Ordinary blokes’ are smashing the stereotype of yoga being only for women in gym gear or hippies in Happy pants, as more men become aware of the various benefits that come with doing yoga regularly.
Yoga improves strength, body flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular health and sexual performance. Regular yoga practice will also sharpen mental focus and help rid the body of toxins.
Many men are finding that yoga supports both mental and physical readiness for other forms of exercise, as well as recovery. Yoga uses natural body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass, lengthening the muscles and tissue, which improves blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps them recover faster so they can grow.
The success of a yoga class just for men that started in Sandgate earlier this year highlights the fact that men from all walks of life are deciding that yoga is as relevant to them as to anyone.
Men say they are calmer, more relaxed, more flexible and sleeping better said Steve Williams, founder of Open Heart Yoga and teacher of the Men’s Yoga class.
"Many men don’t attend yoga because of the perception that classes are full of fit, lycra-clad twenty-somethings where women outnumber men ten to one."
“The men arrive, muscles tight from too much time at a desk or on a construction site and minds weary from the stresses of modern life. We stretch, calm our minds and focus on the breath in a non-judgmental, relaxed class.”
“After the class you can see the difference... bodies more limber and relaxed, stress gone from faces. The men say they feel lighter, pain has eased and they are both physically and emotionally better equipped to deal with whatever life brings them,” Steve said.
First introduced to yoga 25 years ago by his father, Steve has completed a 350-hour teacher-training course. Steve and his fellow teacher at the Men’s Yoga class, Craig Smith, have both been tradies in the past and have suffered various aches and injuries, with Steve also experiencing pain because of poor posture at a desk-based job.
“I have always had a restless mind and body, and yoga has been the key to becoming calmer. Yoga, without doubt, has helped me tremendously in life, with both physical and emotional pain. I aim to use my teaching practice and life experience to help other people experiencing similar issues,” Steve said.
He also reminds people to be patient with themselves, as change takes a while. “After all, we have spent our whole lives getting ourselves into knots, these may not be unwound overnight, but with regular practice, our lives can unfold for the better.”
At Open Heart Yoga there are other classes as well as those especially for men – see their Facebook page for more information or phone 0423 947183.
Every Wednesday 6.30-7.30pm
Sandgate Community Centre,
153 Rainbow St, Sandgate