The Benefits of Yoga for Men
There are many benefits of yoga for men. From the calming effects on the mind, building a stronger, more mobile body, improved sexual function, deeper self-awareness, and more.
Not only that, but a regular yoga practice can have a tremendous effect on other areas of your life. Once you find yourself following a regular practice, it’s not uncommon to find yourself improving other areas of your life. For example, maybe you start eating healthier.
Charles Duhigg calls these, “Keystone Habits” in his great book, The Power of Habit.
Essentially, by including a good habit (such as a regular yoga practice), the effects can cascade and create motion for other good habits in your life.
Let’s talk about how it can help you level up in mind, body, and spirit.
A Calmer, More Focused Mind
One of the most important health benefits of yoga for men, is its calming effects on the mind.
Yoga teaches you to find control in uncomfortable positions. Yoga shows you how to breath and put space between yourself and your reactions. Off the mat, this can help you find calm and think clearly in stressful situations.
When I was growing up, I was always acting out. And finding myself in fights. Always reacting before thinking clearly.
Fortunately, yoga and martial arts came into my life and taught me discipline. And self-control.
Jiu-jitsu teaches energy conservation and the importance of movement efficiencies. By controlling your breath in a match, your mind remains clear. You can focus on advancing your offensive and defensive positions.
Same as in vinyasa yoga. As you are moving through asanas (those are the poses) with your breath, you find you are calmer. More focused.
And that’s the beauty of it. With yoga, the pranayama (that’s the breath) is used to guide you between poses. And when you focus the breath this way, you focus the mind. And learn to control behavioural and emotional reactivity.
For men, this is a HUGE benefit. Especially if you are dealing with any kind of anger issues, anxieties, or panic attacks. Yoga teaches you to become more clear-headed.
There is nothing better than a good yoga class when you are wound up with stress. It’s the ultimate therapy for men! I have walked out of many classes having the stress just wash away.
Yoga Helps You Become More Introspective and Self-Aware
Out of the many famous men who do yoga, is Mr. Matthew McConaughey.
That’s an impressive Reclining Hero’s Pose, alright…alright…alright. ;-P
But what surprised me more about Mr. McConaughey, is how deeply introspective he is.
If you haven’t read his Greenlights book, I recommend checking it out (full disclosure, that’s an affiliate link).
He has a gift for story, and this memoire is unlike anything else. It is full of interesting reflections and snap shots of his life. Including journal entries pulled from his personal archives.
And what is Matthew McConaughey’s secret to success?
Lol you thought I was gonna say yoga, didn’t you? 😂
Keeping a daily journal could change your life. Journaling allows you to define your vision. Map out your goals. And evaluate the wins and losses in your life. Journaling is an amazing tool for improvement.
Yoga + Journaling
Do you ever find yourself faced with a million different tabs open on your browser? Sometimes thoughts are like that. Bet you have at least a few of those rolling around in your noggin’ demanding your attention.
With yoga, you put yourself in a calm state of mind. Through the meditative movement, you find a clear headspace.
Aka close those tabs.
Now you can really focus.
Sit down. Put pen to paper. And see what comes up.
Get to know yourself and what you truly want outta this life. Where are you not showing up? What problems do you need to solve?
Yoga and journaling are disciplined tools that can offer tremendous benefit. Together, they provide a meditative and introspective process for growth.
Build a Strong and Supple Body
We haven’t even talked about the physical benefits yet?
Now I have to tell you about when I first got into it!
So it was sometime back in 2009. Within a year of first diving into martial arts.
And I found out real quick how immobile I was… 😅
I can still remember my frustration. The guys I trained with had levels to their mobility. And I was stiff as a 2×4… It showed training with them, for sure.
That’s when I stumbled upon yoga. Heard it could improve my mobility for martial arts.
Man did it ever!
My first class was at Moksha Yoga on 149th street in Edmonton, AB.
Thought I’d be just stretching myself out and calling it a day. Wow was I wrong!
You know when you wring out a rag? That’s what I felt like. Trying to do all of that balancing… find alignment in poses… and move through it with the breath?
That hour challenged me unlike anything else. And I knew it was going to have tremendous benefits in my flexibility.
I was hooked.
And from 2009 through 2011, my martial arts and movement evolved dramatically.
Yoga Helps With Healing The Body
Unfortunately, I suffered a complete ACL tear back in 2011.
ACL surgery sucks. You’re laid up on the couch for a few weeks.
And in that oxycodone haze, I found myself once again trapped in an immobile body.
Being laid up on that couch sucked.
But that’s what got me working even harder on strength and mobility.
Once I started physiotherapy, the goals were both. To improve the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint. And get the mobility back.
My ‘secret’ to cruising through the rehab process?
The nice thing about the multidimensional movement patterns in yoga, is that they strengthen the stabilizer muscles in your body. In such a unique and incredible way.
And by working through the end ranges of your motion, you enhance total body mobility.
Finally, the calming effects on the mind (which we talked about) help with healing. With regards to your Autonomic Nervous System, you can literally flip the switch from sympathetic nervous system activity (fight-or-flight) and activate parasympathetic nervous system activity (rest-and-digest). This puts your body in a state it can heal and repair!
This is also why yoga complements weightlifting so well. Following exercise and on your rest days. Yoga is a solid choice for active recovery.
One thing people wonder about is can yoga help you last longer in bed?
I’m no scientist. 🤷🏼♂️
However, consider the following…
Think about moving through a yoga ‘flow’. You are moving from pose to pose. Controlled by your breath.
Read that last part again…
As you find yourself rolling around in the sheets, you can use similar techniques to help you stay in the moment for longer.
Not only that, but all of that enhanced mobility and bodyweight control will benefit you. More range of motion in your limbs allows for more sexual exploration in poses.
And if you can move the pelvis better, your partner is going to enjoy that! 😉
Finally, you will feel more confidence. And enjoyment in the process of intercourse. Like yoga, you learn to focus your mind on the present moment. Letting go of worried thoughts that might pop up about performance.
This will help you to connect and communicate better with your partner. So you can have earth-shattering experiences together.
Yoga Benefits for Men Summary
Yoga holds tremendous benefits for many. Not just women. But men as well.
Just some of them include enhancing strength and flexibility, calming the mind, finding focus, improving sexual performance, healing the body, and reducing stress and anxieties.
There’s a lot that you stand to gain from a regular practice.
If you want to get into it for yourself, try out this 30-day yoga challenge I put together in January 2021.
And be sure to subscribe to the WithinMVMNT YouTube channel for more. I publish videos related to yoga and bodyweight training.
Including handstands (check out our free handstand training program here if you are interested in that).
I hope this article has encouraged you enough to get into yoga. It’s damn good for us men.
So get practicing! ;-P