The gyms are packed this time of year and you can expect to wait a bit longer to grab those free weights or jump on the machine. While hitting the gym is the go-to way get to work strengthening those abs and building those muscles, you may want to consider hitting a yoga studio as well.
That’s right. I got a chance to try out my first class with my girlfriend and let’s just say…mind blown and the benefits extend beyond the eye candy in class (most women are stripped down to just a sports bra and tight yoga pants).
Here are four reasons and takeaways from attending my first yoga class as a guy.
Did I mention eye candy? When the class first started I had a hard time focusing in on holding and letting out my breath nevermind warrior pose. The women in yoga classes are flexible, bending over backwards and feel comfortable enough to strip down to tight pants and just a kind-off sporty bra top. I eventually got comfortable enough to be around them but it was a bonus right from the start.
Increased my range of motion. I didn’t notice until two days later when I was at the gym mid bi-cep curl that it was easier to move and with less stiffness. Turns out, all the standing tree and back bending loosened me up enough to kill it (in a good way) on weights. The movements and positions that you do during yoga also lengthen mucles in a way that can’t be done when you are doing repetitive exercises at the gym.
Catching my breath. Full disclosure? I pay ZERO attention to my breathing unless I am doing reps and using breathing to count. But the practice of just breathing over and over again actually helped me during cardio. I felt that I could pull in more breath and let it out. While the practice of breathing in yoga class wasn’t my favorite, it helped me to keep up my energy level during a run.
Better sex life. If my gifrlfriend had told me this sooner I would have hit the yoga studio with her years ago. Instead, I was approached by the yoga instructor/teacher at the end of class and explained how and why yoga improves your sex life. One big reason is a more toned pelvic muscle. In fact, there is a 2011 study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine that goes deeper into the many benefits.
While yoga will never replace my gym workout I am always down for all the other benefits that come with it. So the next time your girlfriend or spouse bugs you about going to yoga with them shock the shit out of them and show up—your body will thank you for it later.