YOGA ISN’T FOR MEN!
By Steve Hauck, Ocotillo Member
When I ask guys at the Village why they don’t include yoga in their fitness routine, I often hear excuses like “I’m not flexible enough for yoga” or “I don’t know the poses” or “yoga is not really a workout.” However, the facts are clear – yoga offers numerous benefits for men, including increased strength, flexibility, and a sense of calm.
Eight years ago, when I joined Ocotillo Village, I was frequently the only man in the yoga class for several years. Fortunately, today, Village Hot Yoga is bustling with men, and they often make up the majority of participants. Nevertheless, many other fitness modalities continue to be predominantly female. In addition to the popular heated flow sequence, our members have access to various non-heated flows like Vinyasa, Yin (involving slower, longer-held poses), restorative, Power yoga (with advanced poses and flow), Deep Stretch (ideal for working out post-lifting and cardio kinks), and meditation-based classes for freeing your mind. While most locations offer these classes, keep an eye out on the Village app for additional options, and set that category filter to yoga. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quantity and quality of the teachers and classes.
The benefits of yoga are multifaceted, and all the Village classes mentioned above can provide some or all of the following:
- Improved flexibility: You don’t need to be flexible to start yoga. Practicing yoga gradually enhances flexibility by stretching and lengthening muscles, reducing pain, and improving range of motion.
- Strength: Yoga engages muscles in various ways that other fitness options may not. It helps build muscle mass and overall fitness.
- Balance: Challenging postures in yoga enhance balance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
- Cardiovascular health: Yoga increases heart rate and circulation, lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
- Reduced stress: Yoga teaches relaxation and mindfulness, improving mood, sleep quality, and overall well-being.
- Reduced anxiety and depression: Yoga calms the mind and body, offering significant benefits for those dealing with mental health issues.
- Improved sexual function: Yoga boosts blood flow to the pelvic area, potentially enhancing sexual performance.
- Weight loss: Yoga increases calorie burn and metabolism, aiding in weight loss.
If you’re a weightlifter, hiker, runner, swimmer, biker, skier, or perhaps a bit of everything, and you’re ready to begin your yoga journey, here are some tips if you’re hesitant to step into a dimly lit studio:
- Start with a beginner’s class: Opt for classes like Yin/Yang or Yoga Flow Basic to learn basic poses and prevent injury.
- Arrive early: Familiarize yourself with the room and introduce yourself to the teacher. Let them know you’re new; they’re there to guide you safely.
- Listen to your body: Don’t push yourself too hard; yoga is a gradual practice that requires time to build strength and flexibility.
- Be patient and consistent: The benefits of yoga come with regular practice.
- Find the right style and teacher: Explore various yoga styles and connect with a teacher who resonates with you.
- Invite a friend: Consider bringing a friend along or reach out to me if you have any questions.
About Steve Hauck: Steve is not just a Village member; he’s also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, signifying the completion of a yoga teacher training program at a Registered Yoga School (RYS). Steve graduated from Scottsdale Community College Yoga Therapy, where he studied various yoga modalities, yoga history, meditation, as well as Anatomy and Physiology.