Helpful Tips for Men Trying Yoga

Helpful Tips for Men Trying Yoga

When it comes to yoga, men need all the help it can get. Not that many men get into yoga to begin with, since a lot of the marketing seems geared towards attracting women. Check out the Yogaworks website, for example, and the vast majority of pictures and videos feature women.

It sure doesn’t help that plenty of social media posts have women doing extremely bendy poses, and it’s no wonder that few men even think about trying yoga.

So, if you’re a guy who’s trying yoga anyway, then good for you.

Here are some tips that should help you get started:

Start with a Good Teacher

Yoga is one of those workouts that don’t really work well with the DIY approach. Newbies, especially men, have to have some sort of teacher for guidance. It won’t be easy at all, and doing this all on your own will be exceedingly difficult (if not downright impossible). You simply have a lot to learn.

The good news is that just about all gyms that offer yoga routines also have yoga instructors for classes. You night try several classes with different teachers, and find one teacher that works best for your learning style. Some people need want a rather patient teacher at first, who can demonstrate stuff slowly. But others might want a more gung-ho mentor who can push them out of their comfort zone.

Be Very Patient

You have to realize that this will not be easy at all. Progress will be slow. You will use muscles you might not have worked with before (or even knew of their existence). The learning curve will be steep. And this time it’s not about being faster or stronger.

Instead, the focus is more in mobility and flexibility, and these are things that men don’t normally excel at. And many men will find the poses and movements weird, because they’re poses and movements that they’ve never tried before. In some poses, men might feel absolutely vulnerable.

It will take time to get used to all this, so you will have to be patient.

It’s Not a Competition

The thing with men is that it’s very common for them to become competitive. They like to be stronger than other men, so they lift heavier weights. They like to be faster or run greater distances. For men, this is simply natural. Men do this in everything, even in work, and video games.

But as a man, you will have to fight off this instinct. There is just no competition. It’s not a matter of who can do a pose more quickly, or who can do more poses than somebody else. In fact, a competitive nature is dangerous in yoga. It might compel you to attempt movements and poses that your body simply isn’t ready for, and this can lead to injuries.

Even if you’re attending a yoga class with others, it’s best to think of it as a solo mission. You’re not being graded on a curve. You have to monitor your own strengths and weaknesses, and work with your current skill level. Never mind how the others are doing.

There Will Be Discomfort and Pain

And the key here is that you recognize the difference between discomfort and pain. In many cases, you will scream (at least mentally) that “it really frickin’ hurts”. There will be lots of swear words used along the way.

But some pain is really all about being extremely uncomfortable, because your body isn’t used to the poses or movements. You’re activating muscles you might not have used before, and stretching your body in new and “sadistic” ways. Discomfort will be natural, and it’s almost impossible for a newbie not to feel sore afterwards.

Then there is the sharp and intense pain that you will have to watch for. This is your body telling you to stop and ask your teacher for assistance (or first aid). At first, you might find it hard to differentiate between discomfort and pain, but you’ll learn along the way.

Good luck with your yoga, man!

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