Men and Yoga: Styles & Classes for Dudes

mbg Founder & Co-CEO By Jason Wachob
mbg Founder & Co-CEO

Jason Wachob is the Founder and Co-CEO of mindbodygreen and the author of Wellth.

Finding the right style of yoga and instructor is one of the keys to enjoying yoga. So what types of styles and classes attract more dudes?

MindBodyGreen: What types of styles and classes attract more dudes?

Rusty Wells: My level 2/3 classes provide the most humbling challenge and my Friday Chillsville class was named one of the best places to pick up girls in San Francisco.

Vinnie Marino: Vinyasa flow classes attract a lot of guys... A crowded room with beautiful fit people working hard and having fun is a big draw.

David Regelin:I think all beginners gravitate towards the teachers that teach the kinds of poses they have an aptitude for. I see men gravitating towards the classes that include arm balances. Dudes tend to be interested in the development of upper body strength. Most Power yoga and classes use plenty of arm balances these days. Ashtanga attracts dudes as well as it is all about picking up your own weight. Personally I dabble in many yoga styles.

David Swenson: Generally speaking the more physical types of yoga do attract more males but there is a growing number of men practicing in all systems.

Noah Mazé: In my experience it depends more on the demographic and local culture. However, classes that seem more strength oriented, tend to attract more men. 

Derek Beres: As I said, strong vinyasa classes. Heat building flows with attention to things like Crow pose or other arm balances. Lots of Chaturangas, which they can initially understand as a push-up, even though it's way more core-oriented. I will say, though, that I've also seen a growing number of men in slower, Hatha-based classes, which focus more on meditation. I think the practice of calming the mind is appealing to anyone, and after the financial meltdown in our culture, I've seen a large increase in the slower practices that entail more focus on breathing and calming.

David Romanelli: Definitely you'll find the most dudes in physically challenging Power or Ashtanga classes... or any class taught by teacher who happens to be an attractive woman. It's interesting to see a Type A super-athletic dude come to Power Yoga without any yoga experience. Yoga requires a totally different type of strength and you'll see professional triathletes buckled to the ground in exhaustion. So... Power Yoga or Ashtanga not recommended for beginners, regardless of how far and fast one can run.

Bryan Kest: Highly physical, athletic classes.

Sam Chase: I see more men in classes and styles that capitalize on strength and endurance -- practices like Ashtanga and Power Yoga and Bikram. Beyond that I see a lot of efforts to make yoga applicable to sports that men tend to enjoy -- and I think that kind of outreach is perfect, whether it's yoga for runners, or cyclists, or tennis or golf. I think anything yoga teachers can do to make yoga matter in people's daily life is a step in the right direction.

Michael Taylor: Sure. The HARD ones. Although that's not always the best route to take. Lots of guys want to keep flexing what we're already good at. If we have the power to run through a brick wall, we carry this into our yoga,forcing everything in great feats of strength! It's a tough habit to let go -- but a big benefit of yoga is learning to accomplish great feats with great ease. Guys who emphasize strength all the time are best served by backing off a bit. We all get very strong through yoga -- but with the right approach, it's a controllable strength easily guided in any direction, without all the resistance that accompanies brute force.

Brock Cahill: There are definitely classes that attract more dudes. My class would be one of them. In flightclub, we practice defying gravity, finding buoyancy control, and using our strength to create balance. We are upside down in a handstand the majority of the time, or finding cool new lift offs and landings through the rest of the flow. Dudes tend to like to get their butts kicked. I can help with that... Or, they like to go to classes with a lot of smokin' hot chicks!

Stay tuned! Tomorrow we close out the series with inspiring and encouraging words from our group.

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