I recently started doing yoga. I resisted getting into it for a long time, mostly because it seemed like a kind-of-whack way to get a workout. I’m of that old-school ilk who believe to get real decent exercise in you have to be either moving very rapidly, lifting heavy things, or doing both simultaneously.
Also, it seemed pretty dull. I didn’t take the time to figure out why it might have been an effective and beneficial facet to add to my fledgling workout regimen.
But then my mom started doing it, and she told me I should give it a shot. This advice came when I was in the midst of a very rough life patch, where I was perpetually addled with anxiety. I would have done anything to feel better, so I gave yoga the old college try.
It’s tough, that’s for sure, and I still really suck at it, but it’s something I’ll stick with.
Here are a few reasons you should be doing yoga, too:
It’ll help you mentally.
The first time I tried yoga was one morning alone in my room, directed by a DVD for beginners that my mom had sent me, I immediately noticed the parallel between yoga and relaxation. Once you get into a meditative state, your anxiety gets tuned way down. It feels amazing. And the effects continue throughout the day. Yoga also helps with depression and a slew of other mental issues, including insomnia. Trust me — if the first time you sleep soundly in as long as you can remember happens early on in your yoga experimentation, you’ll never want to stop practicing yoga for as long as you live. The way yoga relieves stress and calms me down is more important to me than any of the other more outwardly noticeable benefits it brings.
You’ll become more flexible.
You might not give a lot of credence to flexibility, but someday you’ll understand how crucial it is. And it only becomes more important as you get older. You realize that all the parts of your body are connected, and if you’re flexible in the hamstrings, etc., that’ll help keep you limber and either alleviate or avoid things like back pain.
It can make you better at boning.
If you lift weights, you probably do so at least partially because you think it makes you more aesthetically attractive to women. But strength training doesn’t do all that much for your sexual performance, beyond allowing you to hold a missionary planking position longer than a weakling like myself. You can bring yoga’s deep breathing and relaxation techniques into the bedroom, which ostensibly will help you last longer. And don’t act like you don’t want that.
It’ll help you get cut, bro.
Just because free weights aren’t involved doesn’t mean that yoga isn’t a great way to SHOCK THOSE PECS AND BI’S, you guys. Instead of pumping out a bunch of reps with added weight, yoga allows you to strengthen your muscles using your own weight. And it’s a full-body workout every time, too — unless you purposely do poses concentrating on, like, your booty or wherever.
Exposure to women, most of whom will be wearing yoga pants.
The first time I walked into a Brooklyn yoga class it was supremely overwhelming. There were so many women who provided tangible evidence that yoga is a very apt way to sculpt one’s body parts. And I’m like any guy. I enjoy gawking at women with nice bodies. There’s the added bonus of being in a position to speak with these women who you otherwise would never have met. I mean, don’t holler at them while you’re doing downward dog or chanting oms; wait until after the session. Also, you can be comfortable around these women almost immediately. They’ve already seen you struggling through an hour’s worth of yoga, so they’re going to be ready to experience your lack of grace on the dance floor and/or during any other activity you might experience during a date. (These women are probably also aware of the sexual performance perks of yoga, and as such may be on the market for a yoga-practicing young man!)