Good Yoga, Sex and Coping
There are many books and other sources on yogas, coping, health and sex - hundreds, thousands and more. There is also some research on these topics, with hundreds of findings it may pay to know of and be allied with more or less - without forgetting that research findings tend to be of limited scope, and therefore perhaps not always very valuable in the complex web of urban living. This stated, research findings can help a lot anyway, as far as they go - that is, as far as their design, reliability, validity and fruitfulness go.
What follows is a little survey based on some research findings, after this warmer-up:
Many uncertainties surround the practice of meditation. Scientific research on meditation practices does not appear to have a common theoretical perspective and is characterized by poor methodological quality. Firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in health care cannot be drawn . . . Future research on meditation practices must be more rigorous . . . [University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center, 2007]
Research on Transcendental Meditation has made it mainstream. TM improves health, works against stress-related conditions, improves brain function, and cardiovascular health and aids longevity. [◦ Living longer through TM]
Over seven millions have learnt Transcendental Meditation (TM) word-wide so far (2018). The TM way is designed to work well by and large. It was very, very safe for Swedes in the early 1970s, shows official research in Sweden, headed by Dr. Jaan Suurküla:
As early as in the 1970s, the Swedish government's National Health Board conducted a nationwide epidemiological study that found that hospital admissions for psychiatric care were 150-200 times less common among the 35,000 people practicing Transcendental Meditation in Sweden, than for the population as a whole. The calculation was made by Professor Jan-Otto Ottoson, Scientific counsellor of the National Health Board in Sweden (Suurküla, University of Gothenburg, Vasa Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1977.)
Dr Suurkuula ends the paper thus:
The remarkably small incidence of psychiatric illness among the population of individuals who had learnt the Transcendental Meditation technique compared to the general population indicates that the TM technique is not only safe but also has considerable value in the prevention of psychiatric illness."
Dr Suurküla also concludes in 2010:
TM has not only a preventive effect against psychiatric illness but effectively promotes mental stability and improved mental health, even in severely disturbed cases. . . .
Let us be careful, guarded, as well as we can
Cordell Hull (1871–1955) was an extremely cautious speaker, striving always for scientific accuracy. One day on a train through Montana, a friend pointed to a flock of sheep grazing in a field.
In the anecdote, Hull was careful not to draw his longbow of conclusions so far that it broke. He said what he saw and did not suppose. Similarly, what was valid, reliable and very interesting research findings on TM among Swedes in the 1970s, is it as valid, reliable and interesting in other societies today?
There may be no clear-cut answer across cultures so far. But here is a page that informs that "the Transcendental Meditation program has beneficial effects for populations at different levels of mental health status, and under different conditions of learning the technique," as Dr David Orme-Johnson states (emphasis added). [◦David Orme-Johnson. Research on Mental Health]
There Are Health Benefits of Good Yoga
Yoga is not only yoga postures and special breathing ways. It is a quite unified system. Its higher parts include deep meditation. Some sides to yoga includes having sex "the yoga way", in tantric ways, that is.
Health is a looming topic too, with many lessons in it. Some are hard lessons:
Complementary Medicine is Supposed to Be Good for You
As for complementary medicine, there are self-help niches for it. To get a sound medical diagnosis first is a given, and so is not to interfere with the prescribed cures of doctors in significant matters. Now, often doctors deal with chronic troubles, and fairly often what they do to deal with them is to prescribe medicine treatments with their side effects. First you get something for a certain trouble; then the side effects require other medicines, and there you go. Hopefully it ends well or fairly well, but that is not always the case. And sometimes their attempts fail. In such cases they may call the diseases "incurable", which means they do not know how to deal with them. Or maybe they send you to pharmacies that sell prescribed or non-prescribed medicine to alleviate or handle your symptoms a long, long time.
The scene may at last be set for complementary attempts, for example kahuna healers or persons with "warm hands". There are both dubious and suspicious guys - it may be wise to know the difference between attested healers and hype-fond ones without any sound documentation as to effects of their work. (Serge King):
There are some golden norms for self-help and family care:
This is to say: Favour positive experiences first, shield the family and yourself too, and if cures are needed, quick help may be found to be better than attempts at cures that come too late.
If you are too late, have not got a pulse diagnosis or other diagnoses to get rid of diseases you don't have - yet - too bad! The idea is: some diseases may be diagnosed through the six pulses in each wrist. Such diagnoses are maintained to be fit in the systems of Ayurveda, acupuncture and marma. By regulating and harmonising the pulses in traditional ways or by traditional means, health can be preserved, or restored, as the case may be.
Hippocrates and going gently first
There are good attitudes to learn from Hippocrates (c. 460 BC - 377 BC): As to diseases, make a habit of this: to help, or at least, to do no harm. Follow that system of regimen which, according to our ability and judgment, we consider should benefit, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy. For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure. [WP, sv. "Hippocrates"]
Accordingly, go gently and carefully - Get informed first, get what may help a lot first, and off you go toward extreme cures if nobody stops you. You have to be careful and not bluff. Related to over-all conditions, there are these niches:
All of this can work very well within schemes of holistic health, aiming at sound wholeness. Healthy is allied to being "whole" or complete and in balance on may levels. One has to withstand outer pressures and harmful experiences too, up to a point, wherever that is. It is in part individual.
Understanding of health in a wider perspective is ancient, and some parts have been known in China: Its classical acupuncture considers two principles of Yin and Yang, basic polarities, and how they give rise to a lot in nature, including functionings in the human body. That is what acupuncture theory maps up. If confronted with a disease in body or mind or both, the acupuncturist seeks to redress the balances that he detects are at fault. The ancient Chinese medical text Nei Ching, also known as Huangdi Neijing, or The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine etc., holds that perfect harmony between Yin and and Yang within the body, means health, even to a degree that counteracts aging. The ca. 2000 years old text may be the most important ancient text in Chinese medicine, and is also a major book of Taoist theory and lifestyle. [Yci 15-17; WP, sv. "Huangdi Neijing"].
Speaking of health that counteracts aging, there is research into Transcendental Meditation, TM, which shows that TM slows down the biological aging process by years. [◦A research report]
Also, "Hatha Yoga is conductive to health and longevity," Swami Sivananda says. "Its practice regulates . . . " and maintains health. [Sivananda 2004: viii]
We should not underestimate the value of yoga postures for health. Even simple postures are found to be good for body and mind. Sound bodies make it easier to develop minds and souls. [Sinha, 1980]
Yoga for a sound body in a sound mind
Inside the body is the mind, and according to yoga thinking, the etheric field (kosha) reaches outside the body limits by some inches, give or take. The mind koshas are told to reach further out from the body still. So the body is the solid part of oneself, and within subtler fields that make up man or woman. This is ancient stuff:
For example, The Paingala Upanishad tells the soul has a five-levelled covering. Koshas is the term for the five coverings of the soul.
The end goal of human life is to gain yogic freedom, moksha. It may take its time, up to days and months, for example, if not life-times. [WP, sv. "Panchakosha"]
Like meditation, yoga postures can serve more than one end. Some learn such asanas to get supple, others as a means to withstand stress, others to harmonise body and mind for meditation, a higher or inward-turned pursuit. And some do them with all these ends in view.
Imbalances of the mind and body are wont to interact. There is much talk of psychosomatic diseases, and less talk of somatopsychic diseases, but they exist too: Somatopsychic is used to describe a body-mind relationship, as does psychosomatic medicine.
The somatopsychic angle helps to understand somewhat how yoga postures may benefit health and wellbeing. are capable of affecting one's moods and sense of wellbeing. There are studies that document that asanas may offer good help against some diseases. Dr Sinha has written a book about that use of yoga postures.
The beginner in yoga may prefer a simple, very safe program of postures. One is usually to rest a little between each posture, and perform them in a sequence that promotes internal balances if that can be had, and rest for a while after the program. And combine well.
The program in a nutshell
Keep your yoga injury-free
The health journalist and author Selene Yeager shows that the yoga beginner does well not to go past his or her limits. That's a rule yoga lovers should heed. So, stop stretching as soon as you feel discomfort. Your knees and back are vulnerable spots; bend your knees with care. Simultaneously bending and twisting your knees, as in the lotus pose, can damage cartilage. And don't overwork your back, is her firm counsel.
Source: Prevention, 10 april 2005. Rodale, Inc. [◦Link]
Beginner Yoga Poses
In yoga there are beginner poses and more strenous poses. Further, along with yoga are yogalike takes, like Pilates, stretching, and many other yoga-like approaches. "Yoga is meant to be a nurturing form of exercise, not a rigid imitation of poses," says author Richard Faulds. So it's very possible to stretch and strengthen your body without having to touch your nose to your knees or your feet to your head.
Yoga and Sex
"I need a sex life before I can improve it." - Anonymous.
Even if you should need a sex life, you may benefit from gentle yoga postures, asanas. Bending, stretching slowly and carefully, perhaps while applying moderate pressure, may be a good health-helping tool. Also, when you feel overstressed, try measured, rhythmic breathing. It may be especially good for insomnia.
Through yoga you can get supple, tone up muscles and feel well. The gynecologist Machelle M. ◦Seibel, M.D., says, There are some simple yoga poses," Dr. Seibel says, "that can help just about everyone." He is referring to PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) by that.
Some effects of good yoga spill over into the sex life too. Thus, Elizabeth Walling encourages us in Five Reasons You Can Thank Yoga for Better Sex to go for "the latest gadget that will ramp up your sex life: a yoga mat. The exercise we often connect to meditation and inner enlightenment is also linked to improved bedtime fun."
She bases her verdict on a study published in the 3 December 2008 edition of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study showed women who were not satisfied with their sex life experienced heightened arousal and better orgasms when they practiced yoga. "Another study published in the same journal in September 2007 showed yoga was the most effective solution for men dealing with premature ejaculation in comparison to Prozac and non-prescription drugs," she summarises.
Details: In the latter study, 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," concludes ◦Sally Law in her article "Yogis have better sex, study finds" at LiveScience.com.
Sex is a natural function, also according to Yoga philosophy. Having delicious sex in an affectionate relationship is good for folks. Various steady postures and breathing techniques can help to relieve stress and relax the body and mind deeply. Some benefits reach into one's sexual life and relationship. Here are some benefits Elizabeth Walling suggests that your sex life can take away from yoga:
1. Heightened Awareness and Concentration
Good yoga helps in improving better understanding of self and surrounding. And yoga teaches people to be more aware of their breathing and their bodies while letting go of mental distractions. This translates directly to better sex . . . you can undeniably enjoy sexual activities much more.
2. Greater Flexibility and Strength
Nothing can bring more fun to the bed than a body that's ready to rock. Yoga conditions and strengthens the muscles, and also improves your flexibility range and joint health - and stamina during sex, too.
Sound, delicate yoga may develop your flexibility, coordination, balance and physical strength.
3. A New Kind of Foreplay
If your partner is up to it, add in several minutes of couples yoga before sex as a kind of foreplay. A few yoga moves can relax your nerves and get your circulation going: just what you need to get you in the mood. Plus, practicing yoga together helps you connect in a new way.
4. Acceptance and Confidence
Adequate yoga makes you more graceful and confident in your movements, also while making love - more confident about yourself and your inborn human nature. It tends to promote confidence in your self, for example by being aware of your body and accepting it. It may by degrees gives you the freedom to offer more in the bedroom. Sexual confidence is incredibly freeing.
5. A Majestic Finale
Good yoga helps you to feel really, really all-round good. It all adds up to one thing: better orgasms. And yoga positions that strengthen your pelvic core can give your orgasms a definite "wow" factor.
Yoga for Health and Coping
The health benefits of yoga include keeping healthy people healthy, it hinders the development of diseases, and it aids recovery from ill health. Sound prevention is probably better than attempts at cure. Better than mere prevention is building reserves of health and thriving actively. Yoga can be used for all of it.
If you are short of time, a bundle of simple and yogalike exercises may still ease your day. Here are tips:
You may feel younger with a simple yoga regimen.
Marianne McGinnis tells about a woman who, in the hope of finding anti-aging relief, took a yoga class. Already an hour later, she felt more relaxed. She's been doing yoga three times a week since and says, "I have more energy, strength, and flexibility than most women half my age."
Many women try yoga for stress reduction, but they stick with it because it makes them feel--and look--younger, says Larry Payne, PhD. Good yoga blends anti-aging moves that improve circulation, balance, flexibility, and strength with meditative techniques such as deep breathing. "My students call yoga a natural face-lift," he says.
Yoga can reduce stress by nearly a third, reports a German study of 24 women. As a result, clenched jaws and furrowed brows relax, helping to smooth away wrinkles. Yoga may also rejuvenate skin's glow by reducing oxidative stress, which breaks down skin's elasticity. In an Indian study of 104 people, oxidative stress levels dropped by 9% after just 10 days of yoga.
During a 10-year University of Washington study of 15,500 men and women over age 45, those who didn't do yoga gained up to 13.5 pounds. Those who practiced regularly lost up to 5 pounds.
Yoga is twice as effective as stretching at relieving back pain, according to another University of Washington study that had 101 people with lower-back pain do either yoga or stretching once a week for 3 months.
Levels of the brain's natural nighttime sedative, melatonin, decrease with age, but another Indian study found that when 15 men, ages 25 to 35, practiced yoga daily for 3 months, their melatonin levels increased.
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College discovered that just one yoga class helps keep the stress hormone cortisol in line. Elevated amounts may contribute to age-related memory problems.
There's a burgeoning movement called Yoga Therapy, in which teachers "prescribe" different poses, modifications of the standard poses, and customized sequences for clients with specific ailments and injuries. And if it's your psyche rather than your body that needs repair--think anxiety or insomnia--a dose of yoga therapy can help put that right too.
Recent studies have shown that yoga can increase lung capacity and reduce asthma attacks, help manage diabetes, and relieve lower back pain.
Deep, rhythmic breathing is especially good for insomnia.
Going for health benefits
Sound yoga fosters health benefits. You don't have to get overstressed and ill to benefit from yoga and meditation.
So how do you start practicing yoga for better sex or whatever reason? If you're a beginner, find a yoga studio that suits you. It is best to focus on your own practice, building your own comfort level, before inviting your partner along.
You could also buy a DVD on yoga to guide you through yoga moves, counsels Dr. Yvonne Kristin Fulbright in "9 Reasons Yoga Will Rock Your Sex Life". She is a sex educator, relationship expert, and columnist. [◦Link]
There are self-help books on good yoga around too. The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown is a good one. It is illustrated too.
In the last decades much research has been done into the effects of yoga postures and meditation on various diseases and troubles. A book about yoga postures for various ailments is Yogic Cure for Common Diseases by Dr P. Sinha (below). The doctor suggests program of yoga postures for abdominal disorders, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, obesity, high blood pressure, sinus problems, mental problems, and others. [Touch]
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The Institute of Vedic City Planning of Maharishi University of Management. Maharishi Vastu. Architecture and Planning: Vastu City Planning: Sustainable Cities in Harmony with Natural Law. 4th ed. Roerdalen, NL: Maharishi University of Management, Institute of Vedic City Planning, 2013.
Touch Research Institute. Yoga Research Abstracts. On-line.
University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 1. Rockville, MD: AHRQ Publication No. 07-E010, June, 2007.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009. Natural News.com.
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