How Yoga Can Boost Your Sex Life, According to Experts
A stronger core and greater body awareness are just some of the ways yoga improves your sex life.
You've probably heard that practicing yoga can yield a variety of health benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved respiration and heart health, and increased strength and ability to balance. But did you know that yoga can enhance your sex life, too? And no, you don't need to do any fancy moves to reap those rewards—just practicing yoga on a regular basis can yield enormous benefits in bed. Of course, the increased stamina and flexibility that come with years of practicing yoga can help for obvious reasons. What's less obvious is how yoga's focus on the mind-body connection can enhance your sexual pleasure by increasing your awareness of every tiny detail in the body.
"Each yoga pose makes you more aware of your body's sensations," Catalina Lawsin, PhD, a clinical health psychologist at Psychotherapy without Borders, told Best Life. "Is your neck tense? Does your jaw feel tight? This practice translates to how you begin to notice your sensations during sexual activity with yourself and/or a partner. The more present and connected you are to your body, the more pleasurable sex will be."
Lawsin adds that many of the postures and breathing exercises in yoga can also increase blood flow to your sexual organs, making them more sensitive. These poses and breathing techniques strengthen your core and pelvic floor—a group of muscles that support your sexual organs—which can lead to longer and deeper orgasms. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yoga can reduce erectile dysfunction in men, and for women, it can reduce pain during sex and increase lubrication and orgasms, according to a 2009 study in the same journal. That's at least in part due to the way practicing yoga regularly can help ease performance anxiety.
"High stress can cause a decline in sex libido, lower testosterone production in men, and even adversely affect women's ability to conceive," Laura Finch, a yoga instructor and founder of Yoga Kali, told Best Life. "Yoga reduces stress by decreasing sympathetic activity (AKA fight or flight response) and increasing parasympathetic activity (feed and breed response)." (This effect on the parasympathetic nervous system is also one of the reasons experts believe yoga helps you sleep better.)
But some of the sexual benefits of yoga are also psychological. A 2018 study of 75 women between the ages of 18 and 30, published in the journal Sex Roles, found that doing just 12 weeks of yoga reduced body dissatisfaction in women. And, as we all know, better body image leads to better sex.
Finally, practicing the art of moving meditation—as yoga is often called—can help strengthen your bond with your partner. One 2019 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy on 194 married, heterosexual couples in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s found that couples who practiced mindfulness had better sex lives. That's because regular yoga practice helps you pick up on someone else's body language as well.
"Yoga classes combine listening skills and communication skills," Omri Kleinberger, the CEO of the wellness and mindfulness company Ometa, told Best Life. "Even though it's only the teacher speaking, it's a dialogue, not a monologue, because the nonverbal communication aspect of the class is very profound."
And given that sex is arguably the greatest form of nonverbal communication, a little yoga could be just what the doctor ordered if you're looking to improve your sex life. And for more ways to give your sex life a boost, here are 50 Ways to Have a Healthy Sex Life After 40.