Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that involves breathing techniques (pranayamas) and physical postures (asanas). It is a discipline not just for the body but also for the mind as it has cognitive components which involve meditation and concentration.
At present, yoga practitioners all over the world engage in yoga as part of their fitness regimens. However, taking a look at yoga’s history, one can see that it has been employed for centuries not only for physical fitness but to address sexual complaints as well. In fact, along with yoga, tantra has been around for centuries and is also being practiced to address sexual problems and improve sexual performance and enjoyment.
The benefits of yoga on sexual health are not just material for ancient folklore. Recent scientific studies fully validate the use of yoga as a way to address sexual function problems and to improve sexual performance.
Long-term regular practice of yoga improves ejaculation control in men with premature ejaculation. A 2010 study investigated the effects of yoga on male sexual functioning. Sixty-five male participants, aged 24-60, were assessed using the Male Sexual Quotient (MSQ) questionnaire before and after they attended a 12-week yoga camp. MSQ measures desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection, maintenance, hardness, on-demand erection, ejaculation control, and orgasm.
After the 12-week yoga camp, the participants were again assessed using the MSQ. The results showed that there were significant improvements on all ten items of the questionnaire. Of the ten items in the questionnaire, the one that had the most significant improvement was intercourse satisfaction, which rose by 24.6%.
This study further validates the researchers’ previous study which also linked yoga to better ejaculatory control for men who suffer from premature ejaculation. In the 2010 study, the researchers were able to establish a new finding that links yoga to improved maintenance and hardness of erection as well as being able to achieve on-demand erections.
Let’s take a look at five of the 22 yoga poses that were used in the study. You can try these poses to improve your sexual functioning.
Marjarasan (Cat’s Pose)
- Begin by assuming the “tabletop” pose. Knees should be directly below the hips while the hips, shoulders, and elbows should be kept perpendicular to the ground. The head should be kept centered.
- On an exhale, round your spine in the direction of the ceiling while keeping the knees and shoulders in position. Drop the head toward the ground.
- On an inhale, go back to “tabletop” pose.
Matsyasana (Fish’s Pose)
- Begin by lying on your back. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground.
- As you lift your hips, slowly tuck your hands beneath your butt while keeping the palms facing down. The forearms and elbows should be drawn towards your center.
- On an inhale, bend your elbows. Then press your forearms and elbows to the ground to lift your upper body and head.
- Keep your shoulder blades firm as you lift your chest upwards.
- Slowly lower the back of your head to the ground.
- Hold the position with your knees bent for five to ten breaths.
Halasan (Plough Pose)
- Begin by lying on your back. Extend your legs and position your arms alongside your body, palms down.
- On an inhale, engage your abdominal muscles, lift your legs and hips up. Position your torso perpendicular to the ground.
- Keep your legs straight then lower your toes to the floor towards your head while keeping your legs extended.
- Support your back if your toes are not touching the floor. Try to lower your legs as much as you can while keeping them extended straight.
- Hold the position for three to five minutes.
Bhujangasan (Snake or Cobra Pose)
- Begin by lying prone on the floor. Make sure your legs are stretched, with the tops of your feet on the ground.
- Spread your hands on the floor, directly below your shoulders. Keep the elbows close to your body.
- Keep your thighs, pubis, and the tops of your feet firmly pressed on the ground.
- On an inhale, straighten your arms slowly to raise your chest up. As you lift your chest, make sure your pubis is still pressed on the floor.
- Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
Dhanurasan (Bow Pose)
- Begin by lying on your belly. Set your arms in cactus position.
- On an inhale, squeeze your shoulder blades back.
- Slowly raise your chest, head, and the top of your ribs. Keep them as high as you can off the floor.
- Exhale then on the next inhale, slowly raise your legs. Make sure your feet are pressed together.
- Raise your elbows to the same level as your shoulders then squeeze your elbows towards your back.
The study’s findings that yoga resulted in being able to achieve on-demand erections, improved maintenance and hardness of erection suggest that yoga may have therapeutic benefits for erectile dysfunction. At present, there is no empirical evidence yet to validate this. Nonetheless, there are yoga poses that are recommended for men with erectile dysfunction. Here are a few examples.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes) – This pose promotes digestion and improves the flow of blood going to the major organs such as the liver and the pelvic region.
- Garduasana – This is another pose that increases blood flow to the pelvic region. It also develops balance.
- Pavanamuktasana – This pose is recommended for better stomach function and for relieving stomach pain caused by gas. Even though this pose is mainly focused on the digestive system, it also helps to warm the pelvic region.
- Siddasana – A classic yoga pose, it gives men the added benefits of flexibility as well as pelvic region stimulation.
- Shavasana – This pose, also known as the corpse pose, is usually done as the last pose. There’s nothing physically extraordinary about this pose, except that you will need to lie still. The focus of this pose is on one’s breathing.