“I think yoga helped reduce the number and severity of injuries I suffered. As preventative medicine, it’s unequaled.”
~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
So you may be asking yourself, “How can Yoga help me, or better yet WHY should I begin practicing Yoga?” Well, the first thing you need to wrap your head around is that men – especially men – NEED to practice Yoga. We’re guys and we get tight. We get tight in areas that we’d rather not get tight in, or that we don’t even know GET tight (that is, until we give Yoga a shot).
If you’re a guy, you know this is true.
With work, relationships, stress, family, exercising (mostly improperly) and sub-par diets, sometimes we need a “reset”, or reboot on life and our entire body. Yoga definitely provides that. But in case you’re still not convinced, here are a few more practical reasons on why you just might want to shell out $20 for a mat.
How can Yoga specifically help men?
- Reduction of lactic acid in the muscles due to a lifetime of lifting weights
Over the course of a man’s lifetime, lactic acid builds up in the muscle tissues. This is most often caused by weightlifting and neglecting to stretch properly. It can also be caused by inactivity and complacence. Stretching the muscles properly enables more blood and oxygen to enter the muscles tissues and remove the corrosive acid and toxins that have built up.
- Yoga is an integrative discipline
What this means is that when you practice Yoga, you’re never just working on one or two specific muscles like you are when you lift weights. Each Yoga posture works numerous muscles, all in concert with one another. Over time you will find that you have as much, if not more, strength than you had before (more, in our opinion). This type of strength is what’s known as “functional strength” which enhances the coordinated working relationships between networks of muscle groups.
- Yoga IS your secret weapon
Put simply, Yoga is what you do when you want to get even better at what you do. Play hoops with your boys on the weekend? Yoga will help you get the edge on them by bringing you newfound flexibility and stamina on the court. Are you a weekend football warrior in the park? Yoga will help you avoid or reduce downtime due to injury. Are you a road warrior in a highly competitive business environment? Yoga will help you to succeed and go the distance with new perspectives, insight and focus on your business.
“But I’m new to this. I’m not sure I can do it!”
You know what? We’re pretty sure you can. Think of how many new things in life that you’ve tried that you weren’t very good at at first. But after a little practice, dedication and discipline (and once again, an honest effort) you think to yourself, “Wow, how was I ever NOT good at that.” And then you don’t ever want to go back to not being good at whatever it was that you weren’t any good at.
Whew, that was mouthful.
Anyway, Yoga is like that. You try it and the progress can be damn near immediate right from the get-go. Sometimes the first few sessions aren’t a breeze, and honestly, it can be quite humbling. But once you get hooked on the “Yoga high” and understand that it’s a very real thing, you won’t want to go back.