Yoga is a practice that has existed for thousands of years, and in many cultures across the globe is practiced daily by men and women of various ages. But of the 20.4 million Americans who practice yoga, only an estimated 18 percent of them are men. While many males site boredom, lack of flexibility, or the thought that yoga will not provide a “good” work out as reasons for not practicing, there are numerous male health benefits they are ultimately missing out on for fear of the workout being too “feminine.”
Men are notoriously prone to stress, and while punching a bag or tossing weights around may make you feel better for a while,it ultimately exhausts the body and can make one feel more aggressive. With yoga, the focus is on calming the mind and body internally. Though it can taketime to adjust this focus, being able to mentally focus on calming the mind andbody will help alleviate overall anxiety and stress that builds up during the work week.
If engaging in other sports, men who practice yoga find that they’re stronger and more flexible than before, and thus able to enhance their performance in other activities. Yoga also teaches body awareness, which comes in handy during sports that involve physical contact as one can react quickly through their focus and move faster due to the proprioception training they’ve had.
Body weight exercises are an excellent way to build, tone, and sculpt the muscles in the legs, abdominals, and chest. Yoga is a workout built entirely of body weight exercises, and the challenge offered by some of the poses can providenot only a physical whole-body conditioning exercise, but a workout for mental focus as well.
While many men think they’ll be unable to do yoga since they’re not flexible, none of them think that they can’t lift weights because they’re too weak. Yoga is afantastic beginner exercise, or an excellent addition to an athletic trainingprogram. Instead of scurrying sheepishly past the silent room of women, think about joining in and reap the benefits ofa few minutes of quiet focus.
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