Yoga’s for girls – at least that’s what the survey says. Today, in the West, guys doing yoga are outnumbered 5:1 by women. And of course there are hundreds of articles out there that put forth theories about why this is so: how girls are so much more into flexibility, or how the non-competitive nature of yoga doesn’t appeal to the aggressive bully that (supposedly) lies inside every man.
But the fact is there is not any good explanation. Evidence: in the not-so-distant past, yoga was all-male, all the time. It very likely that things are the way they are because they are that way - for no good reason.
It could work something like this: yoga classes are filled with women, so a typical guy get’s the message that yoga is for girls, and therefore doesn’t even consider trying it, which in turn produces a world in which yoga classes are filled with women. Sort of like gymnastics, which is seen as “feminine” despite the fact that it’s the hardest sport your could possibly do. Or like “beer drinking” is for men.
And it’s a shame, too. Many of the health benefits you get from yoga are particularly relevant for men: lower blood pressure, relief from depression and the effects of stress, improved flexibility, etc. - and we all know that it’s the guys who could most use these kinds of nice effects. And the strength and endurance gains from some types of Yoga are hard to come by by any other means.
Rather than ruminate about all the possible reasons for why the world of yoga is dominated by women, YogaTrail thought that maybe it would be better if we just went ahead and changed things. For the month of November, they organized a contest designed to encourage men practicing yoga. Here’s the scoop:
Yoga Dudes For Movember
Yoga Dudes for Movember is a photo contest that’s currently running on the popular Facebook app called “Yoga Poses Around the World”. The contest is open to all (boys and girls), so you don’t have to like, buy, or subscribe to anything. But, while mustaches are optional for men, lady supporters are strongly encouraged to have some kind of mustache in their pictures (for some extra fun)!
[!btn!]Join Yoga Dudes![/!btn!]
Up For Grabs: Over $6000 Worth Of Yoga Gear In Prizes
The six people that submitted the photos with the most votes by December 1st will each win an awesome Yoga Dudes goody bag with over $1000 worth of yoga stuff, thanks to a number of generous sponsors. Here’s what you can win:
- Class passes & free teacher training (!) from Broga®
- DVD yoga sets by DDP Yoga, Yoga Warrior 365, Gwen Lawrence, and Ira Israel
- A great yoga Mat by Jade Yoga
- Online video classes by Mark Gonzales, Dirty Yoga Co., and BeMoreYogic
- A Yoga Towel by NamaSTAY
- Clothing by Spiritual Gangster and Broga
- Big gift certificates from Gaiam, Sivana Nation, and DownDog Boutique
- A big manly yoga bag from Yoga Gear for Men (to put it all in)
OK, But How Does This Get More Guys Into Yoga?
First off, tons of images have already been flooding into the contest, mostly of men in various yoga poses. And as people vote on these, and like them, and share them, they’ll be flying all over the Internet in the next several months. And that will help to give people out there the impression that yoga is for guys, too. It’s a direct way to combat the “things are the way they are because they are that way” conundrum (at least in Google Images).
But more profoundly, some of the top prizes being offered to the winners are free teacher training by Broga®, which will certify 6 people to teach yoga to guys in the Broga system. More guys teaching yoga to guys! It’s the old adage: “teach a man to fish…”
Lastly, all the contest promotional materials talk about how yoga is important to men’s health – which raises awareness levels. Hopefully, that message will get around and the millions of guys out there that are concerned (or should be concerned) about their health will see yoga as a fun and viable way to take better care of themselves.
What Does Movember Have To Do With It?
In case you don’t know, the Movember Foundation is a charity that supports men’s health in lots of ways, such as by funding research into prostate cancer, depression, and many other problems that affect men in particular.
Every year (in November), Movember gets thousands of guys to grow a mustache and then collect donations to shave it of after a month. This year the yoga community is helping out, too: by not only getting men to take care of themselves with yoga, but by helping to shine the spotlight on the Movember Foundation.
However, while raising awareness for a good cause is important, to make things happen, a charity also needs some money, too. And YD4M will make that materialize in the following way:
The ‘Yoga Dudes 2014’ Calendar!
In early December, renowned yoga photographer Robert Sturman has kindly agreed to select 12 awesome pictures from the contest entries to feature in a special, limited-edition wall calendar. It’s going to be stunning, incredible, gorgeous, amazing... But it's also for sale, with all the proceeds going to the Movember Foundation.
So, if you’re looking for someway to help your Kharma, or if you were actually looking for a beautiful yoga-inspired wall calendar for 2014 (Christmas gift?): do get one for yourself or for someone you love. These Yoga Dudes 2014 calendars will ship out in the first week of December.
[!btn!]Get the Calendar[/!btn!]