Relax, breathe… erection! • Yoga Guide

Erection! • yoga

How can we make erection easier? What are the mechanisms behind a healthy erection?

In order for erection to occur we need to relax. It is only when we are relaxed that blood remains in the central body and available to the penis. If we are under stress, blood is directed to the arms and legs as a result of sympathetic activity and the fight-or-flight reflex, making erection difficult to occur.

Once we relax and our sexual desire arises, signals are sent to the smooth muscle tissue surrounding the arteries that carry blood into the penis. Such arteries open and extra blood flows into the organ, causing erection.

Between the most common causes of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) we can find stress, anxiety and anything that interferes with penile blood flow such as smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes.

Yoga is increasingly practised worldwide because of the physical, psychological and emotional benefits it conveys, and it has the potential to address all the issues listed above. [1]
Given the inextricable link between sexual erection and yogahealth, well-being, and physical health, it is reasonable to say that yoga might be associated with improvements in sexual health.

For example, yoga moderates attention and breathing, decreases anxiety and stress, induces a state of relaxation, and modulates cardiac parasympathetic nervous activity.

Improvements in sexual response are generally associated with all of these effects. [2]

Yoga practices for men: no more Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Ancient yogis taught us to engage three primary bandhas (mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha) during yoga practice.

Bandhas are voluntary muscular contractions that help the yoga http-// to better breathe and to bring the attention inward, directing and preserving the flow of energy to specific areas of the body.

Of great interest for addressing issues of the reproductive system is mula bandha.

Mula bandha consists in a gentle and steady contraction of the perineum, the muscles located between genitals and anus.

Mula bandha, by stretching the muscles of the pelvic floor, increases blood circulation in this area.

Constant practice of mula bandha can relieve spermatorrhea, prevent inguinal hernia, and control testosterone secretion.

For such reasons, mula bandha may be helpful in aiding people who lack sexual vitality and have poor sexual functioning, addressing ED issues at the very root of their origin.  [3]

How do I activate my mula bandha?

At the very beginning, it might be not easy to locate and engage your perineum muscles. In order to do so, a simple yet effective tip is to pretend you are “holding” before going to the toilet.

You can try this simple exercise straight away, even sitting on your chair:

Now, gently, close your eyes and pretend to hold it.

Did you feel that up-lifting sensation? Those were your perineum muscles being engaged and your mula bandha activated!

When you take part to a yoga class, inquiry your teacher about the use of the bandhas and maintain the concentration on these throughout the yoga practice.

Premature Ejaculation: go with yoga!

Premature Ejaculation (PE) is another common issue affecting men. PE is the most common male sexual dysfunction, with a prevalence of 21–33%. In addition, PE is under detected and under rated because patients do not come forward for treatment easily. [4]

Yoga Vs. “Stop  & Start” Technique:

A common practice to fight PE is the “Stop&Star” Technique. The basic technique starts with stimulation of the penis towards erection and until just before the point of orgasm, and at which time a male stops sexual stimulation until arousal has subsided.

But the question is: is the “Stop&Start” Technique more efficient than yoga in addressing PE?

A 2012 study comes in our support. Such study compared the efficacy of yoga and the “stop&start” technique and it concluded that the duration of the sexual act was substantially increased with the practice of yoga asanas and pranayama. The start-stop technique group did increase their performance but it was less than that achieved by the yoga group.

In fact, yoga and pranayama are largely known to quiet the mind and to increase awareness and control of the body which may explain why yoga is such an effective tool for PE. [5]

Yoga Vs. Prozac:

In order to address premature ejaculation issues, fluoxetine (Prozac), a common, has been largely prescribed in spite of its side-effects.

A 2007 study aimed to verify rather yoga was a feasible, safe, effective, well-tolerated and acceptable non-pharmacological option for PE.

The answer was yes.

The 38 participants belonging to the yoga group file-page5practiced 12 yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises for 1 hour/day over a 12 weeks period.

Overall, they reported a better subjective and statistically significant improvement deprived of side-effect, in contrast with the Fluoxetine group (nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia) (see Table 6). [6]

What are you waiting for? Give yoga a chance!

Learn how to practice “Alternate Nostril Breathing”, one of the breathing exercises adopted in the above mentioned studies!

How often should I practice to feel the health benefits of yoga?

You will probably start to feel the health benefits of yoga with the first couple of classes.

However, as you learn the asanas (postures) and the correct way of breathing and engaging the bandhas, you will feel more comfortable and relaxed during the practice and your internal organs will be at peace too. This will trigger a cascade of chemical reaction responsible to bring about the physiological benefits of yoga.

Such benefits can be experienced after doing yoga 2-3 times a week for a month. [7]

The key for results in yoga is consistency. The most important thing is to develop a regular self-practice, no matter how short or long it is.

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[1] Sengupta, P. (2012). Health impacts of yoga and pranayama: A state-of-the-art review. International journal of preventive medicine, 3(7).

[2] Brotto, L. A., Mehak, L., & Kit, C. (2009). Yoga and sexual functioning: A review. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 35(5), 378-390.

[3] Sengupta, P., Chaudhuri, P., & Bhattacharya, K. (2013). Male reproductive health and yoga. International journal of yoga, 6(2), 87.

[4] Pryor, J. L., Althof, S. E., Steidle, C., Rosen, R. C., Hellstrom, W. J., Shabsigh, R., … & Dapoxetine Study Group. (2006). Efficacy and tolerability of dapoxetine in treatment of premature ejaculation: an integrated analysis of two double-blind, randomised controlled trials. The lancet, 368(9539), 929-937.

[5] Makwana, J. J., & Patil, P. J. (2012). Premature ejaculation: a comparative analysis between yoga and stop-start method. Indian J Res Rep Med Sci, 2, 17-20.

[6] Dhikav, V., Karmarkar, G., Gupta, M., & Anand, K. S. (2007). ORIGINAL RESEARCH—EJACULATORY DISORDERS: Yoga in Premature Ejaculation: A Comparative Trial with Fluoxetine. The journal of sexual medicine, 4(6), 1726-1732.

[7] Gaware, V. M., Dolas, R. T., Kotade, K. B, Dhamak, K.B., Somwanshi, S.B., Khadse, A. N., & Nikam, V. K. PROMOTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF FERTILITY BY YOGA.

Andrea Cristofoletto

Andrea Cristofoletto is a certified Yoga Teacher and has been studying the ancient science of yoga in India under the guidance of Sri Yogacharya Lalit Kumar from the Himalayan Tradition. He has deepened his knowledge on the therapeutic use of asana, pranayama, chanting, meditation and kriya techniques under the wise guidance of Ratheesh Kumar Atmaram. He has a BSc in Foreign Languages - Business Communication Specialist and graduated with a thesis on the socio-economic importance of the hemp fibre throughout history. Andrea has gained his experience through direct training in hemp fields practising organic agriculture.

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