Last week, The New York Times detailed recent allegations that Ansuara yoga founder, John Friend, has been involved in sexual misconduct, leaving yogis around the globe in a less than enlightened state. Despite this heart-wrenching revelation, I am delighted that my classic recommendation of yoga, for patients suffering from low libido and sexual dysfunction, is becoming a mainstream notion.
Hatha yoga is the root of many modern forms of yoga practiced around the globe, however many followers have been surprised to learn that this form of yoga stems from Tantra – a discipline known for its sexual premise. Despite the original intent of Hatha yoga, followers have rarely been made aware of this basis and many feel betrayed, having always associated the practice with discipline, purity and meditation.
Yogis should rest easy – yoga can take on a new form of well-being – sexual well-being. Science has revealed that those roots were anything but an excuse for group sexual encounters, everything about yoga – the poses, the deep breathing, the intense meditation – all evokes responses in the brain nearly identical or, in most cases, indistinguishable from those evoked by sexual arousal, orgasm and interaction with a lover.
Studies out of Russia and India observed increases testosterone, the hormone of arousal, in both men and women practicing yoga. Scientists at the University of British Columbia witnessed the effects of fast breathing – a common practice in many yoga classes – which increases blood flow to the genitals. In India, men and women who began practicing yoga reported a vast improvement in their sex lives. Many shared that they felt enhanced pleasure and satisfaction as well as increased emotional bonding.
All of these effects have been proven strong enough to not only impact healthy individuals, but also individuals who are suffering from low libido. When studies like these come to light, the facts of the matter are hard to ignore. Yoga is among my favorite prescription for relationships that are suffering sexually and/or individuals who have lost their sex drive – it is an all-in-one activity – good health, great sex and less stress!