Do you consider yoga to be a little too ladylike?
Well fellas, yoga is not a women's only club. Yoga offers plenty of benefits that appeal to men too. And for this week’s blog, I decided to dedicate it to all the men out there who have been afraid to do yoga because they can't touch their toes, or are hesitant to walk into a class with all women.
Here are 10 reason to get on your yoga mat:
Check your ego at the door. There is no competition here!
Men are very competitive and are taught this at an early age. Well there is no competition in yoga. In yoga, what the person next to you is doing doesn’t matter. It’s just you and your mat. Each day is different and some days you might be able to do more than others and that's ok. Yoga teaches us to live in the present and accept where and who we are. Each time we step onto the mat, we explore our boundaries, nurture our bodies, and work on being kinder to ourselves.
Yoga looks at the full spectrum of health and not just at being strong, having ripped muscles, a tight body or being flexible. If your mind isn’t calm and your heart isn’t open, if you feel anxious, or depressed, but you have nice muscles, who cares?
Being strong, having pain-free movement, being flexible and existing peacefully is where it’s at and yoga encompases all of that! Yoga allows you to explore your boundaries and opens you up to wonderful experiences physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Improves Sex Life:
Yoga has been know to boost your sex drive. A study completed by the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control.
Yoga increases body awareness, which helps reduce anxiety and increase blood flow to the genital area. It also helps rid the body of toxins that affect sexual performance.
If you often experience aches and pains and soreness either from being physically active or sitting at a desk all day, yoga can help. Yoga improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue.
Weightlifting is not the only way to build muscles. Yoga uses body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass. Yoga lengthens muscles and tissue, which improves blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps recovery and helps your muscles grow.
Research found that people who frequently participate in a 20-minute yoga session had improved memory and inhibitory control (or the ability to focus and retain new information). These people made confident work decisions, had better energy, improved work relationships, and had better focus and memory retention compared to those who jogged or walked for 20 minutes.
Boosts Immune System:
Yoga classes can support your immune system, nervous system, digestive health and more! Studies show that when people practice yoga regularly, their immune system gets stronger and their body's ability to fight off germs and viruses improves significantly. Yoga does this by flushing the body of toxins, particularly if you do any form of hot yoga (i.e. at Empower Yoga)
Yoga Challenges You:
Yoga offers a whole body workout gathering support from the cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine systems.
Whether you're trying to master a new pose, arm balance, inversion, or just trying to focus your mind during a hectic day, yoga can help teach you how to grow and get stronger, challenging you to be your best and strongest self both physically and mentally.
Studies completed by The Mayo Clinic show that people who did yoga regularly had lower levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, a counterweight to the fight-or-flight response of stress, ultimately reducing levels of cortisol, a primary stress hormone. When cortisol levels are high it can harm thyroid function, damage muscle tissue, increase blood pressure, cause inflammation, and more if cortisol is too high.
Improves Self Confidence:
When you feel stronger, aligned, in balance, have increased body awareness, are more flexible, and have an increased sex drive, you will most likely begin to feel more confidant.
So maybe it’s time to man up, and get your yoga on ;)