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Is Yoga Just for Women Only?

Updated on December 8, 2010

I’ve been practicing yoga for almost ten years now. When I first started I was typically the only male in my yoga class. I didn’t really mind this at all. In fact, I kind of enjoyed being surrounded by lots of cute women in yoga class! Men used to make fun of me for doing yoga. There was a strange perception that “yoga was for women.”

I’m not sure what happened over the past few years, but it seems like more men are doing yoga now. I actually don’t like this and have sort of stopped going to yoga classes. I just practice yoga at home now. I guess I don’t like going to yoga classes anymore because it’s not as special to me – I’m no longer the only man in the class :( The women in my classes back then thought I was cool for being “open enough” to practice yoga.

So, should men do yoga? Absolutely! Yoga has improved my strength, balance, and flexibility. I also have fewer injuries now because I practice yoga. Yoga is not just for women anymore and this stigma seems to have finally faded away.

Even though my special days of being the only guy in yoga class are gone, I’m happy more people are practicing yoga now!

Downward facing dog pose
Downward facing dog pose
A towel can double as a strap
A towel can double as a strap

If you’ve thought about trying a yoga class, but feel intimidated, here are a few tips:

- Choose a beginner class

- Ask if they supply the yoga mats, if not, you’ll need to bring your own

- Dress appropriately for the class…here’s what I wear:

  • Workout shorts with built in liner
  • Sleeveless shirt either tucked in or tight enough to stick to my body. I find a sleeveless works the best because you often raise your hands above your head and this will cause a normal shirt to constantly rise up and down. I also mention tucking the shirt in or wearing a tight shirt because you’ll do a lot of poses, like downward facing dog, where you are semi-inverted. If your shirt isn’t tucked in or tight enough, it will end up falling in your face!
  • Flip flops – where flip flops to the class, then take them off and go barefoot when you start. I find flip flops easier than shoes and socks.
  • Don’t wear a hat

- Take a towel with you to the class – there are several uses for a towel in yoga. You can wipe your sweat off the mat, you can use it as support for various poses, and you can use it as a band / strap for poses.

- Have an open mind and don’t get frustrated if you can’t do some of the poses – it takes time and practice

- Enjoy the experience!

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    • YogaStrong profile image

      YogaStrong 7 years ago from California

      So every photo you use in this hub is of a woman? ...you fail!

      If your only reason for going to class is to be surrounded by women then you are doing it for the wrong reason.

    • kea profile image
      Author

      kea 7 years ago

      @tal g mel - yes, Pilates is great too. I've done pilates.

      @dominique teng - Yes, it does seem that yoga started with men, especially ashtanga. I do ashtanga and it's really hard, but I can't convince a lot of my male friends to try a class...they still have the perception for some reason that it's for women. I guess Western culture is still a bit hehind the times in some matters.

      @hello, hello - thx for the comment and for stopping by!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting hub.

    • profile image

      Dominique Teng 7 years ago

      In ancient India yoga was a path for men. Some women were permitted to do it and became masters, but this was rather seldom. Women were considered to lack the stamina, the discipline, and the purity of the mind, to become yogis. When yoga arrived in the West, both, men and women learned how to do it. Many of the great teachers are men. Yoga forms like ashtanga yoga are physically demanding and very well suited for men, who may find the flow yoga to feminine.

    • tal g mel profile image

      tal g mel 7 years ago

      No..Pilates also//