Sexual Health Q&A

Can yoga improve sexual function?

Yoga, the ancient Indian tradition that incorporates breathing and meditation with physical poses, is practiced widely nowadays. And many people find that a regular yoga practice has sexual benefits.

Here are some of the ways yoga might improve sexual function:

  • Relaxation. Stress, anxiety, and fatigue can make sex difficult or unsatisfying. Yoga can relax the body and alleviate these symptoms.
  • Improved blood flow to the genitals. For a man, relaxation of the body helps blood flow to the penis, giving him a firmer erection. For a woman, greater blood flow to the vagina aids in better sensation and lubrication.
  • Potential for better cardiovascular health. Yoga may reduce the risk of heart disease symptoms, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which can also improve genital blood flow.
  • Mindfulness. Yoga puts focus on a person’s body and breath, making the practitioner more aware of these areas. Such attention can be helpful during sex, too. Concentrating on the physical, sensual aspects of sex – and keeping the mind uncluttered – may make sex more enjoyable.
  • Flexibility. After practicing yoga for a while, the body grows accustomed to different ways of stretching, bending, and moving. This can make sex more comfortable. It can also help couples who are experimenting with new sexual positions.
  • Stronger pelvic floor muscles. Some poses strengthen and tone the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to more intense orgasms.

Patients who are new to yoga should do some research before starting a practice. A doctor can help determine which type of yoga is best. Some patients, such as those with back, neck, or shoulder issues, may need to modify poses to fit their needs. A qualified yoga instructor should be able to suggest – and teach – these adjustments.