Stereotyping is the world’s favorite hobby. We like to associate everything with something which would give it a definite definition. We love to bring things under the titles of men and women. Mostly, we want to define everything with labels such as masculine and feminine.
The hard-core workout is usually considered to be man’s territory, and women are discouraged from touching its boundaries while yoga is considered to be dainty and men feel ashamed to even mention its name.
Why yoga is most popular among females even though it originated in the male-dominated society of India almost five thousand years ago? The reason is that even though yoga was used as meditation methods by Brahmins in India, but in America, females were the one who started this trend. In 1900’s, restrictive American immigration laws hinder the spread of Indian culture inside America, and only few yoga instructor were able to spread their knowledge here.
Indra Devi was one of these yoga specialists who were helped by celebrity cosmetologist Elizabeth Arden in making women realize the advantages of yoga. After few years, Richard Hittleman started a TV show related to his Yoga books, but he used women to perform those complicated steps. Lilias Folan began to teach yoga on TV in 1970’s which only focused on homemakers. By 1980’s when yoga became popular, it was already labeled feminine. According to a survey, the ratio of women to men in yoga class is six to one.
A recent study in yoga journal shows that only eighteen percent of 20.4 million people practice yoga are men. Men usually associate Yoga to be emotional and women-dominated, but these five points might help them to see the other side of the picture.
- The famous myth among men is that yoga is not challenging enough as much as a workout is and would not help them achieve the body they want. These men have not tried The Chair Pose, which might even make the toughest men to surrender and make them re-think about yoga. Yoga focuses on those muscles in your body which you didn’t even know even existed. A single yoga pose requires every muscle in your body to work. It does not only focus on particular area of the body but the whole body. It requires teamwork from your muscles. Another yoga pose which concentrates on the areas of the body such as hamstrings, calves, shoulders, back, hips, etc. which are challenging for men is called downward dog pose. It’s a guarantee that you won’t leave a yoga class without being soaked with sweat. Every challenging workout does not require adrenaline rush.
- Another reason that men avoid yoga is that they are not flexible enough like women to do yoga. This means that men won’t lift weight because they have weak muscles, and the overweight person won’t do exercise as he won’t be able to handle intense training. As previously mentioned that, every workout is challenging for your body in one way or another. It might be difficult to do a yoga pose at the start, but you will feel after some time that your body is not only becoming more flexible but your balance and agility is also improving which might help you in other sports. In the book “Real Men do Yoga: 21 Star Athletes Reveal Their Secrets for Strength, Flexibility and Peak Performance”, author John Capouya shows how traditional yoga moves such as Cobra, the Cat Stretch, and the Eagle could be made part of body building programs such as weight lifting.
- The most usual cause of injury is during exercise is the lack of stretching but during yoga, you don’t have to worry about it as it requires you to stretch every muscle in your body. Every move of yoga is based on stretching and loosening of the muscles. Yoga is the best way to remove lactic acid from your body as it allows it to flow from your muscles with a constant stream so do not have to deal with burning and irregular heart rate. Yoga also increases the strength of whole skeletal system by increasing the bone density. The poses such as butterfly pose which increases blood flow to the pelvis, kidney, prostate, and bladder, helps organ to work properly. Yoga does not only cure old injuries such as lower back pain but it also helps in preventing new ones from happening by allowing joints to move effortlessly and allowing less physical contact during movement.
- As our lives become full of tension, we are always looking for new ways to relax the mind and escape from everyday anxiety. Stress causes cardiovascular diseases which are number one cause of death according to World Health Organization in 2012. Usually, women use gossips to channel stress out of their body, but men tend to keep everything to themselves which might not only lead to cardiovascular diseases but also causes depression and insomnia. Yoga is an excellent way to put stress in its place. In the past, yoga was considered to be a valuable tool for meditation. Yoga requires you to clean your mind with everyday thoughts and relax your mind. By doing this, you allow your mind to release serotonin which helps you in relieving stress. This will remove all the worrisome thoughts from your mind. This will assist you in sleeping peacefully. Stress causes disturbed sleep pattern, but yoga would remove worries from your brain allowing you to sleep peacefully.
- Do you find it difficult to concentrate in a boring office meeting or class? Are you looking for a way which might help you in focusing, so you don’t miss a major point? Then yoga is the perfect solution for you. Yoga makes your senses sharp so you would be able to increase your span of concentration. You would always be on alert. Upward facing dog is one of the movements which will allow you to sit behind a wheel or desk without losing any attention towards the task.
Yoga does not help you in other sports but also make your everyday life easy. According to the book “Real Men do Yoga: 21 Star Athletes Reveal Their Secrets for Strength, Flexibility and Peak Performance”, stars like Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George, New York Mets pitcher Al Leiter, all-star forward Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying yoga to improve their health. So grab a yoga pant and yoga mat and find out a yoga class near you.