Yoga for a better sex life? September 30 2016
Rooted in Indian philosophy, yoga is an ancient method of relaxation, exercise, and healing that has gained a wide following in the United States. It has been shown to ease anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve joint pain and function, and relieve pain and many other mental and physical complaints. It may come as no surprise, then, that yoga may also serve to enhance sexual function. According to a study, regular yoga practice improves several aspects of sexual function in women, including desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction.
The study involved 40 healthy women, ages 22 to 55, who were enrolled in a yoga program in India. Most of the women were married, and all were sexually active. Subjects were instructed in a protocol of 22 yoga poses, or asanas, that are believed to have positive effects on abdominal and pelvic muscle tone, digestion, joint function, and mood. Various poses were modified for women who weren’t able to perform the full versions. Each participant filled out a standard sexual-function questionnaire at the beginning and end of the 12-week program, which featured an hour of yoga practice each day, followed by breathing and relaxation.
At the end of the program, the researchers found improvements in the women’s sexual-function scores in the six domains that were assessed (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and overall satisfaction), particularly among women over age 45, who showed the greatest improvements in arousal, lubrication, and pain. Nearly 75% of the women said they were more satisfied with their sexual life following the yoga training. Major limitations of this study were its small size and the lack of a control group. The researchers, who are based at universities in New Delhi and Mumbai, say they are recruiting women for a larger study, which will include a control group.Getting started
If you’d like to try yoga, classes and video instruction are widely available. There are many different styles of yoga, and while many are safe, some can be strenuous and may not be appropriate for everyone. If you’re older, out of shape, or have physical limitations, you may want to check in with a clinician before trying yoga. You may also want to look into Iyengar (pronounced eye-en-gar) yoga, which uses props such as blankets, blocks, benches, and belts to assist in performing asanas. The idea behind Iyengar yoga is to help people experience asanas to the fullest extent possible despite physical limitations or lack of experience.
The 5 Ways Yoga Improves Your Sex Life
1. Flexibility. When I first started yoga, I couldn’t touch my toes in a forward fold. Now, when I’m in bed, I can hug my leg to my chest and kiss my thigh (which makes it easy for my husband to sling my leg up and over his shoulder in order to achieve deeper penetration during intercourse…I love the extra stimulation to my cervix). If you’d like to achieve this increased flexibility, go to yoga. Or develop a home yoga practice that focuses especially on hip openers, pelvis openers, and groin stretchers.
2. Mula Bandha. A well-balanced yoga practice regularly incorporates strength-building poses that require you work your mula bandha. Basically, as you do your standing poses — warrior poses and lunges and balancing poses that force you to support your own body weight while contorting this way and that — you end up contracting the muscle between your sphincter muscle and the muscle that controls urination. Yes, this is the yogic version of what is commonly referred to as “exercising your kegels.” And when you exercise your kegels, you can have stronger, more intense orgasms (as can your partner, if you squeeze him/her).
3. Yogasms. And speaking of orgasms, I’ve found that there is something to all the yogasm hullabaloo that popped up in the media last year. In addition to the stimulation that occurs to your nether regions when you work your mula bandha, and the improved orgasms that can occur from working that area, yoga helps you build body awareness in a way that — at least for me — has helped with my arousal levels. I’m not going to promise that you’ll be able to think yourself off (though that’s a definite possibility). I will say, however, that — at the very least — you may be able to think your way into extreme horniness.
4. Mental Health. I don’t know about you but, when I’m feeling angry with someone, I’m less likely to have sex with them. Unfortunately, when I was struggling with chronic depression and anxiety, I was angry a lot more often. Once I began practicing yoga, I became a lot less crazypants, which was a boon to my marriage. This is what I mean when I say that yoga is about a lot more than just the physical benefits. Between the poses, the breathing exercises, and the meditation, yoga can make you a lot more balanced. Which is generally code for: more sex!
5. Partner Yoga. As you can see from the points above, your partner doesn’t have to do yoga with you in order for your sex life to benefit. But if you’re open to trying something a little bit different as a means of improving intimacy in your relationship, try partner yoga. It necessitates closeness and builds trust. And working out together can boost endorphins. If your partner needs a little extra encouragement, just show them this video. Hot.
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