For most men who are more used to sweating it out in the gym or playing a competitive sport, yoga might seem ‘girly’, ‘feminine’ or ‘easy’ in comparison. I realise that this has been written by a woman (me) but bear with me for a second as I take you through the 7 reasons why men should do yoga.
- Injury Prevention/reduction.
Once you step onto the yoga mat you’ll begin to discover why so many athletes include yoga in their training. It is an excellent complementary practice to the gym and sports because it increases flexibility and helps to prevent injury. A well-balanced yoga class should work out all the different muscle groups, which will make them work together harmoniously and increase range of motion.
- Learn How to Breathe.
Of course everybody breathes, but have you ever considered really focusing on your breath with each movement you make? As the class intensifies the breath becomes much deeper, slower and controlled. Practising this regularly will enhance longevity during training and the all important matches.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety.
It all comes back to the breath. When we slow our breath, our mind slows with it. This helps us to think more clearly and make better decisions. A regular meditation/yoga practice will undoubtedly reduce stress and anxiety because it pulls us back into the present moment. This can be particularly important during a match and you’ve to kick that penalty or make a snap decision on the pitch.
- Better Sleep.
Most yoga classes have at least 5/10 minutes of relaxation at the very end. If it’s an evening class you’ll float home and straight into bed. When you’re sleeping better there are fewer levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, present which will also help in further reducing stress in our day to day lives.
- Toned and Defined Muscles
A regular yoga practice, alongside the gym or other sport will define and elongate your muscles over time. Banishing the ‘dad bod’ forever!
- Boosts Overall Health.
Yoga has a positive effect on both physical and mental health. It helps to reduce blood pressure and the fight or flight response, which leads to a reduction in anxiety. Yoga is also known to boost immunity, helping to fight off the ‘office plague’ and other ailments. Your breathing becomes deeper and more controlled which can help improve respiratory diseases, such as, asthma.
- Better Sex.
The part you were all dying to hear! Yoga has been known to increase stamina and libido because of all the breath-work you do in class. It has been known to make it easier to channel sexual energy. And better flexibility leads to more ‘experimental’ positions….I’ll leave that one up to you!