I get it.
It’s not immediately obvious what the gains are from doing yoga so why would you start?
It’s not as quick as building bigger biceps or shredding to reveal a six pack.
And maybe you just don’t have a bloody clue what the benefits are for yoga passed flexibility.
I mean, that’s all it is, right? A way to get flexible. And you don’t really care about flexibility anyway.
There are so many benefits to men getting on the mat both in addition to and to enhance your current training gains.
More and more athletes are turning to yoga to prevent injury and prolong their careers and more people are seeing benefits they didn’t even know could come from doing yoga.
I won’t go into why more men don’t do yoga (I wrote about it here).
All I will say is that by not doing it, you’re missing out...big time!
Here are 10 reasons guys should be doing yoga, starting with the big bang.
1. Better sex
That’s right, yoga has been proven to enhance ALL aspects of a guys performance in the sack, whether that’s longevity, experience (both for you and your partner) or just being flexible enough to switch things up.
A study in 2010 looked at the Male Sexual Quotient (MSQ) which looks into areas such as confidence, performance, longevity and desire, amongst other things and found that there was a significant increase in all of these areas in guys that were doing yoga.
So maybe all that downward dogging will pay off after all!
2. Good for muscle gain
That’s right, all those muscle gains you want to make in the gym can be increased with a bit of yoga in your life.
As Kate Abate, a certified trainer and yoga teacher put it, “Yoga widens the range of motion and increases access to more muscle fibres, allowing for more substantial hypertrophy in any given muscle group”
Think about it, if you lengthen the muscle, there’s more muscle to contract and gain size, making that chest of yours look wider and bigger, since you spent all that time opening it up.
Sort those shoulders out and you can look bigger in no time.
3. Good for mental health
All joking aside, guys are suffering more and more when it comes to mental health. There are 3 times as many men committing suicide when compared to women and it’s the biggest cause of death in young people between 20-34 years old.
Many speculate it’s because men are less likely to open up about their depression or issues than women.
This is a serious example of how problems with mental health can result in disastrous circumstances but on that path lies depression and anxiety, which are big challenges for us.
Yoga has been proven to help with mental health. A review in 2018 of 8 studies found that yoga decreased anxiety levels and another study found reduction in symptoms linked to depression by those who had participated in yoga.
4. Great for reducing chronic lower back pain
Yoga is great for reducing the pain that’s caused by our day to day lives and for fixing our postures.
There are a multitude of reasons for lower back pain but one of the most common causes is poor posture. An area that becomes tight or weak has a knock on effect to the rest of the body. The posterior tilt of our pelvis in a sitting position often leads to a lack of curvature in the lower back and weakness in this area, leading to chronic back pain.
Fortunately for us, yoga has been shown to significantly lower back pain both in the long and short term.
5. Better focus at work
Getting some yoga into your daily routine can have benefits not just in the bedroom or the gym but at work too.
A study of 85,000 US workers found that yoga can improve employee well being and help to limit the potential of employee burnout.
Maybe we should get more work based yoga programs started?…
6. Sleep better
I’m all for better sleep!
I’m a morning person but all I ask is that I get a good nights sleep to recover and recharge.
Which is a good thing that the study conducted in 2013 in older yoga participants found that they had better quality sleep, less sleep disturbances and shorter time to fall asleep if they participated in a yoga program.
This one isn’t surprising considering how relaxing yoga can be in both the muscles and the mind. A yin session before bed is a great way to unwind.
Go catch some zzz’s by doing yoga!
7. Improved mobility and posture
Day to day life just takes its toll on your body, whether it’s your workout routine, job, commute, it’s your body that takes the hit, tightens up and gets overused in certain areas.
In comes yoga, the antidote to correcting these issues!
Young guys who had taken an 8 week Bikram Yoga course found that they improved their posture and flexibility in their hips, lower back and shoulders, which are 3 massive areas that need correcting.
8. Food cravings
Now, it’s not just ladies who are concerned with their waistlines. Guys are too!
And with an improved mind body connection and stress induced binges being reduced, we’ll be staying away from the fridge. Couple this with Vinyasa based work and you not only have a great way of combating food cravings but a whole body workout that will burn some calories.
9. Boosts your immune system
Yoga is a great way to boost the immune system and strengthen it further.
The deep breathing improves respiratory systems, reduction in stress levels helps reduce the level of cortisol in the body and your vital organs are kept in tip top shape with certain poses. Studies have shown this to be the case so you’ll be less susceptible to picking up the man flu, which we all know is devastating!
10. Improves your digestion
A lot of us guys suffer from bloated bellies and inefficient digestive systems.
So why not get some more twists into your workout regime?
I’m not talking bicycle crunches but twisting poses held for at list a minute focus on the area below your ribcage, where all your vital organs live. The twisting is a gentle exercise of your organs too, which stimulates them. One of these organs is your liver, the detoxing powerhouse of the body, kickstarting a spring clean of your system.
So hold the pose and focus on your deep breathing.
There you have it, 10 awesome reasons you should be getting onto the mat!
Share this post and lets see if we can get more guys experiencing these awesome benefits.
In a bit.