In the West, women tend to outnumber men in yoga classes. But yoga is definitely for men, too! It’s great for your whole body, and it is a low-impact exercise you can do no matter what shape you’re in or how old you are. Here are 8 reasons you should take up yoga:
- Increased Strength and Flexibility: Yoga is an excellent activity for improving your bodily strength and flexibility.
- Injury Prevention: While yoga can be a challenging exercise, it’s gentle on your body as compared to some activities like running. Increasing your body’s strength and flexibility will also help prevent injuries during other activities or exercise.
- Weight Loss: While weight loss is not the primary goal of yoga, many practitioners lose some weight. Yoga has been shown to increase your metabolic rate. Additionally, because yoga is a mindfulness practice, it can help inspire you to be more aware of your eating, sleeping, and activity habits.
- Stress Relief: Like many other forms of exercise, yoga is an excellent boost for your mental health. Yoga incorporates breathing and mindfulness exercises into each pose, so you may experience even more stress relief through yoga than other forms of exercise, leaving you feeling relaxed and energized.
- Bone Strength: Osteoporosis is commonly thought of as a woman’s disease, but men can experience bone density loss too. Yoga can improve your muscle tone and your mobility, which also helps boost your bone health.
- Improve Balance: Yoga poses naturally challenge your sense of balance, strengthening your abdominal, leg, and back muscles to give you better balance.
- Learning Something New: It’s great for your brain to learn new things, and it can help keep your brain sharp as you age. Learning yoga poses and watching your body become stronger, more flexible, and balanced can be a great personal challenge.
- Relieve Pain: Sitting at a desk all day or working a physically demanding job can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees. Yoga practice helps relieve the pain in your body and can prevent future aches and pains. There are even poses that are designed to help you target specific areas of pain.
Ultimately, yoga is a great physical activity and worth a try. If you’re convinced you’d like to try it, you can look for a yoga studio near you. Many rec centers and senior centers also offer yoga classes. You can even try yoga at home with YouTube videos, apps, or DVDs. Just make sure to take it easy at the beginning! Start with a beginner’s class or series, and don’t try to put your foot behind your head on the first day. You might just get stuck that way!