A recent gender shift occurred in traditional yoga. The practice, which conventionally has been practiced only by men, started to get dominated by women. Today, standard yoga classes will likely have more female than male students. That’s because most men worry that it isn’t appropriate for them since they tend to be naturally rigid.
However, flexibility isn’t required in yoga. The fact is, even the toughest and burliest men love participating in the practice despite women taking over yoga, and they have a lot of gain from yoga and are as welcomed as women in any situation. Plus, you can double the benefits by investing in indoor air purifiers, which can create a better sense of serenity and calmness.
Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons why tough guys do yoga.
It Increases Range Of Motion
Most guys know that they have tight muscle groups, with the hamstrings, pecs, glutes, and shoulders as the most common ones. However, not many know the limitations of these on their ability to train through a full range of motion. The more you ‘train’ these muscle groups through a limited range of motion, the more ‘limited’ you become as an athlete. Fortunately, yoga can help emphasize moves that open up all problem areas you may have, helping you become more flexible and do your workouts more efficiently.
It Improves Breathing
Although most people would think they breathe fine, you’d likely find yourself challenged by how stringently yoga requires you to focus on breathing, particularly when holding challenging poses in new movement planes. All these can be tougher for burly men.
That’s why most seasoned athletes or ‘tough’ guys participate in yoga, teaching them how to take in long and slow breaths when they need it the most, expanding lung capacity that lets you take in the same or a more extensive amount of oxygen through fewer inhalations. That’s why you’ll notice that as yoga classes become more intensive, the slower the breathing practices get.
Overall, yoga can help train your body to oxygenate itself better, which is crucial for cardio, strength, and muscle-building training.
It Strengthens Stabilizers
Even the most muscular or bulky men can follow yoga routines that smaller and less muscular women or men can do. This scenario happens because they earn their physique by doing yoga—strengthening their stabilizer muscles. Yoga includes several unique moves besides the basics, such as planking, down dog, and warrior variations.
Depending on your yoga teacher, these can also have lateral and spinal-arch poses and other balance challenges, all of which aren’t usually present in lifting and different types of high-intensity exercises. These moves force the body to work in new ways, improving your smaller ‘stabilizer’ muscles while enhancing joint health.
In essence, practicing yoga covers the bases that most men think they’re covering in their typical workouts, allowing you to become more flexible and robust from the deepest core.
It ‘Balances’ You
Traditional yoga consists of poses that can naturally help you improve your balance. From one-legged yoga poses to arm balances, all these can help you give your balancing skills a boost. The practice also encourages your body to move in an unaccustomed way by spending time in unusual postures. That’s why most ‘tough’ guys do yoga in between their workouts, promoting better balance and flexibility, making their actual sessions easier.
It Provides Active Rest
One of the significant challenges of being committed to fitness is figuring what you can do with an ‘active rest day.’ These are days where you can still work out but refrain from doing your regular sessions, meaning you’re supposed to be resting, but you don’t want to stop your training. Many dedicated fitness enthusiasts and athletes can go stir-crazy if they can’t do some form of activity—and for these individuals, yoga is the perfect option for active rest days.
It Enhances Overall Health
Besides making you feel good after a long and challenging training session, yoga can also provide more distinct health advantages. These include helping you breathe better, prevent issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and rotator-cuff issues—giving your overall health a much-needed boost. That’s why many tough guys partake in yoga. It allows them to reap all the benefits linked to your health.
Although yoga has been labeled as something ‘easy’ or feminine, it can give even the toughest men a challenge that they wouldn’t see coming. Overall, aside from the reasons mentioned, most men do yoga because it’s an excellent way to live a long and active life. So, don’t fear it and give it a serious try—and reap the benefits in no time.