Yoga and libido


#1

Hi, I am getting a little worried with the practice of yoga affecting the libido. I have a 6 day ashtanga yoga practice and my libido is very poor, which is affecting my sexual life. I even consider quitting ashtanga yoga which I enjoy so much because of this fact. I think yoga could be contributing for the libido problems.

What do you think about the relationship between yoga and libido?


#2

Yoga is a philosophy and it’s goal is enlightenment and liberation.
Try porn instead.

Namaste!


#3

Hi panoramix,
Thank you for your reply. Everyone has the right to express their opinions (showing respect). Sexual life belongs to our human condition, we can not hide from it. And if yoga could be affecting the sexual life of one person I do not see any problem to talk about it. Maybe I could be wrong, but even then we could talk about where I am wrong so I can understand.


#4

You’re asking about an asana practice and its affect on your sex drive without providing any other context. This ignores the other elements or variables of life’s formula. Never the less, answer I will, based solely on the shard you’ve provided.

An appropriate asana practice facilitates you knowing yourself. Such a practice will bubble up those things that we need to address in our living. It may do a bit of that in 6 days but typically such bubbling occurs over time with continued practice.

Were you my student I would simply suggest you observe this reduced drive to see what it might be. To make a conclusion that it is caramels or your asana practice is equally unfounded.


#5

I would disagree with panoramix in saying the goal of yoga is _______. I think you apply meaning to yoga yourself, and thus you create your own goals and no one persons goals are any better or worse than another.

As far as the OP goes, if you really think the yoga practice is causing libido issues, why not just tone it down and do less yoga each week. See if there is a difference. It may just be that your body is over worked and thus you cannot perform as well sexually. It may not be the yoga at all, its often simply a mental barrier that is causing this issue. Maybe add some type of excitement to your sex life. Try new things, take tantra classes, learn to dance so you can share a physical experience with your partner and maybe that can generate new emotions to kickstart your libido.


#6

Thank you so much for your replies. There are so many things happening in our lives that sometimes it is difficult to know the real cause of a problem. To blame an asana practice, this or that could be unfair.


#7

It wasn’t my intention to sound hostile. But we have to make an effort to preserve the meaning of the words of our vocabulary. A tree is a tree, a tomato is a tomato, and Yoga is Yoga.

Yoga was not devised or intended to rise any libido or to improve health or whatever mundane goal. Yoga was developed to suppress mental modifications to the point of achieving the samadhi state[I] -chitta vritti nirodha-[/I], and thus having a direct knowledge of reality, and as a consequence of that knowledge, liberation.

If you practice Yoga for anything else, invent a new word for it or add it a prefix. Let’s not mess out our language.

The fact that eleveno’s libido has slumped down after initiating the practice, is a point for what I state. The practice is making him/her more spiritual, more away from mundane/material drives.

@eleveno: Practice asanas if you wish, that’s great, good for you. You can improve your libido watching porn or through aphrodisiacs.

Warm regards!


#8

I totally disagree with the view that Yoga, “somehow” does not go along with sex/sex drives. On the contrary, there are dozens of traditional yogic (Hindu) paths which emphasize proper sex as a way of life and yogic practice. Also, spirituality does not mean abstinence from sexual life. At the least that is not the Hindu/yogic view point.
On the extreme end, some yogic masters of India, got initiated into yoga through sex…!!!

Whole confusion comes with the word “Brahmacharya” which is mentioned when someone studies Yoga. Brahmacharya, is a form of celibacy, which is to be practiced according to the person’s age. Refer to this link for more details. Another term that is often misinterpreted is “Sanyasa” (renunciation).

Yoga is not as simple as “tomato” or “tree”. It is an exact science according to Indian/Hindu traditions,when practiced properly.

As far as decrease in libido when yoga is practiced, I think that may happen even when the person goes to Gym regularly and [I]gets exhausted[/I]. The underlying cause could be related to normal health parameters (respiratory/hormonal/cardiac etc.). I am not a doctor, however…!!! So, it is better to consult a doctor.

My experience with Yoga and sexual drive, is this:

  • Elevated sexual drive
  • Would like to spend more time with opposite sex
  • General contentment and happiness with life.

And, all I do as far as yoga is concerned:

  • Sarvangasana for 5 minutes
  • Kapalabhati pranayama, 2 times a day.

#9

One of the main purposes of yoga is to have a strong healthy fit body to house the spirit. So to say yoga is not for health, or improved health, is incorrect imo.


#10

Maybe an intense asana practice like ashtanga so many days a week could be contributing to the problem, since I can get exhausted easily. I started this practice 2 years ago and I already reduced the number of asanas to see its effect on libido. It is amazing that yoga gives us the opportunity to explore our body reactions and frustrations.


#11

@yaram, @daves007: I think you confuse the means with the ends. It is true that a healthy body is a requisite. It is either true that some schools harness the sex drive and channelize it to subtler centers (tantrikas). But all that IS NOT the goal. The goal is liberation.
Please have a look to the scriptural authorities: Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, etc.

@eleveno: Why is it a “problem”? Is your partner demanding sex? Bring her/him with you to practice.


#12

The goals and intentions of practicing yoga differ from person to person.
So called “liberation/nirvana/enlightenment” may be final goal.

For example, I practice yoga for staying healthy and just that. I have no illusions/craving for “liberation”.

To me, those final goals like liberation, are just marketing fad from Yoga industry.
One can not fast-forward a “God-controlled” process like liberation.
I may get that liberation in my 36,000th human birth, but for this birth, my aim is to reduce medical bills and stay happy…!!


#13

My partner wants to have a child, so the pressure for the libido, and I think it is also good to have a satisfactory sexual life, unless one chooses celibacy.

I really enjoy reading some yoga philosophy and it is interesting to notice that there are different points of view and different interpretations of the scriptures. What is right for one person could not be exactly right for another person.


#14

I fear I’m sticking my hand into the hornets nest here but …

First, using the term “hindu/yoga” in just this way is misleading. It implies that they are the same. And while that is a popular and strongly held belief (among Hindus who I love dearly and respect fully), yoga and Hinduism are not mutually inclusive. Sorry.

Second, we know that there are five major sources comprising yoga philosophy; the Gita, Sutras, Vedas, Pradipika, and Upanishads, ergo to cite only what is contained in the Sutras AS yoga is either convenient, lacking, manipulative, or an oversight. The Pradipika is clear (I believe) in it’s position that working the body is crucial, just as the Sutras are clear and equally persuasive that working the mind is crucial. My point? I believe there can absolutely be purpose in healing the body and strengthening the vessel. Is it the end? No, but I don’t believe Samdhi is either because I follow the Aurobindonian model. But that’s me.

One last thing I’d like to touch on … this idea of what can now be accomplished by us and why. In our history there was a period where evolving (human growth) occurred due to the passage of time. This predates the intellectual period of mankind. We began with a barbarian nature, then we had an intellectual renaissance. Now we have the ability to choose and this ability, when connected to dharma over ego makes possible some quantum movement in human growth. Again a model I know others aren’t necessarily into or following but perhaps of interest to read.


#15

Yoga and sex don’t cancel each other. Yoga is not a practice to make someone impotent. Abstaining from sex is always your choice. In fact yoga helps experiencing sex in more mature and deeper way.
What you are going through could be because of other factors and not yoga.


#16

I am keeping with the hatha yoga practice, reducing some postures. I believe now the problem could be more related to exhaustion since I have some sleep problems. Just in case I am also consulting a doctor to see if everything is ok. Thank you so much for your participation on this threat.


#17

Yoga practice lessens my sex drive no doubt about it. I feel in my case, put simply, that it makes me think about sex less.
The results of practice may conflict with the ambitions you have elsewhere in your life. I guess if you are single and there are no expectations on you then a reduced sex drive wouldn’t be a “problem”.


#18

It depends. It could be another condition causing this.

I think sex drive should actually increase through physical activity. at least more hormones are being released and vascularisation increases.


#19

Hello there!

I found this topic when I started to explore other peoples notes on how astanga especially affects the sexuality in the female body.

I started doing astanga again, and after two weeks of full primary series practice I notice the effects.

As usual, the mind is clear, silent and focused. The body feels good and balanced. Easier to meditate. But the flow of prana is different. I dont get sexually aroused as before, when practicing free vinyasa as the hatha practice.

And -- there was a time when I practiced 4-5 hours a day, 6 times a week. And I got exhausted. Ayurvedian doctor told me not to do asana for a while, just to sing and dance to get better. You might laugh, but it worked. Now my perspective is wiser: astanga has to be practiced wisely, balance between healthy pushing and unhealthy forcing. When the practice is on its place, it flows effortlessly and doesnt exhaust the body. When we push too much and force and dont listen carefully, we burn out.

Its weird, and a bit of a pity, since I enjoy astanga, and I also enjoy living the dream and having sex with my partner.

Im surprised there are no more discussions on the topic online.