Like most interesting activities of times past, yoga was developed by men, for men and practiced only by men (how rude!). It is believed that the start of women participating in this ancient practice wasn’t until the late 1800’s, and even then didn’t start to gain popularity until the 1970’s, so how, in such a short period of time, have women seemingly taken over?
Thankfully none of these beliefs are founded, and for boys thinking of taking the yoga plunge, here are some great reasons to give getting bendy a try:
1. Yoga is a fantastic workout
Building strength – check. Improving balance – check. Increasing flexibility – check. Improving cardio fitness – check. We could keep going, but we think you get the point here! The best thing about yoga is that it works from head to toe. You’ll use muscles that you never knew you had, and the best thing is that with the almost endless variety of poses you’ll limit the physical imbalances created in other sports with more repetitive motions. Try a flowing class (vinyasa style) for the greatest physical challenge or a restorative (yin style) class to improve your flexibility. If you don’t work on that flexibility, it definitely won’t get any better!
2. Yoga is the perfect complement to other sports and activities
Are you a runner, cyclist, triathlete, bodybuilder, boxer or general fitness enthusiast? Do you have a niggling injury, or have you been injured in the past? Yoga helps to untangle your tangles (think tight hamstrings, lower back pain and inflexible hips), helping both to improve your physical performance in other pursuits as well as preventing injuries from occurring in the future! It’s also fantastic at relieving back, neck and shoulder pain caused by sitting at a desk all day, driving for too many hours and physical labour.
3. Yoga is the perfect antidote to your stressful lifestyle
Do you have a fast paced job? Paperwork coming out of your ears? A nagging wife and screaming children at home? Then yoga might be just what you need to keep from losing the plot! Not only does yoga work on our physical body, but its focus on mindfulness, breathing and relaxation means that you can walk out of a class feeling calm, refreshed and renewed.
4. Girls dig boys that do yoga
Well, I couldn’t finish a list without this one! For me personally (and a couple of lovely yoginis that I know) a guy who practices yoga ticks a lot of boxes. Thankfully though, it has nothing to do with how flexible he is or how well he can stand on his head. You don’t need to be a yoga master to warm our hearts, you just need to try! A guy that practices yoga is open-minded, willing to go out of his comfort zone, secure in his masculinity and often in touch with his emotions. Even better - this seems to translate just as well (if not better) for boys who like boys too!
If you’re a guy thinking of taking the plunge, know that you probably won’t be the only male in the room, and if you are, that just means that you will earn the respect of every girl there! If you're worried about not being any good, just keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere, and there are a tonne of options suitable for beginners - some studios are now even offering beginners 'bro-ga' (yoga for bros - get it?!). You’ll never get better at anything it if you don’t give it a try, so go forth and yoga!