Men, Yoga Has A Lot Of Benefits For You
Yoga was a life changer for me. It fixed a body broken by hard physical work and injuries.
I know it has the potential to help a lot of dudes who are tight bundles of stress or inflexible piles of muscle. It’s like a workout that heals. So why would I be the only guy there in any live class I’ve ever been to? And why are men so resistant to giving it a try at home, using a YouTube video to get started? Is it peer pressure?
It’s like a workout that heals.
If fear of looking silly is the only thing in your way, then man up! Don’t let some silly little voice in your head stop you from getting in the best shape you could ever be.
Here are five good reasons that yoga should be part of your life. With the massive amount of instructors giving cheap classes on Zoom and the high-quality YouTube yoga tutorials, you don’t even need a ton of money to get started. It’s cheaper than drinking coffee every day for crying out loud.
Yoga makes you strong
Flowing from one pose to another will affect your body more than you think. Multiple muscle groups find themselves working together instead of being isolated and unbalanced. Your core will get some love and become stronger every time you get on that mat.
The equipment is your body weight and gravity. When you try yoga, your challenge level is suited for your size. You end up holding a lot of weight in poses that will force your muscles to get stronger over time.
An example is Chaturanga. This one move incorporates elements of a plank and a close hands pushup. It stretches the lower back and all of the other muscles as you flow through it. Yoga’s a core workout in almost every pose.
Different types of yoga classes focus on different aspects, so you won’t get as much muscle-building out of a slow stretching style of class. Try each and pick what you need the most. I prefer lots of flows and movement, and these classes make you strong.
A more flexible range of motion
“I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible enough.” Now that is ridiculous. If you aren’t a racecar driver, I guess you can’t get behind the wheel of a car. If you aren’t a cross-fit champion, you shouldn’t go into a gym. If you aren’t a chef you shouldn’t make mac and cheese out of a box.
Give your head a shake. People do yoga to get flexible, not because they started that way!
Almost all dudes suffer from the same problem, whether they go to the gym and lift, or only lift things like staplers and coffee cups, or go for 20 mile runs. They lack flexibility. Their range of motion isn’t as big as it could be.
This is a major weakness that affects every area of your life. Flexibility makes you more injury-proof if you’re sporty. But it also protects your back if you’re sedentary, too. Everyone needs to be flexible, or they end up snapping in two like a dry stick.
If a guy is adding muscle bulk, retaining flexibility means you don’t become some cartoon character who can’t bend his arms all the way anymore. It’s easier to stay flexible if you work at while you bulk up, instead of afterward. But yoga could always help at any stage to get it back.
How about less built-up stress?
Have you heard anyone say “Stress? Anxiety? Bring it on! Let’s build up emotional pain in the body and never release it!”
If want to feel emotionally unhinged then don’t do yoga. But if you want to find a great way to reduce some of that stress you’ve been hanging onto, then yoga is a great place to start.
The simple act of slowly breathing while moving through the poses stimulates the vagus nerve. This article from Yoga For Modern Life, The Vagus Nerve And Why It Matters In Yoga, is a good primer on yogic breathing and how it helps you.
Reducing your chronic stress with yoga and slow, deep breathing while doing the poses has far-reaching effects. Not only is it a mood picker-upper, but it also lowers cortisol levels in the blood. This reduces inflammation, the silent killer. It can help mitigate cardiovascular problems too.
Give it a try for yourself. You’ll find that the stress-relieving effects alone are worth the effort.
Meeting new friends and cool people
Yoga classes are a great way to get out of your box and see some new faces.
Don’t be a creeper! Genuine human connections only.
I appreciate the fact that it isn’t all sweaty dudes like other workouts I go to. I like being around women who are fitness-minded and interested in self-improvement enough to show up. Does this sound like the kind of people you’d like to meet? Hint: yoga classes have these people. But don’t be a creeper! Genuine human connections only.
I don’t understand why more guys don’t see this about yoga. They seem to want to hang out with sweaty, grunting men who throw weights on the floor. That isn’t my ideal environment but to each his own.
If you’re afraid the experienced yoga geniuses are all gonna laugh at you while you struggle, it isn’t like that. Everyone is focused mostly on themselves. And the yoga community is very supportive of newbies. Especially if a class of all women suddenly gets something different: one guy. Trust me. No matter how shaky and silly you feel, it won’t be a problem.
Injury prevention, healing and pain reduction
This is why I started yoga. I had crippling lower back pain, and sometimes I was popping pills just to keep from screaming. Top that off with a sore neck and shoulder troubles too. My chiropractor and massage therapist couldn’t keep up. My lack of flexibility from years of working and a few injuries I collected along the way was a big problem.
Yoga showed me how tight I really was. Lower legs and hamstrings needed care like you wouldn’t believe. The bottoms of my feet had trouble with some of the poses because there were tight muscles. In my feet!
My sides almost needed new sides, they were so cramped up. You name a body part, it needed some stretching and oxygen. Everything got limbered up and started getting better blood flow, and I started feeling fantastic.
It wasn’t an overnight change. On the other hand, it only took a short period of time to undo decades of damage. I find myself able to do pretty much any activity with no pain, even standing still for hours on concrete. This used to be impossible for me.
Yoga optimizes your body. It’s that simple. No matter where you are with physical health, it helps to be flexible and have good blood flow to all the tissues. That’s why I think any guy interested in living a long, healthy life should give it a go. You owe it to your body!