Yoga in the Western World is clearly dominated by women, teachers and students alike, although it may be surprising to know that yoga was originally practiced only by men some 5,000 years ago.
I was introduced to yoga about eight years ago after suffering from a catastrophic running injury and until then, I was like so many other men, always coming up with a reason why not to try yoga. Can you relate?
I’m not flexible – This excuse often ranks high on the why not to practice yoga list. Yoga is not about being flexible. It provides a transformative way to connect both mind and body and can be quite challenging and fun.
Yoga is for women – yoga is for everyone! Yoga does not discriminate. Yoga helps build, maintain and challenge your endurance, strength and focus.
I already exercise – One of my favorite teachers always said before class, “Nothing prepares us for yoga but yoga prepares us for everything.” It’s simply a complement to whatever else you are currently doing and will certainly enhance it, plus it works areas of the body that we often neglect or just never pay attention to. I had a male student come to me two years ago complaining of lower back issues from his golf game. We worked together over the summer building strength, flexibility and deepening his sense of body awareness. He was amazed that the back pain vanished and just as important for him, his golf
It’s hippie new age stuff – This will depend on what you’re looking for from a yoga class. There are some classes that provide more of the hippie flair and some that focus more on the physical, so it’s important to find a class that you connect with. A safe environment and good teacher are an invaluable part of a successful practice.
It’s not a real workout – Yoga is such a well-rounded activity that offers so much to both the mind and body. Yoga can be a full body workout, a restorative time to relax or a good mix.
Come on guys, no more excuses. It’s time to put your reservations aside and try it for at least one class and remember, yoga offers something for everyone!