By Bhavan Kumar
Hatha Yoga is becoming exponentially more popular among men to reduce their stress, increase flexibility, reduce their high blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. Many men incorporate Yoga into their strength and cardio workouts to achieve the all around balance of well-being.
In the past, western men were turned off by Yoga as they believed it was an exercise exclusively for women. However, once they gave it a shot, they realized the endurance and strength that it builds. Whatever your reasons are for considering Yoga, rest assured that it will have positive impact on your life.
Yoga combines meditation and breathing to help the mind and body work in sync with each other. Studies have shown that men have a greater tendency than women to downplay the stress that they feel from work or home life. As a result, they are placing themselves at risk for developing heart disease earlier and raising their blood pressure.
When men do not acknowledge their stress as easily, they do not take steps to remedy it. Through Yoga, they can release the stress that they hold in their bodies without having to visibly express their emotions. The breathing techniques (pranayama) that men will learn in the classroom can also be transferred to the home, workplace or office situations, which create the stress, to lower the impact of triggering anxiety.
How can Yoga for men be seen as practical? Men who are already active in other sports, such as golf or tennis, might unknowingly be suffering from imbalance because their current sports tend to favor one side of their body over another. This asymmetry may seem minor considering they are already exercising for their health, but the imbalance can cause these men to feel tired more quickly.
As a result, this imbalance can put strain on other muscles, and cause the mind to experience an imbalance as well. Yoga does not ignore any muscles. With proper instruction, Yoga tones and strengthens the body evenly on both sides. Men who practice Yoga regularly will feel far more balanced on the tennis court, golf course, or football field.
Men should not feel bothered that Yoga has previously been labeled an exercise regimen for women. In India, men have practiced Yoga for thousands of years. Men can get just as much benefit from Yoga as their female counterparts. Whether you want to experience the improved sleep, decreased stress, or just want to improve your ability to participate in other activities, practicing Yoga regularly will deliver profound benefits to your overall health.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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