Facts About Yoga for erectile dysfunction

What to know about yoga for erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man cannot achieve or maintain an erection. Research suggests that practicing yoga on a daily or a similarly frequent basis may help men enjoy improved sexual health.

There can be many causes of erectile dysfunction or ED, ranging from restricted blood flow to medications being taken by the man, to psychological and emotional concerns.

While some ED causes may require medical treatment, men are exploring alternative medicine techniques to reduce ED. One such example is yoga.

Fast facts on 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.

 

What causes ED?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when you have trouble getting and keeping an erection that is firm enough to have sex. There are many reasons you may develop ED, including issues with blood flow or hormones. You may also develop ED if you have a chronic health condition, like heart disease or diabetes.

Stress and anxiety can make matters worse. While ED isn’t always a reason for concern for your overall health, you may want to try some lifestyle changes to see if they help before seeking medication.

 

The best yoga poses for ED

Research does not currently exist about specific yoga poses and their benefits in reducing ED. However, researchers writing in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences have made observations on the body of knowledge about yoga, stress relief, and sexual function. The five poses listed below are based on their recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes)

This pose is intended to promote digestion and blood flow to major organs, including the liver, spleen, pancreas, and pelvic region:

 

 

How to do it:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siddasana

The Siddasana is a classic yoga position, sometimes called Perfect Pose, and can be maintained for a long time. For men, it has the benefit of stimulating the pelvic region and promoting flexibility:

 

 

How to do it:

  • 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 remain in this position and practice deep breathing. He may wish to uncross the legs and repeat by crossing the right leg first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garduasana

Also known as Eagle Pose, this standing pose requires balance. A man should perform it near a wall or sturdy piece of furniture if he is developing his balance. This pose is known for increasing blood flow to the pelvis, making it potentially beneficial for those with ED.

 

 

How to do it:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pavanamuktasana

The pavanamuktasana is also known as Wind-Relieving Pose because it promotes intestinal motility and can relieve stomach pains from gas.

Additionally, it helps to mobilize and warm the pelvic muscles and reproductive organs.

 

 

How to do it:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Shavasana

Also known as Corpse Pose, this is often the last pose performed in a yoga class.

While almost anyone can perform the shavasana, it can be one of the most difficult to do well.

This is because it involves being quiet, introspective, and focusing on one’s breathing.

 

 

 

How to do it:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paschimottanasana

This posture is also known as a seated forward bend. It can help relax pelvic muscles that are tense from sitting for long periods of time and promote better blood flow. This pose also works to calm you and relieve mild depression.

 

 

 

How to do it:

  • Start by sitting on your yoga mat with your legs out in front of you. You may want to use a folded blanket for added support. Rock your body slightly to the left and use your hand to pull the right sit bone (the bones that make up your bottom) away. Repeat on the other side.
  • Inhale, keeping your upper body length. Lean forward and lengthen your tailbone as you reach the floor. If you can, grab your feet with your hands as you fully extend your elbows. You can also use a yoga strap around your feet for assistance with this stretch.
  • Hold this pose for between one and three minutes. Focus on your breath and see if you can slowly relax and release your body. In time, you may be able to reach your hands beyond your feet — but don’t force yourself before you’re ready.

 

 

 

Uttanasana

Also known as standing forward bend, uttanasana is a staple in many yoga routines. This intense stretch may help you with anxiety. Some say it even helps with infertility while also improving digestion and stimulating the organs in the abdomen.

 

 

 

 

How to do it:

  • Stand at the head of your mat with your hands on your hips. As you exhale, bend your torso forward hinging from your hips. Be sure to focus on lengthening your torso forward versus simply folding over.
  • Bring your fingers to the floor in front of your feet. Try your best to keep your knees straight, but if you’re new to this pose, a soft bend in the knee is OK. If you cannot reach your feet with your hands, cross your forearms and hold onto your elbows.
  • Try to relax into this pose for between 30 seconds and a full minute. When you inhale, try to lift your torso and lengthen your body a bit more. When you exhale, try to relax deeper into the stretch. Check to see if your head and neck are relaxed by nodding “yes” and “no” while in the position.

 

 

 

Baddha Konasana

You may have heard this yoga move referred to as Bound Angle Pose or even Butterfly Pose. Along with stretching the inner thighs and groin, it stimulates the prostate gland along with the bladder, the kidneys, and the organs in the abdomen.

 

 

 

 

How to do it:

  • Start by sitting on your mat with your legs extended in front of you. You may also raise your pelvis up onto a blanket for more comfort. Bend your knees as you exhale, pulling your heels in toward your pelvis one at a time. Then drop your knees to either side and press the bottoms of your feet together.
  • Use your first and second fingers to grab your big toes or grab your ankles or shins with your hands. Alternatively, you can bring your arms behind you with your fingers pointing out toward the wall behind you.
  • Try staying in this pose for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. As you inhale and exhale, work on lengthening your torso. It may help to pretend someone is pulling upward on a string attached to the top of your head.

 

 

 

Janu Sirsasana

The head-to-knee pose is best performed on an empty stomach. It helps with your flexibility, especially in the hamstring muscles, back, thighs, and hips. It also helps with blood flow in the lower abdomen and groin. Along with the physical benefits, it can be a great stress reliever.

 

 

 

How to do it:

  • Sit on your mat with your legs extended out in front of you. As you inhale, bend one of your knees and bring your heel toward your pelvis. Rest your sole against your thigh and then release your knee toward the floor. If your knee doesn’t reach the floor, you can use a blanket to support it.
  • Inhale and raise both of your hands up. Exhale and hinge forward — keeping a lengthened spine — over your extended leg. Try to bring your chin to your knee and even clasp your hands around your foot.
  • Try staying in this pose for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then raise up with your arms extended overhead as your inhale and return to sitting. Repeat this pose on the other side for balance in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

Dhanurasana

Also known as Bow Pose, this powerful floor move helps to stimulate the reproductive organs and get the blood moving to these areas. It also helps to stretch all the muscles in the front of your body, including the thighs and groin. Bow Pose may even help with your overall posture.

 

 

 

 

How to do it:

  • Lay facedown on your mat on your stomach. Your feet should be hip-width apart and your arms should be at your sides.
  • Raise your legs behind you as you simultaneously raise your upper body and reach for your ankles with your hands. Once you have a good grasp, pull your legs up and back while keeping your chest off the floor. Keep steady contact with the floor through your pelvis.
  • Try staying in this pose for 20 to 30 seconds. Take a few deep breaths after you exhale and release from this pose. Repeat a few more times as feels good to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga poses to avoid

While there is not necessarily yoga poses that will negatively impact a man’s sexual performance, any pose performed incorrectly could overstretch or strain the body.

For this reason, it is often best for someone beginning yoga practice to seek the advice of a professional yoga instructor.

 

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

Because high blood pressure and excess weight are both linked with ED, the benefits highlighted above could help a man reduce the incidence of ED.

The journal article also suggests that yoga increases blood flow to the genitals, which could enhance sexual function.

 

Yoga specific studies :

Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine studied 65 men from 24 to 60 years old who participated in 12 weeks of yoga sessions.

The participants were asked to score their sexual function before and after their yoga practice. At the end of the 12 weeks, men reported increases in ejaculatory control, erection, and orgasm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stress reduction :

Another article published in the journal Andrologia asked men diagnosed with ED to take the medication tadalafil (Cialis) or to take tadalafil and to take part in a stress management program as well.

After 8 weeks, men participating in the stress management program showed a reduction in their stress and in the stress hormone cortisol, which resulted in better sexual function measurements.

While the men did not participate in yoga specifically as part of their stress management, yoga is a stress-managing practice.