More and more men in America are practicing yoga. Between 2008 and 2016, Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance reported a 10-percent increase in the percentage of male yogis.
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If you’re one of them, you're likely already experiencing many of life’s greatest pleasures on and off the mat. And if you're not, let these six reasons convince you to hop on the mat.
1. Enhance Athletic Performance
Power, strength and speed are the ingredients to optimal body mechanics. When you practice yoga frequently, you improve your flexibility and internal awareness, as you learn how to properly align your body to transmit force more efficiently.
Yoga increases men’s respiratory capacity, circulation and motion efficiency, which boosts energy and makes your jumps, throws and other movements more powerful and explosive.
2. Prevent Injury and Speed Recovery
Active men make themselves vulnerable to injury, which slows down the progress of athletic performance. Frequent yoga sessions can prevent or help heal inflamed muscles, tissues, joints and fascia.
Holding a pose for a period of time restores connective tissue. And increased body awareness can prevent clumsiness that can lead to workout injuries.
3. Boosts Your Sex Life
Yoga not only has physical, mental and spiritual benefits, but sexual benefits, too. Of course, increasing flexibility, body awareness and coming into poses like downward facing dog certainly help, but there are other ways yoga helps you out in the sack.
A study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that yoga effectively improves all sexual functions in men, such as desire, sexual satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection strength, ejaculatory control and orgasm.
4. Optimizes Muscle Tone
Want to sharpen your muscle definition? Yoga naturally sculpts your body as your muscles contract and lengthen using your own body weight. This increases the blood flow to your muscles, which delivers more oxygen so they grow more efficiently and fine tune their structure.
5. Lowers Stress Levels
Outside of yoga class, the world is full of chaos. You have an agenda to meet, bills to pay, kids to feed and workouts to complete. Do you ever allow yourself time to destress and breath? It’s not easy to find the time, and many men find movement a most effect way to combat stress.
Several studies have proven yoga not only reduces, but prevents the stress hormone, cortisol, from elevating in your body. If this hormone elevates, your fitness progress, muscle tissue and immunity will be decrease and your blood pressure and inflammatory responses will be elevated. Each practice may help prevent all this.
6. Increases Mental Agility
Not only will you learn to calm your mind, but take control of it. In a study published by Physical Activity & Health, researchers found that yoga is more effective at sharpening our minds than aerobic exercise or not exercising at all.
Participants who practiced 20 minutes of Hatha yoga had higher levels of cognitive function than those who did 20 minutes of jogging or didn't exercise at all. This may be due to the added benefit of meditation in yoga.
What Do YOU Think?
What benefits above entice you to take yoga? Are there any other benefits you've noticed — either mental, physical or spiritual? Let us know in the comments below!