Lots of men have figured out that yoga can be a great addition to their workout regimen, while others are still intimidated by common misconceptions. Gentlemen, don’t miss out – read this before you rule out hitting the mat!
Myth: Yoga isn’t an effective workout.
Truth: Yoga is an amazing workout! Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a ton of gym equipment to get your money’s worth. As Men’s Fitness explains,
“Yoga uses the weight of your own body to build mass and strength. Think about how many clunky free-weights it takes to bench press your bodyweight (150–200 lbs.). Yoga allows you to get the same muscle-building benefits by performing long, extended pushups, squats, and leg lifts. The results are well-worked muscle groups, which get stronger with each class.”
Many professional athletes include yoga in their workout regime, too. According to Danny Poole, a Denver teacher who worked with several of the Denver Broncos, “Athletes with big muscles take a regular yoga class and it kicks their butt.” But he says that those who stuck with the practice enjoyed a much lower rate of sports-related injuries.
Myth: All yoga classes are created equal.
Truth: You can choose a class that works for you. If you’re looking to round out your workout with extra cardio, seek out a class that has “Vinyasa,” “Flow,” or “Power” in the title. If you’d like some extra quality time with your significant other or your children, Yoga Innovations also offers yoga classes designed specifically for families and for couples.
Myth: You need to be flexible to do yoga.
Truth: Many men avoid practicing yoga because they’re not flexible, but that’s like saying you don’t want to work out because you’re out of shape! Yoga is all about finding the right pace for you, and students are more than welcome to rest in Child’s Pose if a pose is too strenuous. Trust me, there’s no need to be self-conscious – the other students are way too absorbed in their own practice to notice yours!
Myth: Yoga involves lots of touchy-feely, New Age practices like chanting.
Truth: You don’t have to be a crunchy hippie to practice yoga! Typical yoga classes are about focusing on the pose at hand, and a good teacher won’t distract you with lots of extra fluff.
But there are several proven mental benefits that yoga students experience, such as increased concentration and decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia.
“If you want to be more James Bond than Charlie Sheen, get yourself on the mat,” says Sadie Nardini, host of Rock Your Yoga. “Yoga trains your mind to see the bigger picture and act from integrity instead of freaking out.”
Need more inspiration to get started? Check out Yoga Dudes!