The first International Yoga Day has rightfully positioned the nearly 5,000-year old Indian system of physical and mental rejuvenation on to the global mat. But little do people know that there are some postures that, if done under proper guidance, can ramp up their sex life too.
For sound love-making, the whole idea is to make the mind tranquil so that the process of cerebral tissue oxygenation can take place in deepest of human tissues, micro-nutrients reach the tiniest parts of our brain and the genitalia get good blood supply, explain yoga and health experts.
Yoga exercises, under the supervision of a trained professional, gets you right on the top in an efficient manner.
"Daily stress, smoking, alcohol and excess sugar intake - all hamper sexual performance in both men and women to a great extent. Yoga calms the mind and helps increase blood flow to the private parts," one of the nation's top sexologists, Prakash Kothari said.
To his patients, he generally advises two yoga postures - Shavasana (corpse) and Vajrasana (kneeling).
While Shavasana leaves you in a state of rejuvenation, reducing blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia, Vajrasana makes the body exceptionally strong and healthy.
"Vajrasana also helps in digestion which is key to good health and increases the flow of blood to the whole body," said Kothari, founder-adviser of the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS).
New Delhi-based yoga expert Deepak Jha advised more yoga postures to enhance sexual pleasure.
"Postures like Paschimottanasana (seated forward bending), Halasana (plow) and Bhujangasana (cobra) help release sex hormone testosterone faster in men and also strengthen the genitalia," Jha said.
As a holistic practice, yoga can increase physical stamina and, in turn, prolong the pleasure associated with sex.
In fact, according to an abstract published recently in the journal Wiley
, yoga practices can be invaluable in prolonging sexual stamina and pleasure.
"Yoga can help one relieve stress and get physically fit. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, which eventually brings everything on place in life," says Manish Jain, senior consultant (Psychiatry) at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital.
Yoga also teaches you to control your physical energy, meaning you can make sex more intense and make the "big moments" last longer.
The postures mentioned reduce the stress hormone cortisol which means less stress and better sleep.
These also help release the essential hormone Oxytocin ("love hormone") that relieves anxiety, enhances desire for social interaction and increases sexual intimacy.
"As a lifestyle guru, yoga can help one relieve stress and this leads to a better performance between the sheets," says Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Hospital.
Global research also supports the sex-enhancing benefits of yoga. In two studies published recently in the Journal Of Sexual Medicine, more than 100 men and women aged 20 to 60 were enrolled in a 12-week yoga camp.
They were asked to complete questionnaires about their sexual satisfaction before and after the camp.
The scores in all areas of sexual function - arousal, satisfaction, performance, confidence, ejaculatory control and orgasm - were significantly improved after yoga practice, the authors found.
Pranayama (breathing exercises) is also beneficial to spruce up the bedroom life.
"If possible, learn Kumbhaka (voluntary holding of the breath) form of pranayama. It better regulates the activities of mind and increases the concentration - a must for a good love-making experience," Kothari advised.
Kumbhaka pranayama exercises are the deepest breathing exercises and have to be practiced under proper guidance.
"As it calms the mind, yoga improves the dialogue between the two individuals that leads to intimacy in the bedroom, and beyond," said Jyoti Kapoor Madan, senior consultant (Psychiatry) at Gurgaon's Paras Hospitals. So, while you count various health benefits of yoga, do not forget that the ancient Indian body of knowledge is your ticket to a super performance in bed.