Fitness

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Andrew Garcia

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Yoga

If you have ever been to a yoga class, you may notice a distinct lack of males in the room. For some reason, men are just not as attracted to yoga as women, who seem to flocking to the sport in record numbers. It is confusing to me why more guys aren’t into yoga, because it is a gender neutral practice. Grandmas, children and everyone in between can benefit from yoga, so it is time for guys to get in touch with their inner yogini. It is also one of the few forms of exercises that you can actually continue into old age without risking injury, so guys it is time to work towards being hot grandpas in the future!

Yogis are Ripped

Some may picture a round Zen bellied teacher when they try to conjure up an image of what type of guy would actually practice yoga long enough to continue on to teach it. You couldn’t be further from the truth! Almost every male yoga teacher (and female teacher) I’ve ever met is extremely in shape. Some of this comes from the fact that they do exercise outside of yoga, but the truth of the matter is that they are practicing yoga a lot. One doesn’t teach yoga without practicing yoga almost every day, so you can connect the dots to figure out how they get so strong.

Yoga is a Girl Sport

There is no denying that yoga draws more of the female crowd than the male crowd. If you ask guys who practice yoga if this is a bad thing, most will tell you that it isn’t the worst part of yoga. Most guys don’t usually mind being surrounded by women who are dressed in tight clothing and bending in all sorts of ways. Usually yoga classes are also not a gab fest either, but rather a time of focus and quiet.

You may think that the yoga audience may all good and well after reading the previous paragraph, but wonder if you will get your work out. One of the challenges of yoga is finding a teacher that challenges you. Luckily, there are tons of yoga teachers out there to choose from.  As a tip, a lot of guys like to go to guy teachers who tend to focus more on upper body than their female counter part. There is no set rule though, so doing some investigating will benefit your practice. Also, it is rare that you will leave a yoga class not feeling like you were challenged at all.

If you are looking for a yoga class that is particularly challenging it may be a good idea to try a more specific class. Power Yoga and Yoga for Athletes usually are classes that focus more on the fitness aspect of yoga. Bikram Yoga is another branch that puts you in a hot steamy room while you practice yoga, so that you will be drenched in sweat when you are done with the workout.

You do NOT Need to Wear Tight-Like Yoga Pants

Please, for the sake of everything that is good, just wear your gym shorts if you decide to go to a yoga. No offense, but there are some things that are better left hidden from the public view. In fact, a lot of yoga student and yoga teacher do opt for sweat pants or shorts, and as long as they are loose they were perfectly fine in yoga. You will not stick out like a sore thumb if you wear regular gym clothes instead of the marketed yoga pants, so don’t worry about looking like you are out of place.

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Men aren’t Flexible

A lot of guys worry about not being flexible enough for yoga. Yoga teachers know how to account for all different flexibility levels. When they are explaining to a class about a move they begin with explaining the move for the least flexible people than they will elaborate on additional motions to deepen the pose. Yoga classes are for everyone from 30 year old males to 90 year old grandmothers to 20 year old women, so classes are designed to meet everyone’s needs.

The other thing is that if you aren’t flexible, yoga is one of the best ways to actually increase your flexibility. Increasing your flexibility improves your stamina and bio-mechanics, so it is a good thing for athletes to have in their tool kit. Just because you can’t wrap your heels around your head, doesn’t mean that yoga stretches will not benefit for your body.

Great for Building Manly Muscles

Many perceive yoga as a glorified stretch session, but it is just a tad more complicated than stretching. Yoga works muscles in the body while stretching them to create a unique effect from other types of exercises and sports. Overall, the practice creates longer and leaner muscles while fixing slumped postures. It also help get rid of lactic acid, especially lactic acid that builds up in the legs and thighs.

Great for Healing Manly Muscles

Guys tend to sustain injuries a lot more than their female counter parts from various activities spanning from dangerous to athletic. Yoga is the top recommended exercise for people who have sustained injuries. Usually the type of yoga some practices with an injury is way different from what a healthy person will practice, but it is effective in both cases. Yoga is a very specific therapy that can treat people, and it is even beginning to be integrated into actual hospital as treatment for patients.

Stress Management

Guys tend to have fewer forums to communicate problems, so instead they internalize problems until they eventually lose it. This is not a problem unique to males, but males tend to exhibit the lack of coping mechanisms more than females. Beyond the physical rewards of yoga, yoga helps people manage stress through meditation and exercises. Studies recently have found that meditation does in fact stimulate the part of the brain that is related to stress and anxiety, so for the skeptics, this isn’t just a hand wavy attempt at managing stress. Why a lot of people love yoga isn’t just for the physical rewards, but for how their mind feels a lot better after a good yoga practice.

Independence

Part of being a strong male figure is not worry about the unreasonable limitations that anyone tries to put on you. Most people hesitate to do yoga due to societal expectations, but a lot of that just adds up to close mindedness. With an exercise available to improve our mind, bodies and aging process- there seems no sane reason to actually skip out on practicing yoga.

When you do yoga when you are a male you are trend setter, instead of a trend follower. Get ready to hit the mat to improve yourself from the inside out instead of not allowing yourself explore a great experience.

-Namaste Y’All


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