8 Reasons Why Men Should Give Yoga A Go
As a sports obsessed rower, you can imagine how devastated I was when a shoulder injury I received during a training session on the river 8 months ago, prevented me from taking part in both club training sessions and of course from competing. I knew I was out for the foreseeable future if I wanted my shoulder to heal properly so I was feeling really sorry for myself.
When on a night out with the lads, an old mate of mine suggested I come along to his yoga class with him, I laughed so much that I nearly fell backwards off my barstool. The thought of going to a yoga class was about appealing to me as the thought of sitting through a chick flick, but my friend was persistent and insisted that yoga would help my injury so I eventually agreed to go along and check it out.
I had no idea when I walked into my first class that day, that yoga would become such a key part of my life. Not only was it far from being pink and fluffy but the benefits that it opened up to me that day meant that I was instantly hooked.
Here is a quick list of reasons why yoga isn’t just for the girls…
1. FULL BODY WORKOUT
When practicing yoga, your workout gently covers every muscle, joint and organ, unlike most sports which typically use up to 20%. When you finish your yoga exercise you feel energised instead of exhausted, because the practice oxygenates your blood.
2. IMPROVED MENTAL PERFORMANCE
Yoga has helped me to be a better athlete both physically and mentally. I now have far greater focus and feel calmer than ever before, which has vastly improved my performance during dry land and river training.
3. IT MIGHT BE A WOMANS DOMAIN BUT…
Yoga is perceived as an activity for women and the ratio in the majority of classes leaves men in a complete minority. As a single man, I have to be honest – this is no disadvantage!
4. BEDROOM BENEFITS!
Several yoga poses are great for revitalising your performance in the bedroom and increasing your endurance, because they send fresh blood and oxygen to your sexual organs.
5. REDUCED MUSCLE FATIGUE
Yoga helps you to stretch out and relieve tension in the muscles, reducing soreness. It is the perfect answer for dealing with muscle fatigue from other sports activities and helps you to manage and reduce pain.
6. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
We all know that men are generally far less flexible than women, but with a bit of commitment to yoga you can greatly improve your flexibility and muscle condition. This has certainly made a real difference to my rowing.
7. SLEEP BETTER
Life’s ups, downs and stresses leave many of us struggling to get a good night’s sleep, which can lead to all kinds of health problems. After a yoga workout you feel more relaxed which can have a positive impact on your ability to get a better kip!
8. IT’S HARDCORE!
Laugh all you like at this statement but I suggest you give yoga a shot first otherwise you might be laughing at yourself as you whimper in pain having discovered that the rigorous stretches and positions require you to push yourself mentally as well physically. I for one fell into this trap and left my first class feeling pretty humbled by the experience!
OPEN YOUR MIND
Classes vary a huge amount and it may take you a while to find the right type of class and teacher to suit you, but it is worth the effort. I was lucky I found a good one straightaway. If you get the buzz then why not head off on a retreat. Companies such as Utopian Retreats run them in all sorts of locations so there is endless choice.
Something really changed for me when I walked into the class that evening and although I chuckle as I write this I am glad I listened to my mate’s advice; yoga isn’t just for the girls its for everyone. Even 6ft 4in 17 stone rowers!