YogiRishi

Men And Yoga

58 posts in this topic

The best way to get over your shyness... is to get your over shyness. Take a class, I promise you that after 10 seconds you'll realize the fears you had were just that...fears. The ladies won't bite, laugh at you nor do anything to make you feel uncomfortable. Most likely they'll be warm, friendly and helpful.

I promise you'll have the time of your life. I'm at the point where I hate it if there's more than one other guy in the class...I love being with the gals (they're a heck of a lot more fun to look at!). 

Go for it!

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In my class like most I'm usually significantly outnumbered by women, but once it starts I'm usually too busy straining and sweating to really pay attention to anyone else. 

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Can I weigh in? I'm a woman not at man, and I think that what happens in a class stays in a class! If you're nervous about failing, don't be! Everyone has to start from somewhere. Imagine my first class. I couldn't even do downward dog let alone anything else. Now I'm a bird of paradise all jumping around haha! But seriously, men in classes are not weird or anything. They're there for the exact same reason as a woman. 

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23 minutes ago, ZillaRac said:

If you're nervous about failing, don't be!...

My instructor says. "don't worry about falling, the floor is there to break your fall"

Can't argue with that logic! LOL

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I think that was his point LOL

He also says (when in table top) "in yoga, you go where your gaze is, so if you want to move forward...look forward, but if you want to go six feet under, look down"

Okay, that's a bit morbid, but I love the irreverent humor

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Hi YogiRishi.

I´m almost in the same situation. Usually there are 3 guys and 20 women in the room. That's ok for me. Yoga gives me a lot more than weight lifting ever can do.

Live your life and not others. So follow your soul. :-)

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I would love to see more men doing yoga! That would be so exciting. It's the same as seeing a woman doing something that is normally considered "for men." It's just cool when yoga spreads and when we get more variety and uniqueness in ability in class.

And I was no where close to being flexible when I first started yoga, and I'm a woman. Remember there are also some natural disadvantages to being a woman as well, so don't worry. Luckily in yoga, "practice and all is coming"

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Okay, not entirely serious, but I wonder if there's a connection between these two posts.

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 7.06.58 AM.jpg

Maybe if men were aware of these issues, they'd be more inclined to try a class. 

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Well, that topic definitely triggers a lot of keywords, so there is lots of interest... I noticed it has the most views for a single thread but not as many replies as others - 26,000 right now!!

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I will say this, as a girl, I love seeing guys getting into what is considered a "girl's" sport. Traditionally, most of these sports used to be male sports to begin with (ballet and horseback riding, for example, used to be exclusively male sports but are now dominated by women.) Yoga has always been for both sexes which is amazing (few sports can say that.) I love hearing from men that they do yoga and I keep beating up my dad for not doing it as he has arthritis in his back, bad IT bands and bad knees. "Dad, do some yoga, you'll feel better!" Military training says, "Nope, yoga is for girls." I finally got him to do some supine twists today because his back really hurt and he said, "That felt good." HA! I win! Yoga buddies in the making?

@starslight Like you, I have horrible anxiety. I've gotten hives thinking about attending a class. "Class? Class? Attend a class? That place where I'll probably have no more than three inches of personal space, there will be mirrors and, and, and....." *cue twitchy bug eyes, hyperventilation, hives* Just typing that made me anxious. No no, the only classes you see me take are my horse lessons and there I have one horse, my coach and an entire arena to myself.

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6 hours ago, KateZena said:

... Like you, I have horrible anxiety. I've gotten hives thinking about attending a class. "Class? Class? Attend a class? That place where I'll probably have no more than three inches of personal space, there will be mirrors and, and, and....." *cue twitchy bug eyes, hyperventilation, hives* Just typing that made me anxious. No no, the only classes you see me take are my horse lessons and there I have one horse, my coach and an entire arena to myself.

This is unfortunate.

Taking a class is like going to a fine restaurant...doing a video is like cooking at home. Different experience. 

In classes...you'll learn breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques...which could alleviate anxiety.

As to the mirrors...and the other people...90% of the class is spent in poses where you won't be able to see the mirror, let alone the other people (nor they you). The lights might be out and you can stay in the back corner and no one will know you're there

You don't know what you're missing.

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@LarryD517 I have done classes and activities for other things and my mileage varies. I have social anxiety stemming from Autism which is made worse by the hypersensory problems I have (many Autistics have these problems.) Many people enjoy yoga classes, but for many Autistics you first have to deal with the lighting (which could be for one Autistic could be too harsh or another too dim), then there's the sounds (is there music? Is it too loud? Too soft? An instrument that aggravates my ears?), then the surroundings (mirrors provide distracting glare, are the walls pleasing, are there things brushing at me accidentally, etc etc etc), how many people around you and then after all that....you have the instructor. Is he/she wearing colors that don't aggravate your eyes, does he/she have tags sticking out (something that has driven me to meltdowns) and finally....does his/her voice please you (aka does your instructor not have a voice that makes you want to rip out your eardrums? Is it too loud? Sound like sandpaper? Too gravelly?)

Most people don't have that issue with finding things because they aren't thinking of that. That's basically my life. I'm consistently trying to find peace in a world not made for me. Home is a place where none of that has to be taken into account as I know everything and was tailored to my needs. It may not be the best thing, but it works for me. I was a singer for 20 years (4-24) until a teacher broke my singing spirit (I strictly sing in the car now.) Breathing using my stomach is my life; I just breathe more deeply when I do yoga. I often bring my medium sized mirror off the wall if I'm doing something that focuses on one part of the body to check how things look since I did strict Cecchetti ballet (aka Italian ballet) from the ages of 3 to 9.5 (there was a 3 month break for karate.) I understand that I'm not getting the most proper instruction by watching Candace's tutorials because no one is there to correct me if I do something stupid (all I have is a mirror and the connection to my own body), but I know that's where I feel most safe and not bothered by my issues.

yogafire, LarryD517 and starslight like this

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@KateZena I really appreciate you sharing your experience with taking classes. I've been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder since I last posted (which I now treat with therapy and meds), and I've felt similarly in class settings. I enrolled in a full-time program to become an electrician a couple years ago and only lasted a month because the stress of being in a bright room with strangers all day was killing me. I don't think people who haven't experienced severe anxiety really understand how intense even a supposedly mundane experience like attending a yoga class can be.

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@starslight I think many neurodiverse people get along because we know how each other feels. I don't exactly have severe anxiety, but I know how those with severe anxiety feel because I know all of you have heightened senses too. Maybe not quite as high as mine (and yet I still know other people with senses worse than mine), but you guys have sensitive senses too.

I went to college for a few years and had to stop. I didn't know at the time I had lupus (I would be diagnosed half a year later) and the stress of so many people with no clear schedule got to me. Plus, I had issues (issues that were against the law) with a teacher and my school wouldn't work with my family. I found that school wasn't going to work.

Throughout my short 27 years, I've done classes and informal. I've had some big failures (cheer!) and successes (riding! crochet! photography!). You just do you. Forget everyone else. :) You might notice I like solo or very small group things. I'm not a big activity person! If you want to do yoga at home, then I say do it at home. That's where you'll find me (probably laughing at myself when I fall with a new leg move as I'm not very flexible in my legs yet. It's constant laughter.)

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On 2/12/2015 at 0:22 PM, LarryD517 said:

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! :)

Hey, I was just changing today, and thought about this... If men had to wear bras and reach their hands behind their back everyday since adolescence, then they could probably do this as easily as most women.  So it's not just a natural disadvantage / advantage due to physical bodies but the daily expectations of habits or garments that our genders can impose on us, too.

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1 hour ago, yogafire said:

Hey, I was just changing today, and thought about this... If men had to wear bras and reach their hands behind their back everyday since adolescence, then they could probably do this as easily as most women.  So it's not just a natural disadvantage / advantage due to physical bodies but the daily expectations of habits or garments that our genders can impose on us, too.

If you think about it, women do have somewhat better flexibility in our shoulders because we are always putting on those things called bras, taking them off, and for some reason fashion companies think we should have zippers running up our backs; we tend to have very mobile shoulders for those reasons as everything straps or zips up the back, even our jewelry. If we can't reach a spot, we've learned to easily adapt by using paper clips and rubber bands, but many women are very mobile in throughout the shoulders and elbows because you just have to be.

Men have a disadvantage; all of your clothing is buttoned, zipped or clasped up the in the front. You don't have to work your shoulders like women. You have to be mindful in working them through exercise. This was something I did when I was little and in occupational/developmental therapy, but if you guys want to work on your shoulder flexibility try putting on your button downs backwards. (I.e. Put them up so the buttons are on your back and button them up that way.) It's exercise in patience, flexibility, strength and provides a little insight into the world of women! I hate button down dresses! (Hate them! These are usually the most pretty dresses but they are so fussy.) 

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On 7.7.2016 at 9:16 PM, yogafire said:

Hey, I was just changing today, and thought about this... If men had to wear bras and reach their hands behind their back everyday since adolescence, then they could probably do this as easily as most women.  So it's not just a natural disadvantage / advantage due to physical bodies but the daily expectations of habits or garments that our genders can impose on us, too.

Haha ;) In fact, I can't do this pose ...

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7 hours ago, HGB said:

Haha ;) In fact, I can't do this pose ...

Pst, neither can I. I used to be able to until I got lupus and tendonitis/bursitis. I have no problems doing this pose if - instead of pressing my palms together - I press the back of my hands together! Does that count @LarryD517? Or does it really need to be my palms? HA HA HA. :D

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7 hours ago, KateZena said:

...- instead of pressing my palms together - I press the back of my hands together! Does that count @LarryD517? Or does it really need to be my palms? HA HA HA. :D

All humor aside, I would guess, from a skeletal or muscular perspective, having the backs of your hands together works a slightly different set of muscles and tendons in the shoulder. In either event, given that I have been working on this for quite a while (with many other shoulder opening exercises), I'd say that each body type allows some of us to do poses, with ease, while others struggle attempting the same. Anatomical variations presents a lot of challenges in yoga. 

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@LarryD517 What shoulder exercises do you do? I'm curious as my shoulders haven't been the same since I had that bout of tendinitis and bursitis (I tell you what; steroid shots hurt!)

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On 7/13/2016 at 2:35 AM, LarryD517 said:

All humor aside, I would guess, from a skeletal or muscular perspective, having the backs of your hands together works a slightly different set of muscles and tendons in the shoulder. In either event, given that I have been working on this for quite a while (with many other shoulder opening exercises), I'd say that each body type allows some of us to do poses, with ease, while others struggle attempting the same. Anatomical variations presents a lot of challenges in yoga. 

When I flip my hands from backs to facing front, I feel more tension along the outer edges of my hand from finger to wrist (which is why I rarely do this pose anymore). I suspect some wrist flexibility could help, too.

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