Yoga for the dudes

Yoga for the dudes

Yoga helps beat stress and belly fat, as well as improve flexibility, range of motion and body shape. So, be a man and incorporate yoga into your daily routine, urges Pragya Bhatt.

Walk into any yoga class and you’re bound to see more women than men. It’s an irony that though the famous sages and teachers of yoga are men, most practitioners nowadays are women.

By excluding it from their workout routines and lives, men are truly missing out on the myriad benefits they can derive from a regular yoga practice. This is not to say that it’s time to give up your current workout routine. But including an hour of yoga, twice a week, will be a value-add to your workout chart.

Here are five - of the many - reasons, why men should practise yoga:

Stress reduction
Other workout routines may give a high, better energy or happiness. But the
deep, mindful breathing exercises supplemented with well-researched visualisation and relaxation techniques, work at a subconscious level. Also, the breathing techniques in yoga employ your abdominal muscles. Unlike a heavy workout that may tire you out, yoga can make you feel lighter and more active.

Belly reduction
Cortisol is the hormone released in the body as a response to stress. It is also
responsible for belly fat. Have you seen active men who, somehow, are unable to get rid of the stubborn belly fat? It’s not just a result of the beer they may be guzzling. Regular yoga will reduce cortisol levels in the body and this, in turn, will make the paunch disappear.

Flexibility
If you think flexibility is not a ‘man thing’, think again. Flexibility is important.
A flexible body is an injury-resistant body. If you spend time maintaining the
flexibility of your bones and joints, you will be able to perform all physical activities more easily.

It is true that stretching is incorporated before and after training in many
workout forms. However, the yoga class stretch is much more effective because stretching, in yoga, is all about alignment and technique.

Better range of motion
Performing yoga for an hour or two, at least twice a week, is an excellent way to counteract the effects of repetitive movements. When you stick to one kind of workout, only specific muscle groups get targeted and the rest of the body stays stagnant. The nature of yogic movement is such that different muscle groups are always engaged. And because yoga routines vary from class to class, there is no better way to get a full-body workout.

Body shaping
Hrithik Roshan’s body features are stunning, not simply because he is bulky, but because every inch of his bulk is sculpted, like that of a Greek God! Heavy-duty weight lifting may help you bulk up, but to define and shape the bulk, you need to practise yoga. When combined with the right diet and perfect workout, yoga will certainly help reshape your body to the ideal ‘V-shape’ that all men long for.

But most importantly, if you want to be fit well into your retirement years (when friends and colleagues will be doing doctors’ rounds for slipped disc, osteoporosis, arthritis), then you must cultivate a yoga practice now.

(The writer is a Bangalore-based yoga instructor)                                                                                 

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