Yoga. It’s been a thing for over 5000 years. And sure, you’re aware of sleek-limbed yogis in colourful spandex, perfectly toned from pinky toe to ponytail (or man bun), who clearly practice it to great effect. You may have noticed that people who do yoga regularly look healthier, stronger, more energised, and far less stressed than you feel on almost a daily basis. And yet, you’re one of around 80+ percent of British men who have never tried yoga, let alone gone on a yoga retreat.
So, let’s see if we can change your mind about taking a yoga breakaway to discover its many benefits.
Why a Yoga Retreat is the Modern Lad’s Answer
A yoga retreat is a great way to determine whether yoga is a long-term answer for you, as well as to enjoy a brilliant breakaway somewhere rather gorgeous. Go with a mate or a playmate! Go alone and meet new people. Either way, you’ll have a brilliant time.
1. Most yoga retreats include a host of other fun activities like surfing, paddleboarding, hiking or relaxed sightseeing. They’re not just about yoga at all.
2. They’re often hosted in really beautiful places, with great natural surroundings.
3. They provide loads of free time to relax and do your own thing.
4. The food is usually excellent, fresh and makes you feel amazing.
5. There are expert instructors to guide you and make you feel at ease.
6. There’s a range of awesome, cool people to get to know, but not too many either.
7. You get to try loads of new things and tell some great stories after.
8. You’ll learn a few stretches to help you stay more supple, and to help you relax.
9. You’ll learn breathing and meditation techniques that help reduce stress.
10. They offer you the opportunity to have a holiday while also getting healthier.
From Essex to Ibiza, Devon to Delhi, there’s always a wide range of international and UK-based yoga retreats to choose from.
Why Men Fear Yoga (But Shouldn’t)
We know. We get it. Yoga isn’t your thing. Too hippy. Too girlie. Too slow. No action. No thrill. Boring. Hard.
You tell yourself it’s for the ladies. You tell yourself, “Who wants to wear pants that are either far too tight or far too loose and try (unsuccessfully) to bend down and touch your toes, when you could rather hit the gym, play footy with your mates over the weekend, or more likely, turn on your PlayStation or Netflix with some lager and chips for company?”
If the latter is how you spend most of your leisure time, the irony is, a yoga retreat is probably just what you need.
Yoga is easier than you realise. It’s designed to work incrementally, so like any other discipline you start at your own speed and work your way up to those impossible pretzel poses. And if you never get to twist yourself up like a salty sailor’s knot, don’t fret. That’s not the goal.
The goal is to feel better, look better and function better.
Three Top Benefits of Yoga for Men
- It Improves Your Sex Life
Do we have your attention now? Good. Because it’s true. Many reputable medical journals the world over have reported on the benefits of yoga for enhancing physical pleasure and increasing sexual performance for both sexes. The practice of yoga strengthens your pelvic floor, relaxes you (which helps get you in the mood), rids your body of toxins (that may relate to impotence), improves blood circulation, and helps you feel more connected to your partner thanks to the practice of mindfulness. Yoga not only helps you be a better lover, but it helps you enjoy lovemaking more.
- It Reduces Stress
Because yoga is a holistic practice, it helps us calm the (bleep) down. It teaches you to breathe deeper, and oxygenate your muscles and your brain (increasing muscular strength and brain function as a result). It gives you a chance to disconnect from the humdrum and just be…well, more chilled out. That calm yogic demeanour? It’s a real thing.
- It Increases Strength
If someone said to you, that by doing yoga just 20-40 minutes, say three times a week, you could lift heavier weights, would injure yourself far less, improve your golfing swing, your surfing, or running, why wouldn’t you at least give it a try? Because yoga does improve all of these things.
Not yet sold on the idea? The Ironman himself, Robert Downey, Jr. is a huge proponent of the benefits of yoga. Our man from Newcastle, sexy Sting, has been doing it for decades. So have reformed bad boys, like cheeky Colin Farrell, and Maroon 5 rock idol, Adam Levine. All of them, let’s face it, put the ‘cut’ into cute!
It’s time, lads. Time to get your asana on. And the best thing? Underwear is optional.
Until next time.