From physique to mental health, yoga is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial practices in the world. Most Western yoga classes are dominated by women, but more and more men are starting to become interested in getting on the mat.
A lot of men have already jumped on board and have realized the numerous benefits yoga can bring physically, mentally and spiritually. Enhanced strength? Injury prevention? Better sexual performance? Increased calm and focus? Who knew "stretching and breathing" could do all this for you?!
So if you've been thinking about starting or continuing with your yoga practice, here are nine awesome and practical reasons men should do more yoga:
1. Yoga improves overall well-being.
Yoga is one of the practices that you should try if you want a major lifestyle change. It’s a great practice to improve your overall well-being as it promotes both physical health and mental toughness.
Little by little, you will experience a shift in your sleeping patterns as well as your natural diet. The best part is that you don’t have to follow a heavy workout/recovery plan to excel at yoga.
2. Yoga makes your body flexible and strong.
Most men hesitate to do yoga because they’re not “flexible enough.” But this is a common misconception for everyone new to yoga.
One of the main physical benefits of yoga is increasing and improving flexibility and strength, so these two are not prerequisites for a yoga practice. You don’t have to be flexible and strong beforehand. It’s the same logic as thinking you have to already be skinny to eat healthy.
So yes, yoga will help improve your balance and flexibility and, of course, strengthen your muscles during the process as well.
3. Yoga helps you lose weight.
If you’ve been lifting weights to trim the fat around your belly, I'm telling you — yoga’s an easier option. Yoga is a practice of mindfulness which easily translates into awareness of eating, sleeping and lifestyle habits.
Yoga is good for your gut health as it helps massage your internal organs, which gives an instant boost in your metabolic rate. It also helps stop unhealthy food and sugar cravings, so you’re not going to be tempted to eat everything on the table.
4. Yoga eases pain and injury.
Body pain not going away? Yoga has you covered. Compared to bodybuilding that could potentially expose you to strenuous activities and increase the risk of injury, yoga only requires light - though often challenging - poses that will more than likely decrease your risk of injury.
Yoga stretches your whole body, gently alleviating pain you may have in your joints. There are also a lot of poses that stretch your back, one of the most common places where men (and women!) experience (chronic) pain.
5. Yoga makes you feel young.
Yoga will make you feel alive and full of vitality inside and out, no matter what your age is. In fact, the elderly are very much encouraged to try yoga because it keeps them healthy and fit.
The people in your yoga class will also help. As they say, if you want to see who you are becoming, look at who your friends are. Surrounding yourself with those who are as passionate as you increases your commitment to the practice and helps you on your yoga journey.
This, of course, doesn’t happen overnight, so you have to commit to a regular routine, even if it’s just for three sessions a week.
6. Yoga relieves stress.
If you’re looking for a way to relax after a long week, yoga is for you! It will help you fight all the negativity around you, and replace those feelings with positive vibes. You’ll be surprised by the improvement in your mood and energy right away.
Yoga is one of the best ways to naturally boost your mental health. It is known to clear and calm your mind, and even fight off mild depression. People who suffer from anxiety will also benefit from its soothing effects.
7. Yoga helps improve your sexual performance.
You heard that right. For a lot of men and women, this becomes even more of a reason to help get their man on the mat. Studies show that men of all ages can enjoy the benefits of yoga when it comes to sexual function. This includes desire, erection, performance, confidence and orgasm.
Yoga’s ability to keep you flexible and lower stress levels can lead to better sexual performance. It helps to regulate your blood flow, which can lead to increased pleasure in bed. So, yes, the more time you spend on the mat, the more quality time you'll spend in the sack!
8. Yoga boosts bone health.
Yoga has a lot of poses that can boost your bone health. These poses increase your range of motion and overall mobility. Some studies also show that yoga can lower your risk of osteoporosis.
However, it’s still important to note that there are poses that require practice before you can do them perfectly. Beginners should take caution of the risks, and always think of safety first.
Don’t push yourself too hard — it takes time to get to the level of practice and flexibility you desire. A good yoga practice is a marathon, not a sprint, and should be viewed as a way of life.
9. Yoga keeps you challenged.
It’s no secret that men generally love outdoor activities and challenges. Learning new poses and seeing your progress on the mat are likely more than enough to keep you enticed by your practice.
What’s great about yoga is that you can literally do it anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a hike or just staying at home for the weekend — yoga is your best friend.
Hopefully these nine reasons have convinced you to try yoga or keep going with your practice. Yoga is not at all an "only for women" practice and, I promise you, there is nothing sexier than a man who practices. There are also wrestlers, MMA fighters, football players and bodybuilders who swear by yoga!
Some even say that yoga classes are more fun and challenging than most gym workouts. The best part? There is no competition in a yogic practice. Everything is between you and your mat to find the truest expression of your best self.