Often we see yoga classrooms filled with sixty students or more but likely fewer of them that you can even count on your fingers are men. This incident constitutes two common issues in mind like why are there so few men in yoga and why does everyone view it as a women’s practice when it can actually benefit both sexes?
Experts explained that yoga-myths about women’s domination started when yoga was introduced as a type of workout that has to be touchy-feely which seems not very much decent for men, especially when being surrounded by women in tight pants during yoga class. They also stressed that the body has to be flexible and that men’s bodies are just not built for pretzel-like poses which for me is not really true because some women may have bodies that aren’t capable of bending while some boys may have flexi ones at the same time.
Men can actually reap many benefits from practicing yoga just as women can do. It increases flexibility, creates mindfulness, enhances breathing, and even improves sex life. With all these health profits, the only great comeback any man can have is facing the yoga-shaming and changing the perception of yoga amongst them.
Fortunately, the number of men practicing yoga therapy has increased by 250 percent since 2012 according to the latest Yoga Journal Report in the US. This means men are now making up nearly one-third of the American yoga community. These are most male athletes and celebrities who continue to pave the yogic path for men and help extend awareness of its health benefits. Here are other great advantages to ponder on, especially when you’re torn between practicing yoga or trying another type of workout instead.
Yoga improves functional strength.
Yoga is not just about improving a person’s flexibility. More than this famous reputation, yoga can also build the muscles which help develop other bodyweight movements and extend the range of motion. Other functions of natural body weight and resistance help build are to build lean muscle mass, lengthens the muscle and tissue, and improves blood flow. A better blood circulation means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps them grow faster.
It relieves stress through relaxation.
Yoga is a form of breathing exercise and meditation which helps relax the mind and stabilize the autonomic nervous system. Given breathing is an unconscious round-the-clock act, people have to learn the proper way of breathing in order to provide necessary oxygen to their bodies. The poor way of breathing can contribute to certain health problems, insomnia, and stress.
It lightens pain and injury.
Our bodies need to take a break from exercising but we still have to be active. Yoga can be the answer. It is a good practice to alternate with gym exercises because while you keep your body active, it also relaxes at the same time. This way helps you recover your muscles and get ready for the next gym session. No wonder why yoga is an effective practice for pain relief and even yoga-related injuries.
It makes sex better.
Why? The improved sex life of a man practicing yoga is due to the combination of all the above-mentioned benefits. These include the pelvic muscle tone and yoga postures which can heighten a man’s arousal. Plus, a better blood flow means an increased circulation of blood in the genital area. This improves the overall sexual function such as measures of desire, satisfaction, and orgasm.
What men should wear when practicing yoga?
Once you have decided to take your first yoga class, you need to know how to gear up accordingly. Wearing appropriate clothes can help improve your practice. It also makes it easier for you to check the alignment of your body with different yoga postures. For the top, men usually wear loose (but not too loose) shirts, tanks, muscle tees, or other absorbent street wear clothing. Be careful when choosing pants or shorts for the bottom. It can be distracting when it rides up, is too tight, or makes you feel exposed. Others suggest wearing mid-thigh short with a swimsuit style liner for comfort and protection.