Why More Men Should Get On The Mat

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VIDEO: Russell Simmons Talks About Success In Life With Yoga (thumbnail)

Yoga is no longer just for the “cute chicks in leggings.” Although a majority of my classes are still packed with women, there are a good number of male yogis, too!

Now before you skeptical men out there start making snarky comments, I can assure you that these yogis are just as masculine, fit and strong as you. If NBA players, NFL players and celebrities have already discovered the wonderful secrets of this amazing practice, why shouldn’t you jump on the bandwagon, too? Not only can yoga build strength, increase flexibility and improve balance, it can also bring better stability, sleep and relaxation.

If you STILL think yoga is “girly,” let’s break down even more great reasons men should start getting on the mat:

1. Yoga was started by men and made for men

Evidence suggests that yoga originated in India about 5,000 years ago and was originally designed to be practiced by men.

“One of the earliest texts having to do with Yoga was compiled by a scholar named Patanjali, who set down the most prevalent Yoga theories and practices of his time in a book he called Yoga Sutras (“Yoga Aphorisms”) as early as the 1st or 2nd century B.C. or as late as the 5th century A.D. (exact dates are unknown). The system that he wrote about is known as “Ashtanga Yoga,” or the eight limbs of Yoga, and this is what is generally referred to today as Classical Yoga. Most current adherents practice some variation of Patanjali’s system.”

2. Yoga will help you get fit, flexible and strong

A lot of my guy friends would tell me “I’m not flexible enough for yoga and it’s not real exercise.” As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, those statements are both myths. Telling me you’re not flexible enough to do yoga is like me telling you I’m not strong enough to lift weights. And trust me buddy, I can lift those damn weights! Now stop giving me your excuses.

Yoga is very powerful and it’s designed to open and strengthen your body, so it’s definitely REAL exercise. Your arms and chest might get strong from bench presses, but to execute a chaturanga or hold an inversion, you need to be strong from head to toe. You can’t “muscle” your way through asanas. So through yoga, you will tone and strengthen muscles that you didn’t even know you had! With consistent practice, you’ll become more flexible and strong, without the injuries that other exercises might cause your body.

3. Yoga helps to alleviate pain and injuries and it’s the perfect compliment to your workout routine

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