YOGA: Also Great for Guys
by Matt Preston
There are many reasons why a guy won’t go to yoga sessions and some of them tend to be a cliché. Think about it: Most men go by the token if “Walker Texas Ranger” or General Patton wouldn’t have gone, they shouldn’t either. Other than the fact that the former is fictional and latter from another time, literally, there are so many benefits to engaging in the practice and art of yoga that this article would need to be at least twice its length to cover them all.
Let’s start with the basics—the physical. Everyone knows someone that could benefit from a little exercise and or physical training. Just the same, a lot of people know someone that does so as well. Learning how to utilize our physical strengths and turn weaknesses around through yoga will only yield better and more consistent results in the gym or the athletic field.
Next, there’s the assumption that the normal “run of the mill dude” won’t be able to twist himself into a pretzel like those women on Instagram. This wouldn’t be an incorrect assumption; however, this doesn’t mean that something couldn’t be improved related to flexibility. This doesn’t necessarily mean being able to master the crow pose without breaking something means one could add an extra plate on the bench. But increased flexibility benefits balance and strength, stamina and potentially pain management, and would probably impress the women at the local eatery, too.
Then there’s increased energy and vitality; that’s something most guys wouldn’t exactly turn their nose up at. It doesn’t necessarily happen right away granted, but with a dedicated routine practiced at home or in a classroom setting, the benefits will manifest soon enough. As this happens, through virtue of sticking to this healthy practice, the positive results will almost certainly become energetically apparent. And that can also benefit components of—how not to put this awkwardly—sensual engagement as well.
For some, one of the more intimidating components of yoga, or assumed to be difficult parts, is meditation. And one doesn’t have to look any further than the writer of this article to know that it can be an interesting journey for sure. Especially when the energy is high and thoughts are plenty, it’s not always the easiest part to fully engage. However, that doesn’t mean that attempting it doesn’t still teach something; as working on breathing, slowing down the mind, focusing inward and or on a specific pose won’t at least instruct a guy on what he’s capable of.
The poses themselves offer a wide range of physical benefits too, and aren’t just meant to look awesome. First there’s the benefit of better posture and improving on a physical misalignment, whether there’s problems with someone’s back, neck, shoulders or more. And that alone could potentially help prevent injuries as well, as playing shirtless football in the freezing rain in February may cause an ache or two.
Further physical benefits could also include better digestion of food and liquids, so the pizza and beer consumed before February football games won’t be around until the May flowers begin to bloom. Especially considering there are a lot of twists in yoga, that’s not by accident or to look cool, but actually helps keep the digestive system moving within a dude’s body and not get stuck.
And then there’s relaxation of a deeper and more profound kind—not just being able to zone out to the TV or sleeping, but in a way that lowers your stress hormones. It’s not that hard to find a stressor in life these days, or any day, and engage that negative headspace. That doesn’t do much for anyone, let alone a guy that would really like to live past 50ish. So, by practicing at least something related to the poses, breath work or meditation, it’s more than likely this guy will be able to deal with stress better and enjoy life more fully.
In essence, the average dude doesn’t have to worry about becoming the stereotypical yoga guru if he takes up yoga. If that’s who he is, fine; yoga doesn’t do that alone, but instead can make him a better version at the mind, body and soul level. And I doubt even Rocky himself would disagree with that logic.
Matt Preston is a creative and professional writer from Gloucester Township in South Jersey. Writing is one of his passions; body, mind and soul wellness one of his goals; and belief in destiny his continual motivation. His website and podcast can be found at TheApatheticVegan.com.