is yoga good for men

Is yoga good for men?

Is Yoga Good for Men?: An article affirming that yes, it’s ok for men to go to yoga, and they should go to yoga!

It is normal for men to do yoga?

This is question that we frequently get asked at Soul Strong Yoga.

Yoga might not be the first exercise that pops into the minds of some men when thinking of exploring a fitness class. It might seem too “spiritual” or maybe men envision the instructor referring to everyone in the room as a “goddess.” There is also the misconception that yoga will offer fewer benefits compared to more intensive and extreme endurance workouts at the gym. In reality, there’s a variety of types of yoga, from Power Heated Yoga to gentle stretching classes like Restorative Yoga, and yes, yoga is an inclusive practice for all people.

Many are drawn to yoga not only to improve their physical fitness but to reap the mental benefits as well. Yoga’s advantages are broad, and include improving your mobility and strength, relieving stress, and offering protection from injury. 

Still not convinced? Here are the top 5 health benefits of yoga for men!

Top 5 Health Benefits of Yoga for Men

1. Yoga Improves Mobility, Flexibility, and Posture

Many exercises men tend to choose are strenuous and repetitive routines, such as weightlifting, that may cause tension in the joints, restrict muscle movement and growth, and lead to other injuries in the long run. Yoga is a lot more than just stretching. It helps in promoting your range of motion and relieves stiff muscles by focusing on those areas in the body other exercises can’t address. 

A daily habit of slouching in front of the computer or using your phone can result in bad posture. In practicing yoga, poses such as Downward Dog and Cobra can improve body alignment and even assist in reversing bad posture. 

2. Yoga Enhance Body Strength and Muscle Recovery 

Can yoga build muscles? Yoga, like any other exercise, depends on the type, method, intensity, and the goals you choose will have varied results. Power Yoga, such as Vinyasa Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga, is centered on enhancing your strength and endurance.  Performing the poses is very physical, challenging, and high in intensity. It will accelerate your heart rate, fire up your muscles, and improve blood circulation. 

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, an increase of fresh blood and oxygen  “leads to faster recovery times, less soreness after a workout, and overall improved tissue health.” It is always advisable to perform pre- and-post- exercises to prepare and condition the body before your main workout and help in gradually recovering your heart rate and body temperature after. The majority of these exercises, like Child’s Pose, Cat-Cow, and Warrior poses are all derived from yoga. 

3. Yoga Increase Productivity and Brain Function

We have often heard about how yoga reduces stress and anxiety, but why is it important?  According to the Kansas Journal of Medicine, “high-stress level is associated with lower productivity.” Stress is a natural reaction everyone can experience when we are overburdened and can no longer handle too much pressure at work or at home. Ultimately, stress can lead to burnout, feeling disengaged, and regular exhaustion. Aside from modifying your mood and mental state, stress and burnout can greatly affect your health by causing physical symptoms such as headaches, elevated blood pressure, and difficulty in breathing. 

Yoga releases a natural antidepressant hormone called oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” a counterpart of endorphin’s runner’s high after an intense HIIT workout. Oxytocin produces feelings of well-being and happiness. It has been discovered that yoga provides positive effects on brain function and structures. Finally, yoga can boost cognitive performance and increase attention and memory skills. 

4. Yoga Improves Full Body Awareness and Betters Mental Health

Yoga teaches mindfulness. Being mindful develops your ability for self-awareness and control. You will be guided to appreciate the here and now without judgment. Yoga can support you in learning how to tune out distractions, focus on your objectives, and reflect on your priorities.

This is a great benefit to men who tend to suppress their frustrations and provide a healthy outlet for relief from negative thoughts, manage overwhelming emotions, and cope with feelings of lack of direction or purpose. 

5. Yoga Helps with Relaxation and Better Sleep

Yoga prompts proper breathing and meditation techniques. Restorative and Yin Yoga are great choices when you aim to relax and get comfortable. These styles of yoga emphasize lower-paced poses and maximize execution. 

Having a calm state of mind and body will aid you to easily transition to better quality and peaceful sleep. Yoga can alleviate insomnia and sleep disturbance by helping you listen to your body, encouraging improvements to a person’s general wellbeing. 

These are just a few of the benefits that you can acquire when you decide to try Yoga. But remember, positive results are better with a more consistent practice.

How to Start a Yoga Practice for Men

Starting on something new can be intimidating. Lots of beginners say things like, “But I’m not flexible enough!” Being flexible is not a prerequisite of yoga, it’s a result. There are so many options that you can choose from depending on your goals. 

You can try in-person classes at the gym or studios.  If you want safer options due to pandemic restrictions, you can opt for virtual live classes, online video tutorials, downloadable manuals, and even apps you can access via phone or computer. A lot of them are free and very convenient, and the only thing that you need is a little space for your yoga mat. 

Don’t be afraid to explore the different yoga styles and join classes to find what fits your training goals. If you don’t know where to start, you can visit the Soul Strong Yoga website to take a look at our Beginner’s Yoga Series. We offer a light-hearted class where you can learn a lot about the most important foundational yoga poses, practice stress reduction exercises, and grow your knowledge and skills.

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