Jacqueline is a former member of the Canadian National Swim Team with over 10 years experience as a fitness professional. She holds a graduate degree in Health Sciences and is also a nutrition expert. Jacqueline is the co-owner of Move to Heal, a sport injury, yoga, and Pilates clinic located in the heart of downtown Toronto in the Thompson Hotel Residences.
Personally, I think the world will undoubtedly be a better place when I can get more guys into yoga. And I’m not just talking better for the guys — but better for everyone. When I can drag my man to a yoga class, it’s a blessing. Like most guys, he is a lot more interested in throwing heavy weight around a gym floor — “masculine” activities. Many men are of the mindset that in order to lose weight and “get jacked,, they have to lift tons of weights, work out for hours while sweating excessively, and suffer through Spartan-like contests of will and endurance. While this approach may be effective, it can also lead to stress, anxiety, injuries, over-training, and it isn’t always enjoyable or physically pleasant.
Well, guys, I have news for you. Workouts don’t have to be that way. A high-intensity workout can be pretty awesome and relaxing at the same time. How? Yoga. Yoga is a centuries old practice that combines physical and mental exercises. However, it seems like most yoga classes I attend are majority women even though, historically, yoga was almost exclusively practiced by men.
Does this sound interesting yet? Here are some reasons to get to your local yoga studio and get your Vinyasa on.
Yoga works out everything! All sorts of little muscles that you’re not (yet) aware off. Small stabilizers that are hidden deep inside the crevices of your core get some attention with the right yoga workout. So, instead of turning into a stiff chunk of bulky meat with overdeveloped pectorals and triceps, you end up lean, strong, limber, and get a great posture in the process.
All the various poses help to stretch and build muscles, and the non-impact nature of yoga is good for your bones and joints. But yoga does more than that: combined with proper breathing exercises (Pranayama), yoga practice helps to pump more oxygen through your blood. This promotes a healthier cardiovascular system, and it makes you feel good too. Yoga truly provides a full-body workout.
Two other benefits of yoga for men? It de-stresses you because you are focusing on your body and on your breathing thus yoga acts as a form of meditation. You are clearing your head of all the noise and the stresses of the day in order to focus on your whole self. “Me” time at its greatest. Although cliche, you feel more “zen” afterwards.
Last but not least, and this may not be the first thing that you think of when you are looking for a workout program, but it is certainly worth mentioning: Yoga actually helps you to be a better lover. And by “lover” I mean yoga helps to build your endurance, increases your flexibility — which can make bedroom sessions a lot more… interesting. Plus, yoga teaches you some pretty interesting moves that can be useful in your love life. Does this help to sell you on the idea of checking out yoga? If not, here’s one more tidbit — more than 80% of the people in the yoga classes out there are female – and women LOVE guys who do yoga. Dates become healthy and fun! So guys, check out a yoga class today and reap the plentiful rewards.
Men! What are your favourite yoga classes? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.