“With the many types of yoga to try, and even yoga routines designed specifically to help you sculpt and tone muscles, you’d think more men would jump on the yoga bandwagon. But according to a study by Yoga Journal, of the 20.4 million people who practice yoga in the U.S., only 18% of them are men. “It’s almost a joke when guys say, ‘I don’t think I should do yoga because I’m not flexible,’” Adrian Hummel, a Bikram yoga teacher, told The Washington Post. “It’s like saying, ‘I’m too weak, so I can’t lift weights.'”
When we read this in an article recently it made us wonder; are Australian men more adventurous than American men? Because if you’ve been to some of our classes you’ll have noticed how many of our regulars are men – far more than the 18% cited above!
Here are five great reasons men should do yoga, taken from the same article:
Anyone who says yoga can’t be a full body workout hasn’t done enough yoga, and even gentle yoga routines can contribute to weight loss. According to the Journal of Alternative Medicine, overweight men who practiced yoga and breathing exercises daily lost an average of 4 pounds in only 10 days. Deep abdominal breathing is a major part of yoga, and according to Men’s Fitness, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system and lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone that forces your body to hold on to belly fat.
Add to that a stronger immune system and positive effects on blood pressure, and it’s hard to imagine what’s keeping men from hopping on the mat. Yoga also contributes to heart health, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in American men.
With the increased strength, flexibility, and stamina gained from yoga workouts, you’ll be positioned for success in your other physical endeavors. For example, yoga builds a base for effective weight lifting. Kate Abate, a certified trainer and yoga teacher, told Men’s Fitness, “Yoga widens range of motion and increases access to more muscle fibers, allowing for more substantial hypertrophy in any given muscle group.” Hypertrophy is the enlargement of muscles, which begins at the cellular level. Yoga also prevents injuries because well-stretched muscles will recover more quickly, not to mention what mindfulness yoga will teach you in terms of knowing your body’s limits.
Both increased libido and improved sexual performance have been linked to regular yoga practice. In a 2010 study, yoga was shown to improve all domains of sexual function in men. The breathing techniques and concentration taught in yoga can help men better channel their sexual energy. “This can lead to increased sexual endurance,” Yogi Cameron Alborizan told Men’s Fitness, “and will make you far more sensitive and responsive to your partner.” This coupled with yoga’s mental health benefits could do wonders for improving not just your health, but the health of your relationships
Yoga can bring tremendous relief to people suffering from a variety of forms of back pain, especially chronic lower back pain. For men who sit all day at an office job, yoga is one of the best ways to combat the pain and misalignment associated with prolonged sitting. Yoga will also help give your back, neck, and shoulders the best gift of all: better posture. You’ve probably heard people say yoga makes them feel taller. Encouraging proper posture goes a long way to preventing future aches and pains.
Many people are drawn to yoga not necessarily for strictly physical benefits, but for the associated impact on mental health. In addition to improving overall physical fitness, yoga is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Yoga poses, particularly inversions, help people get a better night’s rest and provide stress relief. Yoga helps you slow down and be mindful, in addition to teaching you relaxation and breathing techniques that promote calmness all day and into the night. And in today’s fast-paced culture, the forced break from your devices, deadlines, and daily worries is a much-needed restorative practice for everyone.
Read the original article here: www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/why-more-men-should-be-doing-yoga.html/?a=viewall