In the early days of yoga, men were the only practitioners. In fact, up until the latter part of the twentieth century, the practice was almost exclusively for men. But as Westerners became interested in the practice, traveling to India to learn more about its secrets, women were slowly invited to practice.
Fast forward to today, and yoga around the world is a woman-dominated practice. How the tides have shifted! In most yoga studios, women make up the majority of students—and teachers. But yoga is not a sex-specific practice. Truly, yoga is for everyone. And men will find just as much benefit from the practice as women.
While women can tend to be more flexible than men, yoga is not a practice for only flexible bodies. In fact, it’s designed to work with any level of flexibility, loosening tight muscles and releasing tension that can lead to injury. The tightness men experience due to exertion and lack of adequate stretching will really benefit from a yoga class.
Not to mention, yoga can be a great strengthening practice. The stereotype of yoga is that it’s a calming, easy practice with light stretching, but anyone who attends a vigorous yoga class can attest that it’s one of the toughest workouts around. Yoga works such a wide range of muscles that its effect on strength can be quite remarkable—and felt throughout the whole body.
Men, if you have been hesitating to come to yoga because you think it’s for women and weaklings, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s a practice you’ll get a lot out of—and one you can tailor to your own needs.