Any man worth his salt easily recognizes the true value of yoga in today's fast-paced world. There is great importance in maintaining a balance of personal well-being, while staying committed to a lifestyle of grandeur and abundance.
Male or female, or otherwise — all bodies still need strengthening. Yoga is so much more than just deep breaths and stretching, so take heed of these eight valuable tips gentlemen, and get to the mat!
1. Don't worry about how it looks, think about how it feels.
This is not about fashion trends or slender bottoms. Yoga, at times, can be esoteric and downright uncomfortable — but then again, so can most workplace environments. Trust your intuition. Nothing prepares you better for long days at the office, than increased flexibility and patience. Yoga is a practice of awareness — a necessity for any self-respecting gentleman who wishes to hone in on his finest offering.
2. Yoga is not a cult.
Yoga is designed to be accessible to everybody and every body. Many practitioners tend to get carried away in their devotion and as a result become lost in the pursuit. This creates a feeling of exclusion to those who have yet to create their own experience. The true yogic gentleman invests his valuable attention where necessary, and worries not about the rest.
3. There is no rush.
Go at your own speed. Don't struggle to keep up, just do your best at your own pace. Find your natural rhythm and move from there. After all, time management is a serious skill that serves up all aces across the board.
4. Find the right yoga for you.
What feels good for one may very well frustrate another. Like a fine scotch and other delicacies, there are slow classes, fast classes, hot classes and fluttery classes infused with dance. Identify your style, find that teacher and learn everything from them that you can.
5. Classes are for learning. Life is for doing.
A gentleman is a gentleman 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like good manners, yoga applies to all situations. You will learn a great deal of information during a yoga class ... but don't just save that for the mat, take it with you into your daily life! For some, this means focusing on good posture and meditative breathing whilst seated at your desk. Others may find it appropriate to do a handstand upon their chair.
6. Identify your longterm game.
Rome wasn't built in a day. The true gentle-yogi sees every class as a new opportunity to build a long-term practice.Outline your challenges (example: tight hips and back) and strengths (example: open shoulders and strong hands). Both will contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. Use one to support the growth or care of another.
7. Don't forget to breathe.
Where asana deals with physical movement, pranayama is the yogic science of breath control. Take time to research and explore these valuable techniques that regulate stress, focus awareness and calm the mind. Your contemporaries will marvel at your capacity to maintain an even keel in the harshest of storms.
8. Can't move? Meditate.
In the event you don't have the time, space, or energy to physically take a yoga class or even do a few postures, one can always drop in to the studio of the mind and meditate. A large part of yoga revolves around this practice of mental mastery, whether you wish to clear your head or better visualize your thoughts. Both skills tend to come in handy when sizing to attain your goals.
By no means is this a definitive list for yogic mastery. It is merely a stepping stone towards the creation of a solid practice for both beginner and beyond. What tips would you offer other enterprising gentleyogis? Leave them in the comments below!
Photo Credit: KadriKurgun.com