Yoga is an ancient practice that combines movement, meditation, and spiritual elements. That is what has made it popular throughout the world. However, over the years, yoga as a practice has been geared more towards women. Historically speaking, yoga was practiced by men and women in India, where yoga originated. For men who have been tentative to try yoga, you should consider practicing it a few times a week, as there are some major benefits.
Throughout the day, our bodies experience some wear and tear. This can come from sitting at a desk for eight hours, or working out hard at the gym. Any activity that causes you to use your body, can lead to some inflammation. Inflammation around the joints can be quite painful, but that is where yoga can help. Men tend to get inflamed knees, shoulders, and hip joints. Certain yoga poses, like child’s pose and pigeon pose allow your body to completely stretch out. Holding these poses for around 30 seconds, will allow your muscles and sore joints to stretch, and that will reduce inflammation.
For men that play a lot of sports, being flexible is not something you tend to consider. However, increasing flexibility can actually make you play better. When you go golfing, or hit the basketball court your body needs to twist and turn quickly. These motions can be hard to perform well if you aren’t flexible. Practicing yoga a few times a week will increase your flexibility, which will allow you to swing your golf club more fluidly, and catch a basketball more easily. The spine is an area of the body that is always in use, and practicing poses that twist the spine will aid in overall flexibility.
Each day we experience various levels of stress, both from our jobs and our personal lives. It’s normal to have days where you feel a low amount of stress, and others where you feel a lot. Learning to cope with stress, and things that help you destress are important. Yoga as a mindfulness practice aids in destressing. When you start a yoga class in-person or online, you have to center yourself and focus on your breathing. As you do this, what you are stressed about becomes secondary to your practice. You have to completely focus on contorting your body, breathing evenly, and simply being one with yourself. After your practice is finished, you should feel a sense of calm and clarity. This clarity can help you to assess problems, and deal with what is stressing you out.
Overall, yoga can help you live a more centered and healthy life. Men who practice yoga tend to be calmer, and studies have shown that people who practice yoga typically need healthcare half as often as those who don’t. So, what are you waiting for? Go try a class!