Improve your sex life with yoga
Flexibility and strength are essential for all human activity, including the more demanding acts of sex or procreation. A regular yoga practice will go a long way in making you a considerate and efficient partner. However, some poses are more designed towards increasing your performance in the bedroom simply because these engage the uro-genital system, increase blood flow to the pelvic region, make the hips more flexible and encourage spinal and limb flexibility. Stamina-boosting poses should also be part of this repertoire to give you endurance.
Since the reproductive hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine are also mood elevators, it is assured that you will feel upbeat by practicing these moves. Also, most of these poses are involved with impulse control and practicing them can be life-transformative by creating a sense of rare emotional stability.
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For more of Shameem's yoga writings visit http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com.
Follow Shameem's yoga products on her online shop Yogatique on Rediff Shopping here. Shameem's second book Yoga in the workplace, with photographs by ace photographer Fawzan Husain, is now available at online shops and bookshops across the country.
Disclaimer: This column just shares the columnist's passion for yoga which is ideally learned under the guidance of an expert.
Image: Yoga exercises for better sex
Photographs: Jahnavi Sheriff
5 yoga exercises for a better sex life
To ensure that the package is complete, you may use sun salutes or suryanamaskars as a warm-up to boost your lung and heart capacity. Pranayama (breathing exercises) practices like kapalabhati (skull-cleanser breath) and alternate nostril breathing like anulom vilom help enhance your overall stamina and sense of emotional control.
You need to gradually build your stamina in these poses so that you are able to hold them at least for half a minute after a few weeks. Holding poses for longer also improves your figure and tones the body; further enhancing your sense of confidence and sense of inner wellbeing.
Here, Shameem Akthar, yoga acharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, takes you through five yogic practices that will enhance your sex life:
1. Prasarita padottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend)
Stand up straight, with your feet a meter or so apart. Your feet should be pointed forward.
Inhale, raising both your hands. Exhale, lower your hands to ground, placing them on either side of your head as shown. Flare your elbows out, while walking your feet further apart, if need be. Try to touch the crown of your head to the ground (initially this may be difficult, so you can place a bolster where your head can rest).
Like most wide-legged poses, this one also challenges the hip and pelvic region, making it more open and encouraging more blood flow to the region. Flexibility and stamina are other benefits.
Image: Prasarita padottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend)
Uttanasana (Standing forward bending stretch)
Stand straight, with your feet together. Interlock your hands gently behind. Inhale.
Exhaling, lower your head towards your thighs, as shown. Continue breathing as you extend your hands as high as you can, fingers still interlocked.
Hold for as long as you can, gradually increasing duration in the final pose with regular practice over several weeks.
The rush of blood to the brain works on the master glands which are involved with hormonal health in the rest of the body, including the pelvic region. Being relaxed is a great way to ensure endurance.
Image: Uttanasana (Standing forward bending stretch)
Utthita parsvakonasana (Extended side-stretch)
Stand up straight, with your feet a meter apart. Point your right foot towards the right side, your left foot slightly flared inwards. Inhale.
Exhaling, lunge to the right, bending your right knee. Keep both your feet flat on the ground, ensure you are not bending your knees. Inhale.
Exhaling pass your right hand under your right thigh, bring your palms together to form a namaste gesture as shown. Inhale.
Exhaling, twist your torso slightly but firmly (this challenges your sense of balance most, so balancing might be slightly difficult). Look up at the ceiling, feeling the stretch along your hips.
Continue normal breathing, holding to a count of five or ten. (Increase duration in this pose over a few weeks of practice). Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat the entire sequence for the left side.
Same as in the previous poses, only more enhanced. The challenge to balance works out the cerebellum, encouraging impulse control and emotional culturing.
Image: Utthita parsvakonasana (Extended side-stretch)
Ushtrasana (Camel pose)
Sit on your knees as shown, with knees slightly apart. Place your palms on your waist, elbows out. Inhale.
Exhaling, tilt your head back, bending from the waist, to drop your neck behind. Keep pushing your stomach out since this intensifies the stretch along your lower back. Hold for a few seconds, breathing normally.
Inhale, returning to the start position. Repeat a few times. After a few weeks of regular practice, you may do this just once but hold for longer.
Expands lung capacity, lifts mood. The forward thrust works the pelvic and hip region. Is also a stamina-builder.
Image: Ushtrasana (Camel pose)
Baddha Konasana (Leg-lock angle pose)
Sit with the soles of your feet together and hold them with both your hands. Push your knees down firmly, holding them down. Continue normal breathing throughout.
Hold for a while, release. Repeat a few times.
This is powerfully therapeutic in all major uro-genital problems. It works the pelvic region and induces the flow of feel-good hormones.
Image: Baddha Konasana (Leg-lock angle pose)