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Yoga and female sexual function

APR 2010

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You can get instant online access to all of the articles from the April 2010 issue of Harvard Women's Health Watch for only $5.

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In a small preliminary study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, women ages 22 to 55 who were enrolled in a 12-week yoga program experienced improvements in several aspects of sexual function, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. For one hour a day, the women practiced 22 yoga postures (asanas) believed to have positive effects on abdominal and pelvic muscle tone, digestion, joint function, and mood. The specific asanas used in the study are listed in the chart below.

Yoga postures (asanas)

Sanskrit name

Also known as

kapalabhati

cleansing breath

vajrasana

diamond throne

yoga mudra

symbol of yoga

marjariasana

cat’s posture

pavanmuktasana

hanging in the air

viparita karani mudra

legs up the wall

matsyasana

fish posture

halasana

plow posture

ardha matsyendrasana

half spinal twist

paschimottanasana

back stretching posture

parvatasana

mountain posture

bhujangasana

snake posture

shalabhasana

locust posture

naukasana

boat posture

dhanurasana

bow posture

bhushirasana

preliminary headstand

hamsasana

swan posture

chakrasana

wheel posture

trikonasana

triangle posture

uddiyana bandha

abdominal lock

pranayama

breath control

shavaisana

dead posture

Source: Journal of Sexual Medicine, Feb. 2010, pp. 964-970.