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What are the Different Types of Yoga for Men?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Men are welcome in almost all yoga classes, and yoga is usually considered appropriate for people of all genders. Even so, there are some types of yoga that are aimed specifically at men. Certain classes may be advertised and targeted to men in the hopes of attracting customers who usually would not think of doing yoga. Yoga for men is usually not any more intense or difficult than normal yoga of different varieties, but it may be taught in a way that appeals to men. In some cases, yoga for men may emphasize strength and flexibility over mental clarity, but this is not always the case.

Yoga is not an activity that is usually segregated by gender because it is highly individual. Some types of yoga, such as bikram yoga, may appeal more to men than other types because of perceived intensity or competitiveness. Even so, hatha yoga and other types are often challenging enough even for men who are physically fit. Yoga for men must be taught at a level that is appropriate for the individual's body, which differs from man to man.

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The major problem with yoga for men is not that the activities performed in yoga are not suitable for men, but rather that they are not marketed to men. This is a social problem in many areas rather than a dissonance between traditionally male exercises and the benefits of yoga. As such, much of the focus of yoga for men is explaining to men why the exercises can be valuable. This is often done by showing athletes how yoga provides benefits for other sports as well as how yoga can build muscles.

In many cases, yoga poses are used as warm-ups for other exercises, or they may be used to provide variation during training. When yoga classes are targeted to men, focus may be drawn to the shoulders and hips, which are areas with which many men experience tightness. Personal trainers may recommend yoga for men who have experienced specific types of injuries or who are stiff in certain areas. Performing these recommended yoga moves can help greatly with healing.

Benefits of yoga for men are numerous, so even if there is not a men's yoga course available in a man's area, a coed course can be a good investment of time and energy. Getting past the issues some men have with performing an activity that they view as feminine can reveal a very enjoyable pastime. As yoga is usually taught to both genders at once, this can be a great activity for couples, friends, or families to do together.

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Pelicancan
Post 2

I think the fact that male celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Adam Levine have come out in support of doing yoga helps make yoga for men more accessible. While it's kind of frowned on by some people, competitive yoga also makes yoga seem more masculine insofar as it's considered a sport versus just stretching.

Coyoteerex
Post 1

I think it's interesting that Western culture has deemed yoga a feminine practice when most of the traditional yoga gurus from India are male. Even in the United States, some of the more well-known yoga practices were created by men--including Baptiste power yoga, Anusara, and Jivamukti. That said, preconceptions and stereotypes about men in yoga aren't necessarily positive. How do we make yoga more accessible to people? It's not just for women or so-called "sissies".

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