Yoga is for wusses, right? For the gay guy in your crowd, who drinks broccoli smoothies and cycles to work. Or for your girlfriend. A man like you would never be caught dead wearing a pair of tights. The day you see me walk out of a yoga class is the day of the bloody Apocalipse, am I right?
Well, my friend, you are dead wrong. There is much more to yoga than a bunch of hormonal women wagging their butts in the air. Yoga can do more for you than that umpteenth series of pushups.
Does she yoga?
Walking into a yoga class means surrounding yourself with, well, a bunch of women. Seeing a guy on a mat is indeed still a rarity. This might have something to do with the fact that yoga sessions do not include any weights – girls are still often afraid to lift, as they fear they might get too buffed, while the average Joe believes the bench press to be the only road to a desired physique.
Guys are also much less flexible, but they have more muscle to carry around. However, you do not need any extraordinary amount of flex to be able to practice – and there are benefits to yoga which no pullover can give you. If you manage to get over yourself and try it out, that is.
What do you yoga?
Yes, there are hundreds of yoga styles and classes out there – and you will certainly be able to find one that suits your specific needs. What all of them have in common, however, are the elements of gymnastics involved. Not a walk in the park, not by a long shot. Every yoga pose and movement relies on endurance and a wide range of movement – and you need to hold it for longer than you think is humanly possible. Just because you can lift something three times your size does not mean you have crossed the finish line. Can you bend down and tie your own shoes or do you need a fork to scratch your back?
What can yoga do for me?
I get it – you prefer to lift. It makes you feel like a man’s man. Here’s what you’re missing out on.
- If you have been spending a lot of time on the bench, your agonist and antagonist muscles have started quarrelling. If you add a short yoga session to your routine, you will suffer a lot less injuries.
- Yoga also provides a major boost to your nerves – your muscles and your brain will work better together, thus helping you both prevent injury, and perform all movements more easily, from deadlift to spoon lift.
- Yoga will also calm you down. After you have been pumping iron for a while, your testosterone levels will hit the roof – adding a yoga session every now and then will help achieve a hormonal balance.
- You will also feel less pain. Yoga will get your body moving in ways no weightlifting session ever can, and surprising your body once in awhile is never a bad thing.
In case all this sounds interesting…
If I’ve managed to convince you to give yoga a whirl, you might be wondering where to start. First off, buy yourself a proper kit of gym clothes, if you don’t own one already. Next, do some research and find a program that will fit. Combining yoga with your regular strength training will soon mold your body in ways you never expected.
In case you are still among the undecided bunch who are not quite certain of their manhood – here’s a fun fact. Matthew McConaughey, Alec Baldwin and Robert Downey Jr. have already been photographed after an asana of two. Care to argue with the ladies and dispute their testosterone levels?
Man up! Buy a mat! Downward facing dog will not affect your chromosomes in any way.
Author: Mathews McGarry
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and has spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for a better life. He is an all-around fitness adviser and his words are strong as an Australian Bull.