Yoga for Men - Reason 5 - Sex
Yoga is the best thing for your sex life. It keeps you limber in all kind of ways. It teaches you to love your body and your partner's body.
But more than anything, he keeps your mind liquid, and nothing's sexier than that.
I spent a while wondering what to cover as my 5th benefit of yoga. It’s of course rather arbitrary to set a specific number of benefits; but it does mean these blogs don’t go on forever. :-)
I was thinking about writing another article on the direct physical benefits of yoga, perhaps core strength and stability, or lower back health; but then I was reading a book on yoga and up-popped (pun intended) a certain subject, and I thought: “perfect, let’s talk about sex”. :-)
Multiple research studies from around the world have shown that yoga improves sexual functions for both men and women. For example:
A 2010 study of men (1) aged 24 to 60 rated their sexual functioning as “significantly improved” after a 12 week course of yoga. (Of course that means if you’re coming to the Yoga for Men course you are going to need to keep going for a while afterwards - what a good incentive! ;-) )
A 2009 Korean study (2) of women aged 30 to 60 again showed that following a 12 week program of yoga reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, and increased sexual arousal and overall sexual function.
I’ve also recently seen studies showing yoga as an effective treatment for premature ejaculation (3) and enhancing libido (4).
There are many more covering many different aspects of sexuality, and that is before we start getting into the more esoteric Tantric areas of yoga which is outside of the realm of my practice.
As with many things in life, the reasons for these benefits are complicated, and there is not just a single factor at work.
One of the absolute tenants are practising yoga is learning to connect to our own body. Very often in this busy, technology filled, world we become strangers to our body. This may be because there are parts of our body we don’t like, that we aren’t comfortable with. It may be because our working lives and our entertainment choices all revolve around watching screens and engaging with the world through the prism of our intellect. It may just be that we’ve somehow become disconnected to our physical self. The practice of yoga is about unifying all aspects of the self (in fact that's one of the meanings of the word -unity) and this unification brings a confidence and connection with our body that spills over into all aspects of our life.
In previous blogs we’ve also talked about, yoga helping us to reduce stress, producing beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain, and increasing our flexibility and physical prowess. All of these things are filtering through to a more positive sexual experience.
There does also seem to be a direct connection between some specific yoga poses (for example the Cobra Pose “Bhujangasana” and certain breathing techniques (5)) and the stimulation of sexual centres in the body, directly leading to improved health in these areas and an increase in hormones such as testosterone.
I encourage you to carry out your own experiments, although perhaps not actively during my classes. :-)
1) Dhikav, V. et al. “Yoga in Male Sexual Functioning: a Non-comparative Pilot Study,” Journal of Sexual Medicine (2010) 7:3460.
Reason 5 - Improved Sexual Functioning