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Real Men Do Yoga


You are probably very skeptical about yoga; I know I was. Sure, I understood that yoga had a lot of health benefits and tons of people use it for strengthening, stretching, and relaxing. But I'm a guy. We pump iron, play hoops, and run. We don't do yoga.

But then I had to.

After a neck and back injury sustained tumbling off my mountain bike and down the side of a hill (very manly) I was out of commission for awhile. My doctor recommended some yoga instead of physical therapy. It was a good suggestion since my medical insurance was going to max out my premium for therapy but yoga classes were like $10 a session (cause I had a Groupon ). So off to yoga I went.

I tried to be calm and cool entering the studio, but I was a bit nervous about it. That is probably why a lot of us guys resist the idea of yoga; we are so out of our element.

So I went over to the instructor and told her why I was there, about my injuries, and what I was hoping to get out of the class. She smiled, patted me on the shoulder and said, "Welcome to the class, I can help you."

...and that was that. I was part of the group.

She placed me off to the side near the front of the room and the class started to fill up.

First reason yoga is awesome - the class was almost all women!

Second reason yoga is awesome - most of the women were in pretty good shape and wear really tight clothes.

Class started and I struggled. I wasn't nearly flexible enough or strong enough to maintain positions for very long which was embarrassing. But then something happened. As I was trying to get a position right the instructor walked by and grabbed my hips pulling me into the right position. Then she slowly raised my head up so I was looking forward; right at the hot chick in front of me wearing tight shorts who was in a position I usually pay a $10 cover to see. Yeah, I could do this.

Third reason yoga is awesome - I felt pretty good after the session.

We didn't meditate or chant. There was deep breathing going on which was relaxing. But that class was a lot of hard work. Generally I feel flexible; I can place my palms on the ground with legs straight. But yoga pushed me harder. Plus I realized my muscle endurance wasn't that great for holding these positions.

But it was after a few weeks of yoga that I really noticed the differences. I was looser. My muscles didn't bunch up so easily from sitting around at work. The lower back pain and neck pain had gone away from my injury. I was sleeping better at night and I felt more energetic to start the day.

Fourth reason yoga is awesome - it made me better.

It didn't just help with rest and relaxation; it made me better in basketball too. After a few weeks of yoga I was ready for contact sports. Somehow all that stretching in yoga helped out my game. I was just a little bit quicker on defense and getting to the ball to rebound. I'm not sure if my muscles just reacted better or I had a bigger range of motion than before, but I was cleaning the glass like Barkley.

Now I will admit it. I am a manly man and I do yoga. Yes I still play hoops and hit the weights, but yoga is a nice addition to my program. Plus I also found another great place to meet women. Apparently guys who are willing to embarrass themselves in a yoga class have an easier time on the approach! Oh and all that flexibility and endurance translated directly into something else as well. Thanks to one of the girls from class I will never look at the 'downward dog' the same again.