Historically, yoga as a physical discipline has been intended exclusively for men for centuries. Observing the poses performed in yoga, it is very easy to conclude that all these poses were mainly intended for the male body and male organs.
However, over the centuries, there has been a big change when it comes to yoga practice from the point of view of the practitioner himself. First of all, women have taken precedence when it comes to practicing yoga. It is assumed that one of the main reasons for this is the higher level of awareness that women achieved globally compared to the male population. Therefore, the presence of women and the influence of women in the world of yoga should not be neglected.
Although it is very easy to conclude that women hold the current primacy when it comes to yoga practice, there are more and more men in yoga classes. One of the first groups of men who turned to yoga practice, or more precisely added to their existing activities, are athletes. Both professional and amateur. Both of them realized the importance of yoga practice in order to improve their sports results.
They achieve these goals by practicing various breathing and meditation techniques, and through various yoga poses, which can be divided into static and dynamic. Practicing these types of poses increases the mobility of the whole body, flexibility becomes more pronounced, fitness and strength of the athlete rises to a higher level. It is also very important for athletes that through the yoga practice their level of concentration and focus improves significantly. In that way, mentally, they can be more clearly focused on achieving their goals. The yoga styles that are mostly practiced by athletes are hatha, yin, and vinyasa yoga.
On the other hand, men who used to go to the gym a lot are now turning to yoga practice to a great extent. One of the main reasons is that because through yoga practice, especially by practicing vinyasa yoga or certain yoga sequences, the muscles of their whole body are activated. While in the gym, they mainly work on the isolation of certain muscle groups. For example, one day you are doing arms, the next day you are doing shoulders, chests, legs, etc.
With that in mind, the yoga practice itself is far more demanding and challenging than going to the gym. Through the yoga practice, man not only works to improve his flexibility and agility but increases his endurance and raises the level of strength of the whole body to a higher level.
I say all this from personal experience, considering that I held the yoga in gyms and cross fit centers for many years. Therefore, I had an insight into the way of working in gyms and cross fit centers.
Mostly, exercisers who did not come to yoga practice in most cases face the problem of shortened tendons, both lower legs and arms, with tightness in the hips, and insufficient mobility of the same. Very often, exercisers, both in gyms and cross-fit centers, can have muscle tears at the micro level due to excessive stress and insufficient relaxation. That is why, in yoga practice you will never strain in pose. You go a little deeper into the pose during the last breath or the last two instead. This is precisely for the reason that there would be no possible injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments.
In addition to the physical benefits I pointed out (mobility, flexibility, strength, fitness), it should not be forgotten that with regular yoga practice, men can prevent injuries to a greater extent. Especially if they practice yin yoga, a style of yoga that is at the same time very opening to the whole body (it can be challenging for men who are at the beginning of their yoga practice), but it is also very meditative.
At the mental level, through yoga practice, men can improve focus and concentration. This is achieved by doing the various yoga techniques that, among other things, lead to a reduction in stress. Reducing stress also leads to improved brain function. Consequently, their goals, both at the business level and in all other fields of life, become more easily achievable. I also had the opportunity to gain a personal insight into this as I held a number of workshops in various companies aimed at reducing stress in the workplace and increasing employee productivity.
You should also keep in mind the importance of yoga on the digestive tract. Since yoga poses were initially designed and intended for the male body, all these twists and turns in yoga poses greatly affect the improvement of the digestive tract. So, if you have bowel problems, this may be enough reason to start your yoga practice.
If you want to work on your strength and fitness at the same time, but you also want to improve your flexibility, Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga is definitely for you. I highly recommend the vinyasa yoga, especially if you go to a teacher who is creative when it comes to designing the class sequences. Vinyasa itself can be very challenging on both physical and mental level. If you like frequency and discipline, you can try the Ashtanga yoga.
Certainly at the end of every class, at the end of your yoga practice, an unavoidable part is yogic relaxation – yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra represents the moment during which the practitioner becomes aware of every part of his body. An experienced teacher will relax the body of the practitioner with his voice. The practitioner should be only present, to listen and feel. To feel the flow of energy through his whole body. Maybe in the first couple of relaxations it will be a challenge, mostly because of the practitioner’s mind, which will initially oppose this way of relaxation.
Your ego can very easily prevent you from completely surrendering to the teacher’s voice at first. Don’t worry, everything will come to its own; it only takes time and practice. Keep in mind that after all, yoga is still very challenging for most men, both physically and mentally. It only takes time, patience and practice.