Updated: Dec 17, 2019
There are many reasons why men avoid practicing yoga. Some claim they "aren't flexible enough” to practice, while others might worry about being seen as weak or unmanly. Too often men are taught to wear a mask of masculinity, to be authoritative, to be competitive and in some instances, to solve their problems with combative behavior. Yoga requires us, or better yet, yoga ALLOWS us to rethink the labels that society has placed on us as men. Just as women have been manipulated by advertisers to strive for a perceived perfection, men too have been brainwashed into believing there is a template for being a modern man. Whether yoga is utilized as a stand-alone practice, or it’s used to enhance an already existing exercise program, here are 10 reasons why more men should practice yoga.
10) Stress relief. Society expects a lot from men and those pressures add up over time. Men almost always must be something. We have to be the worker, we have to be the dad and/or the husband, etc., etc. Frequently men have to be the breadwinner, or the one who is in-charge. Practicing Yoga allows us time to simply "be" for a few moments and that provides an amazing opportunity to let go of the roles and labels we carry. This also allows us time to recharge our batteries, which is a huge stress reliever.
9) Increased strength. Men want to be seen as powerful, masculine and even sexy. Yoga gives men the physical strength and mental confidence that allows us to be seen as we wish. Once you see yourself this light, it opens the door for others to see you this way as well.
8) Gain balance. A steady (no pun intended) yoga practice will allow you to nail those tricky balancing poses, but more importantly, it will bring balance into your life. Yoga will help you balance your responsibilities at home and your responsibilities at work. Yoga will also help you balance your emotions, balance your words, balance your actions and even balance your reactions.
7) Redirection of energy, anger or frustration. Often, we turn our frustrations into destructive behavior, such as hurtful words and actions towards others or alcohol/drug abuse. Yoga gives men the sharpness, the power and the discipline to redirect their energy into a positive course of action.
6) More stamina. Society is a pressure cooker, both mentally and physically. Yoga gives men the stamina to rise above the static and outlast the challenges that everyday life throws our way.
5) Added flexibility. Men are often taught to be inflexible in life with a “win at all costs" mentality. This rigid mindset frequently manifests itself by restricting the movement of our physical bodies. A steady yoga practice allows men to open their minds to new ideas and allows men to more fully respect the value of others. This flexibility gives men a more complete sense of self and at the same time, a sense of connection with the world.
4) An artistic outlet. All of us have a creative side, yet we don't always know how to express it. Yoga provides the strength and purpose to fully express our true self. Nothing is more expressive than living with purpose. Self-expression through yoga allows a man to be "comfortable in your own skin”.
3) Improved relationships. Let's face it, maintaining healthy relationships takes a lot of work and even with our best intentions, some things fall through the cracks. All of the aforementioned benefits of yoga will only help to improve your relationships with your significant other, children, family and friends.
2) Freedom of choice. Many potential yogis are turned off by the real or perceived notion of the "Super Yogi". We’ve all seen them, they have amazing looks, the latest yoga fashion and the ability to twist themselves into shapes taken from a Picasso painting. Chances are, you'll probably meet some people like this during your yoga odyssey. Just remember, that everyone is on their own journey and their path is different than yours. There are many studios offering many different styles of classes and each one has its own vibe and clientele. If a particular class seems to cultivate a scene that doesn’t resonate with you, find a class that meets your needs.
1) Improved sexual health. Listen guys, yoga will improve your sexual health. In many instances, sexual health is an indicator for overall general wellbeing, so this should be taken seriously. Your new-found strength, stamina, balance, flexibility, concentration and mindfulness will work in concert to make you a better lover. Start and maintain a steady yoga practice, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results it brings to your love life and it might make others happy too.