The idea behind “Zen men” is this, men who are in tuned with their feelings are still masculine. They are guys that are easy to talk to, they are more likely to be successful, and they’re highly respected in the workplace. They are fantastic partners in life because they’re open to possibilities.
Just to verify, a Zen man does not have to wear a man bun. No chanting is involved (unless you’re into it) and you don’t have to wear what would appear to be a man diaper. In this day and age in the West, we have made a yoga practice that is a little less spiritual and a lot more scientific.
You are probably going to slowly make your way to a more spiritual outlook on life once you start yoga. At that point however, it’s going to feel natural to you. Yoga is not for the faint of heart actually. It’s for a strong guy who isn’t afraid to confront things that come up in the body. This could be emotional or physical pain which are equally linked to one another. (This includes learning how to approach a lack of flexibility without inducing pain – yoga teachers call it “listening to your body”.)
I dare you to find one human who doesn’t have a little residual pain living in them from some past event. Even the smallest event from your childhood can be dictating your current life. All you really have to do is look at it and release it. Yoga helps you open your mind, body, and soul to this subtle healing. This equates to a general feeling of confidence and focus which will help you achieve all of your goals.
In the process of feeling generally better in your mind, you’re also going to get strong. You can take yoga as far as you want to. The choice is yours. If you just want to keep with a simple practice, you’ll enjoy more flexibility and mobility. This can help you lift more weights or support whatever health regime you’re passionate about. Yoga also develops your balance so you’re better in certain sports.
If you choose to continue your yoga journey, you will find that the poses become extremely challenging. In fact, when you look at these poses, you may questions how it’s humanly possible.
Men tend to work at building muscles on specific parts of their body. Focusing on individual muscles, such as biceps, quads, and shoulders strengthens just those targeted areas. Yoga builds muscles evenly over the whole body and increases your flexibility. Regular attempts at bodybuilding might ignore some muscle groups while yoga is effective for overall general conditioning. (Yoga can also help with your mobility, which is key to powerlifting and CrossFit)
The controlled moves of yoga offer opportunities to safely and efficiently exercise parts of the body that men don’t normally use. You will strengthen those parts of your body with a regular practice, and as a result, muscles learn to cooperate more harmoniously.
Another recent study found that yoga practice improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, as well as building muscle strength. The combined stamina with improved flexibility provided by yoga leads to potentially better workouts in other physical disciplines, such as running, tennis, and bicycling.
If you work at a desk job, sitting all day can have a negative effect on your back. Underutilized muscles may be causing the problem. For example, when hip muscles or hamstrings are tight, lower back muscles may try to compensate, leading to pain. Several studies found yoga not only alleviates lower back pain but also helps with fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and other kinds of chronic pain.
Both increased libido and improved sexual performance have been linked to regular yoga practice. In a 2010 study of men ages 24 to 60, yoga was shown to improve all domains of sexual function in men. The breathing techniques and concentration taught in yoga can help men better channel their sexual energy. Better stamina leads to increased sexual endurance.
Flexibility can also improve sex. Combining these benefits with increased awareness of breath and mindfulness not only improves performance and endurance, but the control achieved through yoga can be used to make the experience more intense.
Start your yoga journey by simply making a commitment to do so. It’s great if you can find a local studio that offers yoga strictly for men. Barring that, try out a gentle or beginner friendly class. Make sure you mention to the teacher for the first few classes that you are new to yoga.