YogiRishi

Men And Yoga

58 posts in this topic

Hi there. I'm sure I'm one of the only guys here on the Forum.  This is often the case with me in my classes as well.  What are your thoughts on this? What do you think about men who practise yoga?  I often hear from people (other guys usually) that I should quit yoga and go to lifting weights. Why is yoga looked so down upon for men?

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There are men at this forum and where I take classes, most of the newer practitioners are men
At my studio, in some cases up to half the class are men

I wouldn't mind if there were more or mostly women in my class since (in my opinion) they're far more beautiful and it's more fun to watch a woman than a man.

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My thoughts on this...

 

Yoga isn't looked down upon for men. If anything, it's not encouraged enough.

 

People worry too much – do whatever makes you happy.

 

As long as you're progressing and putting in the effort, you're golden. 

MrBalloonHands likes this

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There are a lot of reasons I don't do public classes, and the fact that I'd probably be the only dude in the room were I to go is one of them. I don't like to stand out and I don't want anyone to see how lousy I am, so I don't want to be at the front of the class--but if I go to the back everyone's going to think I'm just there to creep on women. 

 

Whole idea's an anxiety death-trap. Thanks to the internet, though, I can practice yoga without laming up anybody's cool yoga class. 

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I'm lousy and would no problem being the only guy in the class. I've done Soul Cycle classes where there were 35 women aged 25-35 and I was the only man (I'm 56 years old). They were all in significantly better cycling shape than I was. Instead of being intimidated, I imagined they were all impressed that I tried...and was able to keep up with folks half my age.

 

...everyone's going to think I'm just there to creep on women. 

Unless your gawking and drooling (please don't) the ladies most likely will appreciate your struggles (if they notice you at all). By the end of the class, I'm sure you'll be getting glances and comments of encouragement.

Take a deep breath and jump in. 

Athletes, for the most part, only care about effort.

It's all in your mind. 

 

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

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Well Said! I'm 100% focused when I'm in class and I barely notice anyone around me.

 

I'm lousy and would no problem being the only guy in the class. I've done Soul Cycle classes where there were 35 women aged 25-35 and I was the only man (I'm 56 years old). They were all in significantly better cycling shape than I was. Instead of being intimidated, I imagined they were all impressed that I tried...and was able to keep up with folks half my age.

 
 

Unless your gawking and drooling (please don't) the ladies most likely will appreciate your struggles (if they notice you at all). By the end of the class, I'm sure you'll be getting glances and comments of encouragement.

Take a deep breath and jump in. 

Athletes, for the most part, only care about effort.

It's all in your mind. 

 

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

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Oh, I know it's all in my mind, believe me. Knowing that doesn't take the anxiety away--though it'd sure be nice if it did. For now I'm content to enjoy my home practice and not have to worry about what anybody thinks of a fat dude doing yoga. Where I live, I think I'd rather not know.

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If you don't mind my asking...how old are you and how old are the people in the class you are considering?

When I was younger, I might have had the same fears that you have...but, take it from me (and my years of experience...LOL), it'll be fine.

Imagine you were taking a class with twenty guys...and a woman joined in...

Would you think...good for her!...or would you think...what is she doing here?

 

Life is short...get over your anxiety, take the plunge!

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I'm 27 and I'm really not considering any yoga class. It's just that any time you see a picture of a class in an article or a blog post it's all in-shape people in super-rad yoga clothes. I guess that's a marketing thing, and I guess it must make some people want to go sign up for a class, but it's kind of had the opposite effect on me.

 

My anxiety's maybe a little more severe than what you're thinking of. It's probably not something I'll ever be able to just get over. But I appreciate the encouragement all the same.

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I, was afraid to try spinning for six months (I sat outside the class watching, fearful of entering the room). My friend, an instructor, kept telling me I should try it.

I, similarly, was afraid to try yoga, (mainly because I'm sooooo inflexible).

The best advice I can give you, young man, is to make your enemy your friend...(if you do that, you wont have any enemies!)

If there's anything in life that you are apprehensive about...recognize that it might be an irrational fear and (as long as it's legal and wont hurt anyone) embrace it with gusto.

You'll be glad you did and will enjoy life!

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It's amazing the natural disadvantage many men have.

I've been enthusiastically talking about yoga with just about anyone who gets within five feet of me (LOL).

Today, I was talking with my assistant, who has never done yoga and hardly ever exercises.

I showed her 'reverse namaste'...

 ce47a0078821df28318876cd02e0bc8c.jpg

...or at least my attempt at it, as my palms were still about 2" apart and my hands near the lower part of my back.

I was proud of the fact that my palms were getting closer and wanted to show her.

She quickly said "oh, I can do that" and proceeded to place her palms together behind her back (albeit not as high as the model in the image above).

Here I am, six months away from being able to do something...and she can do it with barely any effort!

 

Not fair! :)

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^^ 

 

It's amazing the natural disadvantage many men have.

I've been enthusiastically talking about yoga with just about anyone who gets within five feet of me (LOL).

Today, I was talking with my assistant, who has never done yoga and hardly ever exercises.

I showed her 'reverse namaste'...

 ce47a0078821df28318876cd02e0bc8c.jpg

...or at least my attempt at it, as my palms were still about 2" apart and my hands near the lower part of my back.

I was proud of the fact that my palms were getting closer and wanted to show her.

She quickly said "oh, I can do that" and proceeded to place her palms together behind her back (albeit not as high as the model in the image above).

Here I am, six months away from being able to do something...and she can do it with barely any effort!

 

Not fair! :)

Yes I do find that sometimes girls find some poses easier than men, however I'm sure guys find poses like Chaturanga for example to be quite simple... Everyone is built different :)

 

And nothing worth having comes easy so keep working at that reverse prayer!

yogafire likes this

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Is it ok that I pop in on this discussion? I love seeing men in yoga, because I think the benefits are amazing, and I hate the "that's for girls" attitude. My practice is in a gym and there are always less men there than at a studio, however, I've been noticing more and more men trying it and enjoying it more than they thought they wouldn't. I'm thinking it will become more and more popular as it becomes more commercial.

yogafire and MrBalloonHands like this

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Oh yeah - I've heard the old weight training line many a time.  That said, I do sort of agree.  There's a school of thought that says we ought to incorporate a strength element into our daily routine, because in today's modern society we are far less likely to encounter resistant-type movements which would have been normal in everyday living prior to the convenience of the modern lifestyle.  That's why I do incorporate hand stand push ups, one-hand push ups, pistols and chin ups into my practice. 

 

But yoga?  The bottom line for me is that it makes me feel fantastic, and can still move like a child even though I'm in my 40s.  To me we are just upstart monkeys anyway, and yoga enables us to keep swinging from the trees, but without the tree.  Well, that's my warped way of looking at things anyway.   Monkey don't use barbells, but they sure as hell stretch, invert. climb and back bend   :) 

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I love yoga. As a runner I am shocked at, even though I am relatively young and in 'good shape', how freaking difficult it is. I have taken this winter to devote myself to going from 'don’t do this video' material to somewhat passable. Somewhat with, I hope, high upside.

 

My only discomfort with yoga is a sporadically awkward one. (I.E. sometimes during shavasana after a very challenging practice....'it' moves.

I want to be clear: I am way-sensitive about not making yoga a bad place for the teacher or anyone around me, especially considering the majority of fellow classmates are women. Women should not be subjected to anything that would shift focus from the practice. Whatever this situation is, I can't predict when it will occur. I just grab the blanket and try and make as little fuss as possible.

 

Don't know if that makes me some freak/abnormality in the yoga spectrum. It's just where I am at and a challenge I am trying to best.

MrBalloonHands likes this

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Just wanted to share this with y'all because I thought it was an awesome video. =)

Thanks for this! I never seen it before! Wow! :)

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I'm unlike most men in that I'm largely a noncopettitive soul, as well as liking slowing things down and enjoying the details. Unlike most sports Yoga is a personal practice and a journey, It dosn't matter what aspects you are able to do relitive to others. Just be happy in the moment.

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I was a wrestler in high school that had a non-scholarship offer at a university, a state powelifting title (114 pound weight class!, lol), and a black belt in judo. I will say that yoga has me in the best shape of my life. The blend of balance, flexibility, and STRENGTH is very unique. Most men shy away from yoga due to the stereotypes. I'm so glad I tried it, I wish I had discovered it 20 years earlier.

Tibor, starslight and Hildegard like this

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I think most men shy away because of "the first five minutes". No one is naturally flexible and when they encounter their first stretch (down dog, for example) and struggle, while little pixies in class perform with aplomb, they conclude "this is not for me".

Men are conquerors and failing to master something within the first five minutes is too much to deal with, for most

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Men who do yoga find benefits, challenges

 
Lisa Iannucci
For the Poughkeepsie Journal 8:32 p.m. EDT August 1, 2015
 

 

Whatever you do, don’t tell Mark Guay that yoga is just for women.

“Honestly, I don’t really care what people think, but there are just as many men as there are women who do yoga,” said Guay, a Wappingers Falls resident, teacher and founder of Your Life on Purpose podcast (YourLOP.com). “When I lived in Hawaii, it was a normal thing that everyone did. My first introduction to it was when I was a triathlete, and I overtrained and hurt my ankles. I was looking for something to do and started with yoga. I felt better both physically and mentally.”

David Goldin started yoga when his wife, Susan, who has multiple sclerosis, was looking for an exercise to help ease her ailments.

“After watching what it was doing to help her, I started,” said the 69-year-old Clinton resident. “I used to have a really bad back and yoga has taken away about 95 percent of my problems. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it works. It’s also been really good for my posture.”

According to industry statistics, more than 20 million people practice yoga, but traditionally only a small percentage of them has been men, but that number is growing....

Read more at...Men who do yoga find benefits, challenges

 

 

 

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Hi, I started yoga because of my health problems (anxiety) and at first I used it mainly to learn how to breath correctly, but eventually I stayed with it. Many men have not got a correct information about it. They think yoga (especially in my surroundings) is some girly activity similar to aerobic or zumba. They like lifting weights because they think it is an only way to become stronger.

I asked my friend and former teammate ( I play basketball) to attend some yoga class and his reply was the same: yoga is for women. So I went there alone and I was surprised that the day after the class I was more sore than after crossfit practice. For me personally, yoga is very similar to calisthenics, in both of these activities I can manipulate with my body ( if I need more strength I can add some push ups but in many videos of Candace I do not need to add them :) ), but yoga has far more benefits than just looking good and being in shape.

It is the misinformation and the ego of many men that dont let them at least try yoga. 

 

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It's their loss...but when trying to convince them, when all else fails ... I say "I got two words for you...lulu lemon!" (hope none of the ladies are reading this :) )

brenskip55 likes this

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On 2/10/2015 at 5:36 AM, starslight said:

There are a lot of reasons I don't do public classes, and the fact that I'd probably be the only dude in the room were I to go is one of them. I don't like to stand out and I don't want anyone to see how lousy I am, so I don't want to be at the front of the class--but if I go to the back everyone's going to think I'm just there to creep on women. 

 

Whole idea's an anxiety death-trap. Thanks to the internet, though, I can practice yoga without laming up anybody's cool yoga class. 

Anxiety is the primary reason I've started doing yoga.  I don't exactly have crippling anxiety.  I don't take medication or anything.  But I much more shy than the average person, and I can make small problems a lot more stressful than they actually should be.

There is yoga studio 15 minutes away from where I live. I will eventually start taking a class.    The thought of it being almost an exclusively female activity in my area of the world is off putting though.  I want to get better at it by practicing at home before I join a class so I won't be completely lost.

starslight likes this

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