How to Take the Yoga Plunge When You're a Man

Man doing Yoga
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Sometimes in yoga's recent history, a gender shift occurred. Yoga, which traditionally had been practiced only by men, began to be dominated by women. Today, an average yoga class will have more female than male students. In the United States, your yoga teacher is also more likely to be female, although there are a great number of prominent male teachers, including the founders of some of yoga's most popular contemporary styles.

A lot of men worry that yoga is not appropriate for them because they aren't naturally flexible. But flexibility is not a prerequisite for yoga. The fact is, men have a lot to gain from yoga and are as welcomed as women in almost every situation. If you are a man who has been wanting to try yoga, here's the information you need to make that leap.

Getting Started

Here are some tips to get started on doing yoga:

  • How to start doing yoga: There are many men who want to try yoga but feel like they don't know where to start. This guide takes you through it step by step, including choosing a yoga type, picking a class, knowing what to expect, daily stretches, and what you should and shouldn't do.
  • Flexibility isn't a prerequisite: Many men think they can't try yoga because they can't touch their toes. Thankfully, touching your toes and being flexible is not required for doing yoga. Flexibility can be developed.
  • Beginning poses for men: Learning a few basic poses means you can practice on your own or feel more prepared for your first classes. This guide includes 11 basic ones to try.

Gear Heads

Here's some fun gear for yoga:

  • Yoga equipment: It's a stereotype for a reason: Guys like gear. Yoga doesn't require much, but you can geek out on mats and blocks if you must. 
  • Yoga pants for men: Sure, you can repurpose your ancient college sweatpants, but there's a whole world of specialized yoga pants just for men out there for you to explore. Here are 8 of the best yoga pants for men.
  • Yoga shorts for men: Many men prefer to practice in shorts, so and there's a range of lengths to choose from, including mid-calf to upper thigh.
  • Yoga gifts for men: Now that you have fully embraced yoga, hand this list of the best yoga gifts for men around when your birthday or Father's Day is coming up.

Yoga Reading List

If you're the type of guy who likes to read, these books on yoga might be for you:

  • Yoga for Dummies: Though "Yoga for Dummies" doesn't sound like the most promising or enlightened title, this book actually provides good, straightforward information for the yoga beginner.
  • Yoga Anatomy: Leslie Kaminoff's book depicts yoga poses from the inside out by using anatomical drawings to highlight the effects of each pose on the body.
  • Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude: Neil Pollack is funny and his transformation into a yoga dude provides plenty of opportunities for laughs.
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