I'm delighted to introduce, Lisa Redding's guest blog on how yoga can improve your sex life...
There are many reasons to practise yoga, and many short and long-term benefits. They include better general fitness, improved mental focus, increased energy levels and decreased stress along with a myriad of other mental, physical and social benefits. Did you know that yoga can also improve your sex life?
It is not a common reason to begin practising yoga, but many people find it is a welcome, if surprising, extra benefit. Many people find that practising yoga leads to an increase in their sex drive and in better sex. People can find that they have better orgasms and more emotional closeness during sex. Couples who have been having problems with their sex life can find that yoga helps them rekindle their old desires. There is even evidence that yoga can help men who have been having problems with premature ejaculation.
There are some fairly obvious superficial parallels between yoga and sex. Both are activities that involve physical, mental and sometimes spiritual effort together. Yoga’s ability to help improve the mind and body in various ways should, by reason, also help improve someone’s sex life. There is, however, more to it than that. Studies have found some very specific connections between practising yoga and improving one’s sex life.
Yoga improves general health, and so it is likely to improve general sexual function. Benefits of yoga can include improvements in the cardiovascular system and better muscle tone, which tend to just make our bodies work better in general. Better blood flow through the body can lead to more intense orgasms and can help men maintain better erections. Being more flexible can mean being able to try out more sexual positions. Being stronger can mean you can cope better with the physical demands of sex, and have sex for longer. Practising yoga regularly can often mean you have more energy in general, and of course, that can be useful during sex.
Certain yoga poses can have quite specific physical effects, especially the Mula Bandha, or root lock. This acts in a similar way to pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles around the pelvis and genitals, making them stronger. In women in particular, that can help lead to explosive orgasms.
Mental and Emotional Effects
Yoga’s physical effects, such as having improved orgasms, are also linked to the mental and emotional effects – as you would expect, given that the connection between mind and body is so fundamental to yoga practice. On a quite basic level, yoga tends to led to increased body confidence, which can lead to increased sexual confidence. Practising yoga also helps people focus on intimacy when they are having sex. This is where yoga links to tantra, although that does not mean that practising yoga means you will have tantric sex (although it could be a good place to start). However, practising yoga means that you tend to be better able to clear the mind of chatter and negative thoughts, and focus better on the connection between you. When the mind and the body are fully relaxed, sex tends to be more intense and emotional.
Yoga has also been shown to help men with premature ejaculation. One study compared the effectiveness of yoga with the drug fluoxetine (Prozac - anti-depressants are often prescribed for premature ejaculation) on men who suffered from premature ejaculation, and found it to be more effective. The men in the study practised a number of yoga poses for three months, and were found to have general improvements in their sex lives as well as being able to delay orgasm. It seems that yoga can help people have a healthy sex life in both general, and quite specific, ways. Some people might find that their sex life improves as a side-effect of yoga, but yoga can sometimes be used as a treatment for sexual problems.
While you should see plenty of benefits to your sex life from practising yoga separately, practising yoga together could become, like sex, part of your life together as a couple. Some yoga poses need two people to work together to help each other, and doing that together can help build trust in each other. Yoga should not be seen just as a tool for having better sex, but as part of a holistic approach to improving your lives, both individually and together. Though naturally, better sex can be a very enjoyable part of that!