Here’s the real deal why men should partake in yoga
Yoga might not be the first practice that comes to mind when you think of manly fitness regimens. Being a guy in a yoga class, however, could be the start of an incredible routine.
Practicing yoga comes with numerous benefits to men’s physical, mental, and psychological health. Don’t let the stereotype that it’s girly or only for Instagram yogis deter you from signing up. Yoga is a centuries-old practice that could revolutionize your life.
The “normal” exercises, fitness routines, and sports men enjoy like weightlifting or football have their own advantages, but can wreak havoc on the body. Throwing in a few sessions of yoga can repair the damage the other activities do, as well as lend their own benefits to the mind and body.
Practicing yoga just once can open the door to a world of male strength, flexibility, and peace of mind. Explore five of the dozens of attractive benefits this approach to wellness offers men.
Yoga provides an excellent foundation for flexibility and strength men can carry with them into other sports and activities. It is not just the “fancy” positions that lend more flexibility, but the basic poses, as well. Gain physical flexibility you can use in your daily life, at work or in hobbies.
Even something simple like the mountain pose (tadasana) can increase flexibility in your feet.
Men who do any type of physical training know that range of motion is important. Inability to have range of motion while, say, weightlifting, can result in training a limited number of muscles – thereby limiting your functionality. Doing yoga can remove the limitations that tight muscle groups can impose on the body.
Yoga can loosen tight joints in the shoulders, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and other problem areas, resulting in increased flexibility and better range of motion. Combining yoga with fitness routines can help evenly develop muscle groups and lead to better overall results.
2. Stress Relief
The breathing techniques men learn serve as a stress management tactic. Yoga is about marrying the breath with the body. Learning these methods help reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Incorporating yoga in a fitness routine can serve to calm the mind, relieve stress or anxiety, stimulate brain function, and lead to deeper and longer sleep cycles.
Engaging in this activity before or after a workout can help you feel good after training. It reduces blood pressure and prevents wear and tear on the body.
Yoga is an outlet for relieving mental and emotional tension – especially for men who tend to internalize these feelings. During a session, a man can learn how to let go of stressors and cope with daily problems in a healthy, stable way.
3. Strength Building
On your first venture into the practice of yoga, it may surprise you to find how much strength many of the poses take. This activity is excellent for building core strength, better posture, and muscle tone, in general.
Balance poses like tree, or vrksasana, can build strength in the muscles in your core, thighs, groin, calves, and ankles. Other poses use body weight resistance to build strength elsewhere in the body.
Yoga also helps unlock increased access to muscles you might not ordinarily use or strengthen. Over time, muscles can gain better hypertrophy (muscle enlargement on a cellular level) through this mindful activity.
FYI: Doing yoga on top of other regimens can create more well-rounded muscle development.
4. Improve Sports Performance
Yoga is an active recovery workout. This means it improves muscle recovery by helping them stretch and gain flexibility. Well-stretched muscles can heal more quickly after a sports injury or strain. It can also help to prevent injuries from occurring to begin with, as your muscles will be more able to handle bends and blows.
When you think about it, isn’t prevention better than trying to treat damaged muscles or torn ligaments?
Incorporating yoga into a fitness regimen can improve sports performance by building flexibility and the ability to recover more quickly.
By engaging in this activity just once per week can give your body the tools it needs to perform better during sports such as baseball, football, soccer, and basketball. Your muscles will have more strength and elasticity, helping you move more smoothly.
5. Practice Patience
Yoga is an ideal calming practice for busy men who are juggling work, relationships, families, and life in general. It teaches principles of patience, tolerance, and persistence you can carry with you throughout your daily life.
Learning how to take a moment for yourself, without the hassles and stresses of life bearing down on you, can improve all aspects of your life. You’ll quickly learn how to treat everyday struggles with calm and patience thanks to your yoga practice.
It also ties in with mindfulness meditation, a practice that is excellent for clearing the mind and letting go of frustrations. Mindfulness meditation dates all the way back to the first millennium BCE. It focuses on being present in the current moment instead of holding onto thoughts from the past.
Yoga can generate present-moment awareness – a skill men can use to remain calm under stress. It is a great overall way to improve mental health and feel more confident and self-assured during daily tasks and hardships.
Bringing It All Together
Don’t let your own or others’ perceptions of stop you from reaping all the amazing benefits. Contrary to the stereo types, it’s not just for the ladies. In truth, it is the epitome of manly strength and energy – from the inside-out.
Yoga can help bodybuilders, weight trainers, athletes, physical laborers, office workers, stay-at-home dads…virtually every man.
It’s even used in holistic addiction treatment programs, as a method for expanding one’s mindfulness, focus, mental abilities, coping mechanisms, and physical health.
Remember, it’s not about doing each pose perfectly. Instead, it’s about meeting yourself where you are and learning ways to enhance and strengthen your physical and psychological well-being. Try a class today and enjoy the immediate results.
It’s one thing every man needs to incorporate in his life. For additional reading on men’s health and fitness, visit the Reflections Rehab blog.
Offered by Guy Counseling contributer, S.Williams – Wellness Writer with Reflections.