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What are the benefits of Yoga for men?
The Benefits of Yoga for men are massive. Not only physically but mentally also. I’ve tried to convince some male friends for some time of all the benefits but they do look at me like some new age hipster. I know some of them are afraid to go to a yoga class as it falls outside of their comfort zone! But the ones I do manage to convince are always amazed at why they didn’t start sooner. So what are the health benefits of Yoga for men? Here are my top 10 (although I could have made it to 110)
1. Mental Toughness
When you start your yoga class, especially at the beginning, there are a series of poses and postures that you need to learn and practice. These postures can be very difficult for the beginner and especially an inflexible male. You may feel pain or extreme uncomfortable. So the challenge to remain focused while holding a difficult pose builds mental toughness and discipline. You learn techniques to train your mind to beat the discomfort and focus on the task at hand, despite every muscle and bone in your body wanting to quit.
This provides invaluable life experience that can help you overcome many challenges in life, whether it be health, social, emotional or physical challenges, teaching your mind how to overcome challenges is an important part of living, so the mental toughness Yoga can teach you are extremely important in my opinion!
2. Enhanced Strength & Flexibility
Frequent Yoga practice improves your flexibility and teaches you how to align your body properly to transmit force more efficiently. This results in extra flexibility and less injuries to the joints and muscles that aid your flexibility.
Yoga increases men’s respiratory capacity, circulation and motion efficiency. This boosts blood supply to the vital organs and the muscles resulting in increased performance and increased strength.
3. Strengthens Immunity
Researchers have discovered that yoga practice strengthens immunity at the cellular level by changing the gene expression, thus improving your defence systems. Yoga achieves this by flushing out the toxins during poses, postures and exercises. This is particularly true if you practice hot yoga (bikram) which fuels a mock fever within the body and toughens immune defence systems. But even gentler forms of yoga achieve added protection.
4. Prevents Injuries
Men can often experience various aches and pains whether from exercising or just sitting at the desk working. Yoga helps prevent injuries in several ways. Yoga improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue. It also gives you better awareness of your body so you can recognize subtle issues, such as poor posture, and correct them quickly.
5. Enhanced focus and clarity of mind
A bit like the “mental toughness” where you have to focus your mind to overcome the pain, but this is more about the “meditation” part of yoga. Deep breathing relaxes the body and mind and help you focus on the task in hand. This can be carried over into to your personal life, in particular if you struggle to stay focussed at work. You learn breathing techniques that you can use in your daily life to overcome stressful moments leaving your mind to focus with clarity on the job in hand.
6. Better Sleep
As a previous insomniac I know the importance of getting enough sleep. I have spent many hours staring at the ceiling or the clock, worrying that there’s only 3 hours left before the alarm goes off. I have learnt techniques that overcome this problem. Breathing exercises mainly but also “sleep hygiene”, where you take away all the things that are keeping you awake, like the cell phone, the tv, the clock, etc, etc.
But yoga is also a great way to improve your sleep. Not only will you sleep better after the physical & mental exertion that yoga causes to your body and mind, but your breathing exercises will greatly aid your ability to use “calming techniques” that are used to help you get off to sleep and back to sleep should you awake during the night. Yoga also improves sleep wrecking conditions like snoring and sleep apnea.
7. Less Stress
The Mayo Clinic points us to a vast array of studies that link regular yoga to lower levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the fight or flight response during stress. Cortisol (a stress hormone) can cause an array of problems if not kept in check, including high blood pressure, damage muscle tissue, inflammation and damaged thyroid function. And that’s just the physical side of things. Stress can also alter your moods and lead to depression and anxiety. Yoga helps all areas of stress.
8. Better Posture
Your posture is how you hold you body. How erect it is. Are you slouching as you stand or walk? Sometimes, strangers can perceive a slouched posture as a sign of weakness. I have a slightly slouched posture, so I have learnt how to straighten myself up a little more. Sometimes though, it’s simply genetics that mean some of us are more prone to slouching than others. But in cases where improvement can be made, yoga is definitely a great way to improve your posture.
The yoga poses & postures will stretch many of the over tight, over active muscles in your chest, shoulders and hips that cause people to hunch over. Yoga also teaches you how to control these muscles by exercising them. Your deep breathing will supply them with added oxygen to enhance their appearance and flexibility. Yoga does all this and more so it’s a wonderful was to improve your posture.
9. Better Sex Life
Yoga is great for improving everyone’s sex life, but for men, it’s particularly beneficial. Researchers for the Journal of Sexual medicine found that men who practiced yoga for 12 weeks reported at least a 33% improved sexual function, including on measures of desire, satisfaction, performance, ability to control their performance and their orgasm.
The researchers believe that yoga’s benefits for sexual performance in men is due to a combination of things, including pelvic muscle tone, improvements of mood and less stress. Also, exercising & deep breathing causes additional blood to flow into the groin area, making erections harder and longer lasting.
This will obviously increase your self-confidence and make you more attractive to other people. Yet another great reason for you to take up yoga today!
Yoga is also a well-known benefit to women’s sexual health!
10. Greater chance of Meeting that special person
OK, this isn’t a certainty, but I know of many relationships that have started at the yoga class. Why? Well, like-minded people trying to improve themselves mentally & physically, is a massive aid in the relationship game. I believe it’s symbolic of the whole Yoga setup as a whole. If you’re exercising within a group of people, there are many boundaries that have already been overcome. For example, these people have seen you sweat, seen your posterior in strange positions, seen you cry, seen your soaked clothing. I think it’s this that attracts people to people. I mean, no, it’s not a certainty, but if you are single, I can’t think of many better ways to meet someone.
Thanks for reading our post. You may also be interested in our other post “best yoga mats on sale for beginners”