When I first started practicing yoga I was resistant, I knew it could potentially be beneficial but I could opt for other modalities that would be just as efficient; or so I thought. When I invited some of my boys to try it on some were down immediately, some took a little convincing, breaking down cultural stigmas. The end result were all the same, everyone I introduced to yoga was instantaneously hooked.
There’s different types of yoga and you just have to find what fits you best, Baptiste yoga is what I practice. Superbowl MVP quaterback, Tom Brady also practices Baptiste yoga, Adam Levine – Ashtanga yoga, David Beckham – Bikram yoga, find what speaks to you and go with it.
When it comes to efficiency I am all over that, and nothing proves to offer a better return on investment than yoga. Here’s 5 reason to shift that cultural stigma and man up and do yoga.
5. Active Recovery
If you’re all about maximizing results from feeling and looking your best, to gains in the weight room, you need to be incorporating an active rest protocol. Yoga should be your go to because it promotes:
- Increased circulation to stiff and sore muscles which means better recovery
- Increased mobility, stability, and flexibility
- Increased recovery from muscle damage and residual fatigue
- Enhanced mental state and CNS (Central Nervous System) recovery
4. Range of Motion
When you’re in the gym and training hard your muscles become tight and start inhibiting Range of Motion (ROM). This tightness can become problematic and lead to limited performance, muscular imbalances, injury and limit the gains you see. The notion of tearing a muscle because of tightness brought on by consistent lifting would be a horrible experience, get your yoga game up fellas!
3. Mind Muscle Connection
Yoga allows you to get more in tune with your body, bringing greater self awareness.
This is extremely beneficial when we’re in the gym, have you ever done a chest or back exercise and you up with with a killer pump in your triceps or biceps instead?
Yoga will guide you in a way that you become more present and in sync, next time when you are training your back or chest you’ll have greater connectivity to the intended muscle you are actually using, rather than just moving a weight from point “A” to point “B”. It’s the quality of the rep over quantity.
2. Stress Relief.
Early morning calls, late night emails, deadlines feeling overwhelming; Cue the yoga. Yoga has the amazing ability to reduce the bad stuff we don’t want and increase the good stuff that we want. We can see a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for the increased blood pressure.
The feel good chemicals we want like serotonin which has been linked to low levels of depression and dopamine which is released during pleasurable situations can be increased.
Sounds like a win win for yoga. It doesn’t stop there, yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which slows the heart rate, allows for better absorption of nutrients and disposing of toxins. This is an ideal state for creating our optimal self.
Yoga is much more than simply movement and holding onto poses for a lengthy amount of time. It creates a powerful mentality, a champion mindset (Just ask Tom Brady) that will assist you in maneuvering and overcoming obstacles in your daily living. A great deal is spoken about breath, and controlling breathing through difficult times.
Yoga creates an opportunity to practice being comfortable in the uncomfortable. Think about when you’re getting those last few reps in, that superset that is just kicking your butt, or that dreaded exercise you have been avoiding. You’re going to level up or tap out, and the thing is it doesn’t stop in the weight room.
How you show up on your mat is how you will show up off it. When you’re in a challenging pose either you’re going to work with it and maneuver your way around so you are able to get through it or your going to leave it. If you step back and be in inquiry you will see this is a recurrence that happens in all areas of your life.
If you are given a promotion at work but start struggling to meet its demands, either you will work with it and maneuver your way to success or you will choose to step down. Yoga brings this to the forefront and provides a space to get messy and work with it. Yoga is a mentality that all, including men can benefit from it, try it on and see if it fits for you.