'Do men do yoga?...'Okay, so it seems a silly question to ask, but I do get a lot of men leaning in and asking me this question when I'm out and about.
For some reason there is this perception that yoga is more of a 'gals' thing. We get lots of guys coming into the yoga studio in Lane Cove, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Yoga is for everyone - despite sex, age or physical ability. But there are several reasons why I think men really do need yoga.
Mobility through hips and lower back;
It's fair to say that many men, even those who are fairly active give very little time to stretching and improving their flexibility. Many of them tend to play high intensity sports and then spend little to no time before or after stretching. This results in lots of tight areas but especially in the lower half of their body.
Yoga is perfect for learning how to stretch and free up the hamstrings and hip flexors in order to avoid future injuries and strain through very tight tissues.
Improving body awareness;
Improved body awareness is helpful for so many reasons. The main one is its ability to help us with our posture, and how we carry and use our bodies daily so that we can avoid developing patterns that lead to long term pain and health issues.
Things like dance, martial arts and of course yoga are all activities that help to develop more of our body awareness and help us develop better postures.
Our lives are getting busier and busier, with fewer opportunities for taking time out for ourselves and to let our minds rest and reset. Now if the guys you know are anything like the men in my life, they follow a typical Aussie 'she'll be right mate' attitude.
What we know about stress is that it can be compounding, and if we don't put mechanisms in place to help manage it we can find ourselves in a situation where it builds not just mentally but also physically.
The emphasis in a yoga class on breathing and focusing on the present moment is great for guys who haven't had much experience with meditation and who are unlikely to want to sit for extended periods of time.
Yoga should be accessible to everyone;
I think there might be some men who get turned off the idea of trying yoga, out of fear that it's going to be really ‘out there’ and spiritual. This is one of the main reasons why at the yoga studio in Lane Cove we keep things very simple and avoid using terms or imagery that might be off-putting or 'woowoo' as we like to call it!
Yoga classes should be accessible to everyone, and we try to keep it so that everyone feels comfortable and at home at the studio regardless of your gender.
Some of the best classes for guys to attend are yin yoga and a beginner’s course, as these will give them a solid foundation before exploring other classes.
A note to the ladies reading this... Please don't nag your man into attending a yoga class! We know how good it is, and how much it would benefit them, but they have to get there on their own. A gentle nudge will get them there when they're ready ;)
Looking forward to seeing you at the studio soon Kxx