Watch: Why Men Should Do Yoga

 Windmill, photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli, Creative Commons
Windmill, photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli, Creative Commons

By Cat Perry

There's the classic portrayal of men doing yoga—he's adamantly opposed, he hits up a class just to ogle at women, he is tipping over in mountain pose or falling asleep in corpse pose, he's standing there confused, or he's a know-it-all until his first fall. Though those stereotypes are based on some fact (see video by Buzz Feed below) here's the real story: Real men do yoga.

Western societies have a hard time grasping how an ancient art (originally practiced mainly by shamans and developed in its Western form by Mr. Swami Sivananda and many others) that is now a staple of so many women's fitness regimens could possibly be something they should focus their energy on. But a single look will reveal that pro athletes like LeBron James and Kevin Love, whose unbiased trainers can see the much bigger picture, know that yoga is not about gender and what's thought to be "manly." It's about preserving our bodies in every way that we can, in a balanced and concerted way that yoga challenges us to do. Check out the Buzz Feed video, then watch Baltimore Ravens Brendon Ayanbadejo power his way through his regular practice, so he has more staying power in the NFL. Plus: 4 reasons everyone should practice yoga.

Jokes aside, yoga has a host of benefits for the body and mind:

  • Boost libido
  • Increase muscle hypertrophy, or fatigue, which allows you to sculpt your most difficult to reach muscles (hello, 8-pack!)
  • Lower stress and particularly the stress hormone cortisol, which causes all sorts of disorders, from high blood pressure and anxiety, to belly fat retention and cardiovascular disease
  • Calm your mind

So with just these 4 reasons, it's well worth stepping onto a mat. But don't take my word for it—here is Ravens Brendon Ayanbadejo with 1Down&Dirty:

One quick YouTube search will reveal that there are SO many men that have embraced this wellness and strength trend. So there are plenty of videos, for guys by guys, that can get you started. But this Power Yoga Foundations by Method Yoga is a great one to start: no frills, no singing bowls, just stretching and strengthening one asana at a time.