I’ve always had men attending my yoga classes but they are certainly in the minority. They provide an interesting dynamic to the classes and usually their deep voices provide a wonderful resonance, especially during our Mantra and Chanting practises.
Over the years I’ve taught yoga to groups of men in their football and rugby teams/clubs. The result of them learning and applying asana practise significantly reducing their susceptibility to injury from playing their chosen sport(s), with less injured players per season!
Of course, the unexpected benefit for many of these men is how Yoga impacts on their other workouts, breathing capacity, thoughts, emotions, resulting in a ‘calm connectedness’ with themselves and others, they’d perhaps not experienced before. This enables them to be more ‘mindful’ of their thoughts and actions which has a positive impact on the quality of their lives. They often report better management of ‘stress’, taking positive steps to ‘unplug’ from their mobile phones, social media, workload and other demands on their time. Many reported increased flexibility of Mind and Body!
Often men who practise yoga also report a significant reduction in injuries thanks to increased body awareness – their body’s needs and limitations, coupled with the fact that through yoga asana and pranayama practises. Their bodies become more flexible, stronger, with increased stamina, therefore, recovering more quickly after sporting activity and/or manual labour! In the rare case of injury or trauma did occur their recovery time was greatly reduced.
I run ‘Mainly Men’ Yoga courses, where many bring their partners along and enjoy calming their mind, breath and bodies in a supportive, non-judgemental environment, where they can enjoy developing ‘mind-body connections’, getting to know themselves better, empowering them to manage their health and wellbeing!
“Research confirms the importance of mind-body connections in disease. American studies have shown that those who suffer frequent bouts of depression are 40% more likely to develop heart disease – the main premature killer of men in the UK.”
Duke University Medical Center: Paper to the American Psychosomatic Society, Vancouver, March 5, 2005.