How Yoga could change your life in 2020
For some reason, many men still consider yoga to be feminine and “for women”. This is simply not true, yoga is a gender-neutral set of exercises that promotes flexibility of the body and harmony of the mind. Yoga keeps the body nimble and fights stress, both important defenses as we get older.
What is Yoga?
Yoga means 'union' which refers to the striking and flowing of poses to unify body and mind. It focuses on matching breathing patterns with these poses, asanas, promoting flexibility, mobility and a sense of calm. Working on your breathing, for example, will help you combat depression, anxiety and stress, while having the power to fight insomnia.
Benefits of Yoga for Men
- Yoga is great for weight loss
- Yoga improves your other workouts and helps avoid injuries
- Yoga brings relief to lower back pain
- Yoga is an excellent stress relief
- Yoga can boost your personal life’s performance
Types of Yoga
The following schools of yoga differ in the poses they strike and the conditions they are done in. For eg, Bikram yoga is 90 minutes long and done in a room that is 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity. There are many yoga styles, these are just some of the most popular ones.
Vinyasa means linking breath with movement. The poses are done in a "vinyasa flow" leading to fluid movements done as a moving meditation, almost like a dance. It is usually, but not always, practiced in a dark room or by candlelight and with the eyes closed.
Bikram consists of the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. It done in a bright room with no music and students facing mirrors to check proper posture and alignment.
Iyengar uses props such as blankets and straps to emphasise the alignment of the body using breath control. It is usually taught without music and at a slower pace to assist students to get deeper into the postures.
Ashtanga means “eight limbs” and it is one of the most traditional of yoga practices. Ashtanga yoga asanas (postures) synchronize breath with movement as you move through a series of postures. It is usually performed without music, and sometimes in silence.
One of the more active practices, Power yoga combines Ashtanga yoga poses with added core exercises and upper body work, done in a quick pace. The asanas are not the same every time, and there is often loud, hyper music.