Updated: Sep 7, 2021
There is no doubt that yoga attracts more women than men here in Europe, but I want to change this! #menneedyoga. My own yoga teacher is a man and I did my yoga teacher training with lots of men. In fact, most of the teachers who brought yoga to the Western world back in the 1970s were men.
I’m going to generalize, but tell me if I’m wrong: men want to do a form of exercise that challenges their body, makes then feel powerful and strong: yoga can do this….In fact, may of the top sports teams now incorporate some form of yoga into their fitness regimes because of this.
Here’s the obvious: mens’ bodies are different to womens’: more muscle mass, more natural strength, wider shoulders, narrower hips. This means that certain poses are easier for you guys: the core strengthening exercises, the arm balances ( you’ll be great at the hand stands…damn you!) but often at the expense of mobility and flexibility.
In particular, I see poor flexibility in the back, hips and shoulders. In time, this can lead to joint problems and also repetitive muscle injuries. We can stop this happening!
I get that it can be a bit daunting to try your first yoga class with a bunch of women- but here’s the solution: While I don’t do men-only classes ( yet), my online classes mean that you do the classes from your own home, is a bit more beginner-friendly than coming to a yoga studio. Let’s take advantage of the pandemic….
So, let’s start with the hips and back: having good strength and maybe bulky muscles in your thighs, particularly if you’ve done a bit of strength training, can lead to tight groins, quads ( front of thighs) and hamstrings (back of legs), also calf muscles. What you may be interested to know is that being to tight in your leg muscles, leads to shoulder and back problems. Not only that, but yoga often identifies hidden weak muscles that you were not aware of.
Strong shoulder and arm muscles with no balance from their opponents ( each muscle has an opposite) can lead to neck and back problems.
In my experience as a physio, strong muscles carry the can for your weak muscles, so you can be incredibly strong and still have weaknesses that are lurking in the dark, putting MORE workload on your strong muscles so that they eventually get injured: it’s all about distributing the load, my friends. #strengthdeficit
My classes are for beginners to yoga and improvers who are willing to do a slow-flow type of yoga. So it’s not pump, pump, pump but REAL attention to detail and to your breathing and how it integrates with your muscle tone. I’m going to share something with you: beginners poses are the key to good movement: I was struck down with an illness and could ONLY do beginner poses for a full year. When I recovered, I could suddenly do all the fancy, hard poses so much easier, without ever having practiced them… My point is: working on the basics helps all kinds of ailments and strength deficits. You might even reduce your stress in the process….
If you are willing to try it, come and join my classes. See my YOUtube videos for a taster. If you want the harder stuff, email me and I’ll point you in the right direction too.