It’s undeniable that yoga has many mental and physical benefits, especially with new studies confirming so. It seems we are continually finding even more ways that yoga boosts our health aside from common ailments like anxiety or chronic pain.
In fact, we know that certain yoga postures may boost fertility. With International Women’s Day coming up March 8th, what a fitting time to keep the conversation going about our reproductive health.
Each year, International Women’s Day has a different theme and this year’s focus is #balanceforbetter as a call for driving gender balance across the world. With that balance comes a discussion regarding women’s health, and more specifically, sexual health.
According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, sexual dysfunction is a widespread problem among women with common symptoms including reduced vaginal lubrication, pain and discomfort during intercourse, decreased sense of arousal and difficulty in achieving orgasm. So prevalent, in fact, that it affects 40% of women; but unlike the staggering amount of FDA approved prescription drugs for male erectile dysfunction, there is only one FDA approved prescription medication called Addyi for women with a low sex drive.
Fortunately, we can use the healing power of yoga to regain control of our reproductive health. A study published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that routine yoga practice improves several facets of sexual function in women such as libido, arousal, and orgasm. Not to mention that yoga and meditation train your mind to cope with stress, which is a major cause of low libido as well.
Below are a handful of poses from the study, as well as a few extras, that can have positive effects on overall sexual health and satisfaction in women:
[Note: Those suffering from back conditions may find the twisting challenges the back. In doubt, skip to the next posture below]. This particular pose engages almost all of the body. It stretches the hips and groins, stimulates the abdominal organs, and can help relieve the symptoms of menopause.
In this pose, the weight of your body on the navel area from lying on your stomach massages the digestive organs and stimulates the reproductive organs, therefore improving the function of the ovaries, as well as vaginal glands that provide lubrication during sexual arousal. This pose also enhances the circulation of blood and oxygen in the pelvic region.
3. Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Aside from many physical benefits, this pose is believed to have great energetic benefits as well, such as awakening the cosmic energy called Kundalini. Generally speaking, a Kundalini Awakening is an experience that shifts energy from the base of the spine upward which can generate waves of intense pleasure or bliss, even leading to orgasm.
4. Root Lock (Mula Bandha)
This practice supports both the body and the mind. It strengthens and stretches the pelvic floor muscles, while it also balances the mind. This helps women become mindful of sensations in the genital area, thus improving sexual desire and overall sexual experience.
5. Frog Pose (Bhekasana)
An excellent pose for strengthening pelvic floor muscles, the “frog pose” also alleviates symptoms of vestibulodynia (pain in the entrance of the vagina), in addition to vaginismus, involuntary spasms of vaginal muscles which close the vagina and prevents women from enjoying penetrative sex.
Although sexuality can be a difficult topic to address, it’s a crucial part of a woman’s overall well-being. We have made great strides towards women’s rights when it comes to sexual and reproductive health, and International Women’s Day is a perfect reminder of just that.
Remember, it’s important to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. Be gentle and patient with yourself on your yoga journey, and always remember to focus on the breath!