Are you a dude? Do you love hot yoga? The practice of yoga goes back to before you were even alive. There are numerous forms of yoga and it has numerous benefits, from improving your mood to your circulation, enhancing your self-awareness to your range of movement. You can do yoga in a heated room or on a beach. But here’s something you may not know: yoga is great for men too.
I recently read an article on The Huffington Post titled 5 Reasons Why Dudes Should Practice Yoga. Great, right? It was written by a 6’7” ex-college basketball player turned Wall Street Trader and he lists the reasons why yoga has changed his life, or should I say, saved his life. It hit home. I love yoga, and after a little bit of pleading and reluctance, my businessman husband tried hot yoga with a friend. He was immediately hooked. I’d even call him an “addict” at this point, doing up to three to five hot yoga classes a week!
If you are a female reading this post, think about convincing the man (or male friends) in your life to try a yoga workout with you. It’s not just a female thing! If you are a man reading this, try yoga this week! Not sold yet? Here are some more great reasons to incorporate yoga into your fitness regimen.
Cure what ails you.
Like the majority of middle aged folks, my husband and I have our share of aches and pains from age and overuse. No matter what your level of activity—whether you are sedentary or active—you probably have some aches and pains in your back, hips and joints. (Like my doctor said after reading the MRI of my lumbar spine, “Looks like the wear and tear of any other active 45 year old woman who has been running her whole life.) Yoga can be the ideal remedy for what ails you! My husband has benefited from the flexibility training, but admittedly he has improved his body awareness and reduced his stress level. Yoga promotes relaxation, reduces pain in joints, strengthens bones, improves balance and increases your confidence as you master the art.
Benefit from slowing down.
As busy as we all are, entire days, even weeks, can go by without any time for relaxation. People who know me personally recognize me as a classic Type A, high-energy personality. So when I started taking yoga classes and teaching 10 years ago, my friends were surprised I was interested in mind/body exercise. But it was exactly what I needed with three little kids, a full time job, and tight muscles from teaching lots of crazy classes. I needed to stretch more so why not combine it with mindful breathing? It sounded good to me. Now, my mind and body crave the relaxation, peacefulness, and the ability to self-reflect. I truly believe that yoga makes me a better parent, spouse, friend, and person!
And my husband feels the feels the same way about yoga. (Meaning he loves it for himself, but I chuckle a little because he also loves it for me. Like the old saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!)
Why hot yoga.
There are many forms of yoga like Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga to name a few. But my husband and I love HOT yoga. Not everyone does, but I personally was born to live on a tropical island. Some classes are hotter than others varying from approx. 75 to 125 degrees. It depends on where you take yoga and which style they teach such as hot Vinyasa vs. Bikram but hot yoga benefits your body because it assists you in sweating out toxins while allowing you to go deeper into the stretches and poses on your mat.The heat facilitates a more fluid-like stretch. Your circulation improves, and I feel completely cleansed and refreshed after an hour. My husband would tell you the same thing—the detoxified feeling is addicting.
Men can start out with reservations about yoga. I have guys often tell me, “Oh, I can’t go to yoga, I’m too inflexible.” But, isn’t that the oxymoron in this whole thing? Yoga will help improve your flexbilbity while also making over your mind. I tell all my students, men and women alike, there is no such thing as a perfect pose. And there are no “winners” in a yoga class, it’s about your own personal journey. This says it all: I had a guy come to my yoga class who was new to yoga and he spent a lot of time in childs’ pose as he was learning. After class he came up to me and said, “I don’t know if what I was doing was yoga, but I loved it.”