Words: Penny Weston
While most yoga classes are dominated by women, more men are choosing to stretch their limbs and finding out that there are some definite advantages to it including increased sexual performance. But the prime reason for the increase in men trying yoga is to ease stress, mainly gained from the workplace.
A recent study from Mind showed that men are more likely to experience work-related mental health problems, compared to problems outside of work. And more are turning to mindful practices such as yoga to ease their stress.
This is a trend I am seeing amongst clients at Made Wellness Centre, where men are turning to yoga. Men are experiencing stress, anxiety, and burnout just the same as women, and coming to a yoga session can be really helpful for mental and physical health.
Just taking a bit of time out of your day for yourself can do wonders and there are many reasons why men should be trying yoga – there are so many benefits. Many men may think yoga is too feminine or they aren’t flexible enough or that it isn’t ‘real exercise’. But once they try it, they are usually hooked. For Huw Chapman, 64, yoga has changed his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest while he was out, running in 2019. He was technically dead for 15 minutes, but after an emergency operation, he recovered well and was put on a specific cardiac rehabilitation programme.
“That’s what took me down the fitness route,” said Huw. “I had to go somewhere where there were instructors and someone always on site so I joined Made. I went for spin classes and the gym but then one of the instructors suggested I try yoga.” Huw added that he had previously tried a yoga class but found it too spiritual as they had to stop and write down their thoughts.
“At Made, I started with a sportsbased yoga with the spiritual side acknowledged, and it’s been brilliant. I had shoulder and back pains but now I can work out without any pain afterward,” he said. “Yoga has made me feel springier when I go up and down stairs. “Lots of men think they aren’t flexible enough for a yoga class but it’s the yoga that makes you flexible. When I was out walking and needed to tie my shoelaces, I used to have to find somewhere to put my foot up. But now I can just bend down and do up my lace. That’s how I explain it to my friends as I could not do that 12 months ago.” Huw said he has also started attending meditation yoga classes, which he is really enjoying. “It is like a mental workout for the brain,” he said. “It also helps me sleep better. At the end of the week, I do a more spiritual class and every Friday night, I know I will sleep well and I look forward to it for that benefit. I go spinning, have something to eat and then do some yoga in the evening and get a good night’s sleep.”
HERE ARE MY TOP 7 REASONS WHY MEN SHOULD BE TURNING TO YOGA.
Yoga is one of the most helpful ways to boost your mental health. It can really help clear and calm your mind. It can take practice to stop other thoughts coming in while you are practicing. But yoga really can help fight negativity and improve your mood.”
YOGA INCREASES RANGE OF MOTION:
Most men have a tight muscle group, such as the hamstrings, glutes or pecs. But they may not realise the limitations these place on their ability to train through a full range of motion. Yoga will help open up all the problem areas, which will in turn help your training sessions.
BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE AT WORK:
A recent study from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of 85,000 workers in the US showed that mindfulness-based health practices, such as yoga, can improve employee wellbeing and ease productivity issues, such as burnout. A yoga workout can lead to greater feelings of vitality and lower levels of fatigue.
A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP:
Yoga can definitely help with insomnia or if you can’t fall asleep easily at night. Yoga can also help with your sleep quality overall. The breathing exercises in yoga may play a role in this too and certainly help with calming you down.
Yoga is brilliant because it stretches your whole body. It helps increase strength and flexibility, as well as decrease your risk of injury.
IMPROVE SEXUAL PERFORMANCE:
Studies have shown that increased flexibility and lower stress levels can lead to better sexual performance. Yoga Promotes weight loss: Yoga can lower levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone that prompts your body to collect belly fat. Yoga can also help create muscle definition.“
Penny Weston is highly regarded as a fitness, wellness and nutrition expert, and runs an award-winning health spa, Moddershall Oaks and leading wellness centre, MADE. Penny focuses on all angles of health and well-being, from mental health to physical health, Se is dedicated to demonstrating how by making small changes to routines, people can experience big results when it comes to happiness, energy levels, and mental state.