It's not (just) for girls

You may well know the history – yoga used to be a solely male practice and the idea that it’s a more female orientated activity is a recent Western construction. But the fact remains that if you rock up to a yoga class, it’s pretty overwhelmingly female…

Saying that, there seems to be growing awareness that yoga is something that can be hugely beneficial to men and in my experience, guys are often up for trying something new and not worrying too much about making a fool of themselves. Perhaps it’s the growth of bikram or hot yoga which might seem more macho and less likely to involve chanting? (It’s very un-yogi of me but I do slightly love an overly buff rugby type swaggering into hot yoga before collapsing onto his mat halfway through)

The amount of male athletes who practice yoga also can’t be doing any harm. Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel openly attributes his continued career to practicing yoga as does almost-40-something Ryan Giggs.

Yoga - something you could be as good at as Ryan Giggs

Yoga – one thing you could be as good at as Ryan Giggs…

In fact it was an article on the Sun online a few months ago about Giggs’ yoga habit that persuaded a male colleague to come along to a local class with me. He threw himself into it but every time I’m in cow face I still hear his voice telling the teacher ‘Nah mate, my knees won’t go that way’… Similarly another male friend who I dragged to a class on holiday earlier this year came out saying he’d enjoyed it but that ‘that bullsh*t upside-down V they keep making you do is really hard’.

My home studio has even started Broga classes designed to appeal to men (which I haven’t quite worked up the courage to attend) and I managed to persuade a man shaped potential yogi to come with me to  the lovely Stewart‘s hot class a couple of weeks ago. He gamely signed up for an introductory offer and has already racked up a number of classes. It’s not going to replace the gym or playing football, but we might just have a new convert…

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