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7 Completely Superficial Reasons Every Dude Should Do Yoga

Image credit: Jon Sullivan


 

 

I could write for hours about the spiritual and mental benefits that men can experience from a regular yoga practice… but what about the completely superficial, physical reasons? Let’s touch on some of the shallow reasons why every guy should jump on the yoga-bandwagon.

1. Meet Hot Chicks

Let’s get the obvious reason out of the way first. The majority of yogis in the Western world possess two X chromosomes. Men are the minority, making them coveted by the female yogi! You will be surrounded by fit, healthy, radiant women in yoga pants. There’s no better place to start looking for someone to date than your local yoga studio for that reason; plus, you will possess higher value being a yogi than your male counterparts. You’re sure to meet someone that prioritizes looking and feeling good, and incorporates healthy habits into their life. At the core of a healthy relationship are two blissful partners – each fulfilled in their own life as they join together to create a happy union. Forget the age-old technique of finding “love” in the bar (where unhealthy habits are created and maintained) and jump into the present where singles everywhere are meeting their dream partner (or fling) at the gym or studio.

2. Have Better Sex

Yoga has many benefits that translate to better sex in the bedroom. You will: increase stamina, increase blood flow and circulation (stronger heart), have more focus, learn to control your breath, learn to control your body, circulate energy throughout the body, gain skills to stay calm and clearheaded, and feel better overall. All of these advantages contribute to a more controlled, present, and effective performance in the bedroom.

3. Flexibility is Just as Important as Strength for Sports Performance

Many people don’t understand why flexibility is important (growing up as an athlete, I never understood the benefits of being flexible or even had a concept that it was important for sports performance!). It was all about being stronger and faster. Ever seen a football player jump and reach up to catch a pass? Many times they have to arch their backs and reach high for the ball. The balance between strength and flexibility makes that agile movement and dexterity in the upper back possible for these pro football players and many other kinds of athletes. For soccer players, yoga helps to open up the hips and hamstrings to prevent knee injuries. For MMA fighters, yoga helps open and strengthen the body to achieve chokes and holds more readily. The athletic benefits of yoga go on and on, as yoga is the perfect compliment for just about every sport.

4. Get That Yoga Butt

Guys – you aren’t the only ones that like nice butts. Women appreciate a strong, toned booty as well. In addition to toning up your backside, a consistent yoga practice will help you fight belly fat and battle other problem areas.

 5. Every Yogini is Searching for an AcroYoga Partner

The AcroYoga world is exploding rapidly, and more and more yogis are experimenting with their bodies and their buddies. Every present and future single AcroYogini’s dream is to meet and date an able-bodied and skilled AcroYogi to practice her craft with. Do yourself a favor by getting ahead of the rush to get in shape for these AcroYoginis by maintaining a consistent yoga practice. Once you connect with your dream AcroYogini, you’ll be ready to impress her with your skills by flying her around with ease.

6. Taking Care of Yourself is Sexy

A man that takes care of himself is a huge turn-on for women. It shows that you care about yourself and how you feel, so you can show up more effectively in life. There’s nothing worse than a man who sits around all weekend watching others play sports on television, fattening himself up with unhealthy foods and beer. Alternatively, when we see a man in yoga class, here are some things we automatically assume: a) he is taking an active role in his health and happiness, b) he is sensitive to his needs and the needs of others, c) he will continue this healthy habit into the future, and d) he’s open-minded to things society might tell him not to be. Whether it’s true or not, you have all around A pluses in our mind before you even utter a word.

 7. Learn to Love Yourself Before Loving Others

Last but definitely not least, yoga gives you a better love life. You learn to love and nurture yourself, which is crucial in a relationship. We can’t show up expecting the other to fulfill our needs. That behavior leads to disappoint and heartbreak. When we learn to take care of and love ourselves, we can show up for others and reciprocate that energy to the relationship, versus placing unrealistic demands or strain on the union. We are pleasant to be around, and learn not to sweat the small stuff. Yoga helps us to open our eyes and have gratitude for the many things we have, versus constantly wanting what others have. It helps us find contentment and peace. Once we acquire these attributes and have love and compassion for our Self, we can truly love another being.

 

Guys – what are your superficial reasons for doing yoga? Comment below!

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How to Get Your Dad to do Yoga

[wp_ad_camp_1] Many dads around the world are missing out on yoga’s benefits with each day that passes. Why do they choose to miss out? There are many misconceptions about yoga and many men believe that yoga is only for women, for starters. When in fact, yoga was created with the male body in mind and practiced by men only. Crazy, right? So if you want to get your dear ole’ dad into a yoga class with you, you need to tell him about the benefits and dismiss the rumors he might have heard from his group of friends.

 

6 yoga benefits for dad

Flexibility & Balance

As men get older, their bodies tense up and can become more unbalanced. Yoga will allow the body to be stretched out, increase flexibility and promote better overall balance. If your dad is more flexible and balanced, his everyday activities will be much easier, golf swing included!

Stress Relief

Everyone needs stress relief, especially your dad. Going to the gym where he might be doing cardio, lifting weights or even punching a bag can actually increase stress levels. A yoga practice actually promotes stress relief. Who wouldn't want to escape from the stress of their jobs or every day worries? Yoga provides a mini vacation in the mind, and will be sure to make dad a lot happier!

Better Sleep

Yoga reduces stress levels and relaxes the whole body, which in turn promotes better sleep at night.

Building Muscle

Your dad may love the gym because he’s able to use weights to build up muscle. Little does dad know that yoga allows you to gain muscle by using your own body as a weight. You’re putting your body into different positions that have to support your muscles and the weight of your body. It can actually be more challenging!

 Prevent Injury

Yoga is a practice where you’re taught to release the voice of your ego. When it comes to working out the ego is the voice that tells you to push harder, to outperform others and to go against what your body is calling out for. By learning to listen to your body in yoga, your dad is most likely to apply it to his other workout or daily routines, which in turn will prevent injury.

Quiet the Mind

Let’s face it our minds never stop chattering. One minute you can be all happy and giddy in the present moment, and then suddenly a negative thought creeps in and is repeated until you’re no longer happy. Yoga focuses on breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation which helps focus the mind on the present moment, which you can take off the mat and into everyday life.

 

Yoga has so many mental and physical benefits to the body, flexibility, balance, stress relief, better sleep cycles, muscle toning, injury prevention and a much quieter mind. Hopefully you told your dad about all of these amazing benefits, or sent it straight to his inbox! If he seems interested, go online together and find a yoga studio that has some beginner classes and get him on that yoga mat!

Images via: @yogaforallbeings

How to Get a Girlfriend: Do Yoga.

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We all know yoga has tons of physical benefits, but no one really talks about how the physical awesomeness melds into your real life. If you’ve been struggling to find the right girls for you, whether you’re looking for “the one” or a lighthearted fling, starting your own yoga practice can help you find her.

Worried you’ll be the only dude? Isn’t that the point? Joking! But really, we’ve covered the basics of why guys should do yoga, and you should check it out.

Let’s get to the point: How to get a girlfriend.

Starting and developing a yoga practice can help you find your mojo AND the girl of your dreams. Yeah, we're not talking about just going pick up girls at your local gym (that doesn't work, I promise), but put some work into it and you’ll reap ALL the benefits. Benefits for days!

 

You practicing yoga tells her that...

1. You like trying new things and you’re open minded.

Starting a yoga practice means you’re open to the idea that doing yoga can make you a better person for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s the strength aspects of poses that appeals to you most, or the range of motion increasing flexibility inherent in yoga, or perhaps the mental goodness involved. Whatever your reason for starting to build a practice, the ladies will see you on your mat, and know you’re open to new adventures, ideas and personal growth. Win, win, and win.

 

2. You know you’re a badass.

How to Get a Girlfriend: Do Yoga - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Showing up to a class and owning your yoga practice means you’re not pansy enough to think yoga is for pansies. Men in yoga classes come off as self-confident, secure in their sexuality, above social stereotypes and smart enough to know that those stereotypes are dumb and wrong. There’s nothing a woman loves more than a confident man. Self-assuredness in traditionally awkward situations shows ladies you don’t give a crap what other people think of you, and maybe if they’re lucky they’ll see some more of that confidence in the bedroom (wink, wink)

If you’re not totally confident in class yet, fear not. Yoga is all about personal growth, and as your practice develops you’ll gain that confidence, feel better and act like the badass you know you are.

 

3. You are physically fit, and health motivated.

Men who have an established yoga practice are hot. Ask any woman. It takes a great deal of strength and endurance to move into and maintain some postures, which improves muscle function in a variety of ways. Everyone knows fit people are better lovers, and with the added bonus of flexibility yoga gives you, well, you get the idea…

Afraid yoga will negatively impact your gains? Don’t be. Yoga and weightlifting are actually a perfect match, just like you and that girl yoga class. the Strength acquired through lifting weights translates to the ability to achieve some of the most challenging postures in yoga, and the flexibility yoga brings to the table improves range of motion and efficiency in lifting. Ever seen that guy doing half-pullups because he’s only working his biceps? Don’t be that guy. Get on your mat.

 

4. Your head's in the right place.

How to Get a Girlfriend: Do Yoga - www.YogaTravelTree.com

If you’ve been to a yoga class before, you know that the poses are only a small part of the yoga equation. The mental aspects of yoga are much more important during, and after practice. The mental benefits of yoga are endless, from reduced stress and mental clarity, to improved cognitive function and self-awareness. When you do yoga regularly, you begin to carry yourself differently. You’ll be more relaxed, sure of yourself, think more clearly and know what it is you want and need from a partner. Meditation might seem hinkey, but if you take it seriously, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

5. You’re basically MacGyver.

Yoga teaches you adaptability, patience, acceptance and the ability to let go of the shit that don’t matter. Many people don’t like yoga because it can be incredibly frustrating. Falling out of poses is common, and falling out of a pose you did amazingly yesterday is even more common. It’s called practicing yoga for a reason.

When you do yoga regularly, balance muscles improve, focus improves and you’ll be able to hold poses for longer. If you become frustrated just remember to shut your ego (the voice in your head that tells you “you suck”) up. You are where you are, and that’s exactly where you should be. Without even noticing, you’ll start to bring this acceptance into the real world, and you’ll find yourself tackling problems from new angles, not getting annoyed by usual pet peeves, and finding ways to grow from failures. The women in your life will notice these changes too.

 

6. You’re picking up what she’s putting down.

How to Get a Girlfriend: Do Yoga - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Most women know something about yoga. You don’t need to be looking for a yoga girl for yoga to be a shared interest with potential partners, most women wear yoga pants anyway. If it happens to crop up in conversation, just remind her about the main points mentioned in this article. She’ll be even more curious and interested in you, and your story. Who wouldn’t want an open-minded, confident, physically fit (and flexible), adaptable, mentally tough man who likes the same things as her?

 

There you have it!

Keep in mind that the when you begin to develop a yoga practice you also begin to develop yourself and the things mentioned above will come naturally to you. The more connected with your inner self you become, the more your outer self will reflect that connection. You’ll begin to feel relaxed, confident, like a boss. People will notice your badassery, especially the ladies.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to wear yoga pants to do yoga.

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Sarah Monk is a die-hard native Coloradan, fitness addict and yoga instructor. She uses her role of Director of Marketing at Yoga Travel Tree to help bring yogis in need of down-time to their perfect travel experience, and is actively working to grow an online fellowship of yoga-lovers. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her man (sorry boys) and their two furry kids, Nikki and Gala. Follow Sarah on Twitter and on Instagram.

Images via: @seasideyogi, @febbers, @jkrocket

Yoga for Men: How and Why it Works

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Now we all know that yoga is the most amazing thing ever right?

There are so many fabulous benefits in maintaining a consistent yoga practice, the science shows that yoga relieves stress, enhances mental focus, improvements in posture, improvements in mood, and increased flexibility amongst a zillion other things!

There have been huge increases in people taking care of their personal health, trying out new exercise classes and looking for new exciting ways to get fit and increase their performance.

The fact is that yoga is everywhere.

With all of these life changing advantages of yoga, there remains only one question – where are all the men?

 

Misinterpretations of Yoga

It seems that there may have been many misinterpretations of yoga. Yoga can to some people have connotations of being a gentle and feminine workout, of being dainty and bendy and stretchy and not a ‘real workout’. You don’t break a sweat or get that same adrenaline rush as from a game of football, or a fast and furious run or tennis for example.

For all the men out there, let’s be clear about this – yoga is not just for woman.  500 years ago, it was only men who did yoga and it was women who were crashing the party!

 

Nor is it soft and fluffy and gentle! Yoga can be anything that you want it to be. There are so many styles of yoga out there that it can be hot and sweaty, restorative, adrenalin fuelled and heart pumping, calm and gentle, or strength and conditioning based to name but a few! I challenge any man to take a yoga class. Trust me when I say it is not as easy or girly as you may think.

However it pleases me to share that the old-standing stereotypes are changing. As a yoga teacher, I am seeing more men attending my classes in Lembongan, which is an absolute pleasure for me! Yoga seems to have become the new cross training for people looking to increase their flexibility and improve their muscle conditioning.

Even some of the best athletes of today are incorporating yoga into their training schedules and reaping the benefits.

 

So, what exactly are the benefits?

When people think about the benefits of yoga, one tends to imagine flexibility, balance and posture, not strength gains or power. However, yoga is an ancient practice that has been studied for thousands of years, and can challenge even the most athletic and strongest of men and women.

Here is a sprinkling of the wonderful effects of yoga for all who come to their mat:

 

Yoga works the entire body

Yoga will help you gain strength in muscles that you never even knew you had! Training sessions in the gym or other sports tend to work isolated muscle groups. Yoga requires you to use the complete strength of your body in each and every pose, which in turn helps you to develop and tone all of the muscles in the body as you engage them throughout your sequence. Trust me, I have seen grown men shake in downward facing dog from using muscles they didn’t realize they had!!

It builds power and heat while moving through a series of poses. Yogis discover strength in warrior and planks; challenge themselves with inversions, funky arm balances and other mind and body twisting poses. All of this is done in a calm and mindful way, creating stability and strength within the body and mind.

As a result of working the whole body you will get better at whatever it is you do, whether you are a competitive athlete or just a really passionate footballer.  Physically it helps you to find balance. If you are strong, you will gain flexibility. If you are flexible, you will build strength. I will come onto the mental benefits shortly!

 

Doing yoga gives you energy and focus

Yoga restores and increases your energy levels. Ever noticed how alert and energized yogis are when they leave their yoga studio, as if they could take on the world. Yoga boosts your system to release energy, and all of those happy endorphins. So after your practice, you will notice that you have increased energy and a sharper mental focus.

 Fact – many athletes have heightened their performance levels through practicing yoga. By combining mental, physical and emotional support they become better athletes.

In yoga you have to train your mind to shut down, which in turn allows you to let things go and just focus on your current yoga position. Giving you the opportunity to practice being mindful and present.

 

Yoga helps with muscle recovery and soreness

Who are we kidding? Competitive sports are hard on the body and the recovery can be slow. Long distance running, high intensity workouts, gym sessions and more can cause a lot of lactic acid build up in your muscles. Yoga is hugely beneficial in working out this stiffness, by stretching and releasing tension which helps to flush out lactic acid, allowing you to return to your chosen sport sooner than before. Runners in particular find yoga the best activity after a long endurance run, which is how I myself came to find yoga years ago after 20-mile Sunday morning runs.

 

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Yoga helps to removes stress from your world!

Awesome right?

A lot of men tend to hold their stress in, not necessarily dealing with it in a healthy way. They find themselves lacking in focus at crucial times, following bad eating habits, losing sleep, and just maybe enjoying a little too much of the local happy hour. Yoga provides you with a sense of clarity and balance within the mind. You will be directed to focus on your body and your breath, and there will be no space for anything else. By paying attention to your breath, you stay present paying attention only to the details of that very moment. After you practice you will feel more grounded and calmer.

Yoga makes you stronger mentally and physically. It provides you with a constant challenge to be a better version of yourself each day. It helps you to find comfort and a sense of ease in some of the most uncomfortable positions. These lessons go far beyond the yoga mat and extend readily into your day-to-day life.

 

Yoga has benefits in the bedroom

Now that got your attention right? As if I haven’t already listed enough reasons, then yoga can also be a very helpful tool for your sex life! Check out my previous article on 10 ways yoga can spice up your sex life if you don’t believe me.

10 Yoga Poses for Better Sex 

Not only will you find yourself more flexible and relaxed, you will also notice an increase in your endurance. Many of the yoga poses, including Eagle Pose for example, help to work the organs as well as the muscles, sending fresh blood and oxygen to certain parts of your body helping you to revitalize your sexual prowess and extend the length of your bedtime fun!

 

Ok, ok I am feeling generous today so here are two additional freebie benefits:

1.   Make your partner happy – a personal one for me perhaps

If your wife, girlfriend or life partner is a yogi then you must know how many brownie points you would get for attending a yoga class with her and showing an interest in something that rocks her world? Go do it now!

2.    For all those single men out there – oops, did I forget to mention the women?

Yep, there are lots. And most of them are wearing LYCRA. Imagine the girl to guy ratio in your average yoga class. The odds are heavily in your favor my friends. Chances are that these women will be healthy, switched on, in tune with themselves, smart, fun loving, open minded and genuine people with a heap of passionate stories to share.

 

What can you expect from your first yoga class? 

Now, let’s be honest, your first yoga experience may feel a little bit scary. Here are some of the things you can expect to find and experience:

 

You are going to have to talk to your Ego and leave it at the door

Often the first few yoga classes can be tougher on the male ego than the muscles. Guys don’t like feeling like they don’t know what they are doing. Many men who have come to my classes worry about their lack of flexibility. It can be frustrating when your body won’t make the shape that everyone else is seemingly effortlessly making. It may hurt or ache a little. It may feel intimidating. A big part of yoga is letting go of ego, letting down barriers, and being open in mind and heart. This alone can be the biggest challenge for men. So take the challenge head-on.

I did say yoga was amazing, but I never said it was easy. Hell, who wants easy anyway. Yoga is a challenge, of the body and mind. Becoming a confident yogi takes time, effort and practice. “Practice and all is coming”. Trust that.

 

There Will Be Unmanly Poses

There are likely to be some poses that you genuinely don’t want your friends to ever see you in. This may be because you haven’t mastered them yet but also because yoga was designed for the mental and physical benefits that go way beyond simply building muscle.

 

There Will Be Women In Stunning Poses. Wearing lycra.

I mentioned it above, it isn’t a myth, it is the truth. However stay focused, concentrate your mind on your practice because focusing on anything or anyone else is only going to end in disaster. I know we yoga teachers say that falling out of poses is part of the practice, but that wasn’t meant in relation to having your tongue hanging out staring at the chick in front of you instead of concentrating on what’s happening on your own mat!

 

There Will Be Pain

Yep this is fact. Yoga can be tough. I am not even talking about the crazy arm balances or funky inversions. Just simple things like holding your arms parallel to the floor in Warrior 2 or reaching towards the sky in Mountain pose. Yoga takes the opportunity to teach you about all of the muscles in your body so don’t expect it to be easy and don’t expect to have no pain the morning after! Embrace the pain, and say hello to those hard to reach places you may never have known existed before.

 

There is no dress code

You don’t need to wear lycra. (Unless you want to!). Whatever feels comfortable.

Remember that yoga is a marathon, not a sprint.

Ladies – please share this article with the significant men in your life with the offer of something that will make them ridiculously happy in exchange for them joining you for their very first yoga class.

Share with us below the feedback that get!

Happy Yoga!

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Caroline Layzell is a certified 500-hour yoga instructor, based on the paradise island of Nusa Lembongan, just off Bali, where she is lucky enough to be teaching yoga full time at the Yoga Shack Lembongan. When she is not doing yoga she can be found underwater diving with the beautiful manta rays in Lembongan. Diving is her moving meditation! Caroline came to yoga after a lifetime of marathon training, cross country running, triathlons and short distance races. It helped her to put her body back together after numerous injuries, and it is here that her passion for yoga began.  Now she is a self-confessed yoga addict! Join Caroline on Facebook  Instagram or her website 

 

Images via: @asanafordays,

From the Mat to the Bench: How Yoga is Great for Weight Lifting

Image Credit: Eugenio

 

I’ve been a personal trainer in Manhattan now for over 5 years, and I’ve had the privilege of training all walks of life. I consider myself to be an expert in resistance training, and the more I practice yoga, and the more yogis I work with, the more respect for yoga I have.

In a world (the weight room) where yoga is often times looked down on as “not manly enough,” and a cardinal sin amongst real “macho” (and ignorant) guys, I’m proud to say that I truly believe a strong yoga practice translates quite well to the resistance training programs I create for my clients.  After seeing the similarities between my yogi clients, and after practicing yoga myself now for a few years, it is with great pleasure I list the benefits of yoga in relation to gaining strength, and how the practice can translate quite well onto the gym floor.

 

1. Body Awareness

 No one is more in touch with their bodies than yogis. During mat work, when I say “keep your tailbone tucked,” so their lumbar spine is flat against the mat for Leg Raises, their tailbone instantly tucks, and therefore their entire spine is flat against the mat. This may seem like no big deal, but another client may need some extra time to figure out the body mechanics that go into such a small maneuver. If your lower back is arched during this exercise, it can create strain, and you are more likely to pull your erector spinae muscles. This translates well for pretty much 90% of resistance training exercises in the book!

 

2. Overall Demeanor

Cool, calm, and collected is the yogi way. Here in the Big Apple, the pace is fast and aggressive, but none of my yogi clients ever show up visibly stressed out and edgy to our sessions. They come to the gym with a great positive mental attitude ready to workout no matter what external stress is on their minds. Hey, even I can learn a thing or two from this.

 

3. Mental Focus

For full body movements like burpees or walk-outs, where you’re moving your body through all different planes of motion for a single rep, or for multitasking exercises where we work more than 1 muscle group at a time (Squat with a Press/Lunge with a Curl), the yogi is focused throughout the whole duration of the set. Tough mental focus keeps him/her unaffected by the activity on the gym floors (and crappy loud music), concentrating on the the task at hand.

 

4. Slow And Controlled Movements

I’m a stickler for form and safe exercises during my workouts. I think during exercise, a lot of people who feel the burning sensation in their muscles halfway through a set unknowingly speed up their reps just to get the set over with. This can lead to jerky, unnatural movements that can cause injury. Whereas slow and controlled movements learned within the walls of a yoga studio teaches the yogi that slow and steady *almost always wins the race.

*I say “almost” because sometimes fast reps are better for my clients, depending on what goals they have.

 

5. Range Of Motion/Flexibility 

In my opinion, flexibility is the most overlooked aspect of fitness. Except if you practice yoga.  Cardiovascular exercise and resistance training is very important, but if you can’t touch your toes, what good is it? I like that more often than not, my yogi clients have the hip mobility to do deep Squats with hamstrings AT LEAST parallel to the floor, have the shoulder mobility to perform a Military Press with their arms in line with their ears, and the spinal mobility/hamstring flexibility to perform safe and efficient Straight Leg Deadlifts with no problem. This means we can spend less time working on muscle flexibility/joint mobility, and more time having fun with the weights!

If you've been thinking about trying yoga as a supplement to the gym, don't hesitate any longer.

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Greg Sher, Founder of I Kill Fat, Manhattan Personal Training has been a personal trainer in NYC for over 5 years (and vegan for 4!). Offering custom resistance training programs, nutritional guidance, and convenience to his clients, Greg’s mission is to make training as efficient and fun as possible. Visit the website: ikillfat.com and book your complimentary personal training session today!

 

The Debate Continues: Is Yoga Actually Bad for Men?

William Broad strikes again.

 

The author of The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards and the controversial New York Times articles "Wounded Warrior Pose" and "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body" just keeps on chipping away at the confidence of health-loving yogi’s everywhere.

Last week ABC2, WMAR-TV Baltimore re-ran the story of Michael Conti, a formerly active middle-aged man who sustained nerve damage in his knee and blamed yoga for the injury. The story of how Conti contacted Broad first aired in April of 2013, four months after the Wounded Warrior Pose article was published in the times. Why after 6 months did a Baltimore news station decide to finally run the story? Who knows, but it has fueled the men’s yoga fire once more and prompted a slew of fresh responses.

Broad’s pair of articles have prompted responding pieces of writing from Yoga Journal, The Blaze, Men’s Health Magazine and countless bloggers eager to have their opinions and stories heard. Many of these stories tear Broad’s articles apart, citing among other things: inaccurate data, incomplete sources and in general, subjectivity presented as objectivity, and many list reasons why yoga is great for men.

When hearing Michael Conti’s story on the news, or watching the video the viewer is only shown a piece of the whole picture. William Broad is in fact a daily practitioner of yoga. While his media attention has been skewed toward yoga-bashing, and his articles don’t do much to correct that viewpoint, the attention he brings to yoga injuries is relevant and he has a valid, (sexist, but valid) point. People who see yoga as a competition are more likely to sustain injuries.

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That definitely doesn’t mean that men should avoid yoga.

Guys get the same benefits from a regular yoga practice that women do: strength and flexibility gains, lower blood pressure, stress release, mental clarity, increased energy and libido, increased immune response, peace of mind, etc. And with a growing number of men’s only yoga studios (Broga) and classes, opportunities for safe man-yoga abound.

Sure, when competition enters the picture the number of injuries is likely to rise, but the point that Broad leaves out of his articles is that this statement is true for any activity, not only yoga. Running, swimming, team sports, playing trash-can basketball can all become dangerous when we get all fired up about them.

The bottom line is if a person lets his (or HER) ego enter their yoga practice, they are more likely to put their bodies into positions that are inappropriate for their level of flexibility. They will not gain flexibility or strength, lose weight, get tougher, etc. by doing so. One of the goals of yoga is to separate the ego from the practice. There is no perfect pose, there is no good, better, best. There is only a body and a mat.

So practice on dudes, chicks, everyone. The mat is yours.

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Sarah Monk is a die-hard Coloradan, running addict and  yoga instructor. Her passion is empowering young women through fitness, and does this by coaching several high school girls sports teams. She lives in Fort Collins with her yummy boyfriend and their two hairy kids, Nikki and Gala.  Currently Sarah is helping to grow the YogaTravelTree.com community as Outreach Coordinator. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @FoCoYogini  and on Instagram: @Badkukie

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Images Via: Mens Fitness, World Karma Project,