5 Ways Men Can Benefit From Yoga

Top 5 Benefits of Yoga for Men

Today, we're going to look into five of the biggest benefits that yoga for men can give to individuals all ages and shapes.

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Yes, you read it right. Yoga is no longer an exclusively female workout routine. These days, you can see guys doing yoga in gyms and public parks – and why not? Yoga for men is becoming increasingly common and provides plenty of benefits.

At first, yoga may seem like an imperfect supplement for men's exercise. One reason is that it mostly involves stretching and deep breathing in different poses, which most men may not consider useful in their muscle-building and weight management goals.

However, what you may not realize is that yoga is essentially a physical exercise, but of a different kind or level. The main goal of doing yoga is to build a connection between the mind and the body. Yogis (yoga enthusiasts) go to class in order to change their energy and find inner peace. While doing so, it can also build heat while moving through various poses.

If you're interested in learning more about yoga for men, here are a few things that you need in your first yoga session:

  • A good teacher: Look for a yogi whom you feel comfortable working with.
  • An open mind: Yoga involves being in tune with your mind, and so you need to be ready for surprises on your sessions.
  • Comfortable shirt: Much like any other kind of exercise, wear a top that feels comfy.
  • Shorts that don't ride up too high: Some routines in yoga may involve turning upside down. Make sure that your pair of shorts or pants are not loose. Better yet, wear workout pants that hug your legs.
  • Willingness to submit to such activity: Because it's the first time that you're going to try yoga, be open to anything!

You will be amazed at how much yoga can do to improve your well-being. Here are five huge benefits of yoga for men:

1. Better, stronger breathing

You may be unaware what breathing exercises can do to your body. You may even probably think that you are breathing perfectly fine.

However, you will definitely be challenged by yoga because it teaches you to focus on inhaling and exhaling. While yoga won't speed up your breathing, it leads you to breathe in a slower fashion wherein you need to expand your lung capacity by taking in longer, slower breaths. Practically, you learn to oxygenate your body more efficiently.

Breathing properly is important for strength training, cardio activity, and muscle-building. In other words, yoga helps you last longer on the treadmill, carry more weight in your bench presses, and oxygenate your muscles for increased mass.

2. Balance improvement

Yoga helps improve your balance. Based on its different balancing routines such as one-legged poses, headstands, handstands and arm balances, you should be able to expose your weaknesses and gradually make improvements. The skill to balance comes from developing your core, which will also improve your posture and the definition of your abs.

Unlike doing exercises in the gym, you may be highly likely to feel the pain after a day's work out. With taking yoga classes, you will feel much more relieved and relaxed, with a better sense of balance that you may not have otherwise experienced before your first yoga routine.

3. Improved rest and sleep

Did you know that yoga helps improve the quality of your sleep? Yoga allows your mind to set any distractions and negative thoughts free, and so, its benefits in terms of mental health are astounding. The result is a drastic improvement in your sleeping patterns and the frequency of sleepless nights.

Through meditation, you can focus on looking for a solution to a problem rather than stay stuck on a problem, and suffer through sleepless nights or even resort to drugs or alcohol. In fact, people who are going through addiction recovery will find yoga to be extremely helpful, especially in terms of making the mind, body, and spirit in perfect sync with each other.

4. Enhanced flexibility

Remember the times when you feel the tightening of muscles after a heavy workout? That may prove to become a deterrent to muscle building. This is the reason why stretching is necessary before engaging in a full workout.

With the help of yoga, though, you will learn to increase flexibility. You will notice that it helps open up your hunched shoulders and tight hips. As a result, yoga helps in strengthening the muscles and making them more flexible.

5. Higher overall productivity

Another known advantage of yoga has something to do with productivity. It has been proven to improve on the following aspects:

  • Memory and inhibitory control
  • Energy level
  • Focus and retention of information
  • Decision making

If you seem to be dragging yourself to work, a dose of yoga may be effective in keeping your spirits up and your work productivity running.

Signing up for men's yoga classes should form part of your exercise regimen. More than wanting to build a healthy physique, yoga allows you to create balance in your life.

While you may feel a bit queasy on your first few yoga classes, you should be able to see these five benefits during your next set of sessions. In time, you will enjoy the perfect balance of a sound mind, a healthy body, and a relaxed spirit as you continue engaging in yoga.

Let your mind, body, and spirit be healed by learning yoga!

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Being Skinny Isn’t As Great As You Think

A reflection on the struggles that come with a person's body image.

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Body image. It is one of the most powerful and harmful things on a person's self-esteem. Society and media have placed so many images of what we "should" look like. How we need to be eating, exercising, dressing, EVERYTHING. According to others, we always need to change ourselves or second guess how we see our bodies.

For as long as I can remember everyone has called me "tiny". Sure, being small and being able to fit into a lot of clothes is fun, but being tiny or thin isn't always a good thing. I am your typical college kid eating whatever I want whenever I want.

The only difference between myself and other students is that I almost never gain weight. Some girls or guys may read that part and think that I have a gift or blessing. That I can do whatever I want and still stay small and "pretty".

Have you ever finished a meal then looked at yourself and felt like something wasn't right? Some people in today's world and in history will spend time looking at themselves and seeing multiple things that are wrong with their body.

Some handled that by exercising and losing weight or gaining muscle, others have gone as far as throwing up their food or taking pills that force their bodies not to gain ANY weight. Hearing about that from adults or doctors seems crazy but people do it all the time. Possibly the people around you and you would never know.

I went to middle school with a girl that always finished her lunch walking to the trash and then taking herself to the bathroom. She wouldn't come back to our table until the lunch bell rang. Most people didn't give a second thought to this situation, me however, I followed her one day. What I saw next was something I wasn't prepared for as a 7th grader.

Two sinks, a mirror, and three stalls. One was occupied and the rest were empty. I walked into crying and nothing else. The girl had already taken care of her food and was trying to gather herself after what she just did.

People told her that she was gaining weight, that she was "chunky" or fat. She wasn't the only girl around that dealt with horrible comments like that. It's also not just girls dealing with issues like this.

Boys and men are constantly judged and only "ideal" if they are muscular. Young boys are called pigs or disgusting only because of their weight and looking bigger than the "average" person. Men are downgraded to a lesser meaning when they are thin and "stick like".

Even as we grow up kids and sometimes adults say things without realizing the effect. Being called tiny or skinny all of the time can make someone just feel small. Getting comments to eat a hamburger and fries can make someone feel insulted.

Having comments made about your skin or hair and people making assumptions about you can make someone feel misunderstood or judged. Being told that you need to eat more or go tanning because your body doesn't "look right" can torture a person.

There are so many things that play into a person's self-esteem. Average size, too small or too big is simply just words coming out of someone's mouth that don't understand the true beauties in life.

Do you ever look at a big oak tree and say, "You're too fat, you should really lose some weight."

Do you ever see a flower that blooms smaller than a quarter and tells it, "You are tiny! Why don't you go eat a burrito or something?"

No. You probably don't. Just replace the oak tree with mom and see how that feels coming out of your mouth. Replace flower with a teenage girl and see if you can actually say all of those things. Imagine if you were a parent and it was your little girl or boy that you were talking to and you said those words. Would you be happy with yourself? Would you feel guilty? Would you push them to make their body unhealthy just to fit society's standards?

I hope that you wouldn't

There are so many of us out there being told what to do with ourselves in order to be happy with our bodies. How can someone else determine our happiness for us? I have personally gotten to the point of breaking.

I see friends on a daily basis that want to change their body because it's "ugly". Many of those thoughts are because of things society has put in our minds, and not what truly matters.

As a society, we need to push towards total acceptance. Now, I am not meaning the sexuality or ethnicity type of acceptance because those are important on a different level. Respecting each other and our bodies are something that needs to be understood and enforced as much as sexuality acceptance is pushed.

I want to live in a world and raise children in a world that doesn't make people feel horrible about their bodies. It is THEIR body, not ours. The only body we should be worrying about is our own. I want my future daughter to grow and love playing dress up without wondering if her body looks right in what she's wearing. I want my future son to go to gym class and be able to do only one pull up with all of the other boys cheering him on to do better.

Is that too much to ask?

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