Whey you think Yoga, do you think yoga for men? When most men think about yoga, they picture a woman in LuluLemon pants. It’s true today that most Yogi’s are women. Most men don’t think about yoga as a “manly” thing.
These days a lot of guys think of yoga as a “hobby” for house bound rich women to have an excuse to leave the house and get an $8 five pump latte. We don’t think of yoga as something “real men” do. Men think “Real men go to the gym”.
Yoga Was Created By a Man.
The earliest roots of Yoga can be traced back over 5,000 years to the priests following the text of the Rig Veda according to some. Other claim it was the priests of the Tantric era in 1400 BC that documented and taught the yoga that led to what we see today. All of these early teachers and writers were men.
The earliest forms of yoga were a cocktail of chants, breathing and poses as described in early scriptures as late as 500 BC. One of the earliest texts describes the path of the Paja Yoga.
Yoga isn’t just chanting and breathing
At some point the yoga masters added the physical aspect of the body to yoga leading to Hath Yoga. Hath Yoga is what we in the west think of when we think of yoga. Although even that has changed with the introduction of Bikram or “hot” yoga, and even aerial yoga. Both of these types of Yoga are designed to cleanse the physical body by opening it up in ways not previously used.
In the 1900’s Yoga was introduced to western civilization by “swami’s”. Also men. So gentlemen, yes yoga is for men.
Benefits of yoga for men
Just because women stole the yoga show doesn’t mean men shouldn’t be reaping the benefits. If you are a guy who is skeptical about yoga for men or a woman trying to get your men to go read on. The benefits of yoga are hard to ignore.
1. Improves sex life
Instead of saving the best for last, lets get right too it. Gents, yoga can boost your sex drive. The Journal of Sexual Medicine studied men, sex and yoga. They concluded that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control*.
As your yoga practice improves, you find increased body awareness. This helps reduce anxiety and increase blood flow to the genital area and helps rid the body of toxins that affect sexual performance.
Men can improve their control of the pelvic floor with the Mula Bahnda. Longer orgasms and orgasms without ejaculation are the benefits of a more engaged pelvic floor.
2. Prevents injuries
Men being men appear to me more prone to injuries. Those injuries often lead to long term aches, pains, and additional injuries. Guys, it doesn’t matter if you are athletically active or spend hours at a desk. Yoga can help prevent injuries in numerous ways.
Yoga gives you better awareness of your body. This awareness means you can recognize subtle issues, such as poor posture, and correct them quickly. One race car driver tells me that Yoga helps him become more connected to the car and the track.
Yoga also improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue.
3. Builds muscle
Remember I said most guys think “Real men go to the gym”? Those are the same guys that think weightlifting is the only way to build muscle? Well it is time to think again!
Yoga uses natural body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass. With this, yoga lengthens muscles and tissue improving blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps them recover faster so they can grow. Better blood flow also helps during other athletic activities.
If you want to build muscle faster, work with Monica at HARD yoga to add weights to your yoga routine.
4. Enhances productivity
As if help in the bedroom and leaning muscle isn’t enough, Yoga also improves productivity at work.
Research done by a University of Illinois grad student discovered that after a 20-minute yoga session, people have improved memory and inhibitory control. This change to the brain enables them to maintain focus, retain information, make confident work decisions, and have more energy.
The meditation aspect of yoga also helps to improve focus. Skeptical about meditation? Surf legend Laird Hamilton uses conscious breathing, a form of meditation, to improve his performance. If you think surfing 100 foot plus waves can be done without meditation give it a try, just don’t call us when it doesn’t work out.
5. Boosts immune system
Whether it’s the flu or any other virus, yoga might be the best remedy.
According to one study, practicing yoga regularly helps boost immunity at the cellular level. Researchers found that yoga causes rapid gene expression changes, which improve the body’s defense system.
6. Cuts healthcare cost
Hate going to the doctor? Who doesn’t. It is probably one above going to the dentist.
A study found that participation in stress-reducing activities like yoga could reduce need for health care services by 43 percent. They also found people who participate in yoga or similar activities use fewer health care services.
Not only does yoga reduce stress, it also helps improve blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen consumption.
7. Challenges you
What man doesn’t like a challenge. Isn’t that how we get in to trouble most of the time? Challenges don’t have to be the frat party drinking challenge. Real challenges like climbing a mountain, running a 10km race, or learning a new craft, are what get the adrenaline going. Trying to master a new pose, or learning a new style of yoga, can be it’s own challenge. Even just trying to focus your mind during a hectic day can be a challenge. Yoga can provide tools for these challenges in addition to it’s own challenges – both physically and intellectually.
Yoga’s not a women-only club. There are plenty of benefits that appeal to men. So maybe it’s time to man up, and get your yoga on 😉