Why Real Men Should Practice Yoga
Yoga was developed over 5000 years ago by men to prepare their bodies for meditation. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core. So why are only 18% of the 20.4 million yogis in the United States men?
There are many theories. Men find it boring; men are not thought to be spiritual; men want quicker physical results from their physical activities; yoga is not a decent workout; yoga is too woowoo; you have to be flexible to do yoga; there are only women in the classes.
One incredibly valuable function of a structured yoga practice is leaving the stress of everyday life off the mat. I find the peace in yoga similarly to my scuba diving experiences. When you scuba dive your attention must be totally on that activity. Allowing your mind to wander on other subjects could endanger your life. Plus you might miss that shark you have been waiting to see. Yoga requires concentration to do the poses correctly. You can injure yourself doing any physical activity if you do not pay attention to the details. Everyone needs to slow down and turn off. Learning to be still for Shavasana is so valuable if you do not have a regular meditation practice.
Men who want quick results from their "workouts" forget that no workout program provides results in a few weeks. I see men every day at the fitness center doing the same workout program week after week. You do not run a marathon the first day you start training. Find the patience for yoga that you find for other workout programs. You will be amased and pleased.
Yoga is definitely a good workout. There are many levels of a yoga practice that you can engage. Modern yoga has great cardio benefits. Strength is built through yoga as I know first hand. You do not have to be flexible to start a yoga practice. Most people start their practice and cannot touch their toes. If you develop a consistent practice you will become more flexible. Do not compare your abilities with others in the class. Yoga is not a competitive sport. What happens on your mat is all that matters.
If you are a solitary kind of guy and do not like organized fitness classes, try a guided class on the internet. There are hundreds of different classes available for you. Use your electronic tablet to view the class and put a Pad Go Round on it. You can set the tablet on the floor where you will be spending most of your time.