According to a study published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine (Nov 12, 2009), regular yoga practice improves several aspects of sexual function in women, including desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction, points out Dr Arockia Virgin Fernando, Fertility Specialist, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals. The expert shares some benefits of yoga on sex life and during pregnancy.
Benefits of Yoga on your Sex life
More and more people are discovering the benefits of practicing yoga, from building strength to relieving stress. 40 percent of women with fertility related issues have anxiety, stress or both. Yoga and mindfulness exercises like deep breathing helps in reducing the cortisol levels in our blood which is a marker for stress. High levels of cortisol damages the fine balance between the hormones which control the brain, heart and reproductive system. Many fertility groups who conduct support group meetings to help the anxious couples trying to conceive- have included yoga in their program. It can improve your sex life.
Yoga can target your sexual zones. Many forms of yoga refer to the root lock "Mula Bandha," which is the root of the spine, the pelvic floor, the perineum. Bringing awareness to these areas in a yoga class will help you be more in touch with them overall and can help you enjoy having sex more. In the challenging physical postures such as downward dog, chatarunga, supta konasana and plow pose, engaging Mula Bandha actually helps lift the pelvic-floor muscles, which increases core strength, which then functions to support and protect the spine. Engaging Mula Bandha can help with balance in postures such as warrior 3 and crow pose.
You'll feel better in your skin: Yoga is a series of physical exercises and postures that are geared toward improving one's flexibility, strength and balance. A regular practice helps to strengthen, and tone your body, and all of these will make you feel better about yourself. Improved self-thoughts about your appearance will boost your body confidence and self-esteem. All of these will help you boost your personal life.
Yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety: By transferring focus and attention to breathing and the body, yoga can help to lower anxiety and release physical tension. Lower stress levels at the end of the day can lead to feeling better about being with your partner. If you are not worried about other things and feel mentally balanced, you are more likely to want and be able to give to your significant other. It will allow you to relax and enjoy sex, which makes it even better. The calming, toning practice can be a wonderful escape from the stressors of daily life, while increasing your flexibility and strength to boot. This will also bring increased relationship satisfaction along with improvements in sex life and intimacy levels. It brings overall satisfaction, better communication and trust among couples along with the overall reduction in stress and anxiety.
Yoga can increase the beta endorphin hormone release from the brain which gives a sense of well-being, improve immunity and prevents infections in turn increasing our reproductive health. With better hormone balance, there is increased sexual desire and reproductive function, also an increase in sperm production.
Regular yoga practice may improve the interaction between the brain and the reproductive system in both men and women. There are many positive and negative feedback systems in our reproductive endocrinology and even a subtle imbalance disrupts the whole system.
With better hormone balance, there is increased sexual desire and reproductive function, also an increase in sperm production.
Yoga indirectly improves the reproductive health by improving immunity and thereby decreasing infections which damages the vaginal, tubal and uterine bacterial flora and thus preventing pregnancy.
It increases the success rates of Assisted Reproductive Technologies like In vitro Fertilisation and Intra uterine Insemination by reducing the stress levels; thereby improving ovulation and sperm production.
Women with high levels of stress biomarkers like cortisol have less chance of conceiving during ovulation and also an increased risk of miscarriage. Therefore Yoga can play a major role in these people.
Breathing, meditation, asanas can reduce pain levels in people suffering from painful periods and pain during sexual intercourse, thus in turn increasing the odds of conception. The beginners should focus on breathing and poses which are comfortable. Above all it is safe. The key is to start slow.
Benefits of Yoga during pregnancy
Yoga helps you in dealing with the symptoms of pregnancy like morning sickness and mood swings, ensuring smoother and easier delivery, and faster recovery after childbirth. So, if you want to make your pregnancy and childbirth a peaceful and easy journey, you must go for a prenatal yoga class during and after your pregnancy. Look for a prenatal yoga programme where you are comfortable with the activities, style, and the yoga class environment. Always remember doing "Lamaze" which is a simple breathing yoga techniques, it always encourages you to be active throughout your pregnancy and increases your sense of wellbeing.
All the exercises should be started pre pregnancy so as to have the best result during pregnancy. Do not start exercise for the first time in the first trimester except the breathing exercises under the supervision and consultation of your gynaecologist/ fertility expert.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])