Most men enjoy typical “manly” sports like football, hockey, basketball, and weightlifting. While men in general benefit greatly from strength training and cardiovascular exercise, yoga offers several distinct benefits men should look into.
Why Should Men Try Yoga?
On average, women are naturally more flexible than men so practicing yoga is usually inherently appealing to them. But that is exactly why men should consider it as exercise, since it can improve their skills precisely where needed.
Yoga teaches muscular control, improves flexibility, and encourages mindfulness. It is also relatively easy and inexpensive to begin, so men should be able to work yoga into their regular exercise routines without too much trouble.
Yoga may unfortunately turn some men off due to the Instagram yogi stereotype and the long-standing image of yoga as a “girly” activity. However, the reality is yoga can improve men’s health as much as women’s and yoga is a natural complement to many of the other exercises most men enjoy.
Augment Your Workouts With Yoga
For men who already work out on a regular basis, yoga can offer a more comprehensive exercise routine and round out an exercise session. Yoga is perfect for a pre-workout stretch or a post-workout cool-down period. The stretches you can learn in a beginner-level yoga class can even speed up muscle recovery and improve the results you see from strength training.
1. How Yoga Boosts Strength Training
Muscles need time to heal and rebuild after an intense workout to increase muscle mass. While your typical cool-down routine may be sufficient, yoga can make your workout experiences even more rewarding by cutting down on post-workout fatigue and improving muscle recovery. If you are new to yoga, try looking up a few basic stretches and poses on the internet and work them into your pre- and post-workout routines, and build from there.
2. Yoga Helps You Breathe Better
Breathing is an important part of any exercise routine, and yoga can help you master your natural breathing cycles. Yoga teaches several breathing techniques that are beneficial in many situations, even outside of working out and getting fit. Over time, yoga can help improve your cardiovascular performance and increase stamina in other activities. Breath control is also an important stress management technique, so yoga really does offer something for everyone.
3. Yoga Improves Your Mental Health
Mental health should be a priority for everyone of either sex, and men can reap the same mental benefits from yoga as women in this regard. Yoga can improve relaxation and help you sleep better. It’s not only a great cool-down for after an intense workout, but it’s also great for cooling down after any stressful day. Men are at a higher risk than women for developing substance abuse problems in response to mental health difficulties or stress, and yoga can help men keep their stress levels more manageable.
Mindfulness And Meditation
Mindfulness is a critical concept, and many people do not know how to become aware of their own bodies. Yoga makes mindfulness exercises easier, and sometimes the two can blend together for intense meditative experiences. Mindfulness meditation hinges on awareness of the self, and yoga helps control breathing and relaxes the body to make this process more natural and fluid. Yoga can also help with present-moment awareness, a key component of effective meditation.
4. Keep Your Stress Under Control
Modern life is fast-paced and busy, and most adults face stress from multiple fronts every day. It’s crucial to learn good coping mechanisms for handling daily stress to avoid developing bad habits. Many people turn to food, drugs, and alcohol to decompress and these tendencies become destructive over time. Instead, yoga offers you a naturally relaxing way to reduce stress and enhance your self-awareness.
When addiction has already taken hold of a person’s life, yoga can be a fantastic replacement for old bad habits and offer structure and balance during a chaotic time. Addiction is as much a behavioral issue as it is a chemical dependency for many people, and yoga can help fill the physical voids in a person’s life when addiction makes everyday functioning more difficult.
5. Yoga Can Help With Addiction Recovery
During addiction treatment, a person struggling with alcoholism or drug abuse will have the opportunity to partake in different therapies and counseling options for a more individualized recovery. There are several benefits to adding yoga to any type of substance abuse disorder treatment. Primarily, yoga helps strengthen and rebuild the body after drugs have taken their toll. It’s much easier to make it through the various stages of rehab with a healthier body and clearer mind, and yoga can help in both regards, as well as provide a much-needed motivation boost. .
6. Yoga Can Fit Into Any Schedule
Another distinct advantage of yoga is that it can fit into almost any type of schedule. All you need is a mat and space to exercise, so anyone can find time during the day for a session. Some people find the stress relief from yoga is fantastic for managing cravings during and after rehab, so consider how you can work yoga into your daily routine.
Start Yoga Your Way
Some men may feel self-conscious about signing up for a yoga class full of women, but there’s no need to rush. You can find a yoga tutorial online and practice at home, and then join a studio class when you feel more comfortable. There are also yoga retreats for men where you can start practice in an environment where you are most comfortable.
Your yoga class could turn into a valuable support network of friends who share similar interests, and this type of structure is especially important to men in recovery.
Chris Colonna is a guest author from the Reflections Recovery Center.
Looking to maybe start doing yoga? A yoga retreat for beginners is an ideal way to learn the ropes and have a refreshing experience.