Why are yoga mats in the West occupied women up to 80%? This practice, that originated in India, was mainly reserved for men, so what is with that attendance majority? Gentlemen, why does yoga not appeal to you? I would like to break a few stereotypes with this article. Are you on board?
I will begin by throwing some of my assumptions at you about the boycott of yoga. Some may seem a little cliche and a little sexist at first glance, but if you stop for a moment, bear with me, and broaden your senses, you will find that there is some underlying truth.
The first assumption that comes to my mind is that we have made yoga into a “sport” in the West. This is where pretty girls in salient dresses that look sexy contort in various back-breaking poses that men cannot even begin to imagine doing themselves. So, since men cannot even get there even if they want to, you would say yoga is for women.
The second one is based on the lotus posture. It starts with putting your hands in chin-mudra on the knees, closing your eyes, being motionless and doing some weird breathing exercises. Sounds like something women can do to soothe their racing minds and become more successful along the way, right? Success is dynamic for many men, so staying still is just a waste of time. So, yoga is for women.
The third assumption is based more on the fact that men are naturally attracted to competition, challenges and results that they first apply to themselves, and then with and against other men. So, the competition of who can balance the longest on their head is just moderately attractive. Therefore yoga is for women.
And the last one I have is that men think that for doing yoga you have to be flexible. I speak about it because I know so, as they often say to me: “Yoga is not for me, I I’m not flexible “. Yoga brings flexibility to the body and mind only if you start practicing it. You don’t need to be made of gummy beforehand. So let me tell you why yoga is also for you, gentlemen.
Before I challenge you, let me remind you of the main benefits of yoga. It helps with:
• the release of physical and mental tensions
• reducing the stress levels
• decreasing inflammations within the body
• the elimination of toxins while strengthening the immune system
You may tell me now that the sport you do inside in the gym, or outside – running, cycling, football, gives you the same benefits.
I do not like to compare yoga with any sport because in its core it is not meant to be one. In the West we have become very fluid when it comes to the definition of different sports, and I allow myself to declassify it as such for the sake of this article.
We can discuss the benefits of your favorite sport compared to the benefits of yoga at length but there is a big difference that cannot be questioned – the effect it has on our vital energy.
Prana, our vital energy, as explained in a previous article, is essential for the proper functioning of our body and mind. We accumulate prana through the sun, air, food and rest. We lose prana throughout our day during our various mental and physical activities – including sports.
Yoga, which is recognized by many as a health science (note that yoga is now prescribed by doctors in therapy and endorsed by health insurances in Switzerland), allows us to regenerate prana in significant quantities. This then allows our body and mind to face the many challenges that our modern lives place on us.
I hope you understand that the traditional sport that we practice will have reverse effects, as it will draw on our vital energy. We often think the opposite because of the hormones released during and after our practice, but those will only boost our system for 1-2 hours. They do not generate vital energy. The fatigue that you felt before the practice will inevitably come back to you and even become worse if you do not take the time to recover. That, my gentlemen, is the vicious circle you are living in.
The practice of yoga allows us not only to sustain a good well-being, but also recharge its vital energy.
This article is not meant to make you stop from doing favorite sport, as it is essential to maintain a healthy body and mind. More so, it aims to break two myths, and namely 1) yoga is for women and 2) yoga is a sport. It is meant to open your mind and encourage you to try it for yourself.
I would like to challenge you, gentlemen, and invite you to come and try yoga and its benefits for yourself at one of my upcoming Zen for Monday workshops named “Special Men” that are scheduled in December. We can have some warm-down time after the session, as you can share your thoughts, feelings and perhaps even emotions with me.
And since most of the people who read my articles are women – I invite you to show this article to your significant others and invite them to discover yoga during this “Special Men” workshop. Neither you nor your man will regret it!