Sunday, 20 March 2016

Yoga for every body - why men need yoga


Yoga originated in India more than 5000 years ago and at that time was practiced by MEN. If you go to a class these days, it is more likely to be full of women so WHERE ARE ALL THE MEN?  From my experience I think this is because men do not believe yoga is challenging enough and yet yoga can be as gentle or as much of a 'work out' as you wish. 

Yoga is much more than a physical work out however - it nourishes your mind, body and spirit.  Men also are more competitive than women but yoga is not a competition but a process of getting to know yourself and gaining control over the mind.

Men tend to be less flexible in their joints.  This may be partly because men tend to have greater muscle mass than women and if muscles are not stretched regularly they tighten which may limit the range of motion of the joints. Women also have more flexible hips due to their hormones.  Also because men have larger muscle fibres and lean tissue in their upper bodies, they tend to be stronger in their upper bodies but less flexible.  

Flexibility is important for several reasons.  Firstly when muscles around a joint are tight, blood and prana flow to that joint are impeded which can impact on the long term health of that joint eventually leading to impaired joint function and bone loss.  If you participate in sports, increasing your flexibility will lower your risk of injury. Increasing your flexibility also reduces your every day risk of injury to your back, shoulders etc.  

If your muscles are tight your posture will be affected.  For instance if your hamstrings or hip flexors are tight your lower body will be affected and back pain may result.  If shoulder muscles are tight, this may affect upper body posture which in turn impedes breathing and creates stress in the body and mind.

We will look more at increasing flexibility in other posts starting next week.

Up until the age of 55, high blood pressure is more common in men than women.  Even after this age women with high blood pressure tend to be less at risk from the complications of high blood pressure which include heart attacks and stroke.  High blood pressure might be caused by work stress, by being overweight etc. Yoga can help. We will look at reducing stress to help maintain a healthy blood pressure in another post but for now you might want to take a look at the following yoga videos on my YouTube Channel. Please see
'Yoga for weight loss-Part 1' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBnP_dzMSVA and 
'Yoga for weight loss-Part 2'- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2_6_0zrGQw
Please see the Playlist on my YouTube Channel, 'Yoga for stress series'- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uzH0r_7p5O4pV1mlF5Rikjo

It is true that there is a greater incidence of depression in women but women may have better coping mechanisms - they release their emotions by crying or by talking about their feelings to friends.  For men this would be seen as not masculine. Squashing down negative emotions however is not helpful and will result in dis-ease (spelled like this to indicate a body not in harmony).  Depression can also lead to anger issues in men. Here again yoga can help. Also meditation helps 'chip away' any negativity that accompanies depression.  We will look more into this in another post but for now please see
Please see the Playlist on my YouTube Channel-'Yoga for mild depression'- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uxMZ9B6CMh94VmOLpMtHiwK

Namaste,
Janet x

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