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!