A new study claims that sexually unsatisfied women who practised the eastern techniques of mindfulness and yoga reported improvements in levels of
arousal and desire, as well as better orgasms. In addition, yoga has been found to effectively treat premature ejaculation in men.
Eastern practices have been touted as sexually beneficial for years - as the article states, the techniques have "their origin in the Kama Sutra of the fourth to sixth centuries."
But authors Lori Brotto of the University of British Columbia, Michael Krychman of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine, and Pamela Jacobson of The Healing Sanctuary in Tustin, California, think that recent research findings warrant increased attention, and respect, from western medicine.
Mindfulness - an awareness of the present moment, also a key component in yoga -- proved especially beneficial in a study, cited in the article, that asked women to study pennies in detail. The coins were then collected, and each woman was asked to find her original penny. Every woman was successful. "In our experience, (nearly) all women feel that they have a problem with remaining focused; they are highly distractible," the article states. "However, after this penny exercise, they accept the notion that they can focus their mind if they so choose." The study then went on to encourage body-awareness exercises, which eventually had a sexual goal.
Not all eastern-based benefits manifest in the mind. The article cites another study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, published in September 2007, in which 68 Indian men who suffered from premature ejaculation were given a choice of yoga-based, non-pharmacological treatment or Prozac. The men who practiced yoga for one hour each day "had both subjective and statistically significant improvements in their intra-ejaculatory latencies, similar to participants in the pharmacologic treatment group."
Another recent study said yoga is being used to help the homeless people in Manhattan beat their winter blues. Instructor Karen Nourizadeh offers yoga lessons to a group of destitutes at an East Side shelter, who come to the centre wearing tattered clothes to center their topsy-turvy lives. "I want to do yoga for people who really need it. I really want them to take all that pressure and stress and throw it out the window," she said.