Though the roots of yoga classify it as a practice and combination of physical and mental exercises to help relax the body and soul, the way most of us see yoga today is a part of relaxation and personal fitness. Since yoga is a widely used form of meditation and exercise, why don’t we see men doing it regularly? Is yoga for men too? And is it the same as for others, or is yoga harder for men?
Though yoga is less popular for men, it is slowly gaining popularity with the addition of men-only yoga classes. Some of the greatest tips and tricks you can follow for beginning with yoga as a man is not to overdo it, focus on yourself and not others, and use clothes you’ll be comfortable wearing.
If you recently started taking up yoga or are looking into doing so, there are several ways to help you achieve the best results. Though some tips and tricks may seem strange or redundant, they will help you feel more comfortable and give you an excellent place to start. If you are serious about using yoga to benefit yourself, providing yourself with the best chance by knowing what you should do is essential.
Is Yoga For Men?
Since yoga made it to the western world, it seems to be mainly practiced by women. This aspect may cause you to wonder if men can even do yoga, is yoga for men? The truth is that yoga originated from men and got created to help men achieve balance, relaxation, and unity of the body, mind, and soul. To simplify the answer, yes, yoga is for men, though women more popularly practice it.
Is Yoga The Same For Men?
Since the male and female bodies have differences, there are differences in some of the poses and techniques different bodies use to find relaxation in yoga. Men are less likely to be very flexible, meaning there will be some change in the positions they use during yoga. However, in its nature, everybody is different, making yoga different for everyone regardless of gender.
Is Yoga Harder For Men?
Some aspects of yoga may be more difficult for men, especially those focused more on building strength than flexibility. For example, it may take a man a bit longer to gain the flexibility to execute a pose flawlessly, but it is still achievable.
As mentioned before, yoga is different for everyone as no two people are the same; this means that it will come more naturally to some while others need to work harder to perfect the practice.
5 Basic Tips and Tricks For Men Starting With Yoga
Now that we know that men can practice yoga and that it may be harder for some, there are some tips and tricks we can discuss to help you prepare and master the art. It is, however, essential to remember that yoga is different for everyone, so the tips are broad to help encourage as many men as possible.
Before your first in-person yoga class, you can follow some tips and tricks to ensure you get prepared. These five tips will assist you in getting to know yourself and knowing what you need to make you feel assured before your first in-person class. Though some tips and tricks may sound like they will accomplish nothing, there is a reason for each of these points, even if it is just to get familiar with yoga.
- Wear The Right Clothes – One of the most important things to consider before getting started is the clothes you want to wear to your yoga class. You must get clothes that fit you well, are comfortable on your body, and protect you from particularly embarrassing situations.
It is crucial to remember that your clothes will stretch and shift during yoga because of the way your body contorts, even as a beginner. For pants, there are two options for males: get tight-fitting shorts or wear baggy shorts with men’s leggings, tights, or compression pants to keep others from getting an eye-full.
The shirt you wear is almost entirely up to you though some recommendations and shirts get explicitly made for men’s yoga. If you choose not to wear a tight-fitting yoga shirt, it is best to keep your shirt tucked into your pants because of some yoga positions.
- Get The Right Yoga Mat – Something else you need, or should have if you want to do yoga, is a good yoga mat. Though some yoga classes have mats that you can use instead of bringing your own, it is always best, and more hygienic, to bring your own.
Another benefit of getting a yoga mat is ensuring that it is the kind you like and suits your needs. Though there are many types of yoga mats, it is always best, especially for beginners, to get yoga mats that are not too padded but allow your hands and feet to stay in place and not slip all over the mat once you get sweaty.
- Start At Home–If you are unsure of what to expect in your first yoga session, or if you want to ensure you at least know some of what to do, it is a good idea to start at home. Before you decide to go to a yoga studio, there are many different classes you can follow live or on-demand via YouTube and other video streaming services.
With the rise in all-male yoga classes, there is also a rise in awareness and content creators that cater to a male-only audience for yoga. The benefit of doing a male yoga class at home is that the positions and exercises are usually more tailored to what a man can do. Finding a group like this is good because it lets you get used to the stretches without giving you unrealistic expectations.
- Know When To Stop – Though we tend to push ourselves during most parts of life, it is essential to know when something isn’t good. If you start with yoga, there is a big chance that you will be bending like you never have before and stretching muscles that don’t usually stretch this way. That is why it is essential to know when you should stop.
Though it is natural to experience some discomfort at the start when you’re still getting used to yoga or gaining more flexibility, you should know when it isn’t discomfort but pain instead. If you are busy with yoga and feel a sharp, shooting, or stabbing pain, it is best to stop at that moment. If the pain is almost unbearable, you may even need to consult a doctor.
Continuing your regular yoga routine if you are in pain or after something like this is generally ill-advised. For this reason, it is best to know when you should stop before you hurt yourself more or cause serious injuries.
- Focus On The Parts You Want –If you are just starting with yoga, you will likely come across different styles and methods. Though there are severaldistinct styles of yoga, you need only choose the type you would like to practice. Yoga got created initially to help unite the body, mind, and spirit through exercises and meditation, but if you don’t want your yoga to be spiritual, it doesn’t have to.
With the growing recognition of yoga, many people have decided to keep the practice to a level that simply helps you relax and grow your body’s capabilities. For this reason, yoga has become more of a self-improvement and fitness routine. With so many different classes, styles, and teachers to choose from, even online, you can monitor and select what you want your session to be.
5 Tips For Men Taking An In-Person Yoga Class
Now that we have become more self-assured and comfortable with what yoga is, what you need, and how to do it, you can start attending in-person classes. Though some men still prefer not to go to a yoga studio, even if it is only men, it is one of the best ways to enjoy the experience. Additionally, the added guidance can significantly improve how you feel and your capabilities.
Though the tips below are centered more toward going to a yoga studio, most of the content is still applicable if you are uncomfortable with attending a class in person.
- Set-up In The Back – One tip that can come in very handy, especially if you’re going to your first couple of studio classes, is to set up in the back row of the studio. Doing this will allow you to see how different people are doing the stretches and copy what they do until you have a rough idea of how to do it yourself.
Another helpful tip is that it allows you not to feel as self-conscious as you may be if you are in the front or middle section of the class. If you are new and feel like others seeing you do yoga may cause you too much embarrassment, starting at the back of the studio may help you get more comfortable, and in time you can just focus on yourself.
- Don’t Push Too Hard – Though starting in the back row may be an excellent way to understand the stretches or exercises and what you should be doing, you should never compare yourself to others. Not pushing yourself the perform on the level of others is especially important when those around you have been practicing for longer than you have.
As you go to more classes and practice, you will get used to what your body can and cannot do. It is best to stick to what you know your limit is and focus on improving rather than attempting to be “as good as” someone else. If you do not focus on yourself and stick to your limits, you may push yourself too far, sustain injuries, or even stop altogether.
When doing any exercise, you should focus only on becoming better than you were before. If you focus on yourself and appreciate your progress, you may surpass others without trying. However, yoga is supposed to help you relax and expand what your body can do, and you shouldn’t look at it as a contest.
- Focus On Your Breathing–Knowing how to control your breath is essential to improve when doing yoga. It would be best if you always concentrated on your breathing, as your breathing can help you do more and become better. Not only can control of your breathing help you do yoga better, but it is also beneficial for everyday life and other forms of exercise like running.
If you are performing a yoga stretch or getting into a position where you should make yourself smaller, breathing out can help you achieve that goal. Similarly, breathing in can allow you to make yourself bigger or lift certain parts of your body for a specific stretch. Some say you can control your body if you can control your breathing. To a significant extent, this is true.
- Adjust The StrechTo Suit Your Body–Though we discussed not pushing yourself too far earlier, you should always try to adapt the stretch to benefit your body while considering your body build. If you are just starting yoga but go to the gym and build muscle regularly, you will not be as flexible as you may be after a month or two of yoga.
You should also remember that you will certainly never look the way a lady would if she were doing the same stretches you are. The male body is much less bendable than the female body is, though this is no excuse not to try to become more flexible. If you feel like you are not improving or need to adjust the stretch to suit your body, it is a good idea to ask someone more experienced to help.
- Accept That You May Need Help –No matter what you are doing, there is no shame in asking for assistance, especially if you are new to it. There are always people willing to help beginners, and though men can sometimes be less-than-kind to others of the same gender, groups like yoga classes are usually much more willing to help since everyone started where you are now.
If you are struggling with your form or are experiencing pain, you can feel free to ask your instructor or another pupil to help you adjust your technique or find out what is causing your pain. You can also ask others for help on other topics like finding the right clothes or mat for your studio classes.
Most people who enjoy yoga will be willing to help you with any issues, questions, or uncertainties you have. If you want to get even more preparational tricks before your first in-person class, contact a yoga studio and ask for additional tips for beginners.
What Are The Advantages Of Doing Yoga For A Male?
If you’re still uncertainabout whether you should or should not start doing yoga, there are some of the benefits that may help you decide. Some benefits may be more important to you than others, but they are all beneficial if you are eager to put in the time and effort. Below is a list of some of the benefits as a short description of each.
- Help Relieve Tension And Stress – One of the main reasons people do yoga is to relieve stress and tension. Even if you do not enjoy the spiritual side of yoga, the exercise alone can be very beneficial to your stress and tension levels.
- Build Muscle – Though you may not think yoga is the best way to build muscle, it may be the key to unlocking better muscle development. Not only does yoga use your body weight to help you work out, but the increased blood flow also helps your muscles heal and grow faster. Yoga is a great way to build lean muscle.
- Improved Sex Life – Another benefit of doing yoga, which I’m sure most guys are happy about, is improved sexual performance. Though we won’t go into much detail about why this can improve your sex life, we will note that flexibility for both parties can be beneficial. Additionally, the blood flow also helps blood flow to the areas where blood is needed to perform correctly.
If you are a man just starting with yoga, you can rest assured that the benefits it has to your body are worth any uncertainty you may have. The tips and tricks above will help you feel and get more comfortable with doing yoga and help you not to overdo it. It is also beneficial to remember that you are allowed to ask others for help if you need it, as most of us get stuck if we don’t.