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No Frills, Manly Approach to Yoga

Yoga often gets an interesting rap. The earliest roots of yoga, in fact, were established by men, to mainly be practiced by men, even though poses were not the main focus of the practice. But somehow along the way, it became thought of as a feminine practice that made some men feel girly for trying.

Whether it’s tight yoga pants or flexible bodies, it is stereotypically seen as a popular women’s activity that comes with fashionable attire and pretty yoga mats. While yoga can definitely have those, it is more about the state of consciousness you achieve after an asana practice, not what you wear while doing it.

So dudes, forget the hear-say and listen up. Some of this will strike your interest. We’re here to squash the false idea of yoga being only for women and give you the lowdown on why you should yoga and feel manly doing it.

Cut the stress
We all have to deal with our hectic lives somehow. While pounding it out at the gym is an option it may leave you feeling more aggressive and tired that relaxed. Having a regular practice allows you to find movement in the body so you can prepare for stillness in the mind. Sound counterintuitive? We promise, it works. Sadie Nardini, host of “Rock Your Yoga,” agrees also. “If you want to be more James Bond than Charlie Sheen, get yourself on the mat.”

Build muscle
Still think yoga is easy? Think about slowly bench pressing your own bodyweight, but by way of poses that are basically long, extended pushups, squats and leg lifts. Except this way, you get a nice adult nap at the end. You will not only be working on one muscle group at a time but multiple that will strengthen your entire body all at once. You’ll shock yourself at the definition you start to see.

Get Flexy
Working on flexibility is not necessary just for women. Besides contributing to the long-term health of your joints and muscles, it aids in counteracting most other activities that causes tightness in those areas. Whether you’re a runner with tight hamstrings, a football player with tight shoulders, or work at a desk and have a tight low back, yoga will help to loosen and relieve muscle tension. As a bonus, some stretches such as twists also help to promote detoxification and good digestion. That means you’ll be able to touch your toes AND you won’t feel as gassy.

Prevent Injuries
Most instructors will remind students to listen to their bodies’ needs and limitations on that day. This body awareness and ability to scan and assess yourself during a yoga class will translate to other sports and help reduce the incidence of injury. Also, flexible, well-stretched muscles will heal and recover quickly after working out or getting strained, allowing you to get back in the game sooner.

Set and meet goals
At the beginning of most classes, you will be guided to set an intention or goal for your practice or in another area of your life. This simple statement to yourself can actually have lasting effects on the rest of your day and beyond. When life gets hard and we find it hard to stay focused, having goals in a yoga practice can show up off the mat as well, allowing us to be clear about our goals and how to make them real, tangible and accessible in daily life.

So next time your friend or girlfriend suggests a yoga class, you can feel a little better knowing how cool it is. It’s true that more women overall practice yoga, but it is by no means exclusive to them. So grab your yoga mat and don’t be the statistic of guys who think their too good to take care of the body. Yoga is not just for women and there are benefits that everyone can benefit from.

So now that you know the manly approach to yoga, come on out to Joy Yoga Center and come take a class with us!

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