In an article by the San Jose Mercury News, we found that "millions of American men -- about 3.6 million, according to a 2012 Yoga Journal study -- practice yoga". Does this mean that men have overcome the idea that yoga is simply for women? The next time you take a yoga class, examine the room. Women still remain as the majority of the yogi population. What some men do not understand is that yoga is good for de-stressing, good for establishing balance, strength, and flexibility. According to the San Jose Mercury News, yoga can be "an antidote to the physical tightness and mental fatigue that plague so many men, often exacerbated by endless hours sitting in front of a computer".
So, what is it exactly that yoga can do for men physically and mentally?
Place to De-Stress
According to Tom McCook, a yoga teacher and director of the Center of Balance studio in Mountain View, "The first thing guys are looking for is some stress reduction, a place where they can de-stress from work". He adds, "And luckily the information is out there that it's also a solid workout, rather than just some navel-gazing". You are in a focused environment and not in a distracting gym, which can stress you out if it's rush hour.
Just for Men
It can be powerful for men to be in community with other men and practice yoga. You are in a place away from your wife, kids, and are taking the time to work on your self-care. In yoga classes just for men, instructors modify certain poses and teach gentle, yet challenging, yoga flows and sequences. Men generally are bigger in size than women and have a harder time feeling comfortable in some poses. According to Nanci Conniff, a yoga and Pilates specialist for Stanford University's athletic program, "someone with huge quadriceps and tightness through their hips -- it's going to be harder for them". She adds, "there's just more of them to move around, so it comes down to meeting people where they're at".
Yoga classes for men allow you to explore calmness in a comfortable environment. There is no judgement and men can form bonds from the very beginning. By building friendships in yoga classes, you will feel more at peace that you have supporters around you. Moreover, this allows you to fully seek and explore your own individual calmness.
Male yoga instructors in classes for men can use more "guy language" to describe certain poses. According to the San Jose Mercury News, men can be drawn to yoga and see its benefits more if teachers use "guy language" to describe it. Men like to be pushed harder and enjoy tough love from their yoga instructors.