There's no doubt about it: yoga is a booming business all over the world, with more than 200 million active practitioners, and more being added on a regular basis. However, despite its popularity, there’s one segment of the population that remains hesitant to grab a mat - men.
While women make up the majority of yogis, men can reap tremendous health benefits by incorporating yoga into their lives. So whether you’re a guy who’s skeptical about yoga, or a woman trying to convince your significant other to give it a try, here are some hard-to-ignore benefits men can gain from yoga.
1. Improves sex life
I was going to save this benefit for later, but why make you wait for the good stuff? Yes, yoga can boost your sex drive. A 2010 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control.
Yoga increases body awareness, which helps reduce anxiety and increase blood flow to the genital area. It also helps rid the body of toxins that affect sexual performance.
Men can boost their sexual experience through yoga by engaging their pelvic floor through Mula Bandha. Improved control of the pelvic floor can result in longer orgasms and orgasms without ejaculation.
2. Prevents injuries
Men often experience various aches, pains, and injuries, whether they’re athletically active or spend hours at a desk. Yoga can help prevent injuries in numerous ways.
Yoga improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue. It also gives you better awareness of your body so you can recognize subtle issues, such as poor posture, and correct them quickly.
- Read Jennilee Toner's series of articles on Preventing injuries on and off the mat
3. Builds muscle
Think weightlifting is the only way to build muscle? Think again!
Yoga uses natural body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass. Yoga lengthens muscles and tissue, which improves blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps them recover faster so they can grow.
- For more on this, read Yoga for Strength which looks at the benefits of building strength and how to do this through yoga.
4. Enhances productivity
Yoga doesn’t only help men in the bedroom and the gym, it also improves productivity at work.
Research found that after a 20-minute yoga session, people have improved memory and inhibitory control, which enables them to maintain focus, retain information, make confident work decisions, and have more energy.
The meditation aspect of yoga also helps to improve focus. Skeptical about meditation? These meditation myth-busters may change your mind.
5. Boosts immune system
Whether it’s the flu or any other virus, yoga might be the best remedy.
According to a study in research journal PLosOne, practising yoga regularly helps boost immunity at the cellular level. Researchers found that yoga causes rapid gene expression changes, which improve the body’s defense system.
- With classes to support your immune system, nervous system, digestive health and more, EkhartYoga members can follow our Health Boosting Yoga program.
6. Cuts healthcare cost
Many men hate going to the doctor or having health procedures performed...well, don't we all? Regular yoga can prevent the need for additional doctor’s office visits.
A study found that participation in stress-reducing activities such as meditation and yoga could reduce need for health care services by 43 percent. People who participate in yoga or similar activities use fewer health care services.
Not only does yoga reduce stress, it also helps improve blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen consumption.
- Read more about how yoga is good for your cardiac health.
7. Challenges you
Be it climbing a mountain, running a 10km race, or learning a new craft, challenges get the adrenaline going. Whether you're trying to master a new pose, learn a new style of yoga, or just trying to focus your mind during a hectic day, yoga can provide its own challenges - both physically and intellectually.
Yoga’s not a women-only club. There are plenty of benefits that appeal to men. So maybe it’s time to man up, and get your yoga on ;)
Learn yoga with Andrew Wrenn
Yoga for Complete Beginners - in this series of 5 classes, Andrew takes you through key poses, slowly allowing you to become familiar with yoga, your body and your breath. A great introductory guide to the first step in your yoga journey.
About the author
Laura Binczak is an Assistant Digital Content Editor at beYogi.com She is an avid runner, passionate yogi, and a self-proclaimed beach bum! Living a healthy and active lifestyle is something that is very important to her. She hopes to spread her passion and inspire others with her words.