Benefits Of Yoga For Men
Bro-ga: Why All Men Should Be Doing Yoga
The woman on the other side has wrapped herself up into what seems like an inhuman position — while you are sweating bucket-loads just trying to touch your toes.
For whatever reason, yoga has been typecast as a modern health and fitness discipline that belongs in a “woman’s world”. Most classes and studios are geared towards the female population, and a recent study conducted in the US showed that 4 out of 5 people who practiced yoga regularly were women. If you do see a man in a yoga class, more likely than not he has been dragged there by his partner.
An interesting note however, is that yoga was originally devised by men, for men — yet somehow this got lost in translation when it migrated to western culture from its roots in India, as far back as 500 BC. It has only been around in the Western world for the past 80 years or so, yet its popularity has really skyrocketed in the last 15-20 years.
Now, it’s big business. Classes, studios, DVDs and yoga retreats are popping up everywhere, and it seems that every second woman these days is covered head to toe in Lululemon clothing. At its core, however, yoga remains one of the true classical forms of exercise. My favourite part of yoga is that it’s a deeply personal workout. It allows you to connect with yourself, focusing on your own breath and movement whilst ignoring the distractions and constant chatter going on inside your head.
What else is yoga good for? I’m glad you asked. Let’s find out.
1- Yoga will compliment your training schedule
The benefits of yoga are many, from improving flexibility and range of motion in major joints (particularly your hips and shoulders) to improving balance, control and core stability. This supplements your efforts in the gym by building control in your stabilising and synergistic muscles — not to mention awakening some deeper muscles that you will never work in a typical gym workout.
Yoga can be used as a substitute for your core workouts, or even strategically placed as an active recovery session, during times in your program where you feel a little over-trained.
2- Yoga isn’t all just Chants and Meditation
Yoga is practiced in many forms these days, from a traditional, beginner’s Hatha to free-flowing Vinyasa and the powerful form of Ashtanga. There’s also Bikram (otherwise known as “hot yoga”) and Lyengar (using props such as blocks, bolsters and straps and focusing on alignment). Don’t get discouraged if you didn’t like it the first time — you just haven’t found your preferred style yet.
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