Dudes! You are missing out on something that you know you should be doing, but won’t bring yourself to try.
You know what it is, and so do the girls you meet. You have said you wanted to get into it and that you really “should” start. The last three girls you dated tried to get you to come with them, but you wouldn’t. You’re probably tighter than you ever imagined you would be at this age, and you have more stress than you would like. You know that there’s a place down the street where you could go to start to correct this sad state of affairs, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it. This place is your local yoga studio, and it scares the shit out of you more than you’d like to admit.
Why is yoga for men so scary and intimidating? Most studios and yogis preach about non-judgement and creating a practice that is not based on what you can do, but how you do it. These places are serene sanctuaries, where you can learn something beneficial in a supportive environment that has no relationship to competition or ego. These classes are filled with 80 to 90 percent women, all in various forms of Lululemon spandex. These women walk out of every class physically, mentally and emotionally open to meeting someone new. You would think that it was a no-brainer for the dudes of the world to get onboard the yoga train. But, alas, so far, it is not the case.
I’ve talked to many men about this very thing. Almost every single one of them makes the same sorry excuse: “I’m not good at it, and I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of women.” Most of these dudes are open-minded and seemingly self-confident individuals. Yet, they pictured themselves in a room full of women, staring at and mocking them for not being good at yoga. If they could only let go of their self-importance and fragile egos, they might actually come to a class and realize nobody is paying attention to them. Everybody else is too concerned with what they are doing (and how they are doing it) to bother looking at someone else’s poor downward facing dog.
Here are some tips for all you guys out there who want to do yoga, but can’t bring yourself to go to a studio: Check out some Youtube videos and learn some shapes. Next, find a place that offers basics classes, book online and go! (Most basic classes are smaller, and they tend to have a higher ratio of men in them.) Start by learning the moves and terminology. Once you grasp the basics, you can proceed to the flow class or whatever next level you might want to take. You can take basics for a long time, as there is always something to learn. It is much better to move slow and do it right then to try to force your way through something and end up injured. You will probably be tight for awhile, but at least you will know what is going on in class when the teacher says, “triangle pose.”
Eventually, you will develop a practice, have a lot of fun, meet some interesting people and be one of the only males in a room full of yogis. Trust me, things could be a lot worse than that.
The world wants more men doing yoga. It’s time to finally show up.
Learn more about The Yoga Adventure retreats, including an upcoming All Men Zen Retreat over Labor Day Weekend.