Between improving physical condition and meditation, yoga for men is a sport, a real one! A complete sport, which allows, thanks to a regular practice, to improve the breath as well as to strengthen the spine.
The practice of yoga is, nowadays, accessible to most people. Between the postures, breathing and flexibility, the benefits of yoga are numerous on everyone, and guarantee to be able to calm both the body and the spirit, as well as the mind. For women or men, the effects of any form of yoga are therefore guaranteed! But one might wonder what the difference is between yoga for women and yoga for men. In reality, the two practices are quite similar, but there are some subtleties when it comes to distinguishing how to practice yoga. Indeed, for men, we find an approach of relaxation, stretching, sequences and breathing exercises through asanas (postures) adapted to the male morphology. Are you interested? Here is everything you need to know about men’s yoga, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced yogi!
Why take up yoga when you are a man?
The proportion of men in yoga classes is not very high. We find about one in ten, even if some styles like Bikram, are more frequented by these gentlemen. Indeed, one of the clichés that yoga suffers is that it is reserved for women.
The main reasons? It would be a discipline too soft and which requires a certain flexibility. Soft, therefore too easy? Certainly not, as the author of the blog Manflowyoga testifies, for whom Bikram was the hardest training ever done. More than that, since its origin, yoga is a practice performed by men. Its codification is attributed to a man, Patañjali.
Stop the preconceived notions. Yoga is a gender-neutral practice, and more and more men are getting into it.
It is an excellent complement to other physical activities
The practice of yoga teaches concentration, as well as to be more attentive to one’s body. It helps to develop the mind. Thus to associate yoga in complement with other physical practices is a means of improving its performances. Yoga and running are a winning combination. The first one brings the necessary concentration to manage the continuous and constant effort, required by the race.
Yoga also teaches you to be more aware of your body and its sensations, a quality of great importance for running in order to optimize your efforts and better manage your time. Runners also know that they should not neglect strengthening all parts of the body. A more muscular abdominal belt and back are absolutely necessary and yoga helps to work on this.
It is also beneficial to other disciplines such as rock climbing, which requires stability, balance and hip flexibility. Indeed, yoga allows particularly to develop its deep muscles located at the level of the hips.
✅ Read Also : HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MARTIAL ART FOR YOU
Yoga helps to fight against stress
Men are not spared from stress. It must be said that the sources of stress are numerous in modern society: work, children, relationships with others, illness, … And its repercussions can really alter daily life: headaches, stomach aches, loss of appetite, or sleep disorders for example. So working against this daily stress must be our priority to improve our quality of life.
Indeed, practiced in a soothing, calm, even silent atmosphere, yoga is a tension release. It helps to evacuate stress after a day of work. Moreover, it integrates the exercises of Pranayama, which literally means “expansion of the vital energy”. It is in fact an art of breathing.
Pranamaya classes help to control breathing and develop lung capacity. They also help to clear the mind, balance the nervous system and develop concentration. Practicing yoga regularly and integrating Pranayama is very effective in reducing stress, regulating sleep and facilitating meditation, which is beneficial for both men and women.
It should be added that yoga will act on your stress in two ways. Firstly, yoga is practiced in a soothing and silent atmosphere that contributes to a natural release of all the accumulated tensions, after a day of work for example. The simple fact of allowing yourself a moment of calm and silence (a moment that we don’t allow ourselves enough, it must be said) already contributes greatly to a relaxation of the body and mind.
The second key element to evacuate your stress thanks to a good yoga session will be the breathing. Indeed, the latter occupies a central place in the reduction of anxiety in men practicing yoga. Through deep breathing exercises, called pranayamas, the brain will be better oxygenated and more able to calm the restlessness of your mind. These exercises will also reduce your heart rate through long and powerful inhalations and exhalations.
There is no doubt that at the end of your yoga session you will be completely relaxed. By practicing these exercises regularly, you will be able to better control and manage your stress in the future.
IF YOU ARE AN ATHLETIC MAN, YOGA WILL BE YOUR BEST ALLY!
Yes, if you are physically active during the week, you should set aside some time for a yoga session. Indeed, yoga will allow your muscles to recover more quickly. Some postures will accelerate the elimination of toxins and lactic acid (responsible for cramps). This is the case of the “Lying Hero” posture (or Supta Virasana) which will stretch your whole body from the abdomen to the ankles through the hip flexors. You will find many tutorials online to teach you in detail how to do this posture.
As a sportsman, yoga will also allow you to improve your performance, whatever your sport. Indeed, with yoga you will develop your balance and work your deep, stabilizing muscles. Your abs, lumbar spine, and knees will be strengthened, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workouts while preventing potential injuries.
✅ Read Also : 3 WAYS TO GET THE DEFINED ABS YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED
MEDITATION THROUGH YOGA FOR BETTER PRODUCTIVITY
We have seen the benefits of yoga on the body, it is now time to see its benefits on a mental and spiritual level. For men, as for women, meditation has been democratized in recent years and its interest is no longer questioned. However the approaches to meditation are diverse, the techniques are also diverse, with levels of difficulty that can vary. But here, don’t panic, we only focus on the meditation induced by the practice of yoga.
Aimed above all at consciousness, meditation is defined as “a pause in oneself”. Doing a yoga session will allow this awareness of his entire being, the man who practices yoga will be fully aware of his body. Which muscles are involved? What tension appears during certain postures? Is my body well aligned? These are questions that we would not ask ourselves in everyday life, nor in other physical practices. Indeed, yoga pushes us to listen to our feelings and to pay more attention to our body.
Working daily on listening to your body and your feelings will have many positive repercussions on your life: improvement of your relationship with yourself and with the people around you, a calm and peaceful mind, increase of your concentration in all circumstances, improvement of your sleep, etc.
In short, yoga is a serene mind in a relaxed body!
Being aware of your body
Yoga allows you to develop awareness of your body, to work on both your mental and physical strength. By being more aware of your body, you also develop better posture habits, which prevent aches and pains and are very useful in other sports.
Many postures also help to strengthen joints by making them more flexible, such as the happy baby or chair posture. The risks of injury in sports are thus reduced. Yoga is interesting to practice in anticipation of an effort but also as a way to recover, because it allows a better oxygenation of the muscles.
How is a yoga session for men organized?
Yes, being a student of a yoga workshop is also a guarantee that you will know how a yoga session for men is organized. Let’s face it, in the same way as for women, a men’s yoga session is divided into parts that could only change by their precise content. And in absolute terms, a yoga class for men is divided into three main moments: the warm-up, the practice of the postures, and the quiet time.
- The warm-up where, in a very logical way, it is a question of softening the spine, of relaxing the muscles of the members, by means of some soft stretching exercises. Whether it is dynamic yoga or Hatha-yoga, warm-ups are a necessary part of a good yogic practice, and guarantee not to get injured during the sequences, beginners or not!
- The practice: at this moment, one enters all that yoga has of more promising. One reproduces sequences of asanas, according to the form of yoga chosen, and supported by a yoga teacher as a guide, a powerful support. The idea? To stretch, to understand better its body, to tone up, and to benefit from all the other benefits of yoga,
- The quiet time, or relaxation, which allows to give all its sense to the heart of the yoga session. Here, it is a question of finding to slacken, to slacken, thanks to some small simple exercises of relaxation and meditation. Lying on the yoga mat and in a Zen state of mind, yoga is a discipline that, whether you are a man or a woman, takes all its meaning at this moment.
In short, you are a man, you have decided to go ahead and make your first yoga class. Congratulations! We can only encourage you. Here are some tips to apprehend your session with some keys.
- Yoga is a discipline where we focus on ourselves. It is not about competing with others or showing off your physical strength.
- Flexibility is not a criterion for success and yoga allows you to develop it. At the beginning, if you don’t feel flexible enough, you can sit on a blanket.
- Stretching a little before the session is a good way to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
- Yoga teachers often come to their students to make posture adjustments. This is a technique that is meant to help you progress, and you should not be afraid of it!