The short answer is “Yes.” Although in a typical yoga class in the West, you’re likely to find more females than males in the room. Interestingly, Hatha yoga (the physical form of yoga) was once a practice exclusively for men. It wasn’t until pioneering female yoga teachers brought yoga to the West in the early 1900s that yoga exploded in popularity amongst women.
While yoga continues to grow in popularity, myths and misconceptions around the practice are still creating barriers to entry for men who aren’t familiar with yoga. Yoga is for everyone regardless of your gender, age or body type.
A lot of men worry that yoga is not appropriate for them because they aren’t naturally flexible. But flexibility is not a prerequisite for yoga. All my classes focus on building strength, flexibility and balance. Many yoga poses are held for a series of breaths which allow the muscles to lengthen and strengthen simultaneously. Your lungs will become stronger and your ability to breathe deeply and fully will improve – which provides more oxygen in the body and improves your endurance overall.
My advice is if it’s something you’re interested in, don’t worry if you’re not flexible enough or whether people tell you yoga is for women. Take control of your own health and happiness and follow what feels right for you and your goals.
Gary Barlow – who has published a book about how he used yoga as part of a regime to recover from depression and being overweight, says, “I don’t think I’ve ever done a yoga class and not had an amazing day afterwards….I’m not very good at it, but I don’t care, it just feels great.”
My yoga teacher trainer who I trained with for 2 years for my BWY teaching qualification was in fact a male teacher (in his sixties). He is remarkably strong, atheletic and flexible – all thanks to yoga, not from hours in the gym!
If you are a man who has been wanting to try yoga, here’s the information you may need to make that leap!
In-person yoga classes are resuming in September. You will need to complete a British Wheel of Yoga registration health form before attending any in-person classes. Feel free to drop me a message to find out more!