It’s no secret that men can be a little hesitant to try yoga. It isn’t really a “macho” kind of activity, and you won’t build big, glamorous muscles the way you would through weightlifting.
But yoga is a legitimate form of exercise, and just like any other work out yoga has plenty of benefits. For guys, yoga could end up being the missing piece in your daily routine. Here are some reasons men should do yoga.
Women are naturally more flexible than men, and this is a big reason some men refuse to try yoga. Showing just how inflexible you are in the middle of a workout can be a little embarrassing.
The only way to improve your flexibility is to work on it. Yoga is an engaging activity that improves your flexibility while giving you a workout. Spend just a few days a week doing yoga and you’ll begin to notice the transformation your body is undergoing – and with a little bit of practice, you might be able to touch your toes!
Build Subtle Strength
While you’ll be able to build big muscles with weight lifting, yoga is going to build a different type of strength – subtle strength.
Subtle strength is the strength that you don’t always notice since it isn’t something that a machine at the gym can build. But subtle strength is real, and by improving it you can also improve your balance and your overall stamina. It sort of improves your body as a whole instead of the specific areas you target when lifting.
Improve Your Posture
Most people spend a big part of the day hunched over at a desk or sitting down. Both of these can be horrible for your posture.
Bad posture can make you look shorter than you actually are, and it can be the cause of different types of back pains – both now and in the future.
Yoga strengthens and works the spine and the surrounding muscles, encouraging your spine to be straighter. With repeated yoga, you’ll start to notice that your standing and sitting up a little straighter than before.
Yoga Is As Challenging As You Want It To Be
Yes, yoga is a slower moving activity – but there’s a good reason for it.
Not only do the slow movements of yoga exercise a large range of muscles, but it also makes you focus on your breathing, the depth of your pose or stance, how far your body can stretch, how long you can hold a certain pose and much more.
You can get as much out of yoga as you’re willing to put into it.
Reduce Your Chance Of Injury
If you exercise on a regular basis, then you know that there’s always the risk of an injury. Yoga can reduce this risk.
First, improved flexibility and subtle strength make it easier for your body to move with a wider range of motion. An unnatural movement could end up not hurting if your body is flexible enough.
Second, yoga makes you focus on the task at hand. This same type of focus translates to other activities, so you’ll be less likely to make a mistake.
Yoga Promotes Weight Loss
Despite the slow and deliberate movements, there is plenty of research to support the claim that yoga can lead to weight loss.
Some people decide to use different types of yoga specifically for weight loss, such as hot yoga. However, all types of yoga involve moving your body, and this is going to kickstart your metabolism.
Yoga is also used by some to help your organ work better and flush out toxins. Toxins can do all sorts of harm to your body, including building up stress – and stress has been tied to gaining weight. Speaking of stress…
Yoga Reduces Stress
Because yoga is a calmer sport, you’re going to find that there are mental benefits to the practice.
If yoga is known for any benefit, it’s that it can help you reduce your stress. This one seems intuitive since the practice involves calm music and slow movements – plus you get to lie down at the end!
During yoga, your body releases different chemicals that reduce stress while simultaneously flushing out toxins. Drink plenty of water before and after practice and you’ll be feeling great!
Tone Your Muscles
It doesn’t seem like it all the time, but yoga can be high intensity. Just look up some of the more complicated yoga poses and you’ll quickly realize why.
Yoga works out muscles in a way that they might not be used to. Combine this with the weight loss that can come with yoga and you’ve got the perfect system for toning your body. Depending on the poses you do, you can easily tone your arms, abs or legs.
Reduce Back Pain
Back pain plagues people across the country, and most of it is because we spend a lot of time sitting in chairs. Men who have desk jobs know this, and older men are likely already feeling the effects through back pain.
Different yoga poses soothe and strengthen the back at the same time. The best part? Most of them aren’t even that hard! Child’s pose is often used to reduce back pain, and it is sometimes used in physical therapy as well.
A stronger, healthier back is an important step to reducing back pain.
Yoga Improves Your Overall Health
If you combine all these reasons (plus the many other benefits that yoga can offer) and you have a healthier body and lifestyle!
You don’t even need to do yoga all the time. Doing yoga just a few times a week will start to yield results that you’ll notice. By doing yoga daily, you’ll probably become hooked and never give it up!
The hardest thing for guys who don’t do yoga is swallowing your pride and going to that first class. You might feel goofy and out of place at first, but by the end of your first class you’ll be upset that you didn’t start sooner!