Testosterone is an important hormone that plays a key role in muscle growth, bone density, libido and energy levels in both men and women. Many people wonder if practicing yoga can help boost your body’s natural testosterone production. While research is still limited, there are some compelling reasons why certain types of yoga may support healthy testosterone levels when done consistently.
How Yoga May Increase Testosterone
Here are a few of the ways different yoga practices are believed to potentially help elevate testosterone production:
Building Muscle Mass
Some styles of yoga like vinyasa flow, power yoga and hatha build lean muscle mass through sustained poses and flow sequences that provide resistance training. Increasing muscle mass may signal the body to produce more testosterone.
The meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises and relaxation incorporated in yoga are proven to lower cortisol and reduce stress. Chronic stress and high cortisol can deplete testosterone levels over time.
Improving Sleep Quality
Yoga has been shown to help practitioners fall asleep faster and get deeper, better quality sleep. Quality sleep is essential for optimal testosterone production, so yoga can help on this front.
Boosting Overall Health
The combination of physical activity, mental relaxation, better sleep and reduced stress from regular yoga all contribute to overall wellbeing. Being in a healthy state allows the endocrine system to function properly and produce hormones like testosterone efficiently.
Building Pelvic Floor Strength
Certain standing yoga poses engage and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Some research indicates strengthening the pelvic floor may enhance erectile function and support testosterone levels in men.
Effective Yoga for Testosterone- elevating
While many yoga styles may provide testosterone- elevating benefits, some are better suited than others:
The athletic, vigorous flows of vinyasa yoga build muscle mass and strength which can trigger increases in testosterone. Dynamic sequences also get heart rate up.
The fast pace and challenging strength-building poses of power yoga work to boost testosterone. Prioritizes resistance training and cardiovascular benefits.
Similar to vinyasa, ashtanga yoga provides an intense workout that builds lean muscle and elevates heart rate through rapidly flowing sequences.
Includes a mix of active flows, strength building poses and flexibility training that balances the nervous system and provides a moderate physical challenge.
The heated environment helps build muscle and burn fat. However, studies show extended time in heat may temporarily lower testosterone so hot yoga should be done in moderation.
Yoga Alone May Not Be Enough
It’s important to note that while yoga can provide testosterone-boosting benefits, typically yoga alone is not enough to substantially increase testosterone long term in those with low levels. Those with below normal testosterone may require medical treatment and lifestyle modifications beyond just adopting a regular yoga practice.
Additional Lifestyle Factors
To maximize testosterone levels through natural means, adopt these habits in conjunction with consistent yoga:
- Strength train 2-4 times per week to build muscle mass – squat, lunge, push ups etc.
- Follow a nutrient-rich, high protein diet to provide fuel for muscle growth.
- Reduce chronic stress through sufficient sleep, meditation, delegating responsibilities, fun hobbies etc.
- Get adequate vitamin D through sun exposure, food sources and supplementation if needed.
- Avoid excessive alcohol which can lower testosterone over time.
Consult Your Doctor
As always, consult your physician before starting a new exercise program. Discontinue any form of yoga causing pain. Let your doctor know if you have concerns about low testosterone levels.
While more research is still needed, incorporating consistent strength-building yoga into an overall healthy lifestyle shows promise in providing natural support for healthy testosterone levels.