Maybe men feel out of place by the pretty sparkly mats, the stylish, revealing outfits or the general vibe of sisterhood that seems to infuse the yoga culture. But the truth is, guys should be doing yoga. Unfortunately, the numbers tell the story: with roughly 21 million people in America currently practicing yoga, only 18% of them are men. Being that it is 2018 and we are seeing a shift in gift giving on Father’s Day (from dad mugs & ties to experiences & memories with loved ones), we think it’s time to change that.
Here are just 5 reasons men should be practicing yoga:
Yoga employs several relaxation techniques, which, with regular practice, can make you calmer overall. Stress can contribute to nerve sensitivity or pain system sensitivity. “Stress lives in the brain, therefore the experience of people with chronic pain is often that their pain increases as they become more stressed”.- Dr. Lorimer Moseley, PT, PHD. The stress hormone, cortisol, is released during stressful situations to help get the body ready for action by preparing its’ anti-inflammatory agent. When stress is present for sustained periods, there may be less cortisol produced which can lead to widespread inflammation and pain.
Yoga has a positive effect on both physical and mental health. It helps to reduce blood pressure and the fight or flight response, which leads to a reduction in anxiety. Yoga is also known to boost immunity, helping to fight off sicknesses. Your breathing becomes deeper and more controlled which can also help improve respiratory diseases.
It doesn’t take a beer or a steak to feel this good. That post yoga glow is real, and it is good! It makes the family happy to see dad so happy and relaxed. Maybe this glow is what entices him to go for that evening walk, play catch outside, color with the kids or just be more present.
Yoga uses the weight of your own body to build mass and strength. Yoga allows you to get the same muscle-building benefits by performing long, extended pushups, squats, and leg lifts. Most series of yoga asanas (physical postures) include one or more spinal twists to loosen the many joints that make up your spine. Who wouldn’t want to improve their golf swing by increasing mobility in their spine?!
Yoga is for every body of every age. It starts with exactly where you and your body are right now and takes you on from there. Yoga is not a competition and it never will become one. Arrive just as you are: this is yoga.