Yoga is a pretty awesome way to stay fit and take care of yourself. By stretching your body through the various poses you can increase your flexibility and range of motion as well as improving your posture, balance, and strength, which leaves you both feeling and looking great (a yoga body is seriously attractive!).
But yoga isn’t just good for you physically, it can also be a real tonic for your health mentally and emotionally too. As the spiritual aspects of yoga combined with deep breathing and controlled movements helps to calm your nervous system, which is great for relieving stress, relaxing you, improving your mood and helping you to get a good night’s sleep afterwards.
But I’m guessing, if you’re a woman, you already know all this right?
Being the enlightened souls that you are you’ve been taking advantage of the many benefits of yoga for years now. However, us men have been a lot slower to the party. There is a stigma in male society surrounding yoga that means many men are reluctant to give it a try. So, if you have a partner, friend or loved one who you feel would really benefit from yoga but who scoffs at the idea then let me try to help. On top of the health benefits I’ve already mentioned there are a few extra advantages from practicing yoga I want to share that may just seal the deal.
Yoga Can Help Hard Working Men Avoid Back Pain
Back pain is a huge issue for us all with over 80% of Americans expected to suffer from it at some stage during their lifetime. It’s especially prevalent among men who work blue collar jobs such as construction because the grueling physical work involved with these jobs places their body under all sorts of pressure and strain. This can take a real toll on the health of their backs over time.
However, by adding a yoga session or two to their weekly routine they can greatly reduce the risk of a sore back at work. Yoga has been found in many studies to be a great way of treating and preventing back pain because it:
- Strengthens your core muscles which provides your back with more support and stability.
- Makes you more flexible and balanced which relieves pressure and strain on your spine.
- Improves your posture which spreads the pressure evenly across your body and takes the burden off your lower back.
- Increases blood flow which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissues in your back to keep them healthy.
So, if your man struggles with back pain at work then yoga is a great way for him to protect himself and find some relief. However, blue collar workers may be the hardest type of men to convince so let’s follow on with reason number 2.
Yoga Can Help Men Avoid Injuries and Improve Their Sporting Performance
Another type of man that regularly puts their body through rigorous physical challenges are those that play competitive sports, since there’s nothing that satisfies our need to compete and gets the testosterone pumping more than taking on our fellow man on the football field, basketball court, or boxing ring.
However, as the saying goes ‘If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail,’ because playing high intensity sports with a tight, stiff or unconditioned body is just asking for trouble. Not only won’t you be able to perform to your full potential, you’ll also be at a much higher risk of picking up injuries such as muscles strains, cramps and pulls. So, let’s look at how yoga could help men avoid these pitfalls in the sporting arena.
Firstly, the increased flexibility will help them to move more easily and make their muscles much less likely to strain. While the better balance you develop from regular yoga practice will improve their prowess no matter which sport they’re playing. The strong core they’ll gain will support and protect their body (especially their back) from the powerful movements involved.
Plus, yoga will strengthen the tissues around their joints, making them more durable and able to withstand the hammering they take from playing sports. These benefits are so great that many professional sportsmen including boxers, footballers and rugby players swear by yoga for keeping them fit and prolonging their careers. If these most macho of guys are doing it then your guy has no excuses!
Yoga Relieves Stress and Can Make Men More Productive in The Office
Many guys suffer from stress and burnout in the office as they work long hours to try and advance their careers. With jobs becoming less and less secure it creates a super competitive market that can cause workers to become anxious and depressed. So, anything that can help them to relax and reach their full potential at work is something they’d welcome right? Well, this is exactly what yoga can do.
Studies have shown that regular yoga practice is a great way of reliving stress and anxiety, because the controlled breathing and stretching calms your nervous system, lowers your blood pressure, and slows your heart rate which is perfect for bringing a frazzled worker back from the brink!
Yoga has also been found to increase productivity at work too. It can sharpen your focus, increase your concentration, and improve your memory. One study from the University of Illinois finding that even a single 20-minute yoga session was enough to improve cognitive performance. The calmness and confidence yoga brings will make them more resilient and help to protect them from burnout in the office too. If you know a workaholic who thinks they don’t have time for yoga, explain to them why it’s in their interests to give it a try.
Yoga is Great for Giving Men A Good Night’s Sleep
There’s nothing much worse than being unable to get a decent sleep, and over time this can really mess with your mind, body and emotions leaving you feeling knackered, angry and frustrated the following day. So, if you know a guy who suffers from sleep issues then this gives you another reason to recommend yoga to them because practicing yoga can help them sleep like a baby.
It calms and soothes you, slowing down your breathing and putting you into the ideal relaxed state to be able to drift off. This calm state will help you to sleep more deeply and get a great night’s rest. In fact, yoga is so good at helping people to sleep that the Harvard Medical School found that it even improved sleep for people with chronic insomnia. They fell asleep easier, slept for longer, and enjoyed a better sleep quality after yoga sessions. If you want to give your man a way of sleeping well regularly get them down to their nearest yoga studio.
Yoga Can Turn Men into A Stud in the Bedroom
Now, this final benefit of yoga for men could prove to be great news for you both. A study in the Journal of Sex Medicine found that a group of men who practiced yoga for a period of 12 weeks became better lovers. As their sex drives increased, they had less trouble maintaining an erection, and could last longer in bed. This was due to a couple of things:
First, they felt less stressed and more relaxed after yoga which helped to put them in the mood both physically and mentally. The yoga stretches helped to strengthen their pelvic muscles which gave them more control over their sexual performance. So, no matter how much of a stud your man is in the sack, by taking up yoga he can get even better.
As a guy anything that can help us to improve in this area and be able to give and receive more pleasure is music to our ears. This is a pretty juicy carrot to dangle when trying to persuade him to join you at a yoga class!
A Few Tips to Help Men Get Started
While yoga is a fairly gentle exercise which is fantastic for us guys it can still be really intimidating at first. You may be thrust into a class full of lycra-clad ladies who seem to be double-jointed while you are left struggling to touch your toes! When we are reluctant to go in the first place, this can be enough to send many men screaming for the hills and vowing never to return. So, encourage them to start off gently by joining a beginner’s class. This way they can ease their way into it and let their confidence and ability grow slowly.
You could also take them along with you to one of your classes so they have someone they know there while they get used to it… But if the thought of going to an actual class really doesn’t appeal to them, they could always try online classes instead. There are tons to follow along to on YouTube, as well as classes designed especially for men at sites like Broga Yoga and Man Flow Yoga. If they still feel embarrassed because of the yoga stigma, by doing it at home behind closed curtains they can keep it as a little secret to themselves.
Adding a yoga session or two into our weekly exercise routine can really help us guys stay fit, strong and healthy, and this can benefit us in all areas of our life including work, play, sleep and sex. So, we really need to get over any stigmas or hang ups we have about trying it. I hope I’ve given you enough ammunition here to help you convince a guy in your life to get on the yoga mat, as it will be great for them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Who knows, they might just enjoy it!
About the Author
Daniel Singleton is the founder of Back on Site, where he helps people fight back against persistent back pain using the latest medical and scientific advice as well as his own personal experiences with the condition.
It’s very helpful and informative article. Thank you for this article.