Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to obtain an erection or hold it. Research indicates that a regular or equally frequent practice of yoga will help men enjoy better sexual health.
There can be multiple causes of erectile dysfunction or ED, ranging from reduced blood flow to man-taken drugs to psychological and emotional problems.
Although some causes of ED may need medical attention, men are developing alternative approaches in medicine to minimize ED. Yoga is one such example.
Important facts about yoga and erectile dysfunction:
- Yoga is an ancient practice of movement and breathing.
- Research around yoga and reducing ED is increasing.
- Several studies have linked yoga and male sexual performance.
The best yoga poses for ED
There is currently no research on particular poses in yoga, and their advantages in reducing ED. Researchers writing in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences, however, have made observations on the body of information regarding yoga, relief from stress and sexual function. The following five poses are based upon their recommendations.
1: Ardha Matsyendrasana (Lord of the Half Fishes)
The purpose of this pose is to promote digestion and blood flow to major organs including the region of the liver , spleen, pancreas and pelvic:
- Begin in a seated position with the legs stretched forward.
- Bend the right leg at the knee and cross it over the left, placing the right foot on the floor.
- Inhale then exhale slowly, turning toward the right, stretch the left arm forwards, resting the left elbow on the right knee.
- Those who are particularly flexible can clasp the hands behind the back while twisting.
- Release the pose and start from the seated position. Repeat on the opposite side.
The Siddasana is a classic yoga posture which can be held for a long time, also called Perfect Pose. It has the advantage for men to stimulate the pelvic area, and to encourage flexibility:
- Sit on the floor with legs stretched forward.
- Cross the left leg at the knee, placing the left foot near the inside of the right thigh.
- Repeat the movement on the right leg, placing the right foot over the left ankle. The right heel should press against the pubic bone.
A man can stay in that position and do deep breathing. He might want to uncross the legs and repeat, first crossing the right leg.
This standing pose is also known as Eagle Pose and involves balance. If a man improves his balance, he should perform it near a wall, or a sturdy piece of furniture. This pose is known to increase blood flow to the pelvis, potentially benefiting those with ED.
- Stand straight on both legs.
- Imagine the right leg is a root connected to the ground. Lift the left leg slowly, twisting it over the right knee, placing the top of the foot on the back of the right calf if possible.
- Bend at the knee to deepen the stretch. If desired, a person can lift their arms to shoulder height and cross one over the other.
- Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, release, and repeat on the other leg.
Also known as Wind-Relieving Pose is the pavanamuktasana, since it encourages intestinal motility and can relieve gas stomach pains.
In addition , it helps the pelvic muscles and reproductive organs relax and warm up.
- Lie down on the floor, legs outstretched.
- Inhale then exhale and bring one knee toward the chest. Circle the arms around the knee, pulling the leg as close to the stomach as possible.
- Continue to inhale and exhale while maintaining the position.
- Release and lower the leg. Repeat on the opposite side.
Often known as Corpse Pose, the last pose done in a yoga class is always this.
While nearly everyone can perform the shavasana, it can be one of the toughest to do well.
This is because being still, introspective and concentrating on one’s breathing is involved.
- Lie with the back on the floor and arms stretched at the sides. Point the palms upward toward the sky.
- Visualize each part of the body slowly relaxing. Start with the right toes, then ankle, calf, knee, and so on. Switch to visualizing the left leg relaxing and move upward through the body.
- Breathe deeply while maintaining focus on relaxation. A person can remain in this pose for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes if desired.
Yoga poses to avoid
Although there are not necessarily yoga poses that would have a negative effect on the sexual performance of a man, any improperly executed pose could overstretch or strain his body.
For this reason it is always best to seek guidance from a certified yoga teacher for anyone starting yoga practice.
What do research studies say about yoga and ED?
According to a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, yoga has been shown to help reduce:
- blood pressure
- body mass index
- heart rate
Since high blood pressure and excess weight are both linked to ED, the above-mentioned benefits could help a man reduce the incidence of ED.
The article in the journal also indicates that yoga improves the blood flow to the genitals, which may improve sexual function.
Yoga specific studies
Study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine examined 65 men aged 24 to 60 who engaged in yoga sessions lasting 12 weeks.
Before and after their yoga session the participants were asked to rate their sexual feature. At the end of the 12 weeks, men registered eyaculatory function, erection and orgasm increases.
Another article published in the journal Andrologia asked men diagnosed with ED to take the tadalafil (Cialis) drug or take tadalafil and also engage in a stress management program.
After 8 weeks, men involved in the stress management program demonstrated a decrease in their stress and in the cortisol stress hormone resulting in improved measures of sexual function.
Although the men did not directly engage in yoga as part of their stress management, yoga is a stress-managing activity.
A man should discuss his overall health with his doctor to ensure he’s well enough for some yoga activities. There are, for example, Bikram and “hot” yoga practices which include performing yoga in a very hot studio. This approach to yoga might not be recommended for men with blood pressure and cardiac issues, as it may be too strenuous.