I have been practicing yoga for about 20 years and only recently am I seeing more male students in class. Yes, there have always been some males in class with me but overall the classes typically consist of females. When I have asked my male friends why they won’t go to class with me or at all I get various answers. Here are a few I have heard and a few I also believe to be true.
· You just sit around and breath in yoga class.
· Yoga is for girls
· I want to get a good workout
· I am not flexible enough
· I won’t sweat
· It doesn’t give me the strength training I need
· I won’t be able to build muscle
My experience with yoga is that no other workout routine has given me the physical and mental satisfaction that my body and mind need. Yes, yoga classes are not always a sweaty workout but the way I see it, you get out of it what you put into it. If you go to a power vinyasa class (flowing poses using the breath to achieve balance and mindful movement) and don’t challenge yourself you may not get all you need from that hour but that is life, right? You go to challenge yourself and push to your edge so you can see what you and your body are capable of. The same goes for a restorative yoga class. Some yogis I know say that a restorative yoga class (mostly floor poses using props held for longer periods of time so you can deeply rest, relax and release physical, mental and emotional stress) are the hardest classes for them because they are asked stay still for longer than is comfortable and it challenges them to practice mindfulness and be present with their thoughts.
Yoga amazing benefits to offer everyone, even men. I am not suggesting that yoga is the only physical exercise that you may need or want but I am saying that yoga brings it all together. Yoga is a mind and body practice that brings balance to your life and can create opportunities for yourself that you did not think possible. I read this article recently and loved how it spoke about why men (people) should include yoga into their regular workout routine (or especially if you don’t have one) and how it can change your life.
See you in class boys!
Gina & the VWS Team