender identities.

What does sex-positivity actually mean? This article written by Marketing Director Fatima Mechtab from Oasis Aqualounge explores the attitudes, boundaries & active consent within this term.

There is a misconception that people who are sex-positive are void of boundaries; they want to try and like everything! That is simply not true. We all have personal boundaries; There may be sexual activities that we are uncertain of and/or curiosities that we may not be ready to try (or try yet). Sex-positivity distinguishes between a personal boundary and a judgement call.  You don’t have to want to try everything but if you are indeed sex-positive, you make space for those who like or who may want to experience something that you may not.

As much as we may enjoy the act of sex and/or kink, there are times when we may not feel like being sexual-and that’s ok! Sex-positivity grants us the freedom to accept when our libidos are low; it does not take away from our sexual identity and/or desire for our partner(s). However, feeling entitled to sex (complaining, begging, etc.) and/or constantly sexually objectifying others (yes, even your partner!) is not a sex-positive attitude.

Another fallacy is that sex-positivity can only be applied to people who are sexually active; those who are virgins, celibate and/or who identify as asexual are not included. True sex-positivity welcomes a diversity of expression and is inclusive of all identities. Sexual expression can also include masturbation, self-love and sexual-self-care. One does not always need a partner(s) in the room in order to express their sexuality.

What does sex-positivity actually mean? This article written by Marketing Director Fatima Mechtab from Oasis Aqualounge explores the attitudes, boundaries & active consent within this term.

The word ‘positive’ does suggest possessing a carefree attitude towards sex. However, there are many complexities surrounding sexuality; culture differences, past trauma and/or religious beliefs can add to the wide-range of an individual’s emotions.  Sex-positivity appreciates the varied and sometimes contradictory nature of how we process our experiences. Sex-positivity is not simple; it’s as diverse as we are.

Anyone can learn to be sex-positive. All it takes is a willingness to keep an open mind that is free of judgement, an accepting attitude towards all sexual identities and self-awareness when it comes to one’s own desires and boundaries.  If you are interested in becoming more submersed in sex-positive culture, connect with others who share those values and allow your sexual self to flourish.