Dr. Avi Nov
We know already about the physical benefits of yoga and its general contribution to our wellness. But, more surprising is to discover that practicing yoga regularly leads to improvements in sexual life. In this article, I explain in a nutshell the logic behind this statement and provide some research that supports it.
What are the effects of Yoga?
In recent years there are enormous medical studies published about the effects of yoga practicing on mind and body. Modern science clarifies that yoga strengthens the immune system, lowers the body's inflammatory response, lowers cortisol, and boosts a protein that helps the brain grow and stay young and healthy. Read more on the immune system here: Immune System Perfection.
In a previous article Mindfulness and Yoga I discussed the benefits associated with mindfulness practice combined with yoga. In that article I indicated that according to recent medical research, there are numerous benefits of practicing mindfulness including, the increased concentration, memory, immunity to colds and diseases, reduction in chronic pain, blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and depression.
What does science say on Sex and Yoga?
There is a lot of research on this topic. Here are a few examples. According to an article Yoga in Female Sexual Functions published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine yoga can improve sexual function, particularly in women over the age of 45.
In another study Yoga and Sexuality: a Novel Way to Improve Sexual Functioning, researchers found that yoga improves across all aspects of male sexual satisfaction: "desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection, ejaculatory control, [and] orgasm."
A review of existing literature led by researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, provides a wonderful explanation. As yoga intends to regulate attention and breathing, it activates the parasympathetic nervous activity. This activation of the part of the nervous system that tells your body to relax, rest and digest, induces relaxation which improves sexual responses.
What can the Yoga teach us about sex?
It appears that the Yoga literature, many years before modern researcher spoke about yoga and sex, reveals this connection. In order to clarify the Yoga writings on this subject, I will describe briefly two concepts and their relation to sex enhancing.
The first concept is called "Muladhara". The Muladhara is known as the “root chakra” located at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region. The root chakra is said to contain our natural urges relating to food, sleep, sex, and survival, as well as the source of avoidance and fear. In yoga practice we perform a lot of postures that activate the root chakra – Muladhara, and thereby enhancing the sexual response.
The second concept is the "Moola bandha". The Moola bandha is a perineal contraction that stimulates the sensory-motor and the autonomic nervous system in the pelvic region, and therefore enforces parasympathetic activity in the body. This stimulation leads to an enhancement of sexual activity and pleasure.
If you are interested in going deep into the yoga practice, see also the following articles:
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