Masculine Yoga : Yoga was started by men and only practiced by men for literally thousands of years. The “father of yoga” was a guy (or perhaps a collection of men now) known as Patanjali. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is one of the original and one of the most important yoga texts. This was created sometime between 200 BC to 200 AD no one is totally sure. There are no reports of a “mother of yoga” to date, but you never know.
In the west it started out that most of the teachers were men and the students were women. Even more recently women have become more dominate in teaching yoga in the west. My personal experience with teacher training is there might be one male in the class, it’s unfortunately really. Women have been teaching mostly women for a while now but things do seem to be evening out a bit with more and more men joining yoga classes recently.
Yoga is a non-competitive sport which could be one of the reasons it draws more women than men. Not all men, but men in general tend to like the competition aspect of sports. There is a growing trend for more men to participate and enjoy yoga, but to some there is still a bit of girly stigma attached to yoga. It’s great to see some high profile men enjoying yoga and talking about it, from musicians, actors and professional athletes.
If you are a man, then congratulations on getting this far into the article! If you’re a women reading this let’s do a favor for the men in our lives and introduce them to yoga in order to help them improve their performance in other sports and for the physical challenges of real life.
If I had to pick one pose that is spectacular for men it would be Downward Facing Dog.
Downward Facing Dog is one of those great multi purpose pose. This pose strengthens arms, legs and torso. It stretches the chest, back, shoulders, hamstrings, calves and feet. This pose can improve digestion and energize the body. Some of the mental benefits improves focus, developing willpower, stimulate the mind and relieve stress and anxiety.
Getting Into the Pose:
• Starting on the floor on our hands and knees. Handing shoulder width apart with fingers open nice and wide
• Tuck the toes under and push the tailbone up towards the ceiling.
Holding the Pose:
• Pushing into the floor with evenly between our feet and hands
• Stretching the heels towards the floor
• Keeping our ears between our biceps
• Pointing the tailbone up towards the ceiling
• Breathing into the pose
• Relaxing down to the floor as you feel necessary
Invite the men you know to give it a try, they might surprise you.