I have been practising Yoga for over 20 years and one thing that has struck me over the years is the ratio of men to women in classes. When I started there where just 2 of us ‘brave’, forward thinking souls in a class of around 15 ladies. Today Yoga is everywhere and you can pick up a Yoga class any day of the week within a couple of miles of your house. At Harrow Yoga I run a weekly Yoga class in Harrow that is for men only.
Generally there seems to be a reluctance for guys to get involved. Maybe there is an apprehension, possibly grown out of a misconceived preconception about Yoga. The idea that it Yoga is just “for girls”. The thought of attending a hall full of bendy, flexible women just doing the splits and falling asleep might give an impression it’s just not for guys.
Rest assured the vast majority of Yoga classes I have been to over the years are not like that at all. Yoga is open to anyone and everyone. You should find that any decent Yoga teacher will welcome you. They should make you feel comfortable and at ease. Whether you are male, female, young or old Yoga has no boundaries. Once you are in a class and you get in the zone, you will not care what anyone else is doing around you. Likewise no-one else will be looking at you either (except your teacher!).
The main difference between Yoga and other forms of exercise is that it has the amazing power to make you totally focus on your self. Yoga will allow you to go inwards for a while with the right techniques. That 1 hour or so per week class is your time and your time only. It enables you to really switch off from the everyday stresses of a fast modern lifestyle. Yet it is still a great workout. So regardless of who or what else is going on in the class, guys you should take the plunge give it a try.
Thankfully it’s very different in 2019 and there are lots of men adding Yoga into their fitness regimes. Famous sportsmen and celebrities have helped to raise the profile of Yoga for men. Goldie, Daniel Craig, Laurent Koscielny, Ryan Giggs and Sting have all lauded its benefits. Ryan Giggs has credited Yoga for prolonging his playing career and quotes. ”I went on a dribble in training and pulled up with a hamstring strain. I’d had similar injuries before and I remember sitting in my bedroom thinking, “This can’t go on.” So I tried everything. I changed my car [buying an automatic to reduce leg strain]. I changed my bed for better posture. And I started Yoga. It helped me get another 10 years out of my career.”
Sting said “Yoga has enriched my life by allowing me to improve physically; which is very inspiring, especially as you get older. I tour an awful lot, and being on the road is not always easy… Yoga is a great way to offset the downsides of touring by bringing much-needed peace and sanity into what can be a hectic life. Like music, yoga is a journey – one that is long enough so you keep developing, and keep learning. I don’t see an end to it.”
Sting is so right here. Yoga is so inspiring, not only helping to lengthen, tone and strengthen your muscles, it can introduce you to stress relieving techniques to help calm the nervous system, therefore massively reducing stress.
C’mon Lads give it a try…
So despite Yoga’s rise in popularity the proportion of guys/girls in class is still heavily weighted to the ladies. Hence the idea of a space for men to come to an all male environment class where they might feel more comfortable. So if it is good enough for Ryan Giggs and Sting, why not give a men only class a try, you might be surprised what Yoga can do for you. My Yoga Class in Harrow runs every Saturday, so Kick Start Your Weekend and book now!