- The more I look round at yoga classes these days, the more I see that men are beginning to take both their health and their Yoga lot more seriously. It’s great that men (at any age) are beginning to realise that yoga can be a great way to wind down and find some head-space and its well known that a regular practice can help build strength, suppleness and even improve your golf swing. But in a strong class men are finding that yoga – particularly vinyasa yoga – can be a serious workout too!
- Our dedicated Selham studio has specialised in teaching vinyasa yoga for over six years (we also help with injury recovery, pre/post op support and dedicated 1-2-1 sessions) and we are proud to say that our students have been an equal split of men and women from the beginning – and we love it that way!
The misconception that yoga is a lighter form of fitness training, better suited to women, is now being firmly de-bunked. Evidence shows that a regular yoga practice can be super effective in increasing overall strength and building muscle, making it a valuable part of any man’s fitness routine.
I love my yoga practice for a whole bunch of reasons – some physical, some spiritual, but what each person takes from a yoga practice is personal choice and for many people making that initial connection between mind and body means feeling our body move and work.
- Why choose Vinyasa?
In a strong Vinyasa class, you’ll flow through sequences of movements, called ‘asanas,’ rolling these moves together in a way that helps open, stretch, strengthen and restore your body from the inside out. In a way Vinyasa is yoga’s answer to Crossfit but with some headspace. You’ll build muscle through long, deep poses that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. You’ll sweat. You might shake a little ! You’ll spend quality time with some serious hip openers (and if you don’t know if your hips need opening…they probably do).
Don’t be fooled into thinking these are the type of stretches you’ll find in the gym. Whilst some respected trainers are taking from yoga to create some great routines – this isn’t gym class stretching! Yoga works both your mind and and your body – it’s a reminder to stay in the moment and concentrate on your form and what you’re doing. That focus on form, means you are going to be using your muscles much more effectively and you’ll definitely feel it!
- How hard is it really?
Well it can be as challenging as you want it to be but the key is to listen to your body not your ego! Nike trainer Rachel Nicks says, “Remember that strength and flexibility are equally important to enhance your blood flow – and Vinyasa helps you work on strength, endurance, balance and flexibility all at once.” Incorporating Vinyasa yoga into your normal workout routine helps you perform better back at the gym too. Which is just one of the reasons why so many successful athletes use it.
- Yoga builds muscle evenly
Some of us tend to work at building muscles on specific parts of our body, focusing, for example, on biceps, quads, and shoulders, whereas yoga builds muscles evenly over the whole body as it increases flexibility.
- More flexibility means fewer injuries
The controlled moves of yoga offer opportunities to safely and efficiently exercise parts of the body that many men don’t normally use and to strengthen those parts they do. As a result, muscles learn to cooperate more harmoniously.
- Improved stamina means better workouts all round
Another recent study found that yoga practice improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, as well as building muscle strength. The combined stamina with improved flexibility provided by yoga leads to potentially better workouts in other physical disciplines, such as running, tennis, and cycling.
- Yoga can alleviate chronic low-back pain.
We all know that if you work at a desk job, sitting all day can have a negative effect on your back. Often when hip muscles or hamstrings are tight, lower back muscles may try to compensate, leading to pain. Several studies found yoga not only alleviates lower back pain but also helps with fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and other kinds of chronic pain.
- Yoga reduces stress and anxiety.
The mind-body technique uses a combination of physical poses, controlled breathing, and relaxation techniques that has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which help modulate the stress response. It’s been proven that yoga can also help with anxiety and depression.
The article below from Bodybuilding.com shows how yoga can help increase range of motion; improve breathing, strengthen and stabilise. You don’t need any expensive kit – just a yoga mat- and you don’t need to be flexible to come along to a class.
At our dedicated studio in Selham we offer a variety of levels of practice to suit your fitness levels and we are always happy to chat through which class would be best suited to your individual needs.
You can book online at http://www.bookwhen.com/bodhi or call Amanda on 0781 754017.