iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Elaine Gavalas

GET UPDATES FROM Elaine Gavalas
 

The Sexploitation of Yoga

Posted: 03/ 8/2012 11:54 am

WIlliam J. Broad's New York Times article on yoga injuries fueled a heated debate regarding the safety of yoga practice. His recent New York Times article, "Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here," is now creating a yoga sexploitation.

His article claims yoga began as tantric sex cult. It also mentions sexual scandals of yoga gurus. The article misleadingly implies that yoga's capacity to improve libido leads to sexual misconduct.

However, there's inherent problems with the research Broad used to bolster his contentions. Readers were misled by his erroneous suppositions and conclusions that he extrapolated from studies reporting on yoga's positive effects on libido for men and women. As I detail below, these two studies do not show yoga to promote sexual misconduct.

Broad also cited two studies that investigated the effects of hyperventilation (fast breathing) on sexual arousal and sexual disorders. As I show below, these two studies had no connection to yoga or sexual impropriety.

Here's a summary of the studies cited in Broad's article.

1. Yoga in male sexual functioning: a noncomparative pilot study

This uncontrolled study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, reports that yoga improves sexual function in men.

Researchers from Guru Gobind Singh-Indrapastha University in New Delhi, India, administered yoga to 65 men (ages 24 to 60 years old) enrolled in a yoga camp. The standardized Male Sexual Quotient questionnaire was obtained from the participants before and after treatment. Yoga was practiced for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that the participants reported improved sexual function including desire, performance, intercourse satisfaction, erection, ejaculatory control, and orgasm.

This study did not imply, reference, or show any causal connection to sexual misconduct.

2. Yoga in Female Sexual Functions

This uncontrolled study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, reveals that yoga improves sexual function in women.

Researchers from Guru Gobind Singh-Indrapastha University in New Delhi, India, administered yoga to 40 women (ages 22 to 55 years old) enrolled in a yoga camp. The standardized Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire was obtained from the participants before and after treatment. Yoga was practiced for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that the participants reported improved sexual function including libido, arousal, lubrication, satisfaction, pain and orgasm. The older women (greater than 45 years old) reported more improvement than the younger women.

This study did not imply, reference, or show any causal connection to sexual misconduct.

3. Genital and subjective sexual arousal in postmenopausal women: influence of laboratory-induced hyperventilation.

This study, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, found that hyperventilation (fast breathing) and erotic imagery increases genital excitement in premenopausal women.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, showed neutral and erotic film segments to 71 sexually-functional premenopausal and menopausal women. Before viewing the film segments, participants self-inserted a vaginal probe to measure arousal. In session two, the participants also hyperventilated with a prerecorded respiration tape before watching the film segments

The researchers found increased subjective and genital arousal with erotic imagery in the premenopausal and menopausal groups. Furthermore, arousal was greater only in the premenopausal group after hyperventilation with erotic imagery.

This study did not imply, reference, or show any causal connection to yoga or sexual misconduct.

4. Laboratory-induced hyperventilation differentiates female sexual arousal disorder subtypes.

This study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, showed hyperventilation and erotic imagery increased genital excitement in sexually functional women and women with Combined Sexual Arousal Disorder (SAD) but not those with Heterogeneous SAD.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, showed neutral and erotic film segments to 102 sexually-functional women and women with SAD. Before viewing the film segments, participants self-inserted a vaginal probe to measure arousal. Some participants hyperventilated with a prerecorded respiration tape before watching the films.

The researchers found increased sexual arousal with erotic imagery in all participants. Furthermore, hyperventilation and erotic imagery increased arousal in sexually-functional women and women with Combined Sexual Arousal Disorder (SAD) but not those with Heterogeneous SAD.

This study did not imply, reference, or show any causal connection to yoga or sexual misconduct.

In my previous HuffPost blog,"Three Ways Yoga Improves Your Sex Life," I presented studies showing how yoga can boost sexual satisfaction while benefiting overall health and well-being. None of those studies implied yoga encourages sexual impropriety.

For more by Elaine Gavalas, click here.
For more on yoga, click here.
To learn more about yoga's benefits, download a free sample from Elaine Gavalas' book, "The Yoga Minibook for Weight Loss".
You can buy Elaine Gavalas' books here.

Elaine Gavalas is an exercise physiologist, yoga therapist, weight management specialist, nutritionist and healthy recipe developer.

Follow Elaine Gavalas
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ElaineGavalas
Facebook: http://facebook.com/elaine.gavalas
Blog: http://elainegavalas.com/blog.htm
Website: http://elainegavalas.com

 
 
 

Follow Elaine Gavalas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ElaineGavalas