Although yoga was developed for men several thousand years ago, the Indian teachings are firmly in the hands of women today. We believe: That has to change again! Yoga exercises not only make men more balanced, they also make their bodies more flexible, defined and stronger.
Yoga is „en vogue“! About 3.4 million people in Germany practice Indian teaching - most of them are female. Many men, on the other hand, are skeptical. All the hooliganism about incense, chakras, and inner peace constitute an effective deterrent. "Unmanly", "nothing for real men", "female stuff" – these are only a few examples of typical answers from guys, when being asked about yoga. Men tend to prefer to play football, do boxing or play basketball – all sports, which are about the game, where there are winners and losers, where men can get rid of his aggression and prove his masculinity.
In the meantime, even the players of the German national football team are practicing yoga - under the guidance of Patrick Broome, who has three yoga studios in Munich. The passionate yogi knows why many men have reservations about yoga - but he also knows how to get them on the yoga mat and why men in particular benefit from it.
"Most men think yoga is for women and softies"
Patrick, why is male yoga still not taken serious by many men?
Because we men like to do what we are good at. This is our weak point: Instead of working on deficits, we rather hone our talents and pat ourselves smugly on the shoulder. We do not like to deal with ourselves and our feelings - but that necessarily happens with yoga. Plus, we're reluctant to do things where women tend to be better than men, and most men still think yoga is something for women and softies, and boring anyway.
But they are on the wrong track, right?
Definitely! Because yoga can be damn exhausting and is anything but boring. Once a man overcomes his prejudices, then he also quickly realizes that you can train your muscles almost casually and at the same time also relax wonderfully at the end of a yoga session. Yoga functions especially well as a complement to the other sports activities men tend to follow. Regular yoga practice helps men to reduce the risk of injury, to improve their athletic and mental abilities, and male-specific problems in sports.
"Yoga increases the overall physical performance"
Which problems typically trouble men?
Many men have shortened muscles on the back of the leg, poor grounding or stability and an overloaded back. Specific yoga exercises can counteract this development and restore the natural balance. Tensions and hardening of the muscles are broken down and the flexibility is increased. This increases the overall physical performance and consequently the results in the respective sports.
Is flexibility a prerequisite if you want to start yoga?
Not at all! Yoga promotes flexibility, but nobody has to bring it with him. Many of the yoga asanas (= yoga exercises) require great physical strength. Because of this, many exercises are often easier for men than women. However, what I always observe in my courses: men are often too ambitious and put themselves under pressure to perform. Instead of attending a course appropriate to their skills, they go into an advanced class - and fail the exercises. In yoga, any form of competition thinking is a hindrance. It does not matter to be the best, first or fastest. The yoga mat is one of the few places in our everyday lives where we have nothing to prove to ourselves and others.
Yoga is good not only for the body but also for the mind ...
That's right. Yoga teaches us to maintain action-oriented thinking even in case of failure, and is also an outlet for relieving tension in the body. Those who practice yoga seriously are also confronted with their own downsides and learn to accept them - only then can we become a whole individual.
"Be aware of the admiring glances of the ladies when practising yoga"
What do you advise every man who wants to start yoga?
Grab a cozy shirt and pants with enough room to move and go to the yoga studio around the corner. Practicing yoga from home alone is not a good idea - at least in the beginning. Even in seemingly simple positions, you can do a lot wrong and hurt yourself painfully. Most yoga schools offer trial lessons or even beginner classes favoured by health insurance companies - an ideal way to get acquainted with yoga. At the beginning, I would not buy a yoga mat, because the good mats tend to be rather expensive. In almost all studios, you can borrow a mat, that's enough for the beginning. Of course, there are also special men's courses, but hey: what's wrong with a mixed course? There are worse things than crisp female bodies on the mats next to you. And even if you're the only man in the class, be aware that you will receive many admiring looks of the ladies!