The benefits of yoga for men are numerous. Still, I’ll share a few that resonate with the Men’s Yoga Club (MYC) community. They’re well aware of why yoga is not a “one size fits all”, in particular, men being less flexible and usually stronger in the upper body than women. Although, women usually have the upper hand on core strength!
- As a Flexibility coach ™ and a yoga teacher, I’m a big proponent of improving the Basic Range of Movement (bROM). Yoga does just that, as from personal experience and anecdotally, a regular yoga practice enhances bROM exponentially.
- Yoga builds strength whilst also lengthening the muscles for greater flexibility. This increased flexibility reduces injuries and, if done under guidance, aids injury recovery too.
- The mental health benefits of regular practice are not to be underestimated! I challenge anyone to not feel better after taking some time on the mat.
- After learning the basics, it costs nothing but your time to start a daily practice at home, alongside classes to help you progress.
- As a Breathwork Coach ™, I find that using Pranayama is invaluable to get the best out of each posture and for general well-being. I, like most teachers, like to incorporate a breathwork session into each class. This gives students the knowledge and skills to use different breathing techniques to deal with everyday life.
Elevator pitch time!
Five reasons to start a yoga practice:
- It’s not competitive! Everyone should be encouraged to meet their ‘Edge’, which can be different daily. I always tell people it’s their practice. If they want to go hard or light on the day, that’s their choice. A good teacher will always give options and guidance on making a posture harder or more accessible and always safer.
- It challenges you. Although not competitive, it’s great to see your yoga journey evolve and strength, flexibility, and balance improve. For me, as a teacher, seeing someone pop up a near-perfect hand balance and say, ‘you’ve been practising that at home, haven’t you?’ is always nice as it means they’re really getting into this, although it does encourage a lot of banter!
- The Community that comes from a group of people (whatever sex) getting together regularly to exercise is high up there when it comes to prioritising ‘reasons to start’. Connection, one of the basic human needs, has always been a priority for me, not only as a health coach but throughout life. Incorporating exercise and connections is a double whammy!
- The holistic approach that yoga gives to health, with its physical and mental benefits, is also up there on the priority list. The NHS socially prescribed yoga for this reason.
- The way regular yoga practice compliments virtually every physical activity you may do, whether you’re a runner, cyclist, triathlete, footballer, swimmer or rower, to name but a few; by improving strength, flexibility and balance, it’s invaluable.
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Men’s Yoga Club, Thursdays at 7 am at Grace & Gravity Studio, Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
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