I love it when a man practices yoga. Ten years ago in the U.S. yoga was dominated by women, but several gents have caught on to the endless benefits of incorporating yoga into their fitness routine. Here are ten reasons yoga is a great for men’s bodies and minds.
Limber joints are as important as strong muscles
The vein parts of us want to trim down and bulk up, but as my dad wisely noted (he’s an orthopedic surgeon) maintaining flexibility in your muscles, joints and ligaments is equally important as strengthening your muscles and doing cardiovascular exercise. What good are strong thighs if your knees need to be replaced when you’re in your 60s?
You don’t have to be flexible to go to yoga, yoga makes you flexible.
There’s more cardio than you think
Have you ever tried a Bikram yoga (or hot yoga) class? They will work your ass! Yoga isn’t all about quiet reflection and gentle stretching. Certain styles will push your body and mind to physical limits you haven’t yet experienced in the gym or while on a run.
A change of scenery is good
I was taking a spin class a few months back and the owner of my gym said something wise, she said you have to get out of the gym from time to time otherwise you will get bored with your workout routine. It’s true, we need to mix things up and so heading to yoga at least once a week is a great way to add variety to your health regime.
You’ll build community
I love going to the gym, I love weight training and I like going on bike rides. But unless you’re actively bringing friends to these activities they can be solitary. Most yoga studios (not all!) have a great community vibe and it’s a place to have a social network of like minded people. Whether or not you go out for brunch after yoga class or just chat in the foyer before you begin, it’s nice having a space for health and healing that encourages and promotes a sense of community.
You will get “cut” and increase muscle definition
Some athletic styles of yoga like Bikram or ashtanga will help you gain the definition of your muscles that you’ve been craving. By helping with weight loss and simultaneously strengthening your muscles, your triceps, deltoids and abs will be showing in no time!
Yoga helps you crave healthier foods
Do you struggle with cravings for bad food? (I do!) When you practice yoga you crave healthier foods.
A little “inner work” never hurts
Unlike the gym, yoga can bring up emotional pain and force us to look at parts of ourselves that could use some work. While some may run away from this concept, yoga can help add a balance to your emotional life and cultivate discipline while simultaneously opening up those stiff joints.
Helps with sexual stamina
Umm, need I say more? Who doesn’t want to perk up their sex life, increase stamina and ensure your sex drive stays strong and steady? Yoga is great at stimulating the sexual organs, helping stimulate your sex drive and ancient scripts have found men can maintain harder erections for longer when they consistently practice yoga. (Do you need any other reason to go to a yoga class?)
George Clooney does it
Ten years ago classes in the U.S. were filled with women and today it’s attracting the likes of Hollywood hunks like George Clooney and Daniel Craig (partial to Bikram yoga), mixed martial arts master James “The Colossus” Thompson, and the Seattle Seahawks. There’s a reason, it works!
We all enjoy the endless benefits
It goes without saying that it really doesn’t matter what sex you are (or if you don’t identify with any particular sex); practicing yoga is good for all of us. Sweating helps detox our bodies of heavy metals, flexibility can be restored, discipline cultivated, and our minds opened.
So what are you waiting for? I am an avid fan of Bikram yoga and have found it to be the practice that meets the criteria I like in a yoga class: ass kicking, lots of sweating, cardio, strengthening and the heat helps with my natural inflexibly. Find out what works best for you and try mixing it into your normal health routine.