I shared a post on Ruffians Notebook a few months ago on 6 reasons why men should practice yoga. As it’s coming to the end of 2017, you might be thinking of trying something new in 2018, so boys, why not give yoga a go? There is a misconception that men don’t do yoga. That yoga is for flexible girls in Lycra, but this isn’t true in the slightest. Yoga is all about finding a connection between your body and mind. With the physical practice you will get stronger and mentally, yoga helps to calm the mind – it reminds us to refocus and take a breath. Here are six reasons why you should get on the mat.
“Some guys think that yoga makes you less of a man, the truth is it makes you a better one” – Boys of Yoga
You will build muscle
Yoga allows you to use the weight of your own body to build muscle. With each class you go to, you will start to feel stronger and start to build muscle mass. Who needs weights anyway?
You will work up a sweat
If you think yoga is all about gentle stretching, get yourself to a power or Vinyasa flow class. These classes are energetic and will get your heart rate up. You will definitely have worked up a sweat after an hour-long class.
You are less likely to get injuries and will recover quicker
If you’re a runner or do any other physical activity, yoga is a good counter practice, as it will help you to recover and heal the muscles in your body quicker. Yoga is all about becoming more aware of your body. The next time you do something physical aside from yoga, you will check in with your body to see how it’s feeling. This will result in not pushing yourself past over the limit, in turn preventing injuries.
You will become more flexible
You don’t have to be able to touch your toes to start yoga – but eventually, you will be able to. It’s just practice. If you keep doing the postures, you will start to limber up. There are loads of body folds and twists in yoga as well, which is also detoxifying for your organs and can aid in things like your digestion.
Yoga relieves stress
In this day and age, we’re all going 100mph and usually forget to slow down until it leads to mental and physical burnout. Yoga is good for taking some time to refocus and come back into the present moment. The breathing (or pranayama) in particular is used throughout the practice to help refocus your mind. It taps into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for lowering your heart rate and relaxing the muscles in your body.
It will give you a challenge
There are advanced postures in yoga that you can work up to. From arm balances and headstand, there is always a modification to get you started and the stronger and more confident you become, you will eventually reach your goal – all it takes is a bit of patience and persistence.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a yoga practice, but haven’t built up the courage to get yourself to a class just yet, fear not. Yoga isn’t about competition. It’s not about who can get closest to their toes, or who can get into a handstand first; it’s a personal practice and will be a different experience for everybody. If you fancy more of a workout, get yourself to a power or Vinyasa class, let go of expectations and, well, just go with the flow.
Originally published on Ruffians Notebook