It may be (for the time being) that there are typically a few more women than men in yoga classes, however there's a strong movement of guys not only trying yoga, but striving in many aspects - physically, mentally and emotionally both on and off the mat!
Here are a few reasons why…
Yoga keeps your body fit, strong and flexible. The one we hear all the time from guys at Breeze is this “I'm not flexible enough to do yoga.” That’s like saying, “I'm not strong enough to lift weights.” Yoga poses are powerful and specifically designed to open and strengthen your body efficiently. The practice will make you more flexible, light and in many ways stronger than any other form of exercise – without wrecking your body at the same time, unlike many other physical pursuits! With patience and steady, consistent practice, you will become more open than you've ever imagined. You will tone and strengthen muscles that you didn't even know you had!
Yoga alleviates pain and injury. Many men initially come to yoga suffering from injuries and/or pain, particularly in the back, knees and joints. Yoga uses controlled movements, expert alignment, biomechanics and breath to open up your body efficiently while minimizing the risk of injury. Safety and good alignment are the absolute first priorities in an effective yoga practice - a good yoga practice demands that you do not push beyond what you are capable of doing safely. There's always a variation or modification to keep you safe while still progressing and challenging (and even changing) yourself throughout each class. Within the first month of a regular yoga routine, existing pain and injuries are often alleviated and beyond that, yoga will help take your health and wellbeing to an entirely new level. So what starts with trying out yoga to alleviate an injury, can often result in a whole new way of living!
Yoga will give you a challenge that is as fun as it is rewarding. Many men say that practicing yoga is more of a workout than any they have experienced before, that it doesn’t exhaust them physically, but boosts and energizes them from a physical and mental perspective. Unlike many physical activities, you will learn how to challenge yourself without being competitive. Many men come from an athletic or business-minded background, where competition is rife - yoga teaches you to challenge yourself intelligently. Be warned: learning and mastering new postures and noticing real progress can be addictive – in a good way!
Yoga will help improve diet, sleep and general overall health. Once you're feeling the physical benefits of your yoga practice, you naturally begin to shift your diet and sleeping patterns too. During a yoga class, you will notice your mind is so focused on what you're doing that it is impossible to think about your job, bills, life dramas or anything else. You find yourself fully “in the moment”, and that complete focus puts your mind at ease – it’s like a mini holiday every time you practice! Afterwards, you will feel grounded and relaxed. The combination of your body and mind feeling fantastic is a great recipe for life enhancement that will benefit not only you but those around you too!
Yoga improves your performance and relieves stress. The stresses of life are many fold – we all know this! Yoga trains your mind to be grounded and calm, especially when caught up in the crossfire of stressful situations. Why would anyone want to put themselves in a challenging yoga pose, hold it and be asked to stay calm and breathe deeply? Well, quite simply because on the battlefield of life, you will be challenged far more than you will ever be on your yoga mat! However, by practicing to stay grounded in very uncomfortable situations, physically and otherwise, you train yourself to be at your best when it matters most.
Yoga is “the fountain of youth”. In addition to all the physical, emotional and mental health benefits, a steady yoga practice will make you feel better and younger than you could have ever imagined. Remember though that anything worth doing will take time and patience. Yogis are young and old alike who want to better themselves and live more vibrantly, irrespective of factors such as age or ability. When you surround yourself with people who willfully open their bodies and minds, you become more youthful and open to trying new things.
It’s all about you! How often do you really do something that is just for you? Well that’s what yoga practice is about, and it's the same for every other person in that class with you. So you need never concern yourself with anyone watching, judging or comparing – everyone in that class is there to enhance themselves physically, emotionally and mentally, just like you!