Unless you’ve recently died, you’ve heard about this thing called yoga. In the past twenty years, yoga has become very popular especially in the more populated cities and areas. So what is yoga and why do so many people do it? If you really don’t know what it is, then no problem. Go to my A man’s explanation of yoga page.
I’ve been doing yoga for nineteen years now and I gotta tell you it’s pretty awesome. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry but you’ll feel better afterward, be more flexible, and have more stamina and focus for your more macho activities.
WHO GOES TO YOGA CLASS?
If you’ve never been to yoga, you may not know the answer to that. Twenty years ago in the US, mainly women went to yoga with maybe five to ten percent guys sprinkled in. And out of those males, most were gay or maybe hippie and tree-hugging lifestyle types.
Currently, all types of people go to yoga class. There are still considerably more women than men, but the ratio is more like 70 – 30. Different athletes do yoga to enhance their sports abilities. Out of shape people go to get fit. Type A personalities go to level themselves out for one reason or another. Some go to help a number of different physical or mental issues. People will go to hot yoga for the sweaty ass-kicking. Basically, you will find any demographic that is looking to improve something at a yoga class.
HOW I STARTED DOING YOGA
My first yoga class was at a Gold’s gym. I used to see the class going on through the glass while I was lifting weights. I would look in and think, “Wow! There are some hot chicks in there!” I would then go back to my weight bench, look at all the sweaty dudes around me and think, “Maybe I’m in the wrong place. I should be where the hotties are. I should be in that yoga class”. I still didn’t take yoga for a while because I thought, “I’d love to go in there but I’m not gay. Heterosexual guys can’t go in there”. I know that sounds bad but nineteen years ago, it was true. So I just continued to lift those weights.
My brother started joining me at the gym and we would work out together and it was great. He would look in too and see the babes in yoga and we would talk about it. He wanted to take the yoga class, but I would say to him. “Fuck that. The only guys in there are gay.”
“Dude it’s not like that,” my brother would say. His wife was into yoga and she dragged him to a class at a studio a couple of times. “There are a few straight guys that go. Plus it’s challenging as hell. It’ll kick your ass”.
My brother was more open-minded than I was then. He was always willing to try new things and was relatively fearless about it. As a moderate weight lifter and dedicated martial artist, I was still in a very narrow mindset that many guys get into. Activities that I did to improve myself had to be manly. For me then, yoga just wasn’t manly and I felt I wasn’t going to look any better to women by doing that weird-looking shit. I mean, there were no weights to lift, things to hit, balls to chase, or dudes to compete with. There weren’t even any cool shoes to wear or any products to buy to make me bigger or better.
I was about to be newly single though. And I hadn’t been single in a very long while so since I wasn’t meeting any women while lifting weights, I really had no choice. As if nature took over, I gravitated towards what I wanted, which was to meet women. Watching all those beautiful bodies walking into those Gold’s gym yoga classes eventually forced me to capitulate my straight guy card and try a yoga class.
To shorten this long story, my brother and I took a yoga class and I instantly loved being around the women. The yoga though made my body strangely sore and at first, wasn’t sure what I felt about it. I did know inherently that it was good for me. Within a month or so going to yoga class, I found myself not going for the women. I was going to yoga class for the yoga. Nineteen years later and I’m still doing yoga. The beautiful women are still in class and that continues to be a great bonus, but it’s the actual yoga that keeps me going.
SO SHOULD HETEROSEXUAL MEN GO DO YOGA? ABSOLUTELY YES! HERE ARE 9 GREAT REASONS
1 Because that’s where the hot women are
Think about the places you go to maybe pick up or be around the opposite sex. Most of what guys do and where they go don’t have many girls present. If you want to meet women, try this simple philosophy – “Go where women go”.
How many times do you go to a bar to potentially meet a girl, only to sit around with a bunch of dudes looking at each other and drinking beer? Two hours and fifty bucks later, your on your way home with a four Miller-Lite beer buzz, full from bar nachos, and not having talked to even one female (unless it was the bartender).
Bars are ok for meeting women because there is alcohol involved and that’s a good thing. There’s no alcohol in yoga but it is a far superior environment for meeting women so if your romantic life is in need of a boost, take up yoga. Oh, and yoga is good for gay guys too for the same reasons. The ratio isn’t as good but it still a great place to meet quality people.
2 It will make everything else you do better
Yoga is about self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-improvement. I know that sounds like some fluffy Tony Robbins type of bullshit. It happens to be true and accurate though so I don’t know what else to tell you.
Whoever you are and whatever you do, yoga will improve it. Anything physical that you are into like sports or work will be better. You’ll move easier, have a greater range of motion, and will have much less risk of injury. It will also make you better physically at having sex. Yep, that should’ve gotten someone’s attention.
Many guys have issues with anger. Some lack in understanding and compassion for others. Yoga can help you with any emotional issues and maybe tap into dealing with some psychological ones as well. These fields of improvement will make you better at dealing with family, friends, strangers, and even dogs. Basically, you’ll be less of an asshole.
3 It can teach you things about yourself
Ever hear stories of guys suddenly finding out that they have cancer in stage four? How about the fat lady who doesn’t know she’s pregnant until the kid comes out? Most people aren’t very connected to what is going on in their bodies. Doing yoga will tell you what’s going on inside.
A lot of guys live with minor ailments and don’t really know much about them. Knees, shoulders, neck and back, elbows, feet, and hands are common areas that have flare-ups or constant pains or issues. Yoga will help you to isolate where the problem acutely is. This is knowledge of the body that helps you work around the ailment or help to fix it.
The learning doesn’t end in the physical realm. Depending on your personality or how much you get into it, yoga can help identify what’s going on with you emotionally. This may not sound manly and you may take the stance Captain Kirk took in “Star Trek V” when he said, “I need my pain“. You can keep you pain but learning why it’s there can’t hurt.
4 It’s a good place to build a social life and make quality friends
Most guys don’t have many friends and that’s fine. Some guys just have shitty friends who are mildly toxic, don’t give much of a shit about them, and would maybe buy them a beer but wouldn’t help move a couch.
The yoga environment generates friendships. Not ones that are only related to alcohol or ego like the friends you make at the bar or on a sports team. Yogis eventually get together outside the studio and do activities. And so begins a new social circle with types of people you may not have associated much with, doing things you may have never done. Oh, and a lot of these people will be women (if that sparks your interest).
5 It will teach you some things about women
Even if they think they do, most heterosexual men don’t know much about women. That’s not because we are assholes. It’s just that guys don’t have many real female friends or hang much with females other than trying to fuck them. Most dudes may have a wife/girlfriend, maybe a sister, and/or their mother in their lives and that’s pretty much it for female friendships. I’m not saying it’s wrong. It’s just the way it is and that’s fine.
There are advantages though to learning some things about women. The main one is to learn to respect them more. And the first way you learn to respect them is in their ability to do the physical yoga. Women are generally better at doing yoga than you, the male. As a macho guy with an ego, you’ll come up with reasons for this to make you feel better, but the fact will remain. And if you do yoga long enough, you eventually realize that they are better at it than you and the respect will come.
You’ll also learn a lot about women because you will make friends with a couple of them. I don’t mean you’ll be trying to fuck them. You just be friends with them with very little or no sexual tension. At that point, you’ll learn to value a woman beyond your needs and wants of females. You’ll learn more about how they think and maybe see that they are more like you than you thought. This will help you a lot when you date, have sex with, and co-exist with women.
6 It is challenging (as hell)
One of my favorite things in life is watching some muscle-bound ego-driven dude come into a yoga class for the first time. He sets his mat down and immediately begins to posture and size up the room. In his mind, he’s big, strong, and aggressive, so he’s gonna crush this yoga class and dominate all the women and puny guys around him. Then class begins and within the first fifteen minutes, Mr. Muscle Milk goes from being supremely confident to a mild panic in survival mode as the yoga kicks his glutes.
I want to make this clear – No matter who you are or how physical you are, most yoga classes will kick your ass! There is a lot of restorative and gentle flow yoga that will not be hard. There is yoga for everyone and I’m not talking about gentle yoga here. Take a power yoga class in a hot room and you’ll know what I saying.
And yoga by design will challenge you no matter what shape you are in or how long you’ve been doing it, so don’t think you or anyone else can have a “been there, done that” attitude about yoga.
7 It will teach you how to be comfortable around women
To some guys, women can be a little intimidating. They are completely relaxed around dudes of any shape or size, but females are a different story. When it comes to beautiful women, most guys are somewhat intimidated.
Many years ago, I met this girl at a friend’s house and something weird happened. When she came over to say hi to me, I froze. I tried to talk but couldn’t. I tried to move but couldn’t. She was so incredibly beautiful that my brain locked up. It only lasted a few seconds and I was able to conceal the effect her beauty had on me, but holy shit was that a powerful moment.
I think back to that day and smile now. Because of yoga, that will never happen to me again (although I kinda wouldn’t mind if it did). In the last two decades, I have been exposed to so many really hot women in yoga. And they are wearing activewear or showing a lot of skin which can be quite captivating. The raw power that female beauty has over guys is awesome and undeniable. Proudly, yoga has desensitized me of this power but in no way has taken any of my appreciation for it.
Imagine not being intimidated in any way by any women’s beauty or hotness no matter what. Yea, you want that!
8 You may start eating better
Since I was a teenager, I’ve always been into some kind of healthy lifestyle. First, it was things like lifting weights, aerobics, bodybuilding, and surfing. Then I had thirteen years of fairly dedicated karate training. By the time I started doing yoga, I knew how to eat well, but I wasn’t really. doing it. I mean, I ate a shit-ton of protein when lifting weights and cut out a lot of fat with bodybuilding and drank so much water during the karate years, but none of it ever lasted very long.
I started yoga with no intention of changing my diet. Many yogis are vegetarian or vegan, so I started to hear about the pros of those diets. For the most part though, I wasn’t going to attach a specific diet to my yoga. My diet did change though kind of all by itself. I started eating better, not because of some idealistic theory, but from what my body wanted and how I felt doing yoga if I ate like shit. Basically, there was no fucking way I was going to get through an hour and twenty-minute hot power yoga class if I ate a cheeseburger and fries.
I was preferring to have a better yoga experience over eating the shit food I loved. You just can’t do both so one has to go. I didn’t experience that with the other activities in my past. Yoga makes me eat better without me having to think about it.
9 It may expand your horizons
A good lifelong friend of mine has played soccer for his whole life. One of the cool things about him playing the “world’s game” is all the people he has met and played with from different countries. That part of his soccer experience expanded his horizons a bit in that he got to interact with people from different cultures. For the average American heterosexual male, yoga can offer the same advantage.
Although no one really knows the origin of yoga, the region of the world we call India currently takes the credit for it. In India, yoga was mainly for males. In the US and other parts of the world though, yoga is primarily practiced by women and people existing in what we can still call “alternative lifestyles” (although that concept is quickly going away). The average American heterosexual male doesn’t fit into these categories.
For the most part, hetero US men pay attention mainly to macho, more abrasive shit like motorsports, contact sports, extreme sports, hunting, fishing, bigger shit, faster shit, fighting, pursuing girls and any other male ego-driven activities. As a fellow American heterosexual male, I proudly love all of that stuff too, however, most of the guys who are into manly macho shit are relatively closed off from the rest of the lifestyles that occur. Their box is small.
Most yoga practitioners are different than the average US hetero male. They are females, homosexuals, bi-sexuals, tree huggers, vegans who wouldn’t kill a cockroach in their bedrooms, anti-war, anti-violence, socialist, overly environmentally conscious, non-aggressive, and/or animal-loving. These are good quality people who live very different lives and have very different concepts of what the world is and how it should be.
Doing something neutral and non-judgemental like yoga with people who aren’t like you, then getting to know some of them a little, then making friends with some is a tremendous opportunity for growth for the heterosexual man. Learning their motivation and then accepting how others think and feel can make the box you exist in bigger. It’s a lot like traveling to other countries. For me, it’s a big plus for any guy like me in doing yoga.
WHAT YOGA WON’T DO FOR YOU
Over the last almost two decades, I’ve talked to hundreds of non-yogis about yoga. Many are reluctant to try yoga for a couple of reasons. I think the best way to describe their reluctance is that they are cautious of the potential influence yoga may have on them. So, born out of these conversations, here are five things that yoga will absolutely not do for you.
1 Yoga won’t make you gay
Yea you read that right. And I’m not trying to be funny here or anything. I don’t know what the percentage of people who think being gay is a choice versus something you are born being, this is for the guys who think gay is a choice.
For four years, I worked alongside a big, mean Puerto Rican motherfucker who spent nine years in prison. This cat was about as heterosexual as you can be and he felt that homosexuality was a choice based on his observations in prison. I will admit that, even though I believe you are born with your sexual preferences, he had some compelling arguments to it being a choice. At the end of the day, I respected his opinion as it was his almost decade long jail experience that gave it to him.
Yoga and yoga class are nothing like prison though. Just being around (or even making friends with) homosexuals and non-aggressive types that don’t believe in gun ownership won’t make you gay. Unless you are looking for an excuse. And if that’s the case, then cool. Be you. I, like most other yogis, will be entirely indifferent to your sexual preference.
2 Yoga won’t change your belief system or make you religious
This is probably the biggest thing that I have noticed to give people pause to going to yoga class. I’ve had so many people quickly change the subject when I mention yoga. It’s as if I rolled up on a bike and knocked on their front door wearing a white shirt and tie with some free literature about the church of ladder day saints.
Let me make it super clear – “Yoga will NOT challenge your belief in god or any other specifics associated with your religion.” How can I be so confident about this? Because I’ve been around yoga for a really long time and personally am vehemently opposed to anyone pushing their religion on me. So, if yoga was about pushing a belief agenda, I would have left it long ago.
You can go to yoga class and enjoy its neutrality. You can even apply some of its neutrality to your own belief if you want and that’s cool. Use it any way you want. Just don’t think yoga is some kind of brainwash. If you are looking for that, watch the news instead.
3 Yoga won’t change your style
Like to wear cowboy boots and a Stetson hat? No problem, cow piece. Your good to go to yoga and stay your country self.
Maybe you’re a hipster sporting an overgrown beard, plaid flannel button-down shirt and only drink PBRs. Cool bro. You can continue to look like you chop wood (even though you never have) and do some yoga.
Yoga is a barefoot activity and it’s best to wear loose clothing while practicing, but that doesn’t mean that if you continue doing it, you’ll start growing a man-bun, wear things made of hemp, and stop taking daily showers. There is definitely a “yoga style”, but very few of the overall yogis choose it. So, don’t worry. Your uncreased sports team lids and unscuffed, overpriced kicks are safe.
4 It won’t make you sell your truck to buy a Prius
I have driven a pickup truck for more than three decades and I’ve practiced yoga for two overlapping decades. If gas goes up to five dollars a gallon, you might decide to get a Smart car, but yoga won’t make you do it. Feel free to drive your jacked-up, four-wheel drive to class. No one will give a shit.
5 It won’t make you start hugging trees
Most American heterosexual men aren’t considered “tree huggers”. Some are and that’s cool with me. I have more than a few overly environmentally conscious guy friends and that’s good for me. It’s probably a good idea to keep our habitat in great livable condition. Each of us has our own ideas on what should be done and how much concern we should have for it. But that has nothing to do with yoga.
I do admit that taking yoga will open you up in as many ways as you are willing or can. And during some of this discovery, you may change your mind about one thing or another. This is not unique to yoga though.
Anything that you get into can influence you to some degree. Some of those activities or groups that you become a part of do have agendas. This can be dangerous to who you are as anyone can be manipulated.
Yoga certainly can be influential. Think of it though as an open-source platform. Anyone can go in and use the tools and guidelines of yoga and make anything they want for themselves. That is not being involved in a manipulated agenda. Instead, it is learning how to explore your own self. In yoga’s purest form, the only agenda is one formed by the individual. Therefore, if it’s in you to become a tree hugger, then that’s on you. You would’ve only used yoga to get you to where and who you truly are and want to be.
SOME FINAL WORDS ON HETEROSEXUAL MALES DOING YOGA
As a middle-aged single male, yoga changed my life for the much better. Nineteen years ago, there were many times when I was one of only a few guys in yoga and the only straight guy. It was great. The yogis were in shape and positive and when they saw that I was there for yoga too, they were very open and friendly. This was a single guy’s dream. Especially for me, as I was into being healthy and non-toxic. Today’s yoga classes have a lot more straight guys going but the ratio of women to men is still great. Using a business term, you can still get in on the ground floor.
Yoga is good beyond just the dating life. It will improve a lot of things that heterosexual men need improving. Are you having problems with not being sensitive enough? How about the way to talk to women? Are they put off by your lack of understanding or are you not listening to them much? Yoga will help with all of that. The conversations you have with them before and after yoga class will teach you to listen to them. It’ll teach you to listen because the topics of conversation won’t be about how great you are or how great she is, and you won’t be drunk.
Maybe you have problems with getting nervous when you talk to women. Yoga will help you with this in the biggest way. Are you constantly getting in trouble for looking at a girl’s tits or asses? Again yoga will help. If you take yoga classes long enough, you will get used to talking to the most beautiful women that are completely out of your league. And they’ll be wearing skin-tight yoga clothes. It may not sound possible but after a while, you’ll be able to only look into her eyes and listen to what the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen is actually saying. And she’ll really like you for it. She may not want you in the way you want her to want you, but you’ll be her friend and that’s a solid start. When you go out in the real non-yoga world, you then won’t be at all nervous talking to women. They will sense that, and you’ll be better off in every situation.
DON’T BE A DOUCHE-BAG AT YOGA
Ok, so I just gave you the key to the kingdom and now you are going to yoga to pick up girls. I might as well tell you now that that will be an epic fail! Occasionally, I’ll see a new guy come in to do yoga and he’ll just be there to pick up women. I’ll chuckle to myself because the outcome is always the same. He’ll post up next to a hot girl, lay down his yoga mat and start into some pre-class convo. He might do pretty well as she is in yoga class and her guard is down. After class, he’ll resume his pursuit and maybe he’ll get her number alright, but will he be able to call her and get the hook-up? It’s doubtful but it does happen. Usually only once though, as when the player dude returns to yoga class to find another hook-up, his game goes away. It goes away because yoga is a quality long term activity and the short game doesn’t work there. And there is no alcohol.
As a heterosexual male, don’t go to yoga to pick up women! Instead, go to yoga to learn to understand, respect, and be more comfortable around them. Oh and yoga by itself is incredible. If you let it, it will teach some things about yourself.