You've arrived at this page because you're interested in Yoga for Men! Maybe you're a beginner and have heard about the benefits and want to get started, but just not sure if you've got the balls to step into a yoga studio? Mate, I hear you. The idea of entering a room filled with flexible females who know what they're doing is pretty scary stuff, right? Well, thankfully, as more and more men are coming to yoga, (numbers have nearly doubled in the last seven years) there is now a growing trend of yoga classes specifically dedicated to men, where you can feel relaxed, knowing you're in the same boat with other guys who've never done yoga before, and zero risk of embarrassing yourself!
Don't Wait Until Your Body Screams
Let me share a little about me. I'm Steve, I'm the owner of YogaJak, originally from Darlington in the UK (yes I'm a pommie who hasn't lost his northern tones). I co-own Joymamma Studio in Mooloolaba where I hold regular yoga classes for blokes to gather and explore what yoga is about and have a chat about life over coffee afterwards.
You could call it a social group - with some mindful exercise too.
At 35, I Thought My Youth Was Over
My journey with yoga began 17 years ago at the age of 35 because of pain, stiffness and injury. I suffered from a bad back from desk work, sore Achilles heels and knees from running and pain in the hands from Karate. I sat for most of the day at a desk and I was sore all over when I woke in the morning. I would walk around like an 80 year old! Night times weren't much better, some nights I'd have to go to sleep sitting up, with a heap of pillows behind me for support, as I just couldn't get comfortable lying down. The pain would get so bad that I couldn't take in a full breath. The muscles and tissues around my spine and ribs would protest from any movement my breath made.
Like most blokes, the way I dealt with those morning aches and pains was by ignoring them and on some days, after a few hours, the pain had gone and I could get through the day. On other days, the back pain from sitting and heel pain from running would be too much to ignore and I would resort to taking painkillers. I took this as part of life in the mid-30’s, not ever knowing I could do something about it.
With 2 kids under 6 and another on the way, self employed and the sole bread winner, I worked long hours, staying up late to finish projects so I could help out with the kids and school/kindy drop offs in the morning. Life was stressful, sleep was minimal, business was hard and I felt the mighty load of being the one responsible for providing for my family.
The Wife Dragged Me There
It was my wife who first persuaded me to join a yoga group in a church hall in Christchurch, NZ, where we were living at the time. I think the reason why yoga is so appealing to women - is that they know that it's OK to take some time out, to look after themselves when life gets busy and overwhelming. She had noticed the benefits when she started classes soon after the birth of our second child. Having 2 kids 22 months apart was an exhausting time for her physically and emotionally. Her tired and sore postnatal body, depleted energy reserves and scattered mind mirrored much of what I was experiencing, but I was reluctant. I looked at the timetable and saw one of the teachers was a guy called Mark, so I thought "why not?"
The movements felt good, I worked at my own pace - and I went back for more. Before long, I started to feel different. The regular stretching of muscles, gentle spinal twists and deep breathing began to totally change my body. The aches and pains lessened, breathing was easier and I was sleeping better than I had in years.
Holy Shit, The Benefits
In those early years of yoga, I soon came to realise that along with easing the stiffness and tension in my body, a regular weekly class helped me feel stronger and I had more energy to keep up with my 3 kids. Yoga also gave me a chance to slow my body down and gave me a break from the stresses of running a business and raising a family. As we learn through practising regularly, once the body slows down and we train the breath to slow down - the mind will also follow. That's when I discovered that I could meditate, in small bite sized moments.
Yes, You Really Can Do Yoga
If I can, everyone can - and if you’re a guy who comes home from work buzzing, feeling overworked and needing to shut off thoughts and the busy-ness of the day - but don’t know how to, then yoga may just give you the tools that you need.
You See, It's Not About Being Flexible
- that’s just a pretty cool result of a regular practice.
In a yoga class, you use each pose to create FOCUS. By placing your body in shapes that make you concentrate - like twists and balance poses - you are training your mind to settle on one thing. We typically hold poses for 3-5 breaths, the concentration used with steady breath calms the mind and slows down the thoughts. You could say that the physical practice is actually a moving meditation - which is what brought me to actually enjoy meditation in the first place (because I can’t sit for an hour at a time comfortably meditating).
52, Fit And Feeling Fantastic
Fast forward to life now in my early 50's and I am back at a job where I sit down for 9 hours straight - but I practice/teach yoga 6 times a week. I don’t feel any discomfort anymore, I sleep well and very rarely take painkillers and I feel the healthiest I’ve been in my life.
Not Sure How To Do Yoga?
Then why not come along to my Beginner's Sessions?
I keep class numbers to a minimum of 8-10 blokes and I'll guide you through the basics; observe and assist when needed and can work around each individual student’s limitations. You'll get my full support and I'll help you modify poses if you are working any past injuries.
Yes, You Have Got The Balls
If you're still reading and if any of the above resonates with you - if you feel you could walk into my yoga studio, I'd love to have you on board. You'll be welcomed into a great community of blokes.
You will notice physical and mental changes as soon as you start practising yoga. There is no chanting, no singing, most of us aren't very flexible - and we don’t wear lycra!
I love meeting new people and building the community here at YogaJak. Check out the classes below and sign up!
"Just completed my first 'real' Yoga class at age 47. Awesome, great class, instructor explains poses clearly, came away feeling great, here starts my Yoga journey!"
"Regular yoga is helping to keep my back injury under control and maintain flexibility and strength, I have been attending twice a week for almost 12 months now and have a notice a massive improvement in my lower back, hips and core strength. Steve has a very relaxed way about teaching us blokes Yoga, it's informative, informal, fun, but most of all it's beneficial to my health physically and mentally. "