Yes, I consider yoga is a sport (or at least a very important addition to a sport). Yoga is a sport of balancing, energizing and elevating mind, body and spirit. I noticed a lot of men are intimidated of practicing yoga due its popularity with the women. Even though women are bendier than men and are more open in the hips, men have the advantage of upper body strength, which serves them well in arm poses. I’ve been practicing yoga for well over 9 years and when I showed a very difficult upper body pose to my husband that I’ve been trying to do for years, he did it in 5 minutes.
Some might argue that it’s a “chick sport” because it’s just “stretching”, but those people obviously haven’t taken the power yoga classes like ashtanga or bikram yoga. Oh, and if you REALLY want a workout, there is a also a boot-camp yoga class. You will be BEGGING for savasana (final relaxation pose).
Below are a few reasons for men (and women) to at least TRY a yoga class (and soon enough I’ll be teaching yoga myself, so you can take it with me and I’ll show you all the reasons and you will start noticing the benefits soon after)
- Yoga is an AWESOME workout that covers every muscle, joint, and organ. It works every system: cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular and endocrine.
- Yoga decreases muscle soreness. Yoga is a great way to alleviate muscle tension from other sports. It releases soreness by decreasing lactic acid build-up in the muscles. This helps performance and prevents injuries.
- Yoga helps boost stamina. Instead of feeling depleted after you work out yoga actually increases your energy and revitalizes you. Stretching your muscles oxygenates your blood and deep breathing distributes oxygen throughout your body as energy.
- Yoga relieves back pain and improves posture. After years of strenuous exercise tendons can shorten and eventually pull you out of alignment leading to chronic back pain. Yoga brings fluid back into stiff joints which helps correct alignment relieving back pain and even helps you appear taller by improving your posture!
- Yoga reduces blood pressure. The deep extended breathing practiced in yoga helps reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the many causes of heart attack, and fatigue for many men.
- Yoga helps you focus. Many famous athletes including NFL stars swear by yoga. It has helped them heighten their performance levels. By increasing mental clarity they became better athletes in their chosen sport.
- Yoga detoxifies the body. Yoga helps flush the body of toxins. It stimulates digestion and enhances the immune system.
- Yoga calms the mind. After practicing yoga you feel a deep sense of well-being. It greatly reduces stress levels enabling you to feel calmer and more grounded. With renewed energy and mental clarity all activities and areas of your life are sure to benefit
- Yoga will get you the hard rock six packs you’ve always wanted. Your abs are your core, and if it’s not exercised regularly, your back will suffer. In yoga, almost every posture activates the core and not just what your regular sit ups do, but deeper, making your abs leaner. Even if you are body builder, you will feel muscles that you didn’t know existed.
Now, hopefully this will motivate you to start practicing yoga.