“… 40 planet thrusts for my quads, 100 brociosaurus bench presses, 12 tractor curls, a couple of necks pole vaults, followed by 300 zebra kicks to the abs, then I swim across the Aegean Sea as a cool down… Wow, my head would be spinning right now if my neck muscles weren’t so wildly strong and able to hold it in place.” — The Old Spice Guy, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
A manly man has been described as “a male human of exceptional strength, fortitude, brilliance and overall awesomeness.” He does not cry, and uses his words and, occasionally, his fists. He plays football, wrestles, hunts, and drives manly muscles cars. His motto is, “win or die – never let ‘em see you cry.” His manly muscles bulge and his unbelievable rippling abs can be a distraction. A mere man has never been called manly for being flexible or dainty, or for toting about a floral yoga mat. Nay, a manly man does nothing of the sort. Why then are the manly men of our time working on strength and flexibility? Robert Downey Jr., Sting, Adam Levine, Alec Baldwin and Willem DaFoe (to name a few) all practice yoga. Impossible – for these are manly men! Well, manly men need yoga too!
Over the years, most men have been reluctant to try yoga because it has been labeled as something ‘girly’. What men fail to realize is that yoga was originally developed and practiced by men – exclusively. It was only in the latter part of the century that women were allowed to participate. Another excuse often heard is, “Yoga is too difficult. I just don’t bend that way.” In answer to this, a good analogy would be weight lifting. You do not say, “I can’t lift weight because they are too heavy.” You must first start small; with practice, you become better and stronger. Yoga is the exact same way. With practice, you will find that things became easier. For those who are still on-the-fence, here are 4 reasons why manly men need yoga too:
1. Yoga makes you stronger.
Manly men are strong. What man doesn’t want to be strong? Regular training is repetitive and isolated to large muscle groups; yoga, on the other hand, works every little muscle in the body at once. You’ll feel muscles working that you never knew you had. Unlike the red-faced, vein-popping, spandex-clad gym buffs that exert so much effort to lift weights, you will learn to call on your body to perform whatever and whenever you need with great strength and minimal effort.
2. Yoga makes you faster.
Manly men are agile. Yoga’s movements may be slow, but it gets you gradually connecting with and controlling your body through every bit of possible movement. You become more aware of and in-tune with your body, giving you conscious control which allows you to move far more efficiently. In addition, the consciousness you attain from yoga makes you move with more safety than you usually would, minimizing possible damage.
3. Yoga makes your body more capable.
Manly men are awesome and able-bodied. Yoga guide, Michael Taylor says, “Imagine being able to do anything you can imagine, just because you imagine it.” Yoga can help you reach your potential in two ways. First, by releasing body tension and improving breathing; this increases speed and endurance). Second, yoga connects you with you. You get to work with yourself and push your body to do things you never thought you could. You learn to move with ease over and around hurdles, rather than struggling to ram through them.
4. Yoga will help you live longer.
Manly men never say ‘die’. Statistics have shown that women generally live longer than men. Men are more susceptible to heart disease, tension, anxiety and repressed grief than women. In addition, hidden negativity turns some men to violence, alcohol and substance abuse. Yoga will help release that tension, stress and resentment. It helps to calm the body, mind and spirit, and awaken your awareness. Being fully aware of yourself and the world around you makes you more equipped to face challenges and live strong.
Manly men never back down. Yoga will be one of the most difficult challenges you have ever attempted, but will help you reap benefits you desperately need. So, what? You chicken? Manly men do yoga now, cause manly men need yoga too! Namaste!