For women over 50, yoga is an ideal workout. It lengthens and tones your muscles, reduces stress, and has calming effects. In addition, more recently, it’s ancient connections to sexuality are being recognized and appreciated. It’s usefulness in improving sexual functions and treating sexual disorders are being noticed by the medical community, especially for women over 50.
Mindfulness significantly improves several aspects of sexual response and reduces sexual distress in women with sexual desire and arousal disorders. Prescription drugs for treating female sexual dysfunctions are available but suffer from drawbacks such as poor compliance, low efficacy, and side effects. Numerous historical books cite the benefits of yoga for women’s sexuality. According to a recent British Columbia University publication, after the completion of yoga sessions, sexual functions scores for women were significantly improved. The improvement occurred in all six domains (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain). The improvement was greater in women over 45 years compared with younger women. Their conclusion: “Yoga appears to be an effective method of improving all domains of sexual functions in women.”
In a study of yoga practiced by men it was found that after yoga sessions, sexual function scores were also significantly improved. The improvement occurred in all the domains of sexual functions – desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection, ejaculatory control, orgasm.
It’s usefulness for sexual issues is not surprising given the practice’s origin. According to a New York Times article “Hatha yoga – the parent of the styles now practiced around the globe – began as a branch of Tantra. In medieval India, Tantra devotees sought to fuse the male and female aspects of the cosmos into a blissful state of consciousness”. Tantric groups spread their concepts through yoga’s basic practices including deep breathing. It was thought that these poses will increase physical stamina and blood flow, as well as help muscles heighten sexual experience.
While some cult-like aspects have been practiced by a few guru-type leaders, most yoga practice today is complementary to a modern fitness lifestyle. These practices and general fitness seen to enhance healthy sexuality as well, especially sex for women over 50.