Column: Why Men Should Do Yoga

June 21, 2018

[Written by Robin Holder]

While yoga may be more popular with women there are many benefits of a regular practice that appeal to men. It’s time to man up and get on the mat.

Yoga is perhaps the best way to balance out your workout routine or find that perfect cross training option. For athletes engaged in active sports such as soccer, rugby, weight training or running, often pushing the body to its limits and exposing themselves to burn out and injuries, insufficient time is taken to allow their bodies to heal and recover.

A well structured yoga class will open up problem areas such as tight hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and hip flexors by increasing range of motion and improving flexibility. By lengthening muscles and loosening tight areas of the body you will have a fuller range of motion when lifting weights, be a more functional human being and reduce the risk of injury.

Yoga uses natural bodyweight and resistance to build lean muscle mass and by lengthening muscles and tissue blood flow is improved and better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles which helps them recover so they can grow.

Yoga Bermuda June 2018

Everyone can benefit from opening up hunched shoulders and improving their posture and yoga improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue and strengthening weak stabilizer muscles.

Yoga includes many unconventional poses in addition to foundational poses such as down dog, plank and Warrior asanas and may include lateral, twisting and spinal arch sequences and a variety of balancing postures which are not present in lifting exercises and other sports.

These poses force your body to move in new and challenging ways taking you outside of your comfort zone but strengthening joints exposed to repetitive motion and providing a release to strained muscles.

Yoga also helps to improve breathing by focusing on inhaling and exhaling, particularly when holding tough poses in unfamiliar movement territory.

You will learn to slow down rather than speeding up your breadth and your practice will teach you to take long, slow breadths in challenging poses, expanding your lung capacity to enable you to be more efficient with your oxygen from fewer inhalations. By training your body to oxygenate itself more efficiently, cardiovascular capacity, strength training and running can be improved.

There are many other benefits of yoga that appeal to men so it’s time to man up and get on the mat!

- Robin Holder is an RYT 200 Instructor and W.I.T.S. Level 2 Certified Personal Trainer. He teaches Men’s Hour Yoga on Monday’s at 6.30pm at Inspired Fitness, Sofia House on Church Street, Hamilton.

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