Ashwani Mudra - Sit in a meditative pose. Slowly pull the anus and lower abdominal muscles up and relax. Agnisar Kriya - Stand with feet apart. Place hands on the knees and loosen your belly. Exhale, hold your breath out and pull your stomach in as far as you can, such that it touches your back. Then, loosen and release the stomach.
The semen and its contents are referred to as as “beeja” in Ayurveda. Low sperm count or oligospermia is a health disorder characterized by less number of sperms than normal count in semen volume and is one of the main causes for male infertility. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a low sperm count is diagnosed when the number of sperm falls below 20 million in a milliliter of semen (normal range is between 20 million and 120 million per milliliter of semen).
What Causes Low Sperm Count?
According to Ayurveda, an imbalance in vata dosha decreases the volume of the semen, it also reduces the sperm count. Other possible causes of low sperm count include genetic problems, testicular injury, malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies particularly zinc, smoking, drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, prescribed medications, environmental toxins, radiation and heavy metals, obesity, stress and excessive physical or mental exertion.
How Can Yoga Exercises Help In Increasing Sperm Count
Asanas that strengthen the pelvic floor, abdomen, lower back are recommended to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to he pelvic region. Other than that, asanas for stress relief can help because of beneficial effect on HPA axis. Yoga also helps enhance the reproductive gland’s health, prolong the reproductive age of a man and maintain the sperm count at ideal level. Deep breathing exercise is one among the common relaxation exercises recommended by health practitioners. Positive results have been obtained regarding the effectiveness of the various yoga practices for better reproductive health .
Yoga To Increase Sperm Count
Ashwini Mudra or Horse Gesture
- Sit comfortably in a meditative pose, with your back straight and eyes closed.
- Relax and concentrate on your breath.
- Slowly pull the anus and lower abdominal muscles up and relax.
- Focus on the muscles that are contracting and relaxing.
- Repeat this motion 200 times in two sets with 100 repeats each.
Pranayama – Anulom Vilom
- Sit in Padmasana (or Siddhasana or Vajrasana).
- Close the right nostril with your thumb and draw in air from the left nostril. Do this as slowly as you can, till your lungs are full.
- Now release the thumb and close the left nostril with your ring finger. Then breathe out slowly through the right nostril.
- Next take the air in from the right nostril and then release it through the left nostril (after closing the right nostril with the thumb).
- This is one round of Anulom Vilom Pranayama.
- Start with 5 rounds and increase it up to 20 rounds in one sitting.
- Also, the duration of inhalation can start from 2 seconds and go up to 20 seconds or even beyond.
Agnisar Kriya or Belly Flipping
- Stand erect with your feet apart.
- Place your hands on your knees and loosen your belly.
- Exhale fully, hold your breath out and pull your stomach in as far as you can, such that it touches you back.
- Then loosen and release the stomach.
- Repeat this pumping action for as long as you can.
- Relax and inhale. This completes one round of Angnisar Kriya.
- Do this Kriya for 2-3 times.
Padmasana or Lotus Pose
- Sit on the floor or on a mat with legs stretched out in front of you while keeping the spine erect.
- Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. Make sure that the sole of the feet point upward and the heel is close to the abdomen.
- Now, repeat the same step with the other leg.
- With both the legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on the knees in mudra position.
- Keep the head straight and spine erect.
- Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.
Shalabasana or Locust Pose
- Start with the prone position with your arms to the sides.
- Touch your forehead to the floor and put your palms facing upwards.
- Turn your toes towards each other, rotating your thighs inwards. Breathe normally.
- Exhale on a count of 3 and lift up your head, upper body, both arms and legs up and away from the floor (to form the shape of a locust).
- Let your body rest on your belly and pelvis.
- Raise up your arms while keeping them to the sides and stretch back using your fingertips.
- Keep the neck muscle long without straining it.
- Hold the pose for half a minute and then relax as you exhale.
- Repeat once or twice as desired.
Halasana or Plow Pose
- Lie on your back and stretch your body.
- Place your hands beside your thighs, palms facing down.
- Inhale and raise both legs slowly, till they are at 90 degrees to your waist.
- Do not lift your head.
- Using your hands as pivots, lift your waist too and stretch your legs beyond your head, trying to touch the ground behind with your feet.
- Keep your knees straight.
- Hold this position for as long as you can.
- Breathe normally.
- Return to base position, bringing your legs back very slowly and ensuring that your palms and head stay on the floor and your knees stay straight.
- Repeat once or twice.
Ardha Matsyendrasana or The Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose
- Stretch your legs in front of you and sit with legs straight.
- Bend the right leg, lift it and place in on the left side of the stretched left foot.
- Take the right leg over the left knee.
- Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you.
- Twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over the right shoulder.
- Keep the spine erect.
- Hold the position while breathing normally (20 – 30 seconds).
- Repeat with the other leg.
Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose
- Start with sitting on the floor and extending your legs.
- Fold the left leg and place it below your right butt.
- Take the left arm around the right leg and grab the toes of the right leg with the left hand.
- This might be a little challenging, but try holding at least the ankles to start with.
- Turn towards the right slowly and twist the neck and back as far as you are comfortable.
- Hold this position as long as you can, while breathing normally.
1. Male reproductive health and yoga- Pallav Sengupta et al.2013