In my bestselling book YogaLean, I speak extensively about the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of Yoga. Of course, I stand by yoga as an essential life practice with a unique and healing ability to unify our mental and bodily constitutions. Yoga calms the mind, tones the body; it keeps us in shape and sharpens our mental acuity– I’ve discussed these benefits extensively, but I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about some other terrific benefits of yoga that tend to get less attention.
Yoga Enhances your Sex Life!
Woohoo! The endorphins, heightened energy level, and improved flexibility we enjoy as a result of practicing yoga regularly are known to noticeably enhance our libido and performance in the bedroom. Yoga and sex go well together, and there’s every reason to be creative in experimenting with some of your favorite poses in the bedroom! The practice of mindfulness we develop in yoga also has a powerful influence on our ability to feel compassion and connection with our partners.
Yoga Relieves Period Cramps
Although the idea of going to a yoga class while suffering from the bloat and discomfort of your menses, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Poses like Cobra, Cat, and Fish are particularly soothing.
Yoga Curbs Compulsive Eating
Yoga’s focus on training the mind to stay present, to recognize the sensations of the body, and to acknowledge them non-judgmentally carries over very constructively as we struggle with cravings and emotional eating. Yoga teaches us to respond to difficult sensations with patience, curiosity, and a gentle attitude toward ourselves; it helps us to honor our desires without needing to necessarily act on them. It gives us the presence of mind to ask questions like, “I may want that extra cookie, but will it contribute to my well being?” Eating is an easy area to behave mindlessly, and yoga gives us the tools to reflect upon and drop habits that hurt us.
Yoga Prevents “Accidents”
Yoga places significant focus on engaging and strengthening the pelvic floor, the muscle group that helps you “hold it in” when you have to pee. Toning the pelvic floor for this purpose is useful for all of us, especially for women who have given birth, who are prone to struggle with urinary incontinence.
The extent of yoga’s benefits has never ceased to impress me. This practice truly does address all areas of our lives from love and sex to weight loss and PMS. If you’re ever feeling reluctant about going to a yoga class, remember that you’re not just doing it for those toned thighs and triceps you want. When you go continue to bring yourself to the mat, you give yourself a gift that keeps on giving in every aspect of your well-being.
About Beth Shaw
With more than 20 years in the business and as the President and founder of YogaFit©, Inc. the largest Yoga School in the world, Beth is recognized as one of the leading experts in the fields of “mind body fitness,” health and nutrition, and is a recognized anger management specialist. She just released her book YogaLean.
In the past she’s written columns for New York Times, HuffingtonPost, and Parade.com.