I am a Guy…

My Father in-law is an amazing yoga practitioner. A few days ago we were sitting around the table and I asked him what going to yoga or the first time was like as a man and how has yoga changed his life. The following is the answer I received:

I am a guy and yoga has changed my life. And, I couldn’t be happier. Who wouldn’t be??

When I commenced my practice I knew nothing about yoga. But I knew it existed and I wanted to find out more about it. But, it took me a while to do so. Why did it take me so long?

My lack of understanding of yoga caused me to believe that because I wasn’t flexible, I wouldn’t be able to do the practice. I also believed that because I was a beginner, I couldn’t do all of the postures, in the way demonstrated by the teacher, and that I would be intimidated by all of the women in class who could. Perhaps in the back of my mind, I believed that yoga really wasn’t a guy thing. That it was something that only flexible women did.

Finally, I bit the bullet and went to my first yoga class and very quickly all of my beliefs were dispelled. Firstly, I learned that yoga isn’t just for women. There were other guys, guys just like me, in the class. Secondly, I learned that yoga isn’t about the postures. The teacher said to focus on my breath; to breathe fluidly and rhythmically. She said twisting and turning into the postures was a secondary benefit from the practice. Thirdly, I learned that everyone in the class was just like me. There was no one who could do all of the postures perfectly. Even the most bendy, twisty and agile person has postures that they couldn’t do very well.

Time has passed since my very first class and I have learned a lot more about yoga. And, I learned a lot more why, as a guy, one should have a yoga practice.

Yoga has made me more grounded and calmer off of my mat. I find that I am better able to manage all of my daily challenges with life in a calmer fashion. I’m not perfect, but I find that I can more effectively communicate with my family, co-workers, and all of those who come into my day. Also, with much less stress.

In addition, I’ve learned that I no longer need to go to the gym. Because of my yoga practice, I’ve never been stronger, more flexible or had as much endurance as I do now; in my entire life. Yoga classes and the teachers who guide them are very welcoming. There is no judgment and beginners are given as much encouragement and assistance as the experienced yogi.

I also follow sports and I’m learning that professional athletes in every dimension practice yoga. NHL, MLB, NFL. MBA, golf and on and on all have members who practice. In fact, for some teams a yoga practice is mandatory.

So, if you’re a guy don’t take my word that all of this is true. Go to a yoga class and find out for yourself is what I’ve said is true. You’ll be amazed at what you learn.

I’m working hard at it so that one day I can then live the life I truly want to live and in a way that is very meaningful to me.

Hope this blog inspires all you men out there to step into the yoga studio, you may be pleasantly surprised at how great yoga is for you and your life!

Take that to the bank

Jennifer Toole

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