When a man finally decides to get off his ass and workout, yoga isn’t exactly on top of his list. Despite its worldwide popularity, yoga is still largely regarded as a women’s activity. But that stereotype is extremely unfortunate because yoga is not only a great activity for everyone, it actually addresses issues that concern men specifically.
Apart from being a great overall workout that balances both the mind and body, yoga is great cross-training for any sport. Its focus on breathing, relaxation, and proper body mechanics has universal benefits and application. And if you think that a yoga session is going to be a walk in the park, then you’ve got another thing coming.
Listed below are some of the more famous reasons why yoga is such a great activity for men. Before you dismiss it and move on to the weights rack, why not give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Increases The Range Of Motion
Men build muscle quicker than women. And because most men focus on getting bigger muscles, they end up feeling tight and their range of motion becomes limited. Yoga’s focus on heating up the body through breath and stretching is a great way to counteract the stiffness. Most yoga routines will involve holding a pose (or asana) for a brief moment to warm up the connective tissues which make it possible to maximize the range of motion.
Teaches Proper Breathing
Anyone who has ever engaged in strenuous physical activity can tell you that breathing is both the simplest and most difficult thing to do once you get fatigued—be it doing weights or running a marathon. Yoga is unique from many other forms of exercise when it comes to this because it gives special focus on the breath from the moment you begin practicing. In fact, many yoga instructors will correctly tell you that more than the difficult poses and deep stretches, breath is the most important aspect of yoga. For as long as you are able to breathe properly with every movement, then you’re doing it right. This specific focus on the breath carries on into other aspects of life and sport and is definitely a good habit to develop.
Yoga focuses on developing the body in movement so practitioners are more coordinated and aware of their limitations. It develops balance, a strong core, and focus which all help prevent accidents. And as mentioned earlier, regular practice of yoga also increases the range of motion so you avoid pulling or tearing muscles.
If you think that pumping iron is the only way to build muscle, then you’re sorely mistaken. Yoga uses your body weight as resistance so you not only lift quite a load, but you get more mobility in the process. The emphasis on breathing allows for better blood flow which means that your muscles recover quicker and grows faster.
Loosens The Hips
While men generally build muscle faster, they’re also less flexible than women—especially in the hip area. Yoga recognizes this and has a ton of hip openers that work wonders for men (or anyone, really) who have tight hips. Give the Marichyasana series, Supta Baddha Konasana, or even the Child’s pose a try and feel the burn!