Can yoga cure erectile dysfunction (ED)? Yoga has many benefits that can lead to cure Erectile Dysfunction. However, the efficacy of yoga will entirely depend on the underlying cause.
The Biological Process of Erection
In order to choose specific yoga exercises to address erectile dysfunction, one must know biologically what body parts involve in the process of erection.
When your senses perceive something erotic, they send a message to your brain. Your brain sends this signal down your spine, and then your pelvic nerves stimulate the blood vessel-filled tissues in your penis to open up. A rush of blood flows into your penis, causing an erection. At many stages, the male hormones engage to trigger the desired effects.
Thus you can imagine, that with so many biological entities, playing their dedicated part, the potential causes are too many. Disorder of any single entity involved in the process can lead to erectile dysfunction.
How yoga can help you with Erectile Dysfunction?
Yoga is a holistic practice. Unlike modern medicine, yoga never aims to give you a superficial remedy. The foundation of yoga is based on addressing the root biological mechanisms in our body 1.
With the right practices, yoga can not only help treat erectile dysfunction but prevent it as well.
Benefits of yoga that can manage and treat ED are:
- Increase your blood flow
- Speed up injury healing
- Regulate hormone secretion
- Boost nervous functions
- Strengthen your spine
- Clear blockages in blood vessels
- Keep your blood pressure in check
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Reduce bodyweight
- Aid sleep and eliminate stress
In the case of erectile dysfunction, the above benefits of yoga can be seen in different ED causes.
1. Yoga on underlying disease induced ED
A major chunk of erectile dysfunction cases worldwide is due to underlying causes such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In such cases, you will need to practice yoga poses, that heal the underlying cause. Which will indirectly heal your Erectile Dysfunction.
For example, if your erectile dysfunction is a result of high blood pressure, try child’s pose. In high blood pressure, the blood flow to your penile tissues is interrupted, thus preventing the erection. Child’s pose has great potential of normalizing blood flow to all parts of your body, including your penis.
2. Yoga on stress induced ED
Stress has many ways of causing ED. As a matter of fact, stress-induced erectile dysfunctions can have many forms. ED from stress can be both persistent and intermittent. This variation is mostly because of the range of stress and anxiety humans go through 2.
Stress can interrupt your blood flow, it can meddle with your sense of perception, it can interfere the nerve connectivity and it can cause hormonal disruption.
The meditative and restorative yoga poses have a serene effect on your mind. Such poses can easily untangle your mental blocks and put your mind and nerves at ease. With daily practice, you will gradually feel your stress dissipating.
3. Yoga on internal Injury induced ED
Internal injuries can also be a very common cause of erectile dysfunction. Injuries to soft tissues, vessel walls, nerves, and even your spine, can all lead to erectile dysfunction.
A common injury-related condition leading to ED is Peyronie’s disease. A condition where the soft penile tissues are injured, and on healing, they form a thick scar that bends the penis and obstructs blood flow.
Yoga poses can relax your tissues, which will trigger healthy cell regeneration. Further, yoga will also help mobilize the nutrients to the tissues that need healing. Yoga poses can be very specific to the injury region. For example, the butterfly pose can have a positive effect on injuries of the pelvic and groin region.
4. Yoga on nervous disorder induced ED
Your nerves play a very pivotal role in erection. They carry the message of stimulus at every stage. Thus nervous disorders can easily lead to erectile dysfunction.
Nerves are often damaged due to two reasons, trauma or stress overload. In both cases, what your nerves need to heal is a bit of stretching and rest. This is precisely what yoga provides, both to your nerves and your spine. There are multiple yoga poses when it comes to nervous health. Downward dog, shoulder stand, tree pose, and bridge pose, are just a few examples.
5. Yoga for lack of testosterone
Yoga can help you calm your parasympathetic nerves, which will further reduce the production of stress hormones. Reduced stress hormones will lead to increased production of testosterone.
Testosterone, or the male reproductive hormone, is something you will need for the basic stimulus process. Low levels of testosterone will discourage your brain to create a stimulating response; consequently losing your erection.
Yoga poses with a good blend of rest and stretch, like the cobra, will help you boost your testosterone count. Increased testosterone levels stimulate sperm production as well as a man’s sex drive, hence reduce ED.
Yoga Poses for Erectile Dysfunction
Practice these 6 yoga poses to promote relaxation in pelvis muscles, which can help manage ED and premature ejaculation.
This pose is an excellent spinal twist that will help your nervous system functioning better. Practicing this pose will ensure that your parasympathetic nerves are relaxed and healed for carrying the signals that lead to an erection. Relaxed nerves will also promote healthy testosterone levels. The abdominal twist will also encourage healthy hormonal activity in your abdominal region.
- Sit in a staff position.
- Bend up your right knee.
- Fold your left leg, and take your left foot from under your right knee, and to your right side.
- Now press your left heel against your right sitting bone.
- Put your right foot over your left knee, as the heel of your right foot is pressed against your left knee.
- Hold your right knee with your left hand, and twist your body from your torso, and turn to your right.
- Turn 90 degrees to your right and plant your right palm on the ground behind your buttocks, to lock your position.
- Take 5-7 breaths and repeat the twist on the other side.
Initially keep a support right behind you. Something you can hold on to and pull your twist. This keep your twist stable, and reduce chances of injury.
The butterfly pose will open up the groin and pelvic floor. It will relax all soft tissues in the region and establish a proper blood flow. An appropriate blood flow to your pelvic region will encourage your erection. Butterfly pose will also stimulate your prostate glands and encourage healthy testosterone production.
- Sit in a cross legged pose.
- Open up your legs and join your soles Infront of your groin.
- Clasp your hands around your feet and draw them closer to your groin; almost touching, but not.
- Don’t let your knees on either sides, drop on the ground. Keep comfortable distance between your knees and the floor.
- Keep your back straight, and shoulders dropped down.
- Look straight and gently lean forward by about 10 degrees.
- Stay in this position for a comfortable duration. About 30 seconds will give you ideal benefits, but if very comfortable you can hold longer.
Keeping your knees clear off the ground is very important. If your knees drop down they can strain your groin crease. Which is why you can put to yoga blocks under each of your knee. This will even let you increase your hold without Straining your groin.
3. Kegel muscle squeeze
Your kegel muscles are important to almost all of your penile functions, including your erection. These muscles play a unique role in maintaining your erection.
Kegel muscle exercises will help you get an erection, maintain and erection and even reduce chances of premature ejaculation.
- Lie supine with arms stretched out or by your sides.
- Bend your knees up.
- Now feel your kegel muscles, the muscles in your pelvic floor that you use to urine and ejaculate, and even withhold ejaculation or urination.
- Contract those muscles, to draw your penis inwards.
- Hold these muscles for 5 seconds and release.
- Now similar to your penile kegel muscles, feel your anal kegel muscles and contract them inward.
- Hold the contraction for 5 seconds and release.
- Repeat the contraction of both types of kegel muscles for about 10 times
Your kegel muscles are specifically designed for your penile and anal activities. Thus, they don’t get exercise very often. Thus specifically exercising your kegel muscles is of the highest priority, in cases of ED and premature ejaculation.
Boat pose is a good pose to strengthen the entire group of muscles that engage in different penile activities. This exercise will reduce the chance of internal injuries, and heal any existing one. Boat pose will also build a lot of core strength.
- Sit in a staff pose and bend up your knees.
- Keep your legs at hip length apart.
- Hold your hamstring with your hands and lean back.
- Lean back to a point, before pressing down your tailbone.
- Hold your upper body still, and lift up your lower legs from your knees.
- Your lower legs need to come parallel to the ground.
- If you find the strength, you can leave your hands and balance them by the sides of your knees.
- Hold the pose for 5 breaths and repeat the pose 3 times.
This pose initially can have an sideward pull on your thighs, which you will need to resist. Keeping your knees joined is a must. Thus to aid this issue, you can belt your thighs together.
Wind relieving is essentially a pose designed for abdominal benefits. However, if you have any underlying disorder related to your abdominal region, that is leading to your erectile dysfunction, this pose will be most beneficial. Wind relieving pose can also increase blood flow to your penis and relieve stress.
- Lie supine on the ground.
- Fold your knees up and join them.
- Draw them closer to your chest and hug them with your hands around them.
- Pull your knees toward your chest.
- Lift up your head and bury in your knees, and stretch out your toes.
- Take 5 steady breaths, release, and return to lying supine.
- Repeat the pose 5 times.
Forcefully burying your head into your knees can strain your neck region; maybe injure your spine. Thus as you get into the hold, free on hand from your knee hug and bring it under your head for support.
Forward seated bend is the best way to relax and supple up the tense pelvic muscles. Tense pelvic muscles can build pressure on blood vessels leading upto your penis. Eventually restricting the blood flow needed for an erection. This pose acts as a stress reliever as well.
- For forward seated bend, start by seating in a staff position.
- Keeping your upper body straight bring it down towards your knees.
- The goal is to bend, till your head touches your knees.
- Take support for the hold, by holding the sides of your knees with your hands.
- Do not bend your knee during the entire pose.
- Take 5 breaths on the hold.
- Repeat the bend 5 times
If your knees seem to bend irrespective of how hard you try, and forcing seems to strain the sides of your kneecap, then don’t push. Bend down your upper body only as far as you can do so without bending your knees.
Yoga Mudras for Erectile Dysfunction
Apart from regular yoga poses, Kaya mudras of yoga are great stretching exercises to relieve erectile dysfunction.
Ashwini Mudra and Vajroli Mudra are two important mudras which focuses on pelvic muscles, hence helpful in controlling erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
- Ashwini Mudra – Contracting the sphincter muscles of the anus and then relaxing them.
- Vajroli Mudra – Drawing the urethra upward.
What research says, how effective is yoga for ED?
In a 2010 study done on the effect of yoga on male sexual functioning 3, participants having an average age of 40 years had shown significant improvement in sexual scores after the completion of 12 weeks yoga session.
Yoga with some ayurvedic herbs like gokshuradi has also shown positive results for sexual health in men, found in a study conducted at the National Institute of Ayurveda Jaipur, India 4. Taking Gokshuradi dose of 5gm/twice daily with water, for 45 days is effective to relieve breathlessness during coitus, excessive perspiration during coitus, premature ejaculation, pain during ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is an extremely common disorder, with almost 15 percent of men worldwide, getting affected each year. In fact, it is considered that almost all men at some point in their lives face difficulty getting or keeping an erection.
Erectile dysfunction is not life-threatening, but can surely be life-ruining. In most cases, ED leads to reduced mental satisfaction and increased stress. This can further lead to a lack of sleep, low self-esteem, and poor confidence levels.
Thankfully a disease that common is bound to have enough medical research on it. Consequently, today we have different physical therapies, diet plans, medications, and counseling sessions available to suit this condition. And you must evaluate every option at your disposal.
Yoga, however, is a very good option, that can work at its own pace, without interfering with any other treatment you are having any. Those even if you choose to practice yoga, it never necessarily eliminates other practices.
- How might Yoga work? An overview of potential underlying mechanisms https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marcy-Mccall/publication/236985959_How_Might_Yoga_Work
- Stress management and erectile dysfunction: a pilot comparative study https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/and.12129
- Yoga in Male Sexual Functioning: A Noncompararive Pilot Study http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01930.x/full
- A clinical study on the role of gokshuradi yoga in the management of klaibya (erectile dysfunction) https://www.jreim-ayushjournal.com/fulltext/82-1434455598.pdf