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The Man-y Benefits of Yoga for Men

Yoga’s foray into North America began in the 1980s but its popularity has kept building and for good reason. Even with all the incredible ways practicing yoga can improve your lifestyle and health, it continues to be a practice dominated by women.However, there are so many amazing benefits of yoga for men, especially for the busy urbanite with little time to spare. As most practitioners will notice, there are many yoga myths out there. Whether it’s that yoga isn’t made for men’s bodies or that it isn’t a good workout, these myths tend to scare men away from this great practice.

 

In 2012, a survey by Yoga Journal found only 18% of yogis in the United States were male. Dated societal expectations of men to be macho and ultra-masculine – combined with yoga marketing material revolving around long, slender feminine bodies – can sometimes make it difficult to convince a guy to try out yoga. Here we help you build a case, by showcasing some of our favorite benefits of yoga for men.

 

 

Mindfulness

Many people have been sharing the incredible benefits of mindfulness but now science can help prove it. Using fMRI scans, researchers have found that meditation “can lead to a happier, more productive, and creative life.” Yoga’s deeply meditative practice focused on being in the moment can help improve your concentration, productivity, creativity, and even job performance. A 2013 study by Gothe et al found that 20 minutes of Hatha yoga stimulated brain function more than aerobic exercises such as jogging. With so many applicable benefits of yoga for men, it’s no wonder so many corporate wellness plans feature yoga at the top of their list.

 

 

Flexibility

While flexibility is a key part of yoga, a man saying he’s not flexible enough to practice yoga is akin to saying he’s too weak to lift weights. The focus is really on breathing while being mindful; the flexibility will come naturally with practice and patience. This newfound flexibility can make a huge impact on men’s health and wellbeing, especially for people who sit for long hours during the workday. The flexibility and the balance of the full-body workout can help reduce the negative effects of being in the same position for 40-hours per week, while also helping to prevent injuries. This can have a noticeable positive impact on avoiding physical setbacks during other workouts or day-to-day activities.

 

 

De-stress

A quick Google search will yield many studies on the benefits of yoga for men, in terms of relieving stress. Yoga connects your mind and body, giving you better awareness of feelings such anxiety and stress. This practice can help bring peacefulness, while helping you relax. The focus of most yoga classes are on poses, breathing and meditation, and all three of those help you relax and de-stress. Additionally, this type of physical activity helps bring on a boost in mood and happiness, along with a reduction in stress and anxiety, making yoga a great choice for high-stress lifestyles.

 

 

Improving the Immune System at the Genetic Level

If positive psychological effects, improved flexibility and the other mentioned factor aren’t enough, the benefits of yoga for men also extend to your overall health. As researchers from Norway and elsewhere have found, regular yoga sessions create positive change at the genetic level, creating both instantaneous and long-term boosts to the immune system. Even a blood test before and after a series of four yoga sessions found changes in 97 unique genes that are tied to various other health benefits. When compared to traditional exercise regimes like jogging, competitive sports or otherwise, yoga is at least as effective – or more so – at genetic level health benefits.

 

Looking to open a new yoga studio? See how PerfectMind can help your practice grow, while helping streamline billing, booking and more. Also see our past blog post, for tips on what to teach during your sessions, especially when you are just starting out.

 

What are the biggest excuses you hear from men avoiding yoga? Let us know on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your PerfectMind news.

PerfectMind
PerfectMind

Established in 2000, PerfectMind is an industry-leading cloud-based member management software provider. Its robust Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering helps companies and organizations of all sizes manage their operations, marketing and finance functions, simply, efficiently and effectively. The company has more than 5,000 customers in 21 countries in North America, Australia and Europe in verticals such as health and wellness, education and the service industry.

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