Yoga is a centuries-old discipline that offers devotees a myriad of physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Here, we will examine the practice of yoga, and research findings that indicate yoga improves sexual function in both women and men.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a group of physical exercises designed to bring harmony to a practitioner's mind and body. The practice began in ancient India and has been performed for more than 5,000 years. There are many different forms of yoga. Each encourages the participant to use physical posture and breathing techniques as a means of achieving states of mental and physical well-being.
The Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is believed to elicit numerous physical and mental health benefits:
Yoga instructors, osteopathic medicine experts and mainstream health professionals attest that yoga can enhance the physical and mental health of those who practice the craft. Those who regularly practice yoga poses have witnessed increased incidents of strength and muscle tone, improved breathing, greater joint flexibility, improved blood circulation, a faster metabolism, increased energy levels and weight loss. Yoga has even been shown to help relieve uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Mental Health Benefits
Many yoga practitioners experience a sense of calm during and after a yoga session. This calmness often leads to a state of relaxation that reduces the participant's stress levels. Additionally, yoga practitioners may also experience enhanced mental clarity and a greater ability to concentrate.
Studies Discover Yoga Improves Sexual Function
A number of scientific studies have shown that yoga has proven effective in enhancing sexual performance and quality of sex life in women and men. One study examining the effects of yoga on female sexual function and conducted by a group of Indian researchers was presented at the 2010 International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference. The researchers studied 40 women who ranged in age from 22 to 55. Each subject participated in a yoga camp for a period lasting roughly three months. Prior to beginning the study, as well as at its conclusion, the test subjects were administered a questionnaire measuring their Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The FSFI measured six sexual categories (satisfaction, pain threshold, ability to achieve orgasm, desire, lubrication and arousal).
When the study was completed, researchers concluded that most test participants experienced an increase in all FSFI categories. Moreover, these same scientists discovered that the most significant improvements were displayed by the study's older participants (age 45 and older) who were reported to score significantly higher in associated FSFI categories than they did prior to participating in the yoga camp.
Another study, which was published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that women who practice yoga might also witness an increased strength to their pelvic region. A stronger pelvic region is thought to enable women to enjoy more frequent sexual encounters, as well as intercourse that lasts for a longer duration.
In another study, a group of Indian scientists concluded that men who perform yoga could overcome premature ejaculation. These researchers created two control groups: One group of test subjects were asked to practice yoga, and the other were administered medication for the sexual shortcoming. The findings demonstrated that every man who took yoga noticed an improvement while only 82 percent taking medications found success.
An additional study published in the 2011 edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine that measured yoga's impact upon male sexual health concluded that men who regularly participated in some form of yoga over a period lasting three months witnessed an improvement in several other sexual function categories such as the ability to attain orgasm, performance, desire, satisfaction with sex and libido.
How Yoga May Improve Sexuality in Both Women and Men
Improves Body Appearance And Image
Those who practice yoga often develop a healthier physique. A more pleasing aesthetic look might precipitate a better body image creating greater attraction to the opposite sex or a heightened attraction and desire in one's spouse or sexual partner.
Promotes Healthy Hormone Balance
Yoga practitioners often experience an increased level of calm. Some medical professionals opine that decreased bodily tension could precipitate the regulation of hormones. Hormones are also believed to play a critical role in driving the libido and sexual performance.
Stimulates Specific Erogenous Regions
Numerous yoga poses enable the body to stimulate various erogenous zones. Stretching, strengthening and increasing blood flow to the body's sexual regions may enhance libido and improve sexual performance.
Not only can regularly participating in yoga sessions stretch joints and strengthen muscles but might also lead to increased flexibility. From a sexual standpoint, increased flexibility may result in more joyful and adventurous sexual encounters. A greater degree of maneuverability could enable someone to contort into various bodily positions that might make intercourse more exciting, pleasurable and an activity sexual partners show a greater interest in engaging in.
Those who routinely practice yoga experience an elevated awareness of their senses. Being in tune with one's bodily senses might foster a greater level of satisfaction during intercourse.