5 Questions Men Have About Yoga
More and more, men are taking up yoga classes to regain flexibility and discover a new way to relax. If you have been timid to take a yoga class before, never fear. We teamed up with Hot Yoga Midwest to answer any questions you might have had when it comes to men and yoga.
It’s been suggested that most men are less flexible than women, so how long before most men feel comfortable doing yoga? Will they feel out of place or hold up the class if they are inflexible?
I wouldn’t say men are inherently less flexible than women, they are just encouraged to train differently (i.e., lifting weights versus dancing). Think about hockey goalies and wrestlers—they have tremendous flexibility!
If you look at how children move, flexibility is not a sex-driven skill. If flexibility is lost, it can be regained through practice. In fact, it is easier for the strong to become flexible (muscle strength can be used to increase flexibility) than for the flexible to become strong. No one should ever feel out of place in yoga class—have fun with it. The most important thing, always, is to just do what you can—nothing more, nothing less. Everything develops with practice.
What should men wear to yoga class?
Whatever is most comfortable to move around in.
For men who are unsure about yoga, what is one of the biggest benefits?
There is a broad array of benefits to a regular yoga practice and the most important benefit will vary per person. This is one of the greatest things about yoga—each person will find their weakness immediately (this will be different for everyone) and that will begin to strengthen and balance out right away. Over time, our weaknesses change and our strengths change. This is why a regular yoga practice is never stagnant.
Are there poses that work better for men than they do women?
In my opinion, no.
Are there certain poses, movements, or breathing exercises that people can do that help with anxiety and stress?
Pranayama breathing, which I begin every class with, is an excellent means of calming down the body and resetting the mind. Generally, though, all postures and movements will help reduce anxiety and stress. Yoga teaches you to “actively relax,” that is, relax at the same time you are working. If you can learn to relax in a yoga posture, any posture, this will translate off the mat.
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