What does yoga have to do with sexual health?
The practice of yoga can have a wonderful impact on your sexual health for several reasons: mindfulness, focus, regulation of the of our nervous system, strength, flexibility and balance of the pelvic floor as well as your entire body, just to name a few.
Here in the US the term yoga usually conjures up thoughts of yoga studios, and a room full of people in spandex in contorted positions. Actually, there are three main branches in the practice of yoga: meditation, pranayama and asanas. Here’s a brief description of the different yoga practices and their impact on sexual health.
Meditation: Research has proven many health and wellness benefits to the regular practice of meditation: Benefits can include: decreased stress, improved rest, increased focus and mindfulness. In short, if you are more rested, less stressed and can focus on the task at hand, your nervous system is more likely to allow for desire and arousal to occur. When the processing centers in your brain are quiet (not focused on your to do list or the dishes in the sink) arousal and orgasm are much more likely to happen. Think about that last time you were tired, stressed and distracted, sex probably was not on the front of your mind.
Pranayama (breathing exercises): There are several different pranayama practices: diaphragmatic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, bumblebee breath are some examples. Pranayama practice can reduce anxiety, improve focus, and calm your nervous system. All worthwhile benefits for your sexual health.
Asanas: The practice of yoga poses (think downward facing dog, child’s pose), promote flexibility, strength, balance and is an ebb and flow of excitation and relaxation throughout your practice. Flexibility, strength and balance are all helpful for your sexual health especially of the pelvic floor, abdomen, spine and hips. In addition to exercising your body, asana practice is exercising your nervous system to be excited when you want to be excited and relaxed when you want to be relaxed.
If you want to learn more about yoga and your sexual health, register for the upcoming workshop Yoga For Great Sex: March 12th, 1-4:00 p.m. at Eugene Yoga. And, for more information contact me: [email protected]