Why Do Men Need Yoga?
We are so glad to have many male yogis who practice with us on a regular basis!
Yoga has many benefits for men both physically and mentally, and can help with flexibility, creativity, and relaxation, just to name a few. Check out this article detailing specific health benefits of yoga for men, as well as some common misconceptions.
Also, enjoy this article about how yoga changed one wounded vet's life by helping him overcome injury and trauma, and how he is using yoga to help others.
We have so many men in our studio who have benefited greatly from their practice - you can hear from some of them below!
When and why did you begin practicing yoga? Labor Day weekend 2016...my wonderful and very persistent wife Beth had been trying to get me to try yoga for a number of years, but I just found too many excuses not to, mostly time and money. Finally the fact that Blue Ridge Yoga is literally walking distance to our house and was offering the 30 days/$30 intro deal broke down my resistance. And to keep it real, I wasn't going improve my health by staying home!
A lot of men are hesitant to get in to yoga, what would you say to encourage them to begin a yoga practice? I would say that yoga is a great way to address the three facets of a whole person: physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. One can get a great workout any time without having to worry about the weather, while increasing muscular strength and flexibility. It helps develop discipline and focus of the mind, as well as inner peace. Also participating in group classes enables you to meet a lot of great people. Finally, it really makes a cold beer taste even better when you get back home!
What effect has your yoga practice had on your life?Yoga has had the most profound impact on me off the mat. Through the practice, I liberated myself from the affliction of chasing perfectionism that had plagued me for so long. I tightened up while learning to loosen up, haha, and found a beauty in my imperfections. This allowed me to become a more authentic version of myself and taught me how to make space for and truly connect with other people. At the end of every class I always say, "You never have to be perfect, you just have to be present." These are words I now live by.
Why should men do yoga? Men, in particular, often have misconceptions about yoga... I know I did before first stepping on a mat. I thought I knew what core strength was until the first week I practiced! I quickly learned that you don't have to be flexible to do yoga, and I wasn't as strong as I thought! I maintain that whatever you do, yoga will make you better at it! Men typically involve themselves with "yang" activities so the meditative and restorative characters of the practice help create balance between the mind / body / spirit. That balance is not something you'll find with any other activity.
When did you start practicing yoga? Good question - I started doing yoga almost 20 years ago.
What motivated you to begin a practice? I started practicing yoga because of a high stress job and injuries from running.
How has yoga helped you in your daily life? Yoga has helped me to find more calmness, and has allowed me to be more aware of my body and to develop more stability within my body and my mind.
What are some reasons why men in particular should do yoga? Flexibility is an issue with a lot of men, and over time the practice allows for more opening physically. Yoga is also beneficial in combination with the athletic pursuits that many men do. Yoga is not just for the body but helps men to connect their body and their mind together and to be able to find calmness that is not as easy to find in other physical forms of exercise.
A lot of men are hesitant to get in to yoga, what would you say to encourage them to begin a yoga practice? I would encourage them to keep an open mind. Try different teachers and find the one you are most comfortable with. Try not to approach yoga like you do other forms of exercise - "muscling through it" doesn't work with yoga. Try to learn both the effort and also how to let go and yield into the work.
Our top picks for men:
Restorative & Yin
For mental fortitude...