Hey, guys do yoga too! A recent article in The New York Times highlights once again the manly approach to yoga practice, and an increase of men eschewing the stereotype that yoga has to be a strictly feminine and/or wussy thing.
Is it because now even athletes like LeBron James, Amani Toomer, Lance Armstrong and Ricky Williams are “OK” with getting their tough tootsies on the mat? Even the army is getting in on it! Is it because the gym just isn’t cutting it anymore for working with or preventing injuries? Are there more testosterone-welcoming classes? Are guys just not worried about farting in class anymore? Whatever the reason, it’s great!
Intentionally or not, general impressions of yoga often sit in the moon channel, whether due to media representation, the communities of women who’ve embraced the practice and are more vocal about it, or the overarching notion in society that getting in touch with your Self is somehow seen as weak, and so totally un-macho. Yoga is for everyone and as far as we’re concerned that usually means guys, too.
Tell us more we already know 🙂
It is about time. Why is it that many of the “big” names (Rodney Yee, John Friend) are men, but my YTT class was 98% female? I do not particularly want more men to practice; I just want more people to practice. But I like that the image is beginning to change. There are tons of men at the studio where I teach/practice, and I’m glad to see the shift.
Just because the New York Times writes about it does not mean that it’s a national trend.
Speaking for just one male, I took up yoga because I could get a triple play — a vigorous workout, a path towards mindfulness and a whole slew of health benefits. There might be a small percentage of men who are looking for a similar experience, especially since yoga studios offers real sweaty sessions that leave you with an endorphin rush.
I think most men find it hard to break through the yuk! barrier, which can be the standard stereotypes about yoga, or sometitmes subtle signals that can turn off men — the color scheme of the decor (lavender), the clothing selection of the boutique, the “you go, girl!” booster-ism in some studios. Some of this comes the predominance of female studio ownership and clientele — studios want to attract their primary audience.
As yoga has moved into the mainstream, many yoga studios are becoming more welcoming to a male clientele.
I’m with you Michael. I love the “triple play” aspect of yoga. I have taken my journey a little deeper over the past few years. I am one of four yoga instructors on a military base in Italy…the only male. Over the past three years, we’ve gone from have one male yogi…me, to around 20.
one word: Ashtanga.
Totally guy-friendly and zero yoga nymphs — I don’t think nymphs like to sweat — besides there’s no talking and guys like that!
Haha Loo! I agree with you completely. 🙂
Yeah, there are a few of us out here, and we’re really gung-ho. My wife got me into it originally. We enjoyed going to class together. Then I sort of took off in the philosophy direction.
I teach at a gym and it isn’t uncommon for me to have an ALL dude class! It completely changes how and what I teach. The comment I hear the most at the end of a class is, “that was a lot harder than I thought it would be.” Fun!
My fiance and I love to do yoga asanas. We had a conversation about this a while back and we both agreed that it seems that people have forgotten that traditionally only males would practice yoga asanas. It’s just that in our modern world more females now like to practice yoga asanas and males have started to think it’s more of a girl thing- which is totally untrue. Anyhow, great to see more guys practicing asanas!
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