5 Reasons You Should Try Yoga
I understand why some people have a beef with yoga – there are some proper unbearable wankers who indulge in it that are far too keen to tell you about how ‘centred’ they are and why you should check out their Instagram page where they post heavily retouched images of impossible poses on some Indian beach along with copious shots of mung beans.
There’s no doubt a certain type of yoga devotee can inspire an egocentric aura that seems specially reserved for people who spend their lives trying not to have one (ostensibly at least).
Yet to give yoga its due, it is deep practice with myriad benefits for men looking to recover their minds, bodies and souls.
Therefore, a man really should decide for himself whether yoga should be resigned to the ‘things for rich, middle-class housewives’ area of the mind, or whether it actually offers genuine benefits.
After establishing a weekly practice over the last few years, here are my 5 reasons you should try yoga:
1. It’s an Excellent Addition to a Cardio/Weights Routine
While cardio gives you endurance ability and a primed cardiovascular system to bring into the weight room, yoga provides the toning, balance and dexterity that lifting misses.
Lifting gives us raw power and strength, as well as empowering the body to grow, yet without a regular practice of yoga, the body can become somewhat rigid and inflexible.
Such rigidity gives you that hunchback style walk and yoga offers an antidote to this by utilizing subtle muscle groups and emphasizing a more strategic and holistic weight distribution.
In essence, yoga is a superb way of keeping the body supple and primed for more aerobic and athletic activities, as well as providing a nice all-round toning quality to your physique.
2. It Genuinely has Spiritual Benefits
Given that yoga is an ancient practice aimed at spiritual transcendence, this point stands to reason, however, in our world of gym yoga we can lose sight with this and also think that the spiritual side isn’t intended for us.
However, it is.
The core philosophy of yoga is diffuse and dependent upon different traditions for a direct interpretation, yet in essence it combines with the more transcendental elements of Hindu philosophy that aim for a stillness beyond the thinking mind and sense and a union with the divine.
This approach has long been associated with enlightenment experiences, as explored in the video below:
This may be what yoga is at its core and be part of a more advanced practitioner’s journey, but the principles are universal at whatever stage.
Henceforth, yoga focuses heavily on the motion and flow of the breath, assuring that it’s aligned with the body, the movements and the flow of life itself.
Put simply, you feel way better after than you did when you came in.
3. It Opens the Body and Releases Trapped Trauma
The ironically named trauma expert Dr. Robert Scaer’s book The Body Bears the Burden changed how I think about the body.
In the book, Dr. Scaer explores how traumatic events, be they extreme or mild, are actually stored and trapped in the body’s energy field.
Most mammals have an in-built system for dealing with such troubles, however, humans do not, or have at least forgotten how to handle and expel trauma when it arises.
There are many ways of dealing with trauma, talk-therapy, trauma-therapy, men’s groups and physical practices such as yoga.
In an ongoing yoga practice, we see our body’s change, remold and open up to a greater fluidity, meaning we have much greater capacity in letting oxygen in all the more deeply to every cell, as well as stretching out those taut muscles that originally tensed up during a stressful time.
4. It Calms the Mind
Modern work, relationships and society is stressful.
It is understandable why people seek the easy escape of booze, drugs and sex to escape the rat race and its attendant stresses.
However, while I understand the draw to these things, they are not optimal solutions and can end-up causing you far more trouble than they’re worth.
Yoga is a healthy solution.
Being a practice that combines meditation with movement, it allows physical and mental release, uniting them on a spiritual plane.
Doing this regularly allows us to stop, be still, and then move on with our lives flowing with the natural pace of being as opposed to forcing our will upon it which causes unnecessary suffering.
5. It’s Strenuous & That Gives Rewards
There are times when I’m at yoga and a certain pose is so trying that it can genuinely hurt.
Yet, standing in this pose, breathing deep into a stretch that really challenges you mentally and physically offers massive rewards.
Firstly, it’s great at dispelling nerves from the system. The deepest belly breaths I’ve had have all come in yoga settings and when you return to a normal breathing pattern, you feel deeply rejuvenated.
It’s almost as if you’ve expelled toxins from your respiratory system.
Secondly, I’m a big believer that when we seek adversity and suffering, we minimize those very things in the long-run.
Henceforth, putting yourself in ‘painful’ poses carries an inner satisfaction that comes from beyond the mind, it’s like a psychic agreement has been decided with life itself, and when you get on with your day, you feel you’ve already met some type of earthy challenge and are ready for whatever comes.
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