Watch our video on the benefits of yoga for men here.
Suffice it to say, not enough attention is given to men in a number of categories. Much like women, we have emotions too. We feel pain, discomfort, fear, sadness, depression and anxiety. It’s just that we don’t often wear these emptions on our sleeves. It’s more macho to suppress them and take our aggression out on the weights at the gym.
But there is definitely a disconnect when you think about men and mental state. I’m starting to go a bit off tangent, so please forgive me. More on this in a later post. For the time being, another area that you don’t hear much about is men taking up yoga. Again, I beg the question, why?
We move and think and have to partake in daily actions parallel to that of women. So why not integrate the centuries-old practice of yoga? If any of you guys out there need a little convincing, let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits. And by the way, these can translate nicely to what I laid the foundation for above.
All those heavy sets of deadlifts and other drills performed in your beefcake workouts take their toll on your joints and connective tissue. You might be able to build big, strong, showcase muscles, but at what expense?
Far too often, you neglect your flexibility and have trouble bending over to tie your shoes. Or, you develop rounded shoulders because of the tension in your upper body musculature. Does any of this sound familiar?
Well, a simple way to combat this adversity is through the medium of yoga. The whole premise of yoga involves the lengthening of muscles and connective tissue. When held for an extended period of time, this makes you more supple and less prone to injuries.
You will then be able to perform daily activities better and also build an even better physique because you’ll have more range of motion. Plus, by default, you’ll likely be able to lift heavier weights and build even more muscle.
Better Organ Function
A lot of yoga poses act as a massage to your insides. You can literally realign your organs and make them function better. Do I even need to go into detail why this is beneficial for you?
Just think about how much better you can perform your job, concentrate, do things around the house and provide for your family if your organs are hitting on all cylinders. And here’s another thing to take into consideration that’s along the same lines.
Certain yoga poses can help aid constipation. I know you might not want to talk about it, but this is a very important subject. If you neglect your digestive system and don’t have regular bowel movements, everything can go awry.
Your system will be blocked up and this can lead to moodiness, inability to concentrate, cramps, weight gain, skin irritation and hemorrhoids. By partaking in regular bouts of yoga, you can keep your digestive system and organs happy, which can in turn, make YOU happy. And just for the record, these particular poses involve twisting of the trunk.
Fat Loss and Improved Muscle Tone
I happen to love hot yoga. It is usually in the range of 95 to 105 degrees in class, depending on where you go. The classes offered are beginner to advanced. Regardless of the class you choose though, one thing is for sure—you WILL break a good sweat! Along with that comes an equally good amount of fat being lost.
If you do a more advanced class where you go from pose to pose with short rest breaks, especially where there are a lot of sun salutations, you are guaranteed a massive calorie burn and full-body workout.
Over time the end result is weight loss and the obtainment of lean muscle mass. This can have a secondary benefit of boosting your self-confidence and making you feel better about yourself.
Certain poses are said to boost testosterone in males. Some of these include plow, lotus, shoulder stand, cobra and locust pose. You are probably well aware of the wonderful benefits that high testosterone levels bring to the table. They include muscle gain and maintenance, sex dive, mood support, metabolism and brain function.
In addition to yoga in a regular environment, I have to go back to hot yoga again. I firmly believe that performing hot yoga, especially a higher intensity class, has an even more profound effect on testosterone. This is purely anecdotal but, every time I do a hot yoga power class, I feel like Superman afterward.
My muscles are well-defined and solid as a rock, I feel like I lost a few pounds of pure fat and my brain function is through the roof. I’m convinced this is a form of hormeses because of the extreme heat coupled with the intensity of the poses that recruit a high amount of muscle groups. I haven’t proved this theory, but it sure does make sense and it couldn’t hurt for you to try it.
When holding yoga poses, you need to be 100% present and take deep, long breaths. You don’t have time to be thinking about all the other stuff that might be bothering you. In turn, you are able to relieve stress and greatly reduce any anxiety you might be dealing with.
If you get on a schedule where you do yoga several times per week, this can have a major impact on reversing or preventing depression, anxiety, fear, worry and doubt.
Lastly, there are a lot of poses where you need to stand on one foot or make quick changes from one foot to the other. This naturally helps improve your balance. Then when you are out on the streets, you are less likely to suffer a fall or any form of unwanted injury related to losing your balance.
Final words of wisdom
It doesn’t matter if you have never done yoga in your life. You are always welcome in a class and there are ones for absolute beginners. I highly encourage you to get involved with this practice and partake even one day a week. That’s all you need to see benefits.
After a few weeks, when you start feeling, looking and moving better, you might become hooked and make it a daily thing. And that’s the fun part of yoga. You can perform it every day without having to worry about overtraining.
Lastly, adding some key supplements to your diet like pine pollen, beef liver and bull testicle can go a long way in optimizing hormones. Remember, we never use artificial or synthetic ingredients in our products. They are pure and as natural as it gets!
Until next time,
Feel free to hit me up with any questions or comments.
About the Author: A Life and Career Dedicated to Healthy Living
Kevin David Rail is a fitness nutrition specialist with certifications through ACSM, ACE, NASM, ACSM, AFM and a BS in Sport Management/Fitness and Wellness. He was featured in the documentary films Fasting and The Motivation Factor for his expertise as a health and fitness professional. Kevin has helped hundreds of people change their lives through expertly designed meal plans and training programs that maximize size, strength, and fat loss.