Many people think yoga and men don’t mix. Well, boys, stop avoiding it. Yoga is not as pretentiously feminine as you think. For one, your macho manliness will not be under threat if you roll out your mat and do an asana. Trust us. Here’s ten reasons why guys should give yoga a try.
1. YOGA IS NOT EASY
One of the biggest misconceptions guys have about yoga is that it’s a boring, low-energy practice that puts people to sleep. Wrong. Getting that mind-body alignment is much tougher than it looks but it’s crucial to building your practice. And it’s not just about pushing your body to crazy extremes nor is it about humming your way into oblivion. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It requires controlled breathing and focus throughout and if there’s any way to do yoga “right,” it should never be easy. Take that as a challenge, yo.
2. YOGA IS GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH & PHYSIQUE
Along with increasing mental alertness and relieving stress, guys will see that yoga gets the heart pumping and the body working hard (try power and flow classes). Yoga tones muscles (especially in the upper body) and increases flexibility so that you’re more agile and less prone to injuries when playing off the yoga mat. And if sweat is any indicator of intensity, don’t worry; you’ll be sweating within minutes — even if you’re not doing hot yoga. (Yaletown YYoga is especially known for cozy heated rooms.)
3. THERE’S NO NEED TO KEEP SCORE
Let go of your competitive spirit for a couple of hours and just relax. There’s no possible way you can be “bad” at yoga so long as you’re constantly giving it your all. Forgo saying “I suck at yoga” because there’s no such thing and don’t be shy about giving that ommmmm thing a try. Enjoy the camaraderie of a community setting that a solo gym sesh just can’t offer.
4. YOGA IS GOOD FOR YOUR GAME
A yoga studio is a great place to meet new friends (possibly, with benefits). Venture into any studio and get your game on (Kits is especially known for hot yogis with beach tousled hair). Plus, the girl-to-guy ratio is always in men’s favour. Arrive early and chat up the cutie next to you (being “new” is always super adorable). Or stick around and indulge in a little vanity by showing of your sweaty bod over a cup of chai in the lounge – and check out some inspiring figures while you’re at it.
5. THREE WORDS : HANDS-ON ADJUSTMENTS
6. NO SHOES REQUIRED
Guys may feel really tough lugging around that giant body bag of hockey equipment; but admit it – it’s hella sweet when you can just “catch a class” on a whim before your morning commute, at lunch, or on your way home from work. It’s easy to pencil in a workout that requires only you to be there. No lockers, socks, or iPods necessary. Most yoga studios rent mats and towels for $2 and have a class every hour starting at 6am until as late as 10pm.
7. YOU CAN SWEAT IT OUT WITH YOUR LADY
With so many tasty restaurants in Vancouver, it can get tough coming up with creative dates that don’t revolve around food and empty calories. Why not mix it up a bit and take your lady out for a steamy yoga session?
8. OTHER GUYS ARE ALREADY DOING IT
Every Vancity guy already knows at least of one guy who does yoga – guaranteed. If it isn’t a friend or co-worker, you’ll be interested to know that NHL players practice yoga religiously. And as bandwagoning goes, this little-known fact usually gets the ball rolling (or mat rolling out, if you will).
9. YOGA CLASSES ARE A MUSICAL GOLDMINE
One of the greatest things about yoga class has very little to do with yoga. If you’re into indie tunes or are looking for some new music to add to your “let’s get it on” playlist, you’ve come to the right place: your yoga mat. Listen in and ask the teacher about her selection of music. It sure beats scrounging for new tracks on offbeat radio stations. Plus, your discerning musical palette is sure to impress that special woman in your life.
10. YOGA WILL HELP YOU GET SOME QUALITY SHUT-EYE
Because yoga reduces stress levels while also burning calories, sleep should be easy to come by after a 90-minute yoga class (especially if it’s in the evening). Nothing beats a workout that is energizing but doesn’t leave you all wound up.