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About Male Reproductive Health & Yoga

by
author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
About Male Reproductive Health & Yoga
The power of yoga to reduce stress can boost fertility. Photo Credit Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Getty Images

Yoga can be a powerful way to increase a man's libido and fertility. Regularly twisting, breathing and bending helps regulate a man's hormonal function and reduces stress, both of which promote good reproductive health.

Some poses can stimulate circulation and attention to reproductive organs, while the practice as a whole changes a man's emotional state to promote greater well being. In addition, yoga can help combat some of the external factors that affect sperm production, including obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. Of course, yoga can't guarantee perfect reproductive health, but it can encourage lifestyle habit changes that encourage a healthier and more fertile man.

Poses to Improve Reproductive Health

In yoga, you hold specific energetic locks -- or binds -- to enhance control and power. Mula bandha, or the root lock, involves engaging the perineum to provide core stability. You use it in arm balances, standing and balancing poses and core-specific postures. Crow, Warrior I, Eagle and Boat are examples of poses during which mula bandha should be engaged.

Read More: 13 Exercises Every Man Should Do to Improve His Sex Life

In addition to enhancing your ability to do poses, mula bandha rejuvenates the reproductive region in men. It stimulates reproductive organs and increases circulation and awareness.

Success in arm balances comes from engaging mula bandha.
Success in arm balances comes from engaging mula bandha. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Mood Effects

A regular yoga practice has known positive effects on anxiety, stress, depression and mood. Men's sexual desire and reproductive health can be negatively affected by stress and depression; in some cases, it can even cause erectile dysfunction.

By correcting mood and outlook and offering tools, such as meditation and breath work, to deal with stress, yoga helps reduce these factors that interfere with a healthy reproductive system.

Physical Health

Health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, can affect a man's reproductive health. They reduce blood flow to the penis and may hamper sperm production. Yoga lifestyle interventions, including a regular practice and meditation, help reduce the inflammation associated with these health concerns, found a study published in a 2014 issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research. As a result of this general improvement in health, reproductive health also improves.

Weight

Heart disease, diabetes and inflammation are often the results of being overweight or obese, which can seriously interfere with fertility too. Adopting a regular yoga practice, along with healthier eating patterns and more physical activity, can help a man drop some weight and improve health markers, such as blood pressure and blood sugar levels. A healthier, leaner body is likely to be more fertile.

Yoga may not offer enough exercise to lead to the calorie deficit that brings about weight loss, but it can inspire healthier habits. A man who regularly attends yoga can become more aware of bodily sensations, particularly indicators of fullness so he doesn't overeat. A regular yoga practice may also discourage him from making poor dietary choices; it just doesn't feel good to down a burger, fries and milkshake before you go into Downward Facing Dog.

Your reproductive health improves with a healthy body.
Your reproductive health improves with a healthy body. Photo Credit m-imagephotography/iStock/Getty Images

Lifestyle Effects

A regular yoga practice can replace negative habits, such as drinking too much or smoking, which negatively affect fertility. Yoga also provides you with tools to deal with the triggers that can drive you to these vices. You learn to breathe through stress or better process anxiety-inducing situations. Of course, these effects of yoga don't happen overnight. It might take several months of a regular practice to reap the benefits.

Hot Yoga

No solid medical evidence implicates hot yoga, specifically Bikram, which is practiced in 105 degrees F with 40 percent humidity, in male infertility, but extreme heat is a suspect in decreased sperm production. Temporary overheating of the testicles can slash sperm counts, reports Preconception Weekly. When you're trying to conceive, it's recommended men avoid hot tubs and saunas. It might also make sense to put your Bikram practice on hold and seek out a vinyasa practice in a room-temperature environment if you're trying to get your partner pregnant.

Read More: Effect of Exercise on Sex Drive

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