By: Amy Jo “AJ” Crowell, Publisher, Dallas Yoga Magazine
“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The stereotypical guy is physically stronger and braver than us gals, however, when it comes to yoga there is often a major disconnect. It’s like guys lose their courage and self-confidence…like the cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. Where did that brave stud go when going to yoga class is mentioned?
Here are six reasons why some guys are afraid of yoga.
- I’m not flexible.
How many times have you heard this when you ask someone (not just guys) to go to yoga class with you? It’s not a surprise when everywhere you look yoga is stereotyped with young females who are doing poses that look more like a gymnastic class. Those of us who practice on a regular basis know that yoga is so much more than the poses and it’s about balancing and breathing. However, trying to convince a guy of this may be difficult. Remind him there will be a lot of pretty women in yoga pants. Whatever it takes to get him there. Sometimes we have to revert backwards to move forward.
- Only women do yoga.
It is true that more women do yoga than men. But there are still plenty of men doing it. One out of every three people who do yoga are men. They are incorporating it in professional football and basketball training. Tom Brady and Lebron James do yoga. You can’t get manlier than those guys and I’m confident that no one would make fun of them. At least not to their face.
It’s very odd the idea that yoga is for women has become such a wide spread perception. Yoga was created by men for men. Sun Salutations began to get hormonal teenage boys focused and meditating.
- Yoga is a religion.
This one still baffles me. No, yoga is not a religion. It is completely the opposite and if people who say this would do a little research most teachers (even those from India) believe in one universal higher power who we are all connected to. They stress what you call that power is completely up to you. Yoga means to unite with your inner self and connect to a higher energy. It’s not about a religion…it’s about the universal truth inside of all of us. Whatever religion you do or don’t want to partake is completely up to you. How can prayer and meditation with a higher power of your own understanding be viewed and perceived as something negative? Baffling.
- Yoga is too easy.
Ok, then give it a try. Let’s see how long that attitude lasts in a hot yoga class over 100 degrees for an hour and a half. I assure you, most will quickly change their opinion as they are laying on their mats after 30 minutes.
- Yoga will not build muscle.
Really? Check out the pictures of our guy yogi’s in this month’s (August) edition of Dallas Yoga Magazine.
- I’ll embarrass myself.
No matter what we do in life, we embarrass ourselves. I remember tripping and falling down face first at the mall, having my dress blow above my head on my college campus, my bra coming undone in yoga class, running into a truck with my car when I was staring at the hot air balloons floating in the air, my pants zipper breaking open while teaching a class of high school students, throwing up in my dates new car, should I continue? That’s why having a sense of humor is so important. However, during yoga class we are focused on ourselves and not on looking around and seeing what the new guy in the back corner of the room is doing. You will be fine. Everyone in yoga has had to endure walking into their first class. We have all been there and understand. The beautiful thing about yoga is that no one is expecting anything from you. It’s about what you strive for yourself. Remember yoga is a process not just about the postures, but learning about ourselves and part of that is being comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
I read this quote recently and I thought it was perfect for the guy who was objecting to trying yoga: “Life is about taking chances, trying new things, having fun, making mistakes and learning from it.” Come on guys, give it the old Nike try and “Just Do It!”
You can reach AJ at firstname.lastname@example.org