Why Men Need Yoga: 4 Great Benefits
The idea that yoga is only for ladies is as outdated and inaccurate as the view that yoga is easy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, yoga can be far more physically challenging and mentally rewarding than most kinds of traditional exercise. No other discipline strengthens the body, focuses the mind, and promotes overall well-being better than yoga. In addition to improving flexibility, balance, and mental acuity, practicing yoga reduces stress and fosters a strong body-mind connection. Understanding your body and how it moves enhances overall strength, performance, and agility.
How can men benefit from yoga?
- Strength: Instead of raising free-weights off the ground and over your head, yoga uses the weight of your own body to build lean muscle mass. Yoga poses combines dynamic muscle movement with isometric contractions and works for both large and small muscle groups in tandem. Arm balances, inversions, and postures like extended-hold plank and low push-up can challenge the entire upper body and core. Standing yoga asanas like Chair and Warrior II do the same for the legs.
- Flexibility: Most weight lifting activities and endurance sports tighten muscles, which ultimately limits the body’s full range of motion and reduces flexibility. Sports that asymmetrically stress the body like golf, tennis, and baseball, can create imbalance and compromise the kinetic chain. Hatha Yoga is a balanced exercise that loosens joints, lengthens muscles, and aligns the body, which counters the consequences of repetitive motion activities and structural imbalance.
- Injury Prevention: The body is an astonishingly brilliant machine. If a muscle is weak or exceptionally tight, for example, the body offsets by firing the larger, more predominant muscles to complete the job. For the most part, this action goes unseen. Over time, however, this compensation becomes a pattern that can lead to muscular imbalance. In yoga poses, it’s hard for the body to “cheat.” The practice requires pupils to activate – and strengthen – often neglected smaller muscle groups. Yoga prevents injury by exposing and addressing imbalances in the body before they become more significant problems.
- Recovery: Yoga promotes flexibility and encourages relaxation throughout the body. When the muscles are relaxed, there is more opportunity for blood to flow through the muscles and surrounding connective tissues. This increase in blood flow transports more oxygen and nutrients to the area, which in turn promotes healing and recovery.
The four benefits above are just the tip of the iceberg. Yoga also aids in digestion, improves sleep, enhances mental acuity, improves heart health, and so much more. It is an incredible life-changing force for so many people. There is absolutely no way that it can be denied that yoga is a valuable part of our lives. In my opinion, it is an amazing lifestyle choice that we must make.
If a guy you know needs yoga to bring him to class and practice with him! Ease into the practice with a class like Deep Stretch or Flow (you might lose him if you dive right into Hot or Power Yoga). Once he experiences the body benefits that only yoga can deliver, we’re confident he’ll be hooked. There are some great websites that have thorough and detailed yoga for beginner guides that will explain all the details and concerns that beginner yoga students have.
Once you’ve made the commitment, don’t worry. The commitment is not to be held, but to be achieved. You and your yoga teacher will work together to meet your goals, and to support your goals, no matter what they are. Yoga classes are built to be supportive and fun. They will use props to help you experience these benefits, and you will be encouraged to share what you feel and why you think it is helpful to you.