15 Benefits Of Yoga For Men For A Better Body And Mind
To many men, yoga is largely viewed as a feminine activity. However, with time more men have come to appreciate the numerous benefits practicing yoga has on their health and general wellbeing.
From improving flexibility and muscle strength to helping them gain an all-around level fitness, more men continue to find a reason to try out yoga.
You should too, especially if you want to even out certain aspects of your life or are fighting such disorders as sleep or depression…or maybe you simply want to improve your cognitive functions.
Here are 15 awesome yoga benefits for men that should get you rolling the mat.
1. Helps Increase Strength And Muscle
You are probably mainly building muscles through strength training in the gym. So how can yoga and the fact that it doesn’t involve lifting heavy stuff contribute to muscle mass and strength buildup?
The minor point here is that while strength training relies on lifting heavy shit, yoga takes advantage of your body’s natural resistance abilities as well as your own weight to strengthen its own muscles. You become the heavy shit. However, only a few studies have been done, and the main one focuses on women 35-50 years old. You’re probably not a woman.
The major point here in relation to increasing strength with yoga is that it can help you lift heavier stuff in the gym. This study shows that regular yoga classes increased the amount of weight participants could deadlift. They didn’t measure any other strength metric, but from personal anecdotal experience, I’d suggest the muscle relief and flexibility gained from yoga help in almost all lifts.
Just remember that like gym sessions, you have to commit to these poses regularly and for specific amounts of time if you want to achieve results.
2. Improves Overall Flexibility
If you are like most people, you often find touching your toes or bending backward hard enough if not utterly impossible. Inability to perform these two simple tasks is an indication of underlying health concerns.
However, yoga can help you with this.
But don’t quit if you can’t master this flexibility test after a few sessions. Remember that unlike fat-reducing chemicals or supplements that promise immediate results, yoga is wholly natural and, therefore, requires time and effort to get you flexible.
If you stick with the practice and perform progressively more difficult routines, you will notice gradual loosening of the muscles and joints in your body. All of a sudden some seemingly impossible poses become possible, and that’s not only good for your physical health, but your mental health and motivation, too.
3. Passive Cardio, Healthy Heart
Did you know that yoga is often referred to as passive cardio in reference to the numerous cardiovascular benefits it offers?
Over time, yoga specialists have come up with several poses meant to trigger different heart actions including low blood pressure, increased heart rate or even improved circulation.
Additionally, yoga poses allow for deep breathing, thus allowing for the intake of more oxygen into the bloodstream that when transported to some vital body organs such as the skin and brain has limitless rejuvenation effects.
The increased circulation and oxygenation stimulates red blood cells growth that in effect helps avert numerous blood-related illnesses such as strokes while the increased heart rate helps you avoid such conditions as heart attacks.
4. Boosts Immunity
Unless critically injured, you don’t get to stick to a single pose for an entire yoga position, especially if you seek to enjoy all the benefits that yoga brings along.
You have to keep adjusting our poses and alternating between several to relax various parts of your body.
With this change of posture comes bodily contractions and muscle stretching that in turn moves the body organs around. This allows for the increased production and drainage of lymph within the body.
Remember that this viscous body fluid is rich in immune cells that help the body fight infections including the destruction of cancerous cells. Additionally, the improved cell oxidation and blood flow help with the removal of toxic waste from the body thus promoting optimal cell function and helping avoid such infections as inflammation.
5. Improves Depression And Lessens Stress
If left to accumulate within the body, stress has disastrous effects on your emotional, physical, and social life. But do you always have to turn to pharmaceutical medications to relieve stress and depression?
Yoga for men presents a wholly natural, side-effect-free method of coping with stress and depression in your life.
Rather than relying on some pill to make you right, why don’t you put some work in and do what needs to be done to get your mental health under control as much as your physical health?
6. Improves Your Cognitive Ability
A healthy body is important, but a healthy mind is equally important in order to prevent diseases that can lower your quality of life.
Yoga helps relieve anxiety, allowing you to concentrate on your tasks and remain focused on your goals at hand.
It also slows down mental loops that often stimulate stress signals such as anger or frustration.
7. Improves Your Posture And Balance
When you stand up straight, it takes less effort for the neck and other muscles to support it.
Tilting your neck forward or backward disrupts this posture, and if you stay in this position for extended periods of time, it can cause injuries either now or later, haunting you in your older years.
Yoga also helps stabilize muscles and improves balance, minimizing the number of falls in your old age (many of which lead to things like broken hips, which at that age might never mend fully).
And if you’re still young, the proper posture that yoga helps you achieve will only benefit you in your daily activities, including sports, because your muscles will be less strained and far more flexible.
8. Helps Improve Your Sleep
Can’t sleep? Maybe you’re stress and tossing and turning with a pages-long to-do list in your head. When faced with such a situation, consider turning to such yoga practices as meditation or savasana that involve slowing down your brain activity, providing much needed downtime for the nervous system and in effect allow the sneaking in of deep sleep.
9. Boosts Your Self-Esteem
All of us experience low self-esteem at some point in our lives. It can be hard to break out of those cycles of self-doubt.
Through yoga, you learn how to appreciate your worth and discover certain aspects of your personality that you never realized existed that help elevate your sense of worth and that of others.
10. Eases Tension
What is concentration to you?
Does it mean holding on to the telephone or the steering wheel while driving with a death grip and no side glances or does it mean adopting a statue pose when reading?
In most cases, these actions turn out to be unconscious behaviors that, if not addressed in time, might lead to chronic muscle fatigue and stress that prove hard to correct later in life.
Yoga sessions teach you to identify all the parts of the body where you hold tension, as well as the cause of the tension. Working with an expert, you can come up with comfortable practices that help you reduce tension around these areas.
11. Can Help With Addictions
Often, men aren’t societally encouraged to retrieve stress in natural ways such as crying. To cope, some turn to addictive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse.
Others simply avoid the problem until it builds up to the point where the stress turns inward and makes them sick. Yoga is great for stress and depression elimination.
12. Helps You Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
As mentioned before, yoga can be quite physically exerting and can definitely provide a physical workout.
Additionally, the physical and mental yoga exercises help shield you from most lifestyle diseases like diabetes and blood pressure. If you already suffer any of these, yoga can help you deal with some of their effects.
13. It Makes You Happy
Are you familiar with the “happy” hormones, dopamine and serotonin? Production of these hormones helps flood your mind with a sense of happiness–a natural high.
Practicing yoga poses and meditation helps stimulate the production of these hormones.
Recent studies have also shown significant increase of brain mass associated with contentment among long-term yoga practitioners.
Typically, a single yoga session a day is enough to improve your moods by altering your brain cell activity.
14. Stimulates Production Of Testosterone
Whoever thought you could turn to yoga and meditation to boost your testosterone hormone levels and boost your sex drive?
During instances of stress, your body and the brain concentrate on the production of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone ends up consuming most of the cholesterol necessary for the production of the male sex hormone testosterone. However, yoga helps fight stress.
Thus most of the brain attention turns from cortisol to testosterone. These hormones in turn help build up muscle mass and boost erectile potency.
15. May Help You Live Longer
Yoga helps you keep stress, depression, and all their associated ailments at bay as well as improve other aspects of life such as better cardiovascular functions and optimal brain activity, all of which contribute to an increased lifespan.
Are you guy who’s wary of joining a “girly” yoga class because of peer pressure? Consider all the benefits outlined above, from weight loss and a mood boost to mental clarity, better brain function, and a stronger sex drive.
Now there’s no reason not to give it a try.