Let’s face it, at its first mention; Yoga might not come off as the most masculine exercise. But that’s just it-at its first mention. When you delve deeper into it, you will realize nothing could be further from the truth.
More males are discovering this and consequently more American men are now flocking to the yoga mats where once, it seemed, only women dared to tread. However the irony is in India where it originated, it wasn’t until recently that women were even allowed to practice yoga.
Men now make up 25 percent of America’s 17 million enthusiasts and this figure is increasing steadily. Perhaps it may be because several successful men in various walks of life attest to Yoga’s efficiency and openly advocate its practice.
Take Hip-Hop entrepreneur, Russell Simmons for example, when I read he practiced Yoga (just like Sting, Quincy Jones and Woody Harrelson), it further increased my belief that in no time perhaps NOT practicing Yoga will be seen as strange.
Okay, maybe I overstated that, however, for Simmons (someone viewed as a pioneer in such a masculine and testosterone driven lifestyle known as Hip-Hop) to openly show off his Yoga Skills in a recent issue of the popular Yoga Journal Magazine, don’t be surprised if more ‘cats’ start following suit.
This may happen a lot faster as the successful coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson, often uses Yoga Philosophies in the training of both teams.
It had to have been effective if it led to the Bulls being 3-time Champions and the Lakers winning their first championship in 12 years back in 2000, both under his guidance.
Now many men who practice yoga tend to favor the more athletic, fast-moving styles such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga. Personally, I bow to the simple yet powerful Sun Salutations common to the Sivananda style of Yoga.
I showed this routine and some other balancing poses to a couple of friends once and these tough workout animals were shocked at how strenuous yoga can be.
They discovered that holding the asanas (or poses) such as the peacock pose, builds strength-not the brute strength of a power lifter but the tensile strength of a martial-arts master.
Several pro-athletes such as the Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George,
Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, Oakland A’s pitcher ace Barry Zito, NBA superstar Kevin Garnett and PGA standouts Ty Tyron and David Duval have all at some point attested to this fact.
Either way it goes, Yoga is being rediscovered on an almost daily basis by men as indeed being ‘the’ way to go as far as exercise; sometimes exclusively, oft-times in combination with more common forms of fitness regimens.
So fellas, if you are still not convinced this isn’t just a “girl’s” exercise, do this, go to your favorite search engine, type up one of the following: The Peacock, 4-limbed or wheel pose.
Try either one for a full minute and you will be shocked-like my hard as nails friend once said-to discover that “Yoga ain’t no joke!”
Gentlemen, “real” dudes indeed do practice Yoga.