Yoga has continued to grow in popularity over the past few years.
It’s no wonder — yoga is a very effective form of low impact exercise that can improve a person’s posture, flexibility and strength.
Yoga has also been proven to reduce stress levels and lowers the risk of serious medical ailments including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Given the many benefits that yoga provides, it seems unusual that men have been reluctant to take it up.
In the UK, the average yoga participant is seven times more likely to be a woman.
It’s about the same in the United States, with only 18% of the 20 million yoga participants being men.
If you are a male who is hesitant to give yoga a try, this is the article for you.
We’ll share the many ways that yoga can benefit men and clear up some common misconceptions that men have about yoga.
The benefits of yoga for men
Men can benefit from yoga in many different ways, including:
An astonishing 85% of UK adults experience stress regularly.
Stress can also be more dangerous for men because it is more likely to cause depression.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that has been proven to reduce stress.
Researchers have found that yoga is effective because it reduces hormones relating to stress and anxiety, including cortisol and adrenaline.
Most men suffer from muscle tightness.
This is often a result of either strenuous physical activity at work or a sedentary lifestyle.
Most frequently, muscle tightness affects the shoulders, hamstrings, glutes, and pecs.
Yoga can help by dramatically improving flexibility in those areas.
After practising yoga for a few weeks, you will find it easier to move around and enjoy an additional range of motion in your limbs.
Men offer consider yoga to be an “easy” form of exercise that doesn’t require much strength.
The reality is — some yoga poses require an extraordinary amount of strength combined with flexibility and balance.
Once you have gone to a few yoga sessions, you will discover that it builds strength, particularly in muscle groups that are often neglected at the gym.
Yoga includes many poses that require excellent balance.
The participant must use their stabiliser muscles to successfully form each pose, including smaller muscles in your core and joints.
As you perform these poses, you will find that your balance improves dramatically.
This will help you in daily life and improve your performance in any sports you play.
More body satisfaction
Performing yoga regularly will change how you feel about your body.
You will come to enjoy the feeling of flexibility, stability, and strength that it brings.
It will also improve your posture and ultimately give you more confidence.
Improved sex life
This is one benefit that most men are very happy to learn about!
Yoga poses strengthen many parts of the body, including the pelvic region, spine, and the perineum.
This will improve how well you perform during sex.
Some poses will also increase your sensuality making sex feel better.
To top it all off, when you go to a yoga class, you will be surrounded by beautiful, healthy people.
It will be easy to meet potential romantic partners.
Insomnia is very common amongst men in the UK with two thirds (67%) of UK adults suffering from disrupted sleep and nearly a quarter (23%) managing no more than five hours of sleep a night.
If you are one of the people struggling to get to sleep, yoga may help.
A national survey performed in the United States found that 55% of people said performing yoga made it easier to sleep at night.
Researchers suspect that the calming effect that yoga has on the mind combined with the physical exertion of a yoga class helps people sleep well.
So, why don’t more men enjoy yoga?
With all of these amazing benefits, it seems strange that men haven’t embraced yoga.
After all, yoga could counteract many of the health issues that men commonly face, including sore backs, strained muscles, cardiovascular disease, high levels of work stress, poor posture, and obesity.
Some potential reasons for men not taking up yoga include:
Some men feel that yoga is a light weight form of exercise mostly practiced by women and “hippies”.
Men often feel it is more appropriate to go to the gym and lift weights instead.
The reality is, yoga participants are a varied group of people.
They include business people, students, retirees, and people trying to lose weight or get fitter.
Anyone can enjoy yoga and obtain the many benefits listed above.
They are worried they will look silly
Yoga is a strenuous activity that requires excellent balance and flexibility.
Some men have seen the incredible poses that yoga masters can perform and are worried that they may look silly when trying to emulate these advanced manoeuvres.
Yoga is actually very simple to get into and yoga classes are very welcoming places.
You will only perform the poses that you feel comfortable with and you can go at your own pace.
So why not give yoga a try?
The health benefits are amazing and you will enjoy the improvements to your flexibility and strength.
Start with a short beginners course and go from there — in my opinion, taking up yoga is one the best decisions you could ever make!