Why Men Don’t Do Yoga

Our Sports Editor visits Warwick’s Yoga Club to find out why men don’t go to yoga…

Originating in ancient India about 5000 years ago, yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and meditative breathing in order to improve mental and physical health.

A common misconception of yoga is that it is easy, when in reality it is a very tough discipline. It works the stabilising muscles that your standard gym-going man often neglects to work on.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.33.10

The new revision technique?

The list of benefits that yoga can offer is huge, and includes increases in strength, tone, flexibility and balance. There is also evidence that regular yoga can lower blood pressure and stress, and help those suffering from depression.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.45.52

Doesn’t look painful at all…

So given all these potential benefits, why don’t more men do yoga? To investigate this I went to a yoga class held by the University of Warwick Yoga Society. While there were a few male participants, we were vastly outnumbered.

Firstly, there is the perception of the average man that yoga is solely for women. Upon telling my male friends that I was going to try yoga I received some very odd looks. “Yoga is where women go to do a bit of bending and a lot of thinking” they all say. And in case any women out there haven’t already worked this out, men don’t like to think. It confuses us.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.43.44

The ‘Dirty Dancing’ of yoga positions.

Secondly, most men relish competition and will only do a sport if there is the possibility of an epic rivalry. The chance to win drives us. The point of yoga is not to compete but to find your own peace of mind. And even if we did turn it into a competition, from what I saw in my session, it is not one that we are likely to win.

Finally, no matter how genuinely interested in taking yoga a man may be, it can often be hard to shake the feeling that he will never seem genuine to the opposite sex. Instead he is the creepy guy at the back of the class looking at their backsides.

So while there would be no shame in men attempting yoga, it seems unlikely that the boys of Warwick Uni will be hanging up their benchpresses and protein shakes for breathing exercises and downward dogs any time soon…