When you think of yoga, what pops into your mind? I’m guessing candles, hippy-dippy new age music, attractive and uber-flexible women. Probably not middle-aged, overweight guys, right?
Well the fact is that we need it more than anybody!
Men are inherently tight in many areas, shoulders, hips, hamstrings….the list goes on and on. Or maybe that’s just me. Yet we are more than happy to just bust out a run or try to pump some serious iron. How many of us even do any kind of stretching beforehand?
Very few that I have seen in my 20+ years in the weight room.
Improving flexibility helps correct muscle imbalances and increases range of motion. This can decrease the risk of injury and increase the effectiveness of an exercise. So should women have the exclusive rights to less injuries and more effective workouts? Absolutely not!
Yoga has been around for literally thousands of years. So there must be something good about it. While it is true that yoga is as much about spiritual connection as anything, it is also an incredible way to improve your flexibility. Sure, some of the poses look impossible and have crazy names, but there is rhyme and reason to them.
Afraid you will look silly? Practicing yoga is like anything else in life, including any kind of exercise program. You start out at your level and capabilities and improve from there. In terms of yoga, this means not going as deep or bending as far as the instructor or other participants may go. It’s not a competition. Do what you can and go a little deeper each time. And if you tumble a bit, nobody will care.
Not ready to throw on the sweats and head to a class just yet? Well start with a DVD at home and take it slow. That’s how I got started. In the living room. With the blinds shut tight. Now I am comfortable with walking into a studio. You may never get there, but that’s ok too.
Do not allow your testosterone to get the better of you. You should never be embarrassed about improving your fitness. But remember, doing yoga is not about being able to brag to your friends how deep your downward dog was! Just give it a try. You might be amazed at how quickly you will improve. And you will be impressed at the impact it has on your normal exercise routine.