30 Aug Hey Men! This Is Why You Need To Start Yoga
Hey, dudes – this is one for you! Hands up if you are still sticking to the sidelines when it comes to yoga? You’re considering giving it a go but still need more convincing other than your yogi partner trying to drag you into a yoga studio.
Are you still under the impression that yoga isn’t for men, only for super-bendy, top-knot sporting girls? According to Instagram, that might be the case, but IRL not so much. Yoga is for everyone.
While the majority of modern-day yogis are females and, as a man, you might find yourself in the lower numbers at your local studio, you’d be surprised how many men are already practising yoga. Don’t fret about not being flexible enough; you’ll soon find out that yoga will make you more flexible. Don’t expect to attend one class and leave insanely supple though. What we can promise is that the benefits of picking up yoga, additionally to your weight training or running, outweigh the risk of being a bit inflexible in the beginning.
Here are five reasons for men to start a yoga practice that speak for themselves:
1. It’s way more “manly” than you probably think.
First of all, a surprising fact to you might be that thousands of years ago, yoga was practised by men only. The practice was designed by men, for men. Lots of men think that yoga is only calmly stretching out on a mat. It can be for sure – obviously depending on the yoga style. Ever tried a vinyasa class such as Power Living offers? Power or Hot Yoga tend to have more men in their classes. Place your mat in a heated yoga room and promise, you will get as much sweat on, if not more, than your regular gym workout. Plus, you will leave a lot calmer. So if you’re worried that you won’t “fit in” or that it won’t be physically demanding enough for you, give it a try before you pass judgment. You might be surprised by the experience.
2. It will make you better at whatever you do.
Whether you’re a competitive athlete or just really passionate about being the best video game player, yoga will help you get better at it. For real! Physically it enables you to find balance. For example, if you’re strong, it will help your flexibility. If you’re flexible, it will help you build strength. Mentally, it will give you a way to handle all the pressure and stress that comes from a high-stakes competition so you can be your best at whatever you do. It will also benefit your surfing. It can be your secret weapon!
3. You don’t have to wear yoga tights.
You can, of course. Wear whatever you feel comfortable moving in. There’s no dress code. No one will be watching to see how flexible you are nor what you are wearing. Just think gym gear without the socks and shoes! Still, if you feel you need a bit of yoga fashion advice, we have some inside scoop of what men wear to yoga in another post here. Now we solved this myth, grab your mat, and you’re all good to go.
4. Finding time out on your mat.
Every one of us is living hectic lives. We are spending hours at the office, buried in work tasks; we are switched on 24/7, chasing that highly-paid rewarding career. The yoga mat offers a lot of everyone a place to calm their nerves and breathe deeply. Taking time out of your hectic career or daily grind to just being present on your mat is like pressing a quick reset button. You will be returning to your day job rejuvenated and relaxed, both in mind and body, ready to work more focused and with a purpose. You will be astounded what a difference incorporating yoga into your day will make. Plus, you will get your sweaty work out in while you are on your mat.
5. Get to know yourself better.
We know guys feel a lot of pressure to be all tough and strong. But it would be nice to leave that tough-guy exterior at the door occasionally. Yoga class is the perfect place to explore letting your guard down and just being yourself. Be aware; yoga is not a competition. It’s not who can lunge deeper or hold handstand longer. It’s just you on your mat and how you evolve. Don’t forget that you can practice yoga along with your weight sessions or your surfing. You can have both worlds, after all.
Now you know five benefits why you should start practising yoga – hey, you even have a yoga outfit ready to go. We think it’s time to check out the schedule at your nearest Power Living studio, pick a class and roll out your mat. The Power Living crew has a lot of male yoga teachers – read their stories to get inspired why they started yoga and attend one of their classes. Hey even, the founder of Power Living, Yogi Dunx, is male. Check out his Instagram for some yoga inspo and cool surf pics.
Still a bit wary about venturing to a yoga studio? Feel like you need to give it a go on your own before you join a public class? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Head over to Yogaholics, Power Living’s online studio, and roll out your mat in the privacy of your living room. Yogaholics offers a 360 on all things yoga, from guided meditations, inspirational talks and complete yoga flows. We have picked a strong, sweaty yoga flow for the boys for you. Check out Jordan Berger’s Broga class and see for yourself.
Now join your yogi partner for a class or even better gather a group of your guy friends and practice together. Just remember not to take yourself too seriously.
Yoga might even be the practice you always needed – but never knew.
See you on the mat, yogis!
Written by YJ editors for Yoga Journal