You know what you don’t hear said between two men very often? “See you at yoga tomorrow…” or “Really can’t wait to get a good stretch on at yoga later” and definitely not “Dude your downward dog is tight…”
You do hear the following though in contrast. “See you at gym tomorrow…” or “Really can’t wait to get my pump on at gym later” and also “Dude you killed that last set…”
So, what’s the problem with yoga, why is it like a 80/20 woman to man ratio in the classes?
Is it like a man listening to the late great George Michael’s Careless Whisper with the windows down in the car? Is it like going vegan and only buying food from organic markets?
Sure yoga isn’t the most macho thing guys could do, but it’s 2017, who even uses the word ‘macho’ anymore! As modern marvelous men we can’t still have childish hangups about such trivial things. You do have to be flexible to be ‘good at yoga’, but using a lack of flexibility as an excuse for not trying it is the same as saying I don’t have big muscles so I’m not going to bother bench pressing.
Holding poses may make men feel a little vulnerable, but much like supporting the Springboks, as long as you are doing it with others doing the same thing around you, it’s not embarrassing at all.
With the ice broken, let’s take a deep breath then, roll out our mats and glance at a few reasons why you should give yoga a try.
Struggling to put a press on from time to time? You are not alone, a visit to the airport bogs after a flight anywhere will confirm that most guys battle with this as we all eat bad stuff. This isn’t a nutrition piece though, it’s about yoga, and how the many postures and twists are designed to massage the internal organs, keeping your bad food choices moving along. The better you digest food, the more energy you have. First point to yoga.
If you experience lower back pain and you turn to cycling as an exercise, you need to be kicking your own ass. We sit at desks all day at work, and then in cars getting to and from the office, so we need to break that position. Yoga gives you the impression of feeling taller, that’s because it is giving you great posture. Great posture means you have no tension in your neck, back and shoulders, and that you have a strong core. These are all things you need, especially as you get older.
Getting back to the issue of food. We don’t only just eat the wrong things, but far too much of it too. Again, I’m not pointing fingers here, this is just who we have become in our daily lives. A regular yoga regime though helps put an end to this as you become more in touch with that whole mind-body thing. By incorporating correct breathing into your life, you become more disciplined and comfortable, a far cry from a remorseless eating machine driven by cravings throughout the day.
Since starting to read this article, how many times have you looked at something else, or considered moving onto something else completely? A few times I’m sure, that’s because we find it hard to focus on things nowadays. Carrying on from the previous yoga benefit, the advantages of steady conscious breathing we break down stresses and distractions, allowing our brains to really focus. Imagine having better focus during meetings, interviews or domestic arguments… You want that right?
Healthy body, healthy mind, pretty much healthy everything. Yoga has been proven to improve your immune system at a cellular level. That’s a good level to be strong. So now you won’t have to worry about all those petty colds and flu when the weather turns a little cold.
Last and most importantly, yoga is going to improve your sex life. Yoga can literally turn you from sexual Storm Trooper to Jedi. The increased flexibility is an obvious first benefit, then there is the matter of yoga reducing anxiety which is sometimes a bit of a hurdle when the lights start to dim. Along with taking anxiety out of the picture, yoga improves body awareness and therefore your confidence grows, which isn’t the only thing growing as your increased blood flow will take care of any other potential worries.
This if probably a good time to remind you of that 80/20 woman to man ratio in the classes. I guess it is best to just finish off by saying what are you waiting for.
Give yoga a go!