For a man, what are the benefits of yoga?

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Answered by: Jessie, An Expert in the Healthy Living 101 Category
In the United States, yoga has traditionally been viewed as a workout for women. Sure, you see one or two guys in most classes, but we all know that the rest of the men are in the weight room smirking and maybe feeling a little sympathy for that one dude who got roped into the terrifying world of stretching, deep breathing and meditation.



However, throughout the rest of the world, the opposite is true, and any yoga instructor will tell you that it is men who will most deeply experience the benefits of yoga. The reasons for a guy to practice yoga are endless. Next time you see a yoga mat and automatically start to back away, stop and considering these benefits of yoga:

Build Muscle and Increase Strength:



What man doesn't want to build muscle and have increased strength? I'm not talking about the type of muscle and strength you gain from bench pressing and push-ups. Instead, yoga provides a full body workout. It allows you to focus on specific muscle groups while also constantly igniting stabilizer muscles. In fact, there is no better workout for building core strength. Because poses are held for much longer and muscles are kept active for longer periods of time than lifting weights, you'll also increase your endurance.

Yoga focuses on increasing flexibility:

Flexibility is key to keeping your body young and healthy, which is why many people consider yoga the best workout to fight aging. Yes, women are naturally more flexible than men. However, the tendency for males to lack in the flexibility department is exactly why they should be embracing yoga. Men will see major progress in this area. The amount of increased flexibility seen in men usually far surpasses that of their female counterparts, and the time it takes to develop that increased flexibility is usually far less than it is for women. You'll likely leave each class feeling as though you've improved a little, and when you're 80, your body will thank you!

Improve performance and avoid future injuries:

No matter what kind of physical activity you usually do, yoga will make you better at it. Whether you run, swim, surf, bike, lift weights or whatever else, repetitive motion is likely leaving your joints and muscles tired. Yoga is a full body practice that will open up and stretch all those muscles to reverse the effects of those repetitive motions. It'll leave you refreshed, primed to increase your performance in other areas and less likely to injure yourself.

Women:

Okay, so maybe it's a little superficial, but we all know it's a great reason for any straight single guy to try yoga. The girl-to-guy ratio in a yoga class is almost always heavily in your favor. Plus, there's a good chance your classmates will be health-oriented and in great shape. It sure beats the bar scene.

These are just a few of the major benefits of yoga for men, and I could easily list many more. If you're ready to give it a try, find a class for beginners and I promise they'll be kind to you. Remember to keep in mind that yoga is a marathon not a sprint. This seems to be the biggest mistake men make. Don't push yourself too hard the first time. You probably will not be outperforming the women at your first or second or third class, but don't worry, stick with it and that will come with time.

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