There’s a big misconception that yoga is a female only discipline. In fairness, there are millions of women the world over that have embraced this ancient philosophy and system of stretches and poses. Not so many men, just yet. Maybe it has something to do with the female psyche, migrating towards group exercise to enjoy the social element and unity that yoga can bring. Then again, yoga is practised by many as a solo experience, within the comfort of their own home or outdoors, to enjoy the natural environment.
Perhaps it has something to do with the spiritual element. Could it be that women in general tend to be more interested in the mind body connection? Whatever the reason, believing that yoga is only beneficial for women couldn't be further from the truth. Yoga can help everyone, no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, or level of fitness. It strengthens the body, builds stamina, improves athletic performance and is stimulating for just about every system in our bodies.
And with an increasing understanding of the science behind yoga and its natural partner, mindfulness meditation, this has become a discipline of interest to men too. So, if you’re male and looking for something to improve your overall fitness as well as strengthen mental aptitude, yoga is ready and waiting.
Physical Benefits of Yoga for Men
Yoga is incredibly beneficial because it uses large groups of muscles simultaneously. It does this through a series of ‘asanas’ or poses. Holding a pose essentially means that you’re forced to hold your own body weight in a position for longer than you normally would. By doing this, core muscles are initiated and stabilised.
With regular practice, yoga will increase core strength, promote endurance, and improve body composition, posture and balance. Muscles that get missed by other traditional workouts are also stabilised, ensuring that the joints and spine are much better protected.
Yoga can support the body’s recovery from a work-out, run, swim or cycle. If you’re not yet sold on the whole shebang, why don’t you try incorporating yoga as part of your cooldown instead? Yoga stretches and poses improve flexibility by elongating and stretching muscles, releasing the lactic acid that’s built up during your exercise session.
The stretching that comes with yoga will also aid muscle repair, increase blood circulation, and prevent post-exercise soreness and injury. Given that yoga also increases stamina, you’ll notice over time that you can take on more challenging fitness goals too.
Mental Health Benefits of Yoga for Men
Many people have been drawn to yoga because it’s a way to de-stress, relax and focus on something other than their daily issues. This is all true of course and there’s no doubt that yoga is wonderfully de-stressing and for anyone with a hectic lifestyle or with mental health issues, this can be a powerful tool in managing stress and anxiety levels.
Yoga forces you to focus on your body or at times, specific parts of your body for the duration of the session. If you don’t, you’ll be falling out of pose left, right and centre. This is beneficial to the mind, because it works in a similar way to mindfulness, in that you become more aware of your body and breathe. You get better at focusing, that is, pushing all other distractions out of your mind to concentrate on one thing. Sounds like an athlete mindset, doesn’t it? Which can only be beneficial!
Beginners Yoga for Men
The great news is that you can start learning yoga anytime. Most health clubs and leisure centres run yoga classes these days and it’s often a good idea to head to one when you’re starting out. That way, the instructor can help you with getting into pose correctly. If you prefer the lone approach though, search out beginner’s yoga on platforms like YouTube where you’ll be taken through poses step by step. There’s nothing like the pause button after all.
And don’t forget to get yourself a yoga mat either. It’s the one essential piece of kit you need for yoga to prevent slipping, sliding and injury. The Yogi Bare range of yoga mats leads the way with unrivalled grip, portability and let’s cut to the chase, the best designs. Click here to check out the Yogi Bare Yoga Mat range.
Once you’ve received your mat, you’ll be able to practise your poses anywhere without the need to borrow or share!