Most men would avoid attending a group fitness class. Yoga is one such class. Packed with women, men get the impression that yoga is a feminine practice.
Men also usually desire a buff physique. Their image of a healthy fit physique ranges from a David Beckham to a Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock. To achieve such looks, their fitness regimen usually consists of weight training 3 to 4 times a week with few or more cardio sessions. All this to increase muscle size and to burn off fat.
The trend however is catching on with men, as more athletes, sports teams, and male celebrities are adopting the practice changing the misconceptions about yoga.
Here are the top reasons men should add this ancient old practice into their life.
One can’t deny the Health Benefits of Yoga:
- Provides relief from arthritis and joint pain through continuous flexion of the joints
- Keeps spine supple and healthy through forward bends, backbends, and twists
- Increases bone density as seen in body weight strength poses
- Strengthens small stabilizer muscles that provide balance and coordination
- Prevents appearance of varicose veins (spider web-like blood vessels) by increasing blood flow through inverted poses like the headstand and shoulderstand
- Detoxes body by draining the lymphatic system
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Stabilizes adrenal glands by regulating hormones
- Plays a major role in relieving many other stress-associated ailments
It is a workout:
If you don’t believe yoga is workout, then maybe you just weren’t doing the right kind or you need to try it with a different teacher. Whatever the reason, you need a fresh start. There are many kinds of yoga, with different intensity levels, different durations, and different focus objectives. As you get better at your practice, the poses will become more advanced, challenging your muscles and your cardiovascular systems thorough poses that require focus, coordination, balance, and endurance making you feel drained at the end of a 60 min session.
Gives you better shape/fixes your posture:
Let’s face it. Most of us go to the gym in order to look better. Asanas can be challenging, and the backbends, forward bends, and twists give life to your spine in ways traditional fitness cannot. Most men who hit the gym cluster around the weight training area. As they begin to pump and train their muscles, they neglect the bone structure and joints that support the body. Men also focus on their chest muscles and their biceps, neglecting what they cannot see in the mirror (the back muscles and the legs). As a result, muscles tighten and shorten in some areas and weaken in others. That’s why men who train have a slight forward slump. Men also hate to stretch after a workout, further contributing to a stunted posture.
Increases Brain Power/Ability to focus:
Yoga is more than just a physical practice. You are expected to be present and mindful in every pose, using the challenging poses to still the mind. By focusing on the asana that is being performed and what the body is experiencing during the asana, the mind learns not to wander around in the head following every thought that comes. That’s why more people turn to yoga to relieve the stress that today’s achievement-oriented world throws at us.
It calms you down:
Teaching you to watch and witness the thoughts that arise and the sensations of the body, you become calm and still. As men tend to be problem solvers, you’ll learn to become more in tune with what is.
It complements your workout:
A good fitness program addresses 3 main things: strength, cardio, and flexibility. Men usually give more value to strength, use cardio only if they want to lose weight, and totally avoid the flexibility. Yoga is an excellent addition to your regimen. Aim towards a minimum of once a week, not forgetting to stretch for 5-10 min after every workout.
It Helps you in your Sport:
If you’re training as an athlete or if you’re training for performance in a specific sport, you’ll also want to focus on the other components of fitness. Flexibility is a major component that yoga addresses perfectly. Coordination is another component you’ll need to address. To win at your sport, you’ll also benefit greatly from the focus and stillness that a dedicated yogi earns through practice.