A lot of people think yoga is only for women – but they’re wrong! If you could turn back the clock a few hundred years or so, you’d find that yoga was only taught and practiced by men. It was only when the western world adopted yoga into daily life that it became associated with women in tight leggings. Need convincing that yoga is great for men as well as women? Check out these benefits.
Yoga helps men to connect with their feelings, emotions and thoughts
With yoga, you repeatedly practice self-focus and self-awareness while carrying out asanas. This brings the body, mind and breath together and helps you find out what’s distracting you. It could be that you can’t focus on maintaining a pose because your mind wanders with thoughts about work, or you might realise that your body is tired and achy because you don’t move enough during the day. Whatever yoga uncovers, it helps men to recognise positive and negative aspects of their mental health, see how they impact their physical health and reach a rested state to continue on from.
Yoga benefits men who do other exercise – and those who don’t exercise enough
Through the combination of stretches, bends, poses and balances, practising yoga regularly can have a real physical benefit to men. Yoga can improve a man’s flexibility and range of motion, which in turn makes everyday movement easier.
Former Wales rugby international turned coach Mike Phillips recommends yoga to fellow sportsmen. “Yoga can be used alongside other exercise to build endurance and strengthen muscles, which in turn helps to prevent injuries and increases your stamina,” he says.
Even if you’re a guy who hates going to the gym, yoga could be a good alternative to spending hours on the machines; yoga involves working with and supporting your own bodyweight, so you’ll build muscle and tone without extra apparatus.
Yoga can help men overcome pain
Guys, if your body hates you because you pushed leg day too hard, or if your back is stiff and sore from poor posture, yoga is a gentle way to let go of the discomfort. You can control how hard you work when doing yoga. If you feel the pain worsening, ease off, relax and try some light stretches before slowly building up your strength.
Yoga is an antidote to competitive male domains
There are no points to be scored and no competition; it’s a personal practice that’s tailored and controlled by you – even when you do it in a group setting. It doesn’t matter who attends the most classes in a week, who can touch their toes in a forward bend or who has the most expensive gear. The only thing to focus on is your condition in the present moment. Also, with no goalposts or expectations to meet, there’s no reason to go overboard if something doesn’t feel right. It’s much more impressive to be relaxed and loose than to be exhausted and tense.
Yoga for men never gets boring
Even men with low attention spans can find a type of yoga that keeps them engaged. That’s one of the wonderful things about yoga; whether you prefer fast-paced flowing yoga that makes you sweat or you want to hold more precise positions for longer, there will be a class to suit you. Play around to find what fits. No two yoga classes are the same, nor are our bodies, so there’ll always be a way to shake things up.
If you’re interested in giving yoga a go, get in touch and we’ll find the perfect class for you! And if you need anymore convincing check out our next Members Spotlight blog in the series of Guys can do yoga, too!