Becoming A Badass Male Yogi
Ok, let’s get real, a lot of men are skeptical about yoga, and some are plain against it. It’s time to crush some stereotypes and talk about all the awesome benefits that come from incorporating a solid yoga practice into your life.
But first, for fun, let’s discuss all of the lame excuses that we hear from men when asked why they don’t do yoga.
1. Yoga is for women
Please stop for a second and ask yourself how is this a problem? Single men, the yoga studio may be the one place you haven’t looked yet, that’s an incentive in itself to come! Also, you know that yoga was first designed for men, right? Women couldn’t even touch a mat until the early 20th century.
2. I’m not flexible enough
That’s why you come to yoga, to get more flexible! It’s like anything in life; you build up to it. You didn’t start squatting 300 pounds the first time you went to the gym, and you sure as hell didn’t say, “I guess I’m just not strong enough.”
3. I’m not into the spiritual aspect
Not all classes have a spiritual aspect! There are even classes designed specifically for men. Some classes even incorporate weights, like a NuPowerYoga class!
4. I may get too “hot” in class
I can’t help you there. However, yoga is proven to increase libido. It also rids the body of toxins that affect sexual performance and reproductive health. A 2010 study, published in the journal of Sexual Medicine, showed that yoga effectively improves all sexual functions in men. So yoga leads to better sex, how is that a bad thing?
Why real men do yoga
I’m sure a few of the lame excuses above resonated with a lot of you, and that’s ok! With all assumptions aside, let’s check out the 5 benefits that men see from a regular yoga practice.
1. Relieve stress and tension
Yoga lets us recharge and de-stress from the day. Yoga allows you to detox by using breathing (pranayama) techniques that are known to have relaxing effects on the brain. These techniques calm the central nervous system, helping to turn down your flight or fight response.
2. Increase flexibility
A lot of physical activity requires engagement of multiple muscles fibers to perform powerful, explosive, and strategic movement patterns. Did you know that the physical practice of yoga, or asana, targets specific areas of muscle fiber to increase extensibility, endurance, blood flow, nutrient delivery, and range of motion? (Warning, increased range of motion can lead to more leverage, power and ultimately more bros in tiny tanks.)
3. Build muscles and burn fat
Have you heard of multiple isometric contractions? That’s what is being utilized in Yoga over various muscle groups in the body while you are holding your pose. Do you like holding planks for extended periods of time after you have already exhausted your upper body? Then grab a mat and get flowin’, it’s harder than it looks.
4. Improve balance and stability
Yoga uses many postures that challenge balance and stability. Single leg balance, arm balance, bending forward with a split leg stance all rely on a strong core to be executed correctly. So not only will your balance improve, but your spine and core will get stronger as well!
5. Improve cardiovascular health
Yoga is heart healthy! Vinyasa-style jumpstarts our circulatory system by heating up our body and as a result improves our cardiac health. Some more positive reactions include production of healthy heart tissue and a strong blood flow to the whole body.
6. Clear mental fog and fatigue
Traditionally, asana is used to relax the body in preparation for meditation. This isn’t a practice that has to be exclusive to yoga though; you can even use it as a tool to quiet your brain at night or during stressful days at work. It allows you to unplug and restore your brain from everything the day has overwhelmed it with.
The facts don’t lie and the excuses are getting old, so go out, grab a mat, and try it out!