Dear guy who cannot touch his toes, this post is for you.
A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how to get started with yoga. The post wasn’t exclusively targeted at women, but I appreciate the fact that the yoga community as a whole is largely dominated by women. So perhaps my previous post didn’t appeal to very many men.
Despite the many yoga girls out there, yoga is definitely not only for women. Yoga is for everyone regardless of your gender, race, size, age, or experience. However, if you ask a yet-to-be yoga blessed dude why he’s not tried yoga, he’ll likely give you the standard answer “Hah, me? Do yoga? I can’t even touch my toes!”
Yeah, buddy, neither can a lot of women. But here’s a little secret – yoga is so not about touching your toes.
This post is for the guys out there who are balancing on the edge of curiosity and wanting to know more about how to get started with yoga as a man (that is, even if you can’t touch your toes).
How to get started with yoga for men
Start in the comfort and privacy of your own home
Perhaps diving straight into a yoga class isn’t what you’re comfortable with first thing. I totally get that you might want a little taste of what yoga is like before you step into a classroom full of yoga practitioners. No problem, the internet has all kinds of things to offer you in way of guidance for your at home practice (and nobody has to know).
Where to start: Check out Sean Vigue Fitness on Youtube, or sign up for a membership on Codyapp or oneOeight.tv (where you’ll find several male guides if you prefer).
Try a beginners class at a local yoga studio
Look, I get it. Taking a class can be totally daunting if you’ve never tried yoga before. I mean, what if you’re the only guy there? Great on the one hand – hello ladies. But then again not, since maybe you think you’ll make a total fool of yourself looking like a total newbie.
Here’s the thing though – there’s always going to be a wide range of experience amongst the participants in any yoga class. Give the teacher a heads up that it’s your first time so that he or she knows and can give you a little extra guidance if needed. And you’ll do fine. I promise.
It’s totally okay to time out during class
Yoga is not like most other exercise classes where you’ve got an instructor or personal trainer breathing down your neck screaming that you’re weak and a failure if you don’t finish every last rep. In yoga, you actually listen to your body. When it’s telling you that something hurts or you’re overwhelmed by the sensations, thoughts, and feelings coming at you like whoah, then you accept that and are welcome to take a little time out.
How? Drop it straight down into child’s pose my friend. Child’s pose is a common “time out” pose in yoga. Basically, it’s a really nice and soothing pose that will allow you to just chill out for a second and catch your breath.
And if that doesn’t work? By all means call it quits and lie down in Savasana. The point is to do what feels right for you in the moment. Nobody is there to judge you.
This is child’s pose
Get inspired by male yogis on Instagram
Instagram is full of cool dudes who are practicing yoga. So it’s a great way to be inspired and motivated to try it out for yourself. Just keep in mind that most of these guys are yoga teachers, and thus super advanced. They have been practicing yoga for years so they’re obviously able to tackle some pretty impressive poses. The type of stuff they’re doing is not what you’re going to be expected to do in a regular class at a yoga studio. But that doesn’t mean it’s not motivating to see what you can accomplish with consistent practice.
Check out these guys: @gordonogden, @dylanwerneryoga, @davidregelinyoga, @fitflexjuli, @geradsaluti and @pepijnvn
Find events and workshops to learn more
There’s often really fun yoga events being organised in cities around the world. The great thing about these events is that it’s usually a big group of people with mixed levels of yoga experience. That means the event or class will be adapted to suit all levels. And beginners like you are going to totally manage the class just fine (and have an awesome time!).
Check local yoga studios for events or workshops for newbies. Signing up for a beginner’s workshop is a great way to get the base for your practice and learn what yoga is all about.
Look for friends who practice yoga
Look for groups on Facebook, forums online, or find guys on Instagram in your area who are practicing yoga. Don’t be shy, reach out to them and ask how they got started! Find out what yoga studio and type of yoga they’re doing and see if they have any advice for you on where to go.
You never know, you might find a new friend who will let you join their tribe.