Yeah Guys – You Can Do Yoga Too
To you men out there that think that yoga is somehow unmanly, it’s time to stop being so inflexible.
I used to think the same way—I went with a female friend to her yoga class and put on a big charade like it wasn’t manly enough for me. But after 60 minutes of various stretches, flexes, and breathing routines, I almost couldn’t walk the next day. And the sad part about the whole thing was that it was a beginner level class. I quickly learned to never scoff at yoga again.
Indeed, many guys still believe that yoga is a ladies-only affair. They don’t know that the very first yogis were actually men. But modern yoga is catching on with guys; to the extent that if you haven’t tried it yet, you may be one of the men who are in the minority these days. And…you don’t even have to wear leggings (they’re optional of course).
Yoga has been in existence for over 5,000 years and has become one of the most popular forms of exercise for men and women in modern times. It includes meditation, along with asana (different postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques). It has been utilized to not only gain strength and flexibility but also to calm the mind.
Here are some of the ways that yoga can benefit men’s physical strength and flexibility, as well as their happiness and overall wellbeing.
Increased Body Awareness
Any men who have tripped or stumbled and sprained an ankle (or worse) can tell you that it wasn’t fun. Yoga classes (or home courses) can help to emphasize the importance of maintaining strict form when practicing its many different postures.
This self-awareness of your movement and posture in turn building up your proprioception; knowing where your body is within physical space.
The more that you practice yoga in this manner, the more you build up your proprioceptive skills, which can help your form when engaging in resistance (weight) training, and decrease the chance of sustaining injuries because of your improved sense of balance.
Promotes Heart Health
While you might believe that you have a good heart (we’re sure you’re a kind person), heart disease is no laughing matter—in fact, it’s the leading cause of death for men within the United States.
The intense breathwork (your conscious control & focus over your breathing patterns) found in yoga is believed to contribute to peoples’ heart health. It is also believed to promote better cortisol levels, as well as reduce blood pressure—factors that can only help to improve one’s cardiovascular system.
Increased Mobility and Flexibility
As guys, we typically focus on strength training—such as weight lifting and calisthenics, and/or cardiovascular exercise—such as biking, running, and playing sports.
While this is all fine and dandy for building up muscles, increasing bone density, and improving your hearth health, focusing solely on both strength and cardiovascular training can lead to muscle and nerve tightness and rigidity. This is mainly due to engaging in the same repetitive movements over and over again.
Yoga can be an excellent way to incorporate alternate movements, which focus more on increasing both your body’s flexibility, as well as its overall mobility. This in turn can help your regular fitness routine so that you are able to tap into your body’s full range of motion.
Strengthen Your Stabilizer Muscles
Usually, a large part of a man’s fitness routine involves using free weights and exercise machines in order to gain bigger, more visually appealing muscles (let’s not kid ourselves here).
Although your muscles may begin to look better and more pronounced over time, these types of exercises often leave out your all-important stabilizer muscles. This can lead to an imbalance within your body’s musculature and result in being more prone to injuries.
Practicing strict-form yoga postures can activate many of these oft-neglected stabilizer muscles within your body, that your resistance training usually doesn’t address.
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As mentioned in my example in the above intro, yoga can really wear your body out (especially for beginners). In order to keep your energy levels high throughout the day, consider taking Koreselect Energy—this concentrated, liquid stick ginseng supplement can provide healthy sustained energy throughout the day!
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