Men and Yoga: Just Do It!
Are you a man who's thinking about heading to your first-ever yoga class? Here's why you need to get off the fence and give yoga a shot right now.
MindBodyGreen: Any advice that you would like to give a dude that's on the fence about whether or not to begin a practice?
Vinnie Marino: Be willing to check out a bunch of classes because they all have a different vibe... but definitely do it because it could possibly change your life for the better.
David Swenson: You know the Nike saying: "Just Do It"? Well Pattabhi Jois, the man that introduced Ashtanga to the West and lived until 94 years old, had his own version of this saying but he whittled it down to just two syllables: "You Do!". Just head to a class and try it out. Have a new experience. Open to the possibility of finding a new tool for your life. All it requires is your breath and a sense of adventure!
Brock Cahill: My advice to a dude sitting on the fence... Hey man, get offa there! You're gonna hurt your nuts sitting up there like that.
Rusty Wells: Ask him if he's happy with his life, community, overall health and well being, and if he feels a disconnect on any level, then maybe now is the time to inquire about the most reliable, most holistic program that has been in existence for over 5000 years.
David Regelin: At the advanced levels the practice can become very sophisticated/dynamic/intense and athletic. But It usually starts slow. Be patient, get over being surrounded by women, and get over yourself. Yoga can be very simple, it can just be a way to restore yourself.
There is a yoga for everyone, but not every class is for everyone. If you happen to try a class and not like it try another teacher/style. They are all so different. You might get a very silly new-agey teacher, or a very serious dry sort of teacher, or a teacher who likes to chant, proselytize, or an unqualified doofus of a teacher. Find someone you resonate with and practice with them. Some people are adepts and adapt to the practice quickly, some take longer, yet everyone needs to learn the basics. If you think yoga is easy, It might not be a bad idea to get in over your head and take an advanced class just to see what is possible with the practice.
David Romanelli: Stop dorking. Get your butt on the mat and your life will be changed forever. PROMISE!
Noah Mazé: It is very often that I look across the yoga room at the radiant and strong women (and a couple men), and I think "Where are all the men? And what are they thinking not being here?!" Yoga will improve your strength, focus, coordination and flexibility. Yoga will make you better at whatever you do, work or play. Yoga will make you taller, and give you a better and stronger workout than in the gym. Yoga will save your shoulders and back and knees from 'blowing out.' Gravity, your body weight, and many different orientations to the earth are all the equipment you need for this. Yoga will kick your ass. Yoga will teach you to listen and feel more. Yoga will help your relationships. Yoga will make you a better man!
Derek Beres: The same advice I offer my students during a class. If you're first response upon seeing something is "no," then you become a No. That's the reality you create. If "no" is your mindset, then your life will follow that trajectory. I'm not saying that everyone should be a "yes" -- I'm not a self-help guide, or a fan of perpetual confirmation. One of the most important aspects of yoga philosophy is viveka, or discernment, which means weighing all the possibilities and then deciding how to proceed. The poses of yoga are secondary to the mental and emotional strength that is built during a class. In forearm stand, for example, I'd much rather see a student jump one inch off the ground then sit around and watch other people practice, or play with their toes. Being challenged by a posture means you are growing; watching from the sidelines means you are, well, watching, and living through someone else's experiences, which is completely antithetical to the yoga discipline. That's why there are no saviors, prophets, or religiosity at all in yoga: it's all about your experience and how you process your reality. So if you're on the sideline, step into the game. You just might like it. And if not, nothing is lost, but at least you know.
Sam Chase: Try a bunch of different classes and follow what appeals to you. I think that yoga, especially in America, has become such a diverse practice, and part of what's great about that is that if you're willing to do some digging, you just might find a yoga class that's pretty much tailored to you and what you're looking for. And I think that's important in the beginning, to start with what you like and grow a practice from that over time.
Michael Taylor: Fences aren't great places to sit. Whatever may be keeping you there -- yoga is really not such a difficult decision. It's not intimidating or complicated. It's just you working with your own body and mind. It's just one class. Or one hour with the right DVD (of course I recommend Yoga Anywhere by Tara Stiles!). Yoga opens up all kinds of great capabilities for us, whether in our athletic endeavors, our health, work, or relationships. And you don't have to take anyone's word for it. From its original design right up to now, yoga has always been about your own direct experience. You'll know what it's doing for you right from the start. A year from now you'll be telling all your friends to get off the fence. So take that and jump in.
Bryan Kest: Just do it.
That's a wrap. Thanks to all the awesome men above who participated. In case you missed it, here are the other posts that made up this awesome series:
My hope is that you can relate to one of these men, their stories, or even just a comment, and hopefully get inspired to give yoga a shot. I'll close with Bryan Kest's comment, "Just do it."
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