When you think of yoga, you might not necessarily think of it as a masculine activity. Calming music, oils, soft speaking - yoga has traditionally been seen as a more feminine activity, while men’s sports were seen as more extreme types of exercise.
But actually, there are very many powerful benefits of yoga for modern men that you can get from spending some time on the mat. We’ve listed the top ten here, to try and show you how a yoga practice can bring some positive change to your body and mind.
It’s fairly obvious, but the movements and stretching that you do during a yoga class can help your body become more flexible and mobile, which is a great way to counteract and balance other high-intensity workouts you may be doing.
In fact, many sports people, including professional footballers, rugby players, and even many Olympic athletes are including yoga in their training plans, to help balance out their exercise regimes and increase their mobility to improve overall performance.
Body Strength and Conditioning
A major myth buster here - yoga isn’t always so gentle or easy. Much like other types of exercise, you can adapt the duration and intensity to suit you from day to day. After you gain more and more experience, you might want to up the ante with your practice, or on rest days you might want something more low impact.
But to boost your strength and conditioning, flow styles like Vinyasa can have you feeling the effects for days - keep practicing and you’ll soon see results in the tone and length of your muscles.
Awareness of Your Body
While intense exercise can help to distract from discomfort or pain in other areas of your body, yoga actually encourages you to put your full attention on every movement and part of your body - to give you a bigger appreciation of every muscle, joint, and part of your body. You’ll gain knowledge on how your body works as a whole, and realize how to look after more overlooked muscles, such as those in your neck or feet - this can reduce imbalance and joint trouble.
If you've spent a lot of your time in your youth playing football, rugby, running or even weight training, then there is a high chance that you’ve developed and stretched certain muscles more than others, which might make you more inflexible in other areas - which can lead to injury. Yoga is the perfect way to address these imbalances and will help you avoid injury in the future.
Yoga can help to release a lot of physical tension - but also mental, which can be especially beneficial to men who may have a tendency to internalize stress and anxiety. Yoga can also reduce cortisol - the stress hormone in the body, which can reduce blood pressure, increase immunity and decrease inflammatory responses.
Yoga can help to improve your digestive health, and the more you practice, the more you’ll see the benefits. Twists and postures like this can help to massage your organs and help your digestive tract move.
Improved Brain Function
The triple whammy of focus, creative insight and productivity can be improved with time on the yoga mat. Just 20 minutes of yoga can help to stimulate brain function more than any kind of cardio exercise for the same time.
Moving the body through yoga can help to provide physical space and stir up energy. And then when we sit in meditation, we can settle that energy and feel quietness and stillness even deeper. This extra headspace can help us to make better decisions and increase productivity.
People who practice yoga can find that they experience better sleep, and find it easier to fall asleep in the first place. This can be attributed to the focus on breathing, which helps to improve your respiratory muscles, and to help fight against snoring and sleep apnea.
Improved Sex Life
A major benefit? A better sex life! Being stronger and more flexible can undoubtedly help in this area, as well as reducing anxiety and increasing body awareness and confidence. Additionally, it will increase the release of hormones around the body that boost arousal, and increase blood flow to the genitals.
In fact, men who practiced yoga for 12 weeks were found to have improved sexual function, measured by desire, sexual satisfaction, and orgasm.
We all know that working out produces endorphins, from running, to HIIT workouts, to weight training. Yoga also promotes it’s own natural high, you’ll be happy to hear. Practising yoga releases the hormone oxytocin, which can also be known as the love hormone - it floods your body with lots of feelings of happiness and well being. Oxytocin also help to release anxiety, increase sexual intimace, and lower your blood pressure.
Thinking about trying yoga out for the first time? We have a five-class program live this week, which is specially designed for men to learn foundational yoga 101.
Signup for info on the latest classes and discounts.
© COPYRIGHT 2022 YOGADOWNLOAD