Guys have a tendency to come up with a lot of silly excuses for why they don’t do— or even try yoga. Nine times out of ten, when I suggest to a dude-friend that he should come to my yoga class, as a look of sheer terror crosses his face and he gives me some line about why he simply can’t do a little yoga. (My favorite excuse so far is that “I don’t have any yoga shoes.” Hint: you don’t wear shoes to do yoga, dingus). Let’s admit it guys, you’re a little freaked out about it, and that’s okay! Here are some of the main excuses that guys cook up to not do yoga, and the reasons that they are wrong.
Yoga is for girls
Yoga was developed in India for men. Literally only for men. Women were not even allowed to practice yoga back in the day. Does this mean we should have a village uprising and reclaim yoga from the masses of eager yoga girls? No, obviously. But next time you find yourself thinking “Nah, yoga’s for chicks, I think I’ll go beat the shit out of myself at the CrossFit box” stop for just a second and think about what your body truly needs, and remember that your body likes and wants new challenges. Yoga was built by dudes, for dudes. So seriously, stop being so narrow-minded and get on your yoga mat, even if you are the only guy in the class. Girls like an adventurous guy anyway.
You Have To Be Flexible To Do YogaYou do not have to be flexible to do yoga. It’s really as simple as that. Yoga is not a video game; you do not win when you touch your toes. Yoga is a practice built specifically to correspond to every aspect of your life both in and out of the gym or studio. For this reason focusing only on the flexibility aspect of the practice is missing about 80% of the potential benefit. That being said, I’d also like to point out that most of the reason that you see a lot of flexible people in a yoga class is that they are preternaturally flexible. People gravitate toward what they are good at. Just because you are not naturally a Gumbi-person does not mean you are ‘bad' at yoga. If you were to do yoga five days a week for three months, yes your flexibility would improve, but you would also notice that your body will feel better overall. You’d also probably find that you feel calmer and more focused in general. Honestly, if you can do ninety days of yoga and not see those benefits, you should find a better yoga teacher.
Yoga Will Reduce Your Progress “In The Gym”Nope. If anything, yoga will expose weaknesses that you need to work on. So will Pilates. Just because you’re not picking up heavy things and setting them down again does not mean you are not getting stronger. Just as flexibility and mobility are not the only things to think about when you think about yoga, being open-minded about what you are capable of doing will make you stronger in every way. Besides, if you’re a meathead type who does the same five exercises every time you go to the gym (I’m looking at you, guy-who-only-does-curls-bench-press-and-bad-squats) you are probably doing more harm than good anyway. Ever needed to spray a bunch of gallon of WD-40 on a rusty hinge? Consider your locked up muscles and joints the hinge, and YogaD-40 will get them moving again.
I would venture to guess that the yogis in ancient India probably weren’t buying artisan kombucha at Whole Foods and putting ‘Namaste' bumper stickers on their Priuses
Yoga Is Too Easy.As anyone who has tried a vigorous power yoga class will attest, yoga IS NOT EASY. You also don’t need to throw weights or any other silly, faddy garnish on your yoga practice to make it challenging. A lot of times, our inability to get deeper in our yoga practice hinges on our inability to focus on one thing at a time. Yoga is not a task-completion exercise. Just as doing a bunch of shitty curls by swinging the barbell up with momentum won’t make you stronger, doing a bunch of yoga poses just to say you completed them won’t do much. However, if you can immerse yourself in what you’re doing and really focus for once, you’ll be able to teach your body things that you may not have thought possible. When you push yourself beyond the point where you just want to get out of the pose, and you really dive in and just hold it, you’ll realize just how hard yoga is. To paraphrase Baron Baptiste, the yoga pose begins as soon as you start freaking out and want to get out of it.
You have to be a vegan hippie to enjoy yogaYoga is about coordinating your breath with your movement, and it has been around for literally thousands of years. I would venture to guess that the yogis in ancient India probably weren’t buying artisan kombucha at Whole Foods and putting ‘Namaste' bumper stickers on their Priuses. Yoga is a practice designed for everyone, and it’s flexible enough (no pun intended) to be modified for any body type or personality. So no, you do not have to be a bearded patchouli enthusiast to create a solid yoga practice. You just have to be motivated to try something new. So whether you are into CrossFit or Hurling or just being a typical out of balance gym-rat you will not be out of place in the yoga room. So there you go, give it a try. Who knows, you might even enjoy it 😉
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